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Sunday, December 6, 2009


Color, Drawing and Form Update

This week in class we put together our calendar. My month was January and color scheme was monochromatic. I wanted to show A delineation with different chroma's of a blue. Since January is a winter month I thought it would be appropriate to show a color that seemed to remind us of the cold season. By showing the gradation of the blue it shows what monochromatic is. By displaying the different chroma's, I also wanted to show how that effect can give the illusion of space and a light source. To me this is a fundamental building block to color and how it can be applied even when just using one hue.

Final Statement- Taxonomy

Taxonomy of the sea was composed from many different marks that were made for my haiku. Out of all the projects this one I collected all the learned skills and applied them.
"Perfect craft is essential, if it is not perfect it is not worth doing." Terri Nemer
Out of all the projects I suffered most with craft. My craft improved in this project but still needs to be worked on. For example with this project I learned how important craft was with my images. It was once suggested that an employer will not want to pay a designer for something that is not perfect, or that does not have perfect craft, and I agree with this
statement. Once I scanned them in with a higher resolution, my marks were easier to work with. It was easier for them to work with in photoshop as well.

I wanted the front cover to help give a peek into what the viewer will see. By showing the waves and the text in the lower part of the composition it gives the illusion of the sea as well.

Sea Creatures

The ocean is filled with different animals, plants, and groups. Sea creatures are put into harmonious groups that humans are attracted to. The Denotation is the creatures as themselves. The Connotation is the symbolic or metaphor that they represent in the oceans society. These creatures hold our attention because of there parallel similar characteristics to our society. They form different marks of physical appearance as well as a deeper meaning to the ocean. In the end, these creatures form a harmonious nature that humans can only understand from above water.

This is my introduction to my book. I wanted to give my reasons why I choose Sea Creatures. I think that this theme has great Denotations and Connotations. I also wanted my introduction to help the viewer to be able to read th
e book. This part of the project was very important. As designer's it is our job to help navigate and communicate clearly. For example making one the typeface of Denotation in regular and Connotation in italic. This helps the reader to be able to tell the difference between the two. To also carry on the same layout of the text through the whole book helps the viewer concentrate on the text as well as the images.

One of the main requirements for project one was to take a word and communicate it through dot compositions. In this project, it was even tested further. To really interpret the Denotation and Connotation it was important for me to be able to communicate both clearly. In the dot composition this was something that I had the most troub
le with. By taking one word and communicating a deeper meaning through an image is a difficult task, however once it is a success it is rewarding. One of my main objectives is for the viewer to make the connection between the Denotation, Connotation and the mark/ image. Through the Dot Project, I learned how important it was for the viewer not to be confused by the composition and typography.

Sea Weed Nutrition
Since many sea creatures use this resource as nutrition I thought that it would be appropriate. I wanted this pair to be the first because I felt that it wa
s the most versatile to all of the other pairings. The idea was to show the organic flow of the Sea Weed. I think that this composition is successful because it gives off great contrast between negative and position space. However, the more I look at the composition as a whole I think that it is believable but more Sea Weed should be added. An idea that I have is to look back through my marks and see if something can reference a sea bottom. The figures seem to be grounded but nothing is grounding them, this might confuse the viewer. Even to play with scale more, perhaps making some grouping of the sea weed plants.

Clams Sacred
These small creatures create something that humans hold as sacred values. The A-Symetry between the empty clams on the left helps to imply the greatness of the big right side that holds a pearl. In this composition the implication is to think of something precious that only one in however many can make. By using contrast between both sides and scale this composition is successful in its connotation.

Sea Horse and Maternal.
One interesting facts of Sea Horses is that the male sea horses carry the babies. With that fact I wanted to make this pair for Maternal. With this composition I wanted to concentrate on the proximity of the the two marks. For them to be interacting in space is what helps to communicate the Connotation. Even the left page gives off the sense of distance as the right gives the illusion of closeness. However, this pair is lacking more information. If there was baby sea horses, it would help the Connotation of what maternal really means. By using scale with the baby Sea Horses, and placing them in the composition, this pairing will be more believable.

