1. Art can be about your life 2. Allow inspiration/passion to flow out of you (share what you’re experiencing when you’re inspired with your audience in your writing) 3. Allow your interest/inspiration to lead your work 4. Listen to yourself, listen to the inspiration, and listen with a calm mind
If you could meet/curate any one artist/person, who would it be? Frida Kahlo – I wish I could know more about her chronic pain, and how she persevered and still created masterpieces, even while bedridden. I’m astounded by how someone so unlucky, with life’s cards stacked against them, can still have the motivation to produce. I also look up to her because she was not afraid to express herself, and always seemed to stick to her guns. Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh (& Charles Rennie Mackintosh!) – She was constantly artistically collaborating with her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, in a partnership that never produced children (publicly, at least- nearly unheard of in their time). I would love to know more about their working relationship, as I believe they were a true OG artist power couple.
Further Questioning: Does telling the story of art/how the art came to be, beyond its face value, add value?
“Oh, they’re just clouds.” To, “Oh, they are panted with fingers. They were painted nearly every day as a part of a series, and inspired other series by the same artist.” “Cool portraits, love the colors and markmaking!” to finding out the artist wanted to remember his father through a portrait, having it not turn out quite right, taking a break, and eventually tracing a cast shadow of a tree to represent him instead. This ended up meaning more to the artist than an actual portrait – eventually leading to an entire shadow portrait series. In terms of value, I’m not necessarily talking about money value, but more value to the viewer, from the storyteller. I don’t know if this is just an artist-to-artist phenomenon, but knowing the journey and inspiration behind art is so valuable. It gives it personal context that we don’t always hear- and I think that rareness – or being able to see how something is made, inspired, etc. - is what makes it valuable.
This website seems to serve two primary functions: to document his work, and to propagate and support his tattooing career. The documented work includes tattoos, video, paintings, and installations. These parts of the website does not seem as updated as his Instagram. There’s also a very brief bio section, followed by a FAQ section. This details his location and common questions and answers about tattooing (how to book an appointment, aftercare, etc.) The contact section seems to be mostly for tattooing as well, which includes sections asking for placement and references. His Facebook and Instagram are linked as well.
Overall, I’m not super in love with the layout. It’s relatively simple (which I think is a plus) but it also lacks basic design principles, like hierarchy and grid. I also wish it was more updated and kept up-to-date like his Instagram. I feel as though there is room for improvement. (There’s also a “Items in Cart” option, but there’s nothing to add to the cart that I saw?)
This website is super simple, but definitely matches her work and is consistent throughout the website. Even though it is modest, it still feels very professional. Its main function seems to be a shop to sell her art. It’s more connected as well, as she has a “live” and up-to-date Instagram feed on the home page. The website has only a few sections, including shop, about, portfolio, and FAQs. The portfolio section is empty, but the FAQ is filled with questions and answers about selling and shipping. She also has icon links to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and a newsletter.
This website is more active, connected, and updated. It’s also more uniform-looking, and has an overall feel that matches the artist’s work. It’s also an effective storefront.
OnMilwaukee Upon first glance, most of the home page is about food, and guiding viewers where to eat locally. Digging deeper, there only seem to be more “lifestyle/entertainment” articles, many of which are nothing really more than professionally written advertisements, in my opinion. The entire site seems to thrive on perpetuating consumerism. It lacks “news” (of the storytelling variety) and mostly giving readers ideas on where to spend their money (to give them credit, many of the places are locally operated, which I think is good and should be supported – but there’s just so much of it on this site!) The pictures accompanying articles also leave a lot to be desired and seem unprofessional, even to an untrained eye.
Journal Sentinel Right away, this site contained a significantly larger array of news in comparison to OnMilwaukee, including crime and lots of sports. While navigating the site, I was bombarded with pop-up ads that prompted me to subscribe to the site, and numerous prompts to disable my ad blocker. Some articles were even hidden behind a paywall, with a message that reads “this content is only available to subscribers.” Even though this was annoying, I felt like the variety and quality of the content, as well as the feel of the site (which was quite professional) was significantly better than OnMilwaukee, so I guess you get what you, in theory, “pay for.”
Shepherd Express Much like OnMilwaukee, this site contained more “lifestyle” and arts-centered journalism. Some sections and series on the site were clearly “editorial” and quite opinionated compared to other online journals. They even had header sections labeled “Hemp” and “LGBTQ,” and in my opinion this shows that they are not afraid to proudly wave their liberal flag. They also have an “Advice” section, which is the first time I’ve seen one of those. To me, many of the titles of the series (found in the drop down menus of the headers) were quite confusing. For example, take “Art for Art’s Sake” series by Art Kumbalek under “Advice.” There’s an article called “Raisin Brain,” (uh, what???), with a brief summary that reads: “So listen, what with the school days back on the docket for our youth, I surely do hope that the Badger State educational standards for our young Einsteins includes those grim Grimm brothers’ fairy tales for the learning.” (I'm still lost!) I can’t even tell what this piece of writing is about, and quite frankly does not (personally) give me any incentive to click or read further. This was one of the more confusing series on the site, but I still feel like I need to invest quite a bit of time into looking at the site to make sense or determine the purpose of some series. And thank goodness for better photos, too. (I also like some of the art/illustration I’ve seen on their print publications in the past.)
Milwaukee Magazine This magazine is quite similar to OnMilwaukee, where many of the articles lack thought-provoking or "important" content, and kind of feel like advertisements. It also contains a lots of entertainment and lifestyle subject matter. This site was most professional and enjoyable (looks-wise) of all the resources I researched, and was most enjoyable, in my opinion. I especially love the eye-catching covers and illustrations, especially on their print materials.
FOX6 The first thing I noticed was how crowded the home page was. Nearly all text was bold and on the large side, and overall had very little visual hierarchy. Any positive or uplifiting news is a rare find on this site. Much of it was local, crime-related, with occasional “neutral” stories about the weather or something government related. I enjoyed that many videos accompanied some articles. (I’m sure this seems redundant and unnecessary to many, but as someone who struggles with reading and enjoys visual stimulus I really enjoy that the included videos essentially cover what is written in the body copy.) Overall, this site had a ton of what I believe is “hard-hitting” news, almost to the point of it being overwhelming.
Marquette Wire Lots of the “news” on this site is internal to Marquette, and is mostly about things happening on-campus (and not “actual” local news.) There seems to be a big focus on sports, especially compared to arts, which is rolled into a section with entertainment. A lot of it is clearly opinionated as well, especially the “Journal” section, which seemed like it may have been a placeholder for an editorial category. Many of the articles are written by Marquette students, especially those majoring in journalism. In addition to the articles, the site has videos and audio for a few stories, including “MU TV” (Marquette’s YouTube Channel?) and MUR, Marquette’s radio station. Everything (with the exception of the homepage banner) on this site was surprisingly professional-looking to me.
Hi there! I’m Liz- I am a Communication Design major turned Illustration major as of last year. As an illustrator, I prefer working with graphic and bold styles, especially those involving line work. Pen and ink, as well as acrylic, are a few of my favorite mediums to work with. I’m also quite passionate about design and communication arts. Outside of my art “work” in my free time, I like to partake in painting, sewing, building things in wood shop, printmaking, music making (and listening), and organizing. I’m someone who enjoys a good, visual creative challenge. I also enjoy traveling and exploring places, new and old. Overall, I’m still a kid in an adult’s body who just happens to like (and be pretty good at) art.
My relationship with writing has been a bit rocky. As a child, I loved to write, especially in creative forms, and I was often told I was good at it. Towards the end of my high school career I started to struggle with reading, and I was diagnosed with a convergence insufficiency (brought on by stress, apparently). This means that my eye muscles refused to “sync” together, causing symptoms similar to that of dyslexia, accompanied by double vision, headaches, and eye pain. Because of this, I could not effectively read (or write, for that matter) for months. I’ve slowly been regaining my writing and reading ability over the years, but reading can still be difficult and strenuous to me. And writing is no exception, as the two usually go hand in hand. Because of this, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with writing today.
Two things come to mind when I think about how someone interprets something. Firstly, I think context, what background the subject is presented against, is the most important. This background can very easily be manipulated and changed to determine how the subject is to be viewed (this is also called the framing effect in psychology). Second, I believe the personal background and individual experience of the viewer can also change how someone interprets something. Much like a Rorschach inkblot test, the viewer’s own thoughts and experience will ultimately be projected onto the subject. I’m sure there are many more factors that go into how someone interprets something, but those are the two main ones that come to mind.
I’m very interested in this idea of perception – and how it can change based on experiences, place, or background. My perception has recently had a major shift; I’ve been inspired a lot by my study abroad trip to Glasgow, Scotland this past summer. At the moment (post-Glasgow), I think I’m most fascinated by comparing places - recognizing similarities as well as differences between familiar and foreign spaces. I’d also like to tell a story from an interview– perhaps someone’s personal experience? I’m quite open to whatever comes my way, but those are three main subjects I think I’ll gravitate towards writing about throughout the course.