Friday, January 31, 2014

Lauren Semivan | Shaping an Artisan Lifestyle

Lauren Semivan is a Lawremce alum that visited our digital processes class earlier this week to talk about her life after graduation. Like me, she was formerly in the LU Conservatory but made the transition to the college to pursue interests in the studio art department. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one! Life can be such a drag in the conservatory at times.. Kidding. ;)

Typical life of a music major... I wish I was kidding. 
Semivan's husband, Lorne, also joined us in our meeting with the artist, telling us about his 60-90 minute treks through Alaskan tundra just for water.  Can you imagine? I can't. Well, enough of these polar vortexes we've been having and maybe I can.

While Lauren's deft capabilities with photography were visually captivating and beautifully composed, I was mostly drawn to her philosophy about how she strives to live her life, "setting [herself] up for stimulating and life-long learning."  I love how versatile and applicable this philosophy is towards any lifestyle route we choose to take in our lives.  Personally, I've been trying to apply this outlook towards my own life for the past few years and am comforted to know that it's possible for Lawrence grads.  As a young artist coming into my own, I often worry about what my artistic environment will look like after I leave Lawrence.

Lauren expanded on this philosophy by explaining the inspiration behind the subject matter of a portion of her photography. While visiting her husband Lorne while he was working in Nome, Alaska, she found herself pushing her comfort zone by exploring the vast landscape the isolated city had to offer.  Although I probably won't be trekking through Alaskan lands anytime soon, I hope that I'll be afforded the opportunities to pursue art that pushes my artistic comfort zones as well. Life is much too short to spend it behind walls. Like Lauren, I strive to mold a life that provides endless opportunities to create art and further evolve my style and aesthetic.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Overload | A Makeup Artist's Antisocial Routine

For this project, we were challenged with capturing the notion of our environment and our own antisocial actions.  I set out on capturing an antisocial environment that I create daily, my very own morning routine.

During my morning routine, I am faced with countless products screaming for my attention.  Whether products new or old, the cry for attention is the same across the board.  The amount of products that I have for one person is pretty ridiculous, but one can't help buying shiny new things when the opportunity presents itself!  My Flickr set is focused on capturing the essence of a quote from "The Medium is the Massage,""When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past" (p 73).

When planning which products to photograph, I found that I gravitated towards the ones that I choose almost everyday.  Although I probably have over a hundred products to choose from, I consistently use only around fifteen of them.  I realized that I am "liv[ing] imaginatively in Bonanza-land."  I hope to expand on this idea and photograph other people and the routines that they run through in the morning, with a focus on the brand name overload.

Why so much?!

Consumerism and our obsession with new products coming to the market almost daily are not only problems concerning our pocketbooks, but the waste that we are seemingly blind to.  Consistently using the same fifteen items means that the countless others I have are wasting away to no use at all.  How many other people are living like me?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Smoking Causes Film Ideas: An Experimental Film

When presented with the prompt for the experimental film project, I was initially worried because of my inexperience with this type of media.  Or any kind of media project for that matter.

"We thought it was one of those new fancy candle warmers! Oops!"

However, I was not ready to give up solely based on my inexperience with Final Cut Pro!  Armed with a Sony Nex-5 camera and our somewhat trusty friend Google, of course, Zain and I set out to explore the space created when smokers need their separation from the anxieties of the 21st century life.  What is the 21st century life like, you ask? Just watch and listen to this.  If you’re not convinced, it’s sung by a cute Australian guy, Sam Sparro.

Mr. Sam Sparro
The song shares some of the sentiments expressed in “The Medium is the Massage.”  Sparro sings about having “21,000 things [he] has to do today,” which I believe can be related to the constant buzzing of iPhones, Twitter, Facebook, etc., that many first world country citizens can relate to.  McLuhan suggests that we have been deceived by this constant technological buzz into believing that we’re somehow being soothed and satisfied by the connection between our thumbs and the Internet, when in reality, we’ve merely been conditioned to be anxious for the latest status update or CNN headline.  “Smoking Creates Film Ideas” examines the zone of silence and solitude that smokers enter when they flick the lighter, exhale, and allow their minds to wander without a screen in front of their face.  Even in sub-zero temperatures. 

We hope you enjoy our experimental short film. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sandy Dyas: A Glimpse into a Midwestern Collage

Advertisement for her lecture & exhibition opening @ LU

I initially met Sandy Dyas in our Digital Processes class and was struck by her spunky and upbeat attitude.  I am grateful for the chance to meet her beforehand, as her attitude and personality greatly informed and enhanced her exhibition “my eyes are not shut.”  We were told to seek out the connections to space and time that Sandy was constructing in the gallery space. 

I was lucky enough to have the chance of seeing her exhibition before the official gallery opening and was blown away by her ability to transport me into the world of Midwestern life the photographs offered.  Initially, I was put off and confused by her collage-inspired presentation of photographs, but I grew to understand and appreciate the motives behind her decision to do so.  The grouping of photos allows the viewer to explore the subtle nuances captured in individual photos, then start to relate them to the others that have been strategically placed around it. Sandy spoke of working through a certain awkwardness in her photos in the lecture, and while this may or may not have been that awkwardness, I do believe that her method of collaging offers a solution to an awkwardness that I personally deal with when viewing photos in a gallery setting. 

I understand that placing photographs individually gives the photograph the space and individuality the piece deserves, but I often struggle with the process of piecing together the narrative, if there is one.  Sandy’s process not only allows the viewer to have a more informed idea of her narrative, but it breathes a new life into the way that the viewer is able to generate new meaning and connections from existing ones.  

If you're interested in hearing Sandy talk more about her work, inspiration, method of working, etc., check out "six white horses" on her Vimeo account which you can check out here.

Sandy Dyas was certainly a refreshing visiting artist to grace the walls of Wriston’s Kohler Gallery.  Her spirit and passion for art is something I won’t forget!  The integrity and confidence instilled in her photographs are traits I hope to exude in my own artwork with time and practice. Thank you, Sandy!

The photographer in her natural habitat.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Primers first!

In the world of makeup, a smart makeup artist always applies a moisturizer and primer to the skin before any makeup at all. As Elle Woods put it, "The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known." I'd like to think of this post acting as my primer for the class.

Bruiser Woods would agree.

My name is Ariel Garcia and I tend to resolve to the world of fashion, makeup, cosmetics, or anything beauty related I can drown myself in.  I'm a budding makeup artist intent on shattering the stigma concerning makeup and its use by everyday people.  My initial obsession with makeup stemmed from my younger years as a boy growing up in a southern Pentecostal church.  I would stare at the beautiful singers on stage and admire them for the pounds of makeup they loaded onto their faces to look pretty for Jesus.  I wanted to look pretty for Jesus, too!

Ain't I so pretty now, momma?
It was not until I moved to Appleton for college that I was able to escape the suffocating smothering of the southern Jesus I came to know in my adolescent and teenage years.  I was finally free to buy all of the makeup in the world and consequently become not only a poor college student, but a pretty one too.

I call it... Hobo glitter brow chic...
I would like for this blog to serve as an extension of my artistic palette, primarily because it seems that the cosmetics and beauty industries have taken such a large interest in how the everyday consumer is affected by more than just advertisements, but the increasingly popular "beauty blogs and gurus."  I find the relationship between the cosmetics consumer and technology to be incredibly fascinating and, unfortunately, vastly under-studied by artists.  I hope to explore and exploit this dynamic in the coming months with this blog.

PS - I am a proud selfie enthusiast.