Must throw this documentary on Sailor Jerry onto my sister’s Netflix queue.
Came across an article of photographer Chris Rainer which focuses on the portraits he shoots from different tattoo cultures around the world. The film, Tattoo Odyssey, which aired on Smithsonian looks fascinating and I hope I can somehow find a way to view it.
From what I gather from the photo slideshow, Rainer’s portraits are absolutely stunning.
There’s something nice about stepping away from the computer. Transitioning back to using the pencil rather than a mouse has been difficult, but it feels great to have tactile results right in front of you.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been truly excited about the work I am producing. What’s great about my Relief Printing class is that I’m taking everything I’ve learned about art and design, and marrying that knowledge together. So far I’ve been brainstorming how I plan on translating what I do with this class for my final Thesis solution. It’s not easy, as I am constantly tempted to stray off to my old roots of just creating some really rad looking art for the sake’s of it. This time around, I actually have a message that I am trying to communicate and it’s really pushing myself not just as an artist, but as a designer as well.
For my first print of a series, it focuses on a large part of the tattoo scene: Japanese culture. Being that I’ve never really done woodcuts before, this will be an interesting learning process. Hopefully what I envision will translate well into a print.
Gosh! It’s been super long since I’ve “blogged.” So sorry about that. I have such a greater respect for daily bloggers, it’s almost like a second job! I’ve never been much for resolutions, but I suppose becoming a more active blogger would be a beneficial move on my part. I really do want to share my thoughts/inspirations with y’all!
First off, I’ve finally, finally, finally got around to designing my own website, http://www.lannyhoang.com.I am pleased with the results and hope you enjoy it!
My final semester of my academic career is over, but I truly believe you never stop learning. In fact, graduate school was a great experience to find a voice and to act as a confirmation that I could make a serious impact on the world through design, however that’s just the beginning. Soon I will truly, truly be out in the real world and I will be put to the test if I can make a difference. It’s certainly a frightening, yet exciting future to embrace. Can’t wait!
So what exactly will I be up to these next couple of months? Aside from my Thesis solution/book/presentation to prepare for (which will certainly be hectic), I will also be taking graduate relief printing with Martin Mazorra of Cannonball Press. I’m a big fan of his work and can’t be more excited to get my hands dirty rather than being stuck behind a computer. Alongside that, I’ll be dipping my feet in graduate lithography for the first time with Judith Solodkin. This semester is going to be shit crazy with plenty of all nighters in two different studios, but I expect lots of good times to be had!
Out of all the times I’ve had in school, undergraduate or graduate, this final one defines me best. It’s going to be a merger of two different fields that I am truly passionate about, but hope they go hand in hand not just in an academic setting, but as a career as well.
With enough on my plate (but if you know me, I’m always back for seconds and thirds), you would think this would be enough. But my creative output is never quite satisfied, and I am taking on a couple other outside projects as well. One of those is designing an identity system for one of my best fwends, Clara Nguyen a.k.a. Claranette. She designs boootiful jewelry and I would be happy to help promote her in any way I can. She’s in the process of getting her website up and running, so stay tuned and keep checking on the new stuff she continues to create!
The best thing about design is the impact it can make on the world. Another one of my friends, Brooke Laura, founder of Saprinu, asked me to help her with a logo for the organization. After a trip to Nepal, Brooke fell in love with the country and the people she encountered. She also noticed the lack of an education and she became dedicated to providing access to affordable, quality schools through her her time and money. I think she’s doing an amazing thing and I have no problem making my small contribution.
And finally, a recent project I jumped on was for my very good friend Cameron Hudson from Charlotte, NC. Recently, he and his family have been through a very difficult situation. His twin brother, Brett passed away at the age of 26 after battling leukemia since the age of 2. Brett is the definition of a fighter and he had an amazing soul, which I had no doubt when I first met him. Though we only met once, his genuine personality stuck to me and I will definitely miss him. So Cameron contacted me and I will be helping design the cover for the book The Unconquered Twin: How I Became a Superman, in which Brett tells his story in his own words. After a recent meeting when I went down to Charlotte, I can’t be more excited to get started on some drafts.
There’s always the question of whether to work for free or not. A couple days ago, designer/typographer Jessica Hische introduced the Should I Work For Free? flow chart. It hits points spot on, but for me, I just simply ask myself if it feels right. For these three friends of mine, they are all accomplishing incredible things in their life and I feel honored to be trusted to be apart of their journey.
So hyped to kick 2011 in the ass!
If there is one thing I’ve always dreaded about school, whether it was elementary school or college, it was writing. I’ve never really considered myself a good or even interesting writer. There was always the pressure I put upon myself to write in the most sophisticated manner possible, but whenever I read the words I put down, I was convinced it just couldn’t be done. I continued to struggle through high school and college, even when I was clearly doing well in my classes. When I would get papers back with an A on it and positive feedback overall, I was shocked. Did the teacher even read this shit paper I turned in? Granted I worked hard and edited as best as I could, but that didn’t mean I was proud of it.
Let’s speed up to present day: Graduate school. I came here to design and to do it well. Communicating visually is the primary aspect of design right? That’s the notion I had in my head. First year, things went well. I’ve designed pieces I can be proud of and communicated the message well. The writing was kept to a minimal. Awesome! Now that I’m in my 2nd and final year, hopefully I could keep up the pace I had the year before. I signed up for Thesis class, a little unsure and intimidated by the word itself. I’m in design school, I don’t actually have to write for my thesis project do I? I can just make pretty things? I couldn’t have been more wrong (and it’s a good thing that I was).
Once I got past the fact that I would indeed be writing yet again, it was a little haunting. Will my design suffer because of a skill I thought to be a weakness of mine? The first half of the semester I struggled, almost trying to avoid the situation overall. But as time is crunching down, it was time to buckle. Through my professor, I’ve learned to embrace writing as a way to not only vent my thoughts but also to collect and inspire ideas. Free writing in my sketchbook and on blogs such as this has allowed me to open up in ways I have never associated with writing. Why should I be so critical of how I write? In reality, I am writing for myself, to express who I am. I than decided that I will carry this over to how I will approach my thesis writing. Initially, I once again attempted to write on a level I thought appropriate of a higher education student. But after reading how designer Hillman Curtis approached his writing and how casual it was, I was re-inspired. I actually became excited to write, to bring my own voice to my own project and ultimately my own design.
And that’s what it’s all about. Being true to oneself, having a voice not only as a designer, but as a unique individual as well.