Tag Archives: Colour

Until I’m 60 or so…

Subconscious Interface Test - Mixed Emotional Colours

Look at the shiny, emotional colours... Don't they blend nicely?

Where to begin.

I suppose I could start at the beginning as per conventional wisdom, but really, where’s the fun in that?

My super secret project that I was planning on unveiling near the start of summer changed. It had been a tutorial interface for videos, downloads, etc, but I got bored and changed my mind. It’s sitting half planned on the back-burner, cooling its heels in the waiting room alongside a couple of tutorials I could mention, leaving the way clear for me to do something much more fun. Drum-roll please….

The new college project is:

A digital imaginary friend/mirror that you can talk to as easily as you talk to yourself and actually gain some sense from it.

Subconscious Interface Test

When getting to know you, the entity doesn't use colour.

Not a sliver of 3D involved you’ll notice, but I do have pretty pictures of proposed interfaces (that’s what those things dotted through the post are). Instead there’s a large chunk of programming, another large chunk of psychology, and a portion of colour theory and digital typography.

Over the course of its development (which I’m optimistically stating will be finished in approximately 40 years) I’ll be posting strange, interesting, or useful facts about the project along with a smattering of more lighthearted posts and maybe some 3D stuff if I have other things to work on. No posting schedules – I dislike announcing those anyway, obvious reasons – and absolutely no promises. But it’ll be fun, I can tell you that much.

For me, at least.

Right now I’m working through the planning stages in college so that I can pass my course (like a good little student), posts will likely reflect that for the next little while and I’ll be sporadic at best. In the meantime if you feel like helping out, comment below with any opinions or thoughts on the project and if you haven’t already please fill in the survey over here.

Inspiration; James Turrell

From famous glass-blowers to someone that can loosely be described as a light artist.  In this post we’ll be looking at a completely different style of creation and what we can learn from the spirit behind it.  Last week we looked at how changing the parameters of a craft can turn it into an art form, this week we’re looking at how science and research can enable our work.

James Turrell; The light psychologist

Turrell came to art in a more round-about fashion that most; he was a student of psychology and mathematics, an approach that’s carried across into his work since.  He never sculpted or created paintings, instead he’s been using light installations to evoke emotions in his viewers on a more basic level.  He believes that by using light in certain ways you can create a space in the mind to start exploring your own sense of spirituality.

The Roden Crater in Northern Arizona houses his largest experiment.  Using the natural light he’s created different rooms in the crater in order to control how the light is perceived, with the ultimate aim being to make people feel different, powerful emotions within each one.  According to James, light, our understanding of it, and its effects on us are key to how we perceive the world.

The Allure

I’ll be the first to say that he wasn’t an obvious choice as a role model for me personally.  Looking at his art online you don’t really get a feel for what he’s trying to achieve; it was only after seeing how people viewing the rooms in person reacted that I became more interested.  Using art as a way to help people connect to themselves and the world around them is, I think, one of the things that defines great art.  If art is a conversation, then art that can connect and prompt thoughts and emotions is doing something right.

“I always felt that art was more interested in posing the question than it was in getting the answer, but I’ve come to more recently think that art is the answer.” James Turrell, interview with Egg.

Useful Lessons from a Lightsmith

There’s two things I’m choosing to take from Turrell’s approach.  The first is that science and more technical skills don’t have to be separate from art and creativity – in fact, they’re more linked than not!  Using what we’ve learned through research and ‘techie’ skills we can have greater freedom to create something wonderful.

The second is that art must have a purpose and a meaning.  Well, I guess it’s possible to have ‘art’ without either of those things being intentional… Looking at the great artists of the past and present though, are there any that didn’t have something to say?  New thoughts, new ideas, new twists, perspectives, conversations – aren’t those more important than any creative or technical ability?

How can we use this?

I propose that as a community we should be moving towards expressing ideas and truths, without restricting ourselves to purely technical or purely artistic methods.

Programmers can create incredibly beautiful things using some lines of code.  Artists can do the same using some lines on paper.  The means don’t matter.

However one question to ask yourself before creating, or maybe even after (if you’re the sort of person that likes to just pick up your things and start), is important.

What’s the point?

Inspiration: Dale Chihuly

Every profession has its heroes, and every individual in a profession has people they take inspiration from.  This is particularly important in ‘creative’ industries, though you’ll see it happening across the board.  The more aware you are of your preferences and role models the easier it’ll be to climb out of a slump when you need to.  Since I’m just starting to explore this myself, over the next few months we’ll be having a look at three artists whose work really resonates with me.  We’ll also look at how you can utilise your own heroes to launch yourself further towards your goals.

Introducing the Creator of Glass Forests

Dale Chihuly’s art takes the form of beautiful glass sculptures and installations, each exploring colour and form in new and natural ways.  He was one of the first glass-blowers to take the step from solitary work to building teams in order to create something larger and more intricate.

After studying architecture, he became fascinated with blown glass in the early to mid 1960s and has been furthering the craft/artform ever since with his installations, research, and innovations.  A lot of his influences come from his past; his mother’s gardens in Tacoma, his childhood, and his love of the sea.

When he first started out there was a huge amount of respect for his medium, which enabled him to learn from established professionals and study in the first hot glass program in the US (University of Wisconsin).

Why Dale?

The reason I find Chihuly’s work so interesting has a lot to do with my obsession with colour and contrast; through his experiments with glass he’s discovered new ways to tie his art into his environment.  Man made and natural.  Also he plays with light and dark a lot, especially in his later pieces (the Black Series in particular deals with setting the scene with darkness to show off the brighter colours and light).

Added to that is the fact that, as a person, he’s pushing the boundaries of what’s ‘acceptable’ and ‘normal’ all the time.  Through building such strong teams and creating such large pieces in glass he’s challenging the old stereotypes surrounding his medium.  Once thought of as a solitary craft, he’s shown us that it can be a collaborative art.  He’s doing what he loves because he loves it without worrying what anyone else will think.

How does this help?

I’m not a glass-blower.  I do like to create, and contrasts in life, emotion, what we see, what we hear, and so on… Delight me. I also like to be reminded that creating doesn’t have to be a solitary act.

Therefore summing up Dale Chihuly’s influence on me isn’t difficult.  By looking at his work I can see how someone else has tackled contrast in a literal sense, and from that I can start to notice subtler distinctions in my own work.  Having recognised that it’s such a huge theme for me, I’m now a lot happier to explore the bounds of that theme (and ignore them entirely when I choose).

Most important of all (perhaps) is seeing someone succeed at creating/working on something they love.

Who wouldn’t want that for themselves?

Take a look at your heroes; Who are you drawn to?  What do you like?  When I first did this exercise every artist I was fond of happened to be a digital fantasy artist.  Looking through them I eventually realised that they all had certain themes and focuses in common… one of those is contrast.

After identifying that I looked for artists in different areas using those themes.  Dale Chihuly was one of the first I came across and fell in love with (artwork, come on people).  Now I like the ‘new’ artists I found more than the older ones!

Give it a go, you might be surprised what you learn (I sure was).  Oh, and comment here too – who do you look up to in your field and why?

Reference:

Chihuly’s Website and Artwork

Dale Chihuly’s Official Biography

Article about Chihuly