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Visual Interview final spread

I decided to darken the whole thing, put Brendan's quote on the front page, and omit the tattoo images, as nice as they were. I chose to do so because I wanted to reflect Brendan's vibrant colors in both his wardrobe and his work and make that the highlight of this piece. His tattoo is present in the image in the large spread. I used silhouettes to lead into the center spread, instead of giving all of the information away at once. Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome. This was the most difficult project for me thus far. I am planning on doing one more final print of this with a few minor edits.

Kristen AshtonImageComment
Visual Interview Spread

I am undecided about the color of the open spread. I liked it darker because I think it reflects a part of Brendan's personality and it creates a little bit of contrast from the other pages. I am unsure if it will look well when it is all put together. I chose the wood background to sort of suggest masculinity and sports/baseball/nostalgia but not throw it in your face. I kept lime green in the details instead of the whole picture. I had lime green backgrounds and it was just too abrasive. I made arrangements to be in studio really really early tomorrow to tile print this. I'm excited to see how it turns out (although, last night I had a nightmare about tile printing). I am so happy with how far this has come from my previous sketches. These final projects are elusively difficult. This did not come easily for me but I am proud of my persistence. 


Kristen AshtonImageComment
Visual Interview Progress
Things have been a little crazier than usual lately. I had a 12 page paper to write this weekend so I wish I would have had more time to devote to this project. I am excited to get to work on it today. I took new photos and changed the direction of the piece. Before I was focusing on Brendan's affinity for baseball. This time I am highlighting Brendan's interesting tattoos and his love of Van Gogh. I want to incorporate Van Gogh's brush strokes as a texture for the layout. I am also planning on new ways to introduce Brendan's favorite color, lime green. Still lots of work to be done. I plan on working with physical materials today to understand this layout a little better. 

Peer Interview Questions: Brendan Smith

Where were you born, where did you grow up?
            I was born here in Kansas City and lived in Liberty until I was 3, and then moved to Elkhorn, Nebraska which is west Omaha, and grew up there. 

What got you interested in art/ design? 
            When I was about 8 years old I saw Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be an artist, that is the reason I have it tattooed on my arm.  It was not until high school when I first tried graphic design and really feel in love with it.  It took me until about a year or two ago that I really got interested in more of the advertising side of it, before I just wanted to make more of fine art pieces.

What was the first thing you created that you remember being proud of? 
            It was a piece that I did in kindergarten where I made an abstract drawing and cut it into a caterpillar, I think my mom actually still has it somewhere.

Who is your biggest inspiration/why?
            Van Gogh would be one; everything he did to me was just amazing.  Pushing the bounds of art at time, and creating a style like no one else, that is what I strive to do everyday.

Is there anyone else in your family that is artistic? 
            I guess my dad is, he builds scale models and trains.  Very different style then me, but he makes amazing models, and paints some things that are so small it still blows my mind.

What do you want to do after school, where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
            I just want to do anything in design, I really just want to create things for the world to see.  I also have thought about going to Japan to teach English for a year or two after I graduate and see the world while I am young.

What is your ideal career? 
            I would love to work for a sports team or anything to do with sports or action sports.  My life literally revolves around sports and art, so I would get to combine my favorite things together.

What have been your biggest challenges this year? 
            Really just balancing work and school, it has been so crazy, trying to keep up some days is hard.  And with all my injures on top of that, it makes it that much harder.  But I never give up and just keep fighting no matter how hard things get.

Do you have any siblings? 
            Yes I have 3 brothers, one older and two younger.  My youngest brother has down syndrome, and can be a handful at times.  I am I guess the odd ball of the family because I am very different from my brothers.


Music/musician/song, color, typeface, food, smell, sound, author/book, movie, actor/ress
Favorite childhood memory? 
            Music- Rock/Metal
            Musician- Metallica
            Song- Depends on the day
            Color- Lime Green
            Typeface- Futura
            Food- Cheeseburger
            Smell- Lavender Mint (Smells like a fresh tattoo)
            Sound- Roar of a car engine
            Movie- House of 1000s Corpses
            Actor/ress- Christoph Waltz
            Childhood memory- Getting love notes in kindergarten

Do you know anyone famous? 
            I went to high school with a few people who are now playing in the NFL and MLB

Scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
            I do not know, I try to live life with no fear, so I do not think about those things, I just take it and move on and I don’t look back.

Happiest thing that’s ever happened to you? 
            Waking up everyday and knowing I have a great life and great future in front of me.

If you could go back in time what era would you choose to live in and why? 
            Probably the 1920s, there is something about that era is really interesting, gangsters and the style of time is so beautiful.

What’s your favorite time to spend your free time? 
            Night, I am such a night owl and plus I look to go out and party when I have some free time.

What’s your favorite thing about graphic design? Is it your first choice for art, or were you more interested in drawing/painting/etc?
            I was originally big into cartooning and that style, and never thought I would be a graphic designer but once I started doing I fell in love and could not see myself doing anything else.

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you/ embarrassing story?

Do you have any advice for the sophomores next year? Or for your colleagues? 
            Never give up, keep working and put everything you have into every single thing you do, even when things seem the darkest, that is when you have to dig deep and fight even harder.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 
            Japan, it is such a beautiful country and there is just something about the countryside that is so relaxing and beautiful.

Use your name as an acronym to describe yourself with seven adjectives:


B- Brilliant 
R- Radical
E- Exciting
N- Nice
D- Direct
A- Artistic
N- Nutty

Do you see yourself as a leader or a follower? 
            Leader all the way, it is just natural habit to always take the leader role when working with others or in a group.

How would you describe your work ethic/ motivations? 
            I never stop working, I am always constantly doing something or thinking about things, I know I cant stop otherwise I will fall behind and that is something I never want to do.

If you could be anyone else, who would it be? 
            I would not want to be anyone else, I love who I am, and where I am in life and I would not change it for anything in the world.
Kristen AshtonImageComment
Final Book Covers

I critiqued Rachael's, Katie's, Whitney's and Kimberle's. 

This was the most difficult project for me thus far. There was so much room to second guess my designs. As you can see from my process, I feel as if I scrapped a multitude of beautiful images to get to a set of covers that were not only representational but translated as a series when viewed together. Choosing a font was extremely difficult. I ended up selecting Whitney LightSC regular for each cover. The thin, clean lines were legible and seemed to go well with the quiet, profound misery I was trying to capture. My cover for "On the Road" was the most difficult because my designs were complex which made the text difficult to read. I was pretty sure I wanted to stay with the lamb for "Salvation" from the beginning. It's the perfect symbol for the confused boy in the story. "Early Autumn" was the most difficult conceptually. Love and loss are difficult things to represent without being tawdry. I think the image I created reflects nostalgia and lost love quite well. Although my images seem a bit straightforward, it took quite a bit of abstraction to get to this point. I am overall very pleased with the outcome, especially how well I was able to fit these three together. I experimented with color but none of these stories are modern and they are all a bit dark. Each story is full of isolation and struggle. Because of this, I think keeping with a black and white color scheme was appropriate. The book covers successfully reflect the deep sadness that is in each of these stories.  I think my strengths with this project were not marrying myself to a particular idea and being able to start over when something wasn't working. The journey it took for me to get this point makes me appreciate these covers all the more.