Shark, Strong.
The shark is usually the feared creature of the sea. In this pairing I referred back to project two with juxtaposition. As I tried to apply to all of the pairings, it was especially important in this pairing. The texture of the impact of the right page helps to bring out the left part of the shark. By moving past two separate pages, I started to look into two page spreads. Looking at both as a whole composition only makes the impact of the shark stronger.

Fish and School
The fish work in a team together to travel. I thought that this was a good idea to show. The connotation of school of fish the viewer will be able to understand as well as relate to. The proximity and scale between the right page and left page divides the two sections. Even though they are not only divided by visual they are also divided by the seam of the page. By using the seam of the pages to divide the two groups of fish only further feeds to the deeper meaning of moving together in a team.

Eel Mysterious
Using the mark to guide the viewers eye across the page is useful in this composition. The Eel is a creature that people are uncertain about, as well as sneaky. I wanted the illusion of the Eel moving across the page seamlessly. I also wanted the eyes to seem if they are glowing and lurking. The marks smooth texture is also implied for the mysterious quality. However, I would like some suggestions to further improve this pair. I believe that the image is believable but should be pushed further into the connotation.

Dolphin Friendship
People tend to use Dolphin's as metaphor for friendship. In this composition they appear to be joining as one group. When I think of friendship, a group is something that I think of. However, I wanted this composition to seem to be different than school. They are jumping together and across the page, once again using juxtaposition. I wanted the viewer to look close into the marks as hands as well. The slightly mimic hands being pressed together. This helps to bring out another aspect of the dot compositions, how to imply feelings or emotions into these marks.

Jellyfish Mindless
Born without a brain, the Jellyfish floats around mindless. I wanted to refer to an ink blot, the idea of not thinking. This is one of my favorite ideas, however I do not believe it is executed that well yet. The idea that I have is to have the Jellyfish floating around with no purpose. It seems that this composition does not have enough use of scale yet. I think making more of the Jellyfish and making them difference sizes I will be able to give the illusion of depth into space, as well as floating around mindlessly.

Waves Harmony
To end the book I wanted to pull all of the compositions together. Waves can act like a calming effect to people. Below the calming waves are all these different groups that these creatures can fall under. This helps to conclude the book because it is where the creatures live. The pairing that I conducted was to imply this flawed group into something that interacts in a balanced way.

I decided to make an accordion booklet so the viewer is able to stretch the spreads out and see all the groups together.

Final Statement For animation


There were many principles that I learned from project 1&2 that are parallel to project 3. We started off picking out a three line Japanese haiku.

When first reading my haiku I wanted to focus on the Whippoorwill (which is a Japanese bird). However, the more I read the haiku and started to make the analogy shapes about the haiku my personal connotation of the bird was the symbol of someone or something being lonely all together. This was important for me to really understand my haiku, have my own personal interpretation of it, because eventually that is what I will want the viewer to see.This is something that I had learned in project one, and something that then I did not execute very well. It doesn’t matter if it is a line, shape, word, or piece of text, it is crucial as a designer to be able to execute that “denotation” well, so the viewer is able to understand. Another aspect that I took from project one was the importance of variety. In the first project we started with mind maps, and to be honest mine was not expanded. It seemed like in the most creative step of the project, I did not experiment into different approaches. In project 3 I did not want to make the same mistake. By the end of the class I no longer looked at the “ minimal requirements” for the next class but the “maximum possibilities”. For example turning my animation into black with white shapes and texts instead of the reverse.

When I thought of this it was suggested that I take that idea and show both ways of executing it. Going further into the process of my haiku we experimented with marks that would make the analog shape. This is a aspect that project 2 came back into mind, experimenting with media, and letting the “tool” be the focus. So much of what I do sometimes I think would be easier to just take it into Illustrator/ Photoshop and manipulate it. While making the image a vector is an important step into craft, sometimes the designer looses some of the more interesting qualities or possibilities in that image. In project 2 we made line studies and let the projector, scanner, and photocopier make a new line study. As a designer I hope to carry the building up of hand skills and not wanting always to depend on the computer. Who knows, in the future it might be my assignment to create something without the computer, and using these tools and tricks is important. In project 3 it was important to let the tool whether it maybe a whistle, feather, or string to do most of the work. By letting this happen the out come was usually better texture, shape, or contrast in the image, which probably could have not been made on the computer.

In the final animation I learned many new skills too. A storyline, after looking at my animation it seemed that having a narrative made the whole project in itself stronger. I think going further into the up coming semester’s this is something that I take into consideration. In my personal belief people are able to respond better to any type of artwork when a narrative is given.

Untitled from Janna Johnsrud on Vimeo.

The song I choose was "Old Piano" by Frou Frou

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Artists role in society class

For my art history class our mid term assignment was to write about how we want to contribute to society. We were working in teams so I got the idea to make a blog about our group. My teacher absolutely loved the idea and I told him about how it is an easy way to communicate with my teachers. I wanted to share what my response was, and the additional comments by the other members' of my group. I thought it connected into what I have learned in all three of my design classes this semester.Of course by the time I am a senior and completing my thesis, my answer will probably have changed, so I hope you enjoy this little something extra.

Many people ask me what exactly Graphic Design is, or what I will be doing with the degree after I am done with school. I usually respond with designing logos, websites, signs, etc. One of the most interesting aspects of Graphic Design is that it has its way of making itself into any area. I believe that Graphic Designer's have a big role in society. They are able to make environmental signs, or anatomy books for doctors. I want my role in society to help people and educate them. It is extremely important to me to reach out to other people and help them. My role in society is to help give guidance in little aspects of society, and to entertain. I would like to be a environmental graphic designer, making billboards and signs to help direct people. I would also find it interesting to be involved with motion graphics. Depending on what companies I will be working with, I want to help give notice to important activities going on in the Kansas City area. I believe all Graphic Designer’s have a certain role in society. I do not believe what I will be doing is high/ fine art like I have learned in my Art History classes. I do think they have a modern way of becoming the new fine art. Making signs, logos, layouts all are things that we as a society read. One of the things that I plan to do with my work is help people communicate with each other. I think despite what exact graphic’s I want to focus on; this will be my main objective in my career. One of the problems with society is the amount of information that is tossed around. As a designer my objective will be to simplify the functional art forms. This can be delivered in many ways; I’ve seen some designer’s make basic educational programs for elementary kids. Some designer’s make sites combining different culture groups to interact with each other. In the end I wish for people to find themselves interacting with other people in a less complex way. I believe as a artist and a designer this makes the perfect blend to help society.

Interviewed by SS:
You said that your role in society is a desire to help people and educate them. What type of approach do you think you are going to take in order to achieve that? 
I think it is wonderful that you want to be an environmental graphic designer that makes billboards and signs. Could you explain more about what type of work you do as an environmental designer. Is it the content...perhaps the information that is environmental and/or the process of the work and materials used?
I think that work like yours also could be considered collaborative work, besides social and educational.
What types of groups or organizations are you considering for future work and why? have you considered working for yourself and starting your own local design group?

Me: The truth is I know I want to contribute to society by educating them. I would love to do this through motion graphics, but the specific area of what exactly my project will be I am still unsure about. Of course I get ideas at 2 am, but usually forget them by the next day, haha. What I would really like to do once out of school is join community groups that they will direct my skills in however it can be useful for the organization. I have been thinking about what specific projects I would like to work on, and I would like to possibly help elderly people. A few years ago, I volunteered at a nursing home and practiced a little bit of art therapy with them., and really discovered a sensitive side to myself. I would like to take that passion and some how geared it towards helping them. If I could make a wish, it would be to make a specialized program that elderly people could relate with. However, i just might be stepping into boundaries that is not in the graphic design field. Although, I am unsure on exactly what specific projects I will be doing, I know that I want to contribute to the communication of people through graphic design.

SS: Sounds like we have such similar interest! Perhaps we could work together on a project.
I love that you want to expand out more than just a labeled field you chose for a degree. That is the creative person that you are seeking heeling through art to share with others. I know i great place to start if you don't mind a suggestion is Homecare. I worked for them in the past, and you can work with all ages. I think i have even seen a poster in the library about it. It could be something to consider.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Oh helvetica