Drawing Assignment

Finally finished my first assignment of the year!!!!!!!! (yes we have already been working lol)

So basically, my class was instructed to make a poster for the Toronto Zoo, incorporating a stylized animal of our choice. So, I decided to use a macaw parrot and this is what my poster looks like:

Toronto Zoo Poster


I wonder if the Toronto Zoo would like to use this poster… hmm…

Making a Mandala

What is a mandala?

Simply but, a mandala is a circular, radial design traditionally found in celtic and indian artwork.

What does mandalas have to do with me?

Well, I have to design one and then paint it.

Here is what I have to do:

First, come up with a design. For that, I just started randomly drawing out thumbnails and researching examples of mandalas. I finally came up with a design I am happy with.

Here is the design:


The next step is deciding what colour I am going to use and how I am going to incorporate tone and saturation within the mandala. Basically, I am going with the colour blue and using a gradient of saturated blue for the middle and a gradient of blues for the outer parts of the design.

Here’s what the final mandala looks like:

And here is my artist statement:

Mandalas are a circular design often made for religious, sacred significance. Therefore it was not a surprise that our assignment was to base our mandala design on one of the seven chakras derived from the Indian Sanskrit. I, firstly, decided to base my design on the seventh chakra, violet, however, my final design portrayed more of the fifth chakra, sky blue. This chakra is located in the throat and relates to communication. My design echoes this through the gradations of tints and shades, resembling sound waves. This was main aspect of the chakra I wanted to focus on in my design, to create the sense of a “ripple effect” moving outwards from the center. I feel that my mandala design effectively portrays the fifth chakra, sky blue.

When in Doubt, Sketch!

The stereotypical artist/designer:

  1. funked up hipster clothing
  2. crazy hair

3. on the list is the most important tool for any creative individual.

Why is this?

It helps to recollect inspiration around you.

I have heard people say to carry a sketchbook wherever you go, and I may just take them up on that suggestion. Considering that I live in a diverse and unique city, many interesting things may occur and I may want to remember those things I see, hear, etc. You can do a quick doodle or a full on drawing, just as long as you place it on the paper is better than nothing.

Here is the stack of my sketchbooks:

my stack of used sketchbooks

And here is a drawing I made for my cover page for my Grade 12 Art sketchbook (Andy Warhol inspired and I used my Promarkers of course 😀 )

Campbell’s Sketchbook Soup

Black Swan

From just looking at the title, you may be wondering if this post will be about the move Black Swan (2010). Although I thoroughly enjoy that movie, that is not why my post is titled that. So what other reasons are there?

Well, the Black Swan is my alter ego.

Before I continue, an alter ego is a second self, derived from Latin “the other I”. My former art teacher explained that an alter ego could be an identity completely opposite to yours or an extension of yourself. A clear example, I would say, would be the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the exploration of good and evil existing within one individual at war.

In my art class last year, a project we had to complete was to find your alter ego and draw it out. I had thought about it a while and came to this conclusion:

My alter ego is indeed that Black Swan.

The idea came to me after watching the film, where the main character Nina, like Dr. Jekyll, is overcome by her evil self during a production of the Swan Lake Ballet. I felt like I was looking myself in the mirror as I watched her. Nina was innocent, naive, observant, diligent, and hard-working. However, that was not enough to perform the Black Swan role as well as the White Swan. I do see myself as the White Swan, just generally in my everyday interactions with other people. I knew that this would be the perfect choice for my project, and my classmates and teacher agreed.

I first began with a photo shoot of myself as the Black Swan. I made the obvious choice of using the film’s poster as a reference:

Black Swan Poster (2010)

So I went to Shoppers Drug Mart and bought cheap cheap make-up, applied the stuff during lunch hour, and proceeded to achieve these photographs taken by my best friend.

I ended up going with this one:

So after selecting this pic, I decided that I would photoshop a crown on my head, like in the poster. Then, I placed a grid over top the image and printed it off. The paper I used was a bristol board and decided against charcoal and picked graphite pencils and two-headed stumps as my drawing utensils of choice.

So, after hours of work during my spare time I finished another drawing for my portfolio.

Here it is:

Black Swan Alter Ego

That is my alter ego. What is yours?



I used to not enjoy reading books. This was partly because I had a hard time trying to physically read the story, not because I didn’t enjoy the story. Now, I not only read books, but I buy some with my own money! (Usually I have my parents pay for them for me but not always). The kinds of books I buy are not novels though, they are informative books about subjects that interest me. I have one called Guide to Masterpieces of Rome, The Manga Guide to Statistics, Chinese Characters, The Frick Collection, and there are others, believe me.

One of them I bought a couple of days ago called THE DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR: Turning Graphic Design Into Goods That Sell by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico and just started reading. In the book’s 240 pages contain a structure with introductions followed by a series of case studies, containing an interview with each designer and photos of finished products and inspirations. The main idea is about the entrepreneurial process and working for yourself.

Designers know well of the unfortunate truth about their work: Clients are pests!

Yes, I said it. It makes perfect sense though. A client comes to you for you artistic capabilities and visions, but somehow manages to decrease your design to mediocrity. Does any designer want their design to only be… dare I say… COMMON??!!

Hell no!!

This book  basically says to screw clients and design things for yourself and also make some money in the process.

THE DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR offers a lot of insight into the wonderful world of creative freedom and gives hope to those wishing for this freedom. The steps are outlined very bluntly so someone with a low IQ or with no knowledge of entrepreneurship can understand the contents. As well, there are 53 interviews with designer D.I.Y.ing (do it yourself-ing), giving the reader a more ‘real’ outlook.

Overall, this book gave me an optimistic view on what my future could potentially result as. I honestly have no experience with dealing with clients but I do have a fear of certain types of clients like these (I can clearly picture these monsters in my head and they freak me out sometimes!):

The Rich Bitch: the extremely wealthy stuck-up woman who is so critical, even the smallest speck is detected.

The Indecisive Jackass: the slump of a man who can’t make up his damn mind!

The Chatty SHUT THE HELL UP Person: a woman or a man who just won’t shut up! I’m sorry, but I don’t need to know everything about you!

The Brat: the person who cares about nothing but his/her own selfish self.

The Late Payer: enough said.

So basically I’m pretty convinced that being an entrepreneur is a more fulfilling path to go down. Is it hard work?

Read the book and find out for yourself.