Tuesday, April 30, 2013

OCAD U Grad Ex: Final Preparations


Today's my last post before the Grad Ex (cue the drum roll). I think I'm officially starting to panic.

I've been insanely busy these past couple weeks with a whole host of things that all require my undivided attention, and it feels like I've gone from one emergency to another when it comes to thesis to what I'm working on right now. There's so much to do its essentially the flight of the bumblebee on high speed - I've barely had time to think, let alone think constructively. I had hoped to have a small break in between thesis and the upcoming Grad Ex, but life has decided that I'm not busy enough, and has subsequently punished me for complaining.

When all of this is over, I think I'm going to eat chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Maybe read a book or two. In the meantime, I've set up my display at the school, and documented the process:

Dragging out all the original illustrations, to decide which ones to use in the show, and which ones to discard.

Going through my sketches...

Fixing up the illustrations in photoshop.

Business card designs. I went through so many iterations.

Test prints - many test prints - before printing the final products for the show.

And finally, show prep itself!

For those of you who live in the Toronto area, check out the OCADU Grad Ex, from May 2nd to 5th (see details here). My thesis work will be on display, and I'll be there for all four days.

For those of you who can't make it to the show, I'll be posting up the rest of of my thesis illustrations over the next several weeks. Keep your eyes peeled.

Until then, Grad Ex planning. Gogogogogo!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Unfinished Utopias: Perfect World

Perfect World: Henry Darger, and the dangers of unreality.

A reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a custodian for his entire life, Darger became posthumously famous for the discovery of his 15 145 page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the The Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, plus several hundred drawings and water color paintings, illustrating the story.

It was never published - and never completed - because Darger, living in squalor, desired to exist within the world of his stories, and couldn't bear to complete them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Unfinished Utopias: Illustrious Facade

Another illustration from my thesis, Unfinished Utopias. Illustrious Facade, depicting Ryugyong Hotel, located in the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

Built in response to a rival hotel erected by a South Korean company, the steel frame was constructed before the project was halted due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Facing a lack of funds and economic disruptions, the empty steel frame - along with a rusted craned perched on top - was abandoned and 'scrubbed from history' for the next sixteen years. Construction resumed in 2008, and while the North Korean government claims the hotel reopened in 2012, the nature of these claims in of themselves are disputed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Illustrative Mini Series: Fashionable Madams

One of the side projects I did during my thesis to help keep me sane was redesigning a series of illustrations I originally completed in 2010, called Fashionable Madams. It was a pretty simple illustrative idea - taking the idea of people embodying the characteristics of the animals they're wearing, and showing it through their facial features. All in all, it was a very relaxing project to work on.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Unfinished Utopias: Tunnel to Riches

Another illustration from my thesis Unfinished Utopias, called Tunnel to Riches: the financial disaster of the Cincinnati Subway.

Commissioned in 1916 by the City of Cincinnati, the subway was designed to rid the city of its ever-growing traffic congestion. The subway was started in 1920, the tunnels dug and graded, but the tracks were never laid due to inflating financial costs and the rising popularity of the car.

It is called Cincinnati's biggest mistake, and is the largest abandoned subway system in America.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Unfinished Utopias: Palace of the Soviets

When I finished my thesis this April, the relief I felt - after stressing out over it for so long - was enormous.

The process leading up to my final year and the first few months of 2012 were absolutely nerve-wracking, and in the beginning things were so rough there was a chance I wouldn't pass. The idea of being stuck at OCAD for a sixth year was entirely unpleasant, and I was plagued with anxiety-driven paranoia until things eventually smoothed out.

Now that thesis is done, my finished body of work isn't anything like I expected it to be. I ended up creating a project entitled Unfinished Utopias, which was a series of images illustrating the reasons why certain monumental architecture and works of art remain unfinished. It explored themes of perpetuity, over-achievement, the pitfalls of ambition, and the constant, unfinished state of people's lives and objects in transit.

One of the earlier illustrations I did for Unfinished Utopias was Palace of the Soviets, based around a building of the same name. It was an architectural project undertaken by the Soviets just before the onset of WWII, designed to show the grandeur of the Soviet Union. They began to erect the steel frame in 1941, but the project was halted and dismantled to build fortifications, railways, and bridges around Moscow.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Upcoming: OCAD U's 98th Annual Graduate Exhibit

So today's post is not an art post so much as it is a shameless, unequivocal promotion for myself and other members of my graduating illustration year.

Grad Ex is in a month (May 2nd - 5th, guys! Come join us), and as a part of our official promotions for the illustrative part of the show we've set up a facebook page to link to our social media campaign and collective websites. The page has updates, information, events, and profiles of all the current graduating students. It also links to the overall archives of OCADU illustration thesis students - ocaduillustration.com. Check it out, like us, and follow our page! Lots of great stuff going on this year.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Website Launch, Blog Redesign, Updates: The Year of Big Things

Well, it's been awhile since I updated this blog. A couple months now, I believe.

A lot has happened over the past several months, most notably the completion of my thesis. Yep. That's right. Thesis is done. My bachelor's degree is finally complete. I am officially finished with University and can devote my time to the working world (at least for the time being). 

There's a lot I haven't posted on my blog in my extended absence. Over the next several weeks I plan to put up my thesis illustrations, and anything else that I've completed in the last little while.

If you're not using a reader, you've probably noticed the look of this blog has a changed a bit. The redesign is long overdue (three years, really), and is the result of me finally having time to sit down and make everything look pretty, to coincide with the launch of my website. Yes. A website. I finally have one up!

Shi Anne Art

I've also launched a secondary blog, Shi Anne does Concept Art. It's something I've wanted to do for awhile, but haven't had the time for until now. It's a more specialized blog that will feature my concept art, and will be updated on a weekly basis.

On the subject of blogs - despite the launch of the new blog, I am not abandoning this one. Flesh Eating Butterflies has served me well over the past couple years, and barring a major change in networking, I'm going to continue using it as a main blog of sorts; a place where I can post my progress work, finished projects, and any sort of illustration or events that are going on in the art world. 

All in all, this year has been hectic, brutal and nerve wracking, but very productive. I'm feeling pretty motivated and optimistic for the future; got some big things planned for Summer/Fall 2013. Stay tuned!