Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest post from Jeannie

I'm still taking a break from blogging...at least for a few more days.  (Remember, it's never too late to guest post for a sleep-deprived mommy!)  
Today's post is from Jeannie, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the last SIS event a couple of years ago.  I really enjoy reading about her experiences as a graphic design student.  And looking at pictures of her adorable kitty, Moo.  This post is a fun little peek into her world!  Thank you so much for sharing this, Jeannie!

Hi Bekka's readers! I am so excited to be guest blogging for Bekka while she's snuggling that super cute babe. 
So I am a graphic design major at the University of Tennessee. But it's hard to actually know what that means. I mean, I had no idea what it was going to mean until last semester. It's a ton of fun, but two tons of hard work and all-nighters. Last semester I took one design class and a design productions class. The design productions class was essentially a class on the basics of the Adobe Creative Suite (including Bridge, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign). At the end of the semester we had portfolio review. Our three teachers from our design class, our teacher from our productions class, and another design professor that we didn't have interviewed us and looked through our work from the semester as well as two-three other pieces of work of our choice. It was an intense process. I redid every project, or at least added to what I had for those projects. By the grace of God, I got through portfolio review, which meant that I could continue as a graphic design major. If you didn't get through (which was about 70% of the class) you had to either try to get through again next year (and retake the class), change majors, or transfer schools. I was so thankful. 

So this semesters classes are just as hard, but I'm better prepared. I'm taking a design class focused on typography and a design for interactive media class (mainly meaning designing for the internet). I am also taking History of Photography and a printmaking class, Intaglio. 

Here is our board after our "free association" brainstorm. We talked about the topic of "rogue" and then gave words and phrases of things that rogue made us think of. 

My homework for design is about half physical art and half computer-aided design, programming, and research. 

Intaglio is a printmaking class. I am having a lot of fun in it, but there are a TON of little details to remember.
 These are the Intaglio inks. They are all high-quality oil based inks, rather than the water based inks you can find at art supplies stores. Once using these, you will NEVER want to go back. 

(Photo by Tara Sripunvoraskul)
Here I am printing a dry-point on lexan print. All that means is that I used an etching needle (but an xacto knife works) to etch a picture into a small sheet of lexan (which is kind of like a shatter-proof plexiglass). The parts that are etched actually hold ink by attaching to little burrs that you made in the lexan. After you etch the plate, you use a small square of chipboard to apply a reduced ink over the entire plate. Then you carefully wipe the plate with a material that is similar to a starchy cheese cloth. You finish up the wipe with a piece of newsprint or a sheet from the telephone book. The less you wipe the plate, the more "plate tone" you have (background color). You print this kind on a damp sheet of paper. It's a pretty straight forward process.

We've moved on to more complicated processes that use acid to "bite" the plate. 
(Photo by Shannon Herron)
These are the processes that I have been relying on my classmates, teacher, and teaching assistant to answer my questions. Somehow I got a little behind. We have demos during class where our professor shows us how to do the technique or process. They are usually pretty long and detail intensive. The last printmaking class I took I never needed to take notes on the demos because I was able to do the process right afterwards. This time, since I'm behind, I have been doing the processes about a week after the demos. So from now on I will be taking notes on the tutorials so I won't have to rely on my classmates so often to help me out! 

Being an art student is amazing, but it's no walk in the park. I have a hard week ahead of me, so wish me luck!
Also, be sure to keep up with my art school endeavors, random ramblings, and projects over at my blog: Jeannie Talks. Be sure to comment! I love meeting new readers!


EverydayMe said...

golly this is so reminiscent of my college days... I love it... thanks for the reminder of a wonderful time in the printing room and all my art classes... {{hugs}} Michelle

*kim* said...

Wow - what a interesting post!
Jeannie, you keep it up girl - sounds like you are on the right track. Thanks for a peek into your art school life. :)