Thursday, January 17, 2008


On my journey of becoming
a better artist, I find myself now trying to figure out why my paintings come out so bright and colorful when I am actually generally not attracted to bright and colorful paintings. Err, that is not true. I am attracted to some but my attraction to less color and to earth tones is greater than my attraction to brighter rainbow colors. I wonder why this is? Perhaps it is just part of becoming..perhaps every artist goes through a phase of painting what they are not attracted to just as a way to maximize learning possibilities.

I also wonder why I am attracted to certain art and not others. Where does my taste of art come from? I think partially it came from my design and art education. Without such education, I don't think I would have the same taste. but who knows? I'm sure it comes from other experiences as well and looking at art often. I suppose this is the refinement process?

But with my design and art education and the level of refinement I have reached thus far, I can't help feeling a bit pretentious when trying to explain why I do not like certain art that art enthusiast are attracted to. Let me explain a bit better by giving an example. I have a group of "hippie" friends who live in a communal house. They are all for art and for color and for painting their walls "trippie" colors. They paint their walls freely without thought of composition, theory, etc that "refined" or formally educated artists would consider. They dont think about it, they just go with it. Which I think is great. But aesthetically, I do not like the way it looks in a living space. I do not like this about myself but as an artist, I do like it and feel it is necessary. But I do not want to come across to these free folk as pretentious. So when asked what I thought of the newly painted walls, I wanted to respond honestly but without hurting the feelings of others who are not used to critiques. Most likely they have not sat through enough critiques to develop a tough skin for such positive, constructive criticism. Is it even necessary that I tell them what I really think? If I were to tell what I really thought upon first glance, I would have gone on to say that there is no uniformity with what they are painting. There is no composition. There is no mixing of paint, it is straight colors from the tube. (which has become a pet peeve of mine) I am all for what they are doing, but if I lived there I would not be able to handle the walls like that. I need uniformity and better color combinations. But that is partly personal preference as well as the artist training in me. Being a community house anyway, I would think it would give it a better feng shui feeling throughout the house if one color was chosen and it was a more harmonious, soft, colorful yet soft. Nothing boring but more of a solid color that is soothing. When painting large spaces, bright, raw primary colors can feel suffocating. Anyway, all this to say that I am noticing that I am becoming more picky about art and am developing "pet peeves" about it. I just dont want this to become annoying to others. Especially when my own art is not even up to my own standards I have developed. But these things do effect moods and energies and it effects mine so that is why i mentioned it. I am a believer in Feng Shui.

moving along...

When looking at art, I am attracted to:

-line quality
-good composition with lots of negative space
- subdued color combinations
-limited color palette (but wise choices behind the little amount of colors that were chosen)
-complexity in drawing
-tediousness (if there are hints of tedium that the artist obviously had to endure, I am impressed by that.
-subject matter/concept/cryptic symbolism/deep intellectualism/deep spirituality/shallow mundane life and everyday living observations that are approached intellectually and spirtually, captured and reborn into the artists creation, making it less mundane; impregnating it with more meaning.

If there is one way to sum up what I am trying to explain about the way I look and think about art it would be that I notice and understand the difference between intellectual approaches in art versus 'free lovin', trip style of art... not that lovers can't be intellectual as well. In fact, I think that is how I would have to describe myself and my art. It seems to be a nice balance of both worlds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

design on the mind

from 1/15/08

Design on the mind
a lot lately.
I think I would make a good art director.
I know such a position requires further experience with design.
I often tend to feel limited because of technology.
I feel like I have great vision and ideas but I have a hard time executing the ideas into the computer.
Mainly because I don't know how to use/utilize the technology/software to its fullest.
This is where I see being a good art director to someone with design understanding, the ability to communicate effectively, team player attitude, and tech. saavy know-how would work well.

For a while I was drifting away from design.
I was disconnecting because I felt the need to rebel
against the design world and especially my design faculty mentors.
However, I am extremely interested in design and have a good eye and know when I see "good" design.
And I like that my design education did give me these qualities and the quality of being particular when it comes to visuals, especially when we have no choice but to be inundated by graphics and images on a daily basis.
I have a very deep appreciation of design because it is something I feel passionately about.
I am passionate about "good" design and with a very broad sense of the word "good".

Good is all encompassing. Good comes from a lot of necessary decision making that not everyone is qualified or capable to make.
Good design is a lot of things.
Good design is...
aesthetically pleasing
just as much as it is...
effective in communicating a message.
Every seemingly small decision can have an dramatically large impact or outcome of a design.
Therefore everything must be considered.
From color,
to placement and positioning in a space,
to the choice in font type/style,
and even to the particular extremes as tweaking (what is ever so unnoticeable to anyone else but a designer) the spacing between characters.
Design is particular
and not everyone is good at it.
I have theories of why this seems to be true...

There is a lack of understanding the value of design
and why good design is necessary and what makes design good.
Having the mind to judge "good" design is not pretentious
but necessary.
It is simply a form or level of understanding.
And not everyone should be good designers.
Because that would take all the fun (and work) from the designers who are or will be good at it.

Therefore I say leave the design work to the designers.
I have also been having the overwhelming desire to fully emerse myself in art.
To read about it, to learn about it, to see it, to feel it, to think it, to be it.

I <3> art & design!

And I believe that is all I need to become and continue to become a good designer/artist.
Of course, along with passion, desire and the need for more.

introductions and gratitude


Today i decided to create a new blog entirely dedicated to art, in the broadest sense of the word.
I will use this blog as a vehicle and a central location to verbally and/or visually document any thoughts, ideas, findings, etc., on art and/or design. It is my hope to not only share my findings with others in order to teach and inspire but to make more of an effort to dedicate to the full submersion of myself in the art world. I am plugging myself in to the art world by fully submerging myself in it and this blog is a way to motivate me to stay plugged in so that I may continue to emerge as an artist myself by maintaining inspiration outside of myself.

First, I feel it necessary to express gratitude to those that inspired me to choose this moment to start this blog. Audrey Kawasaki ( I love looking at her art via her website and I think she is a highly amazingly talented young artist but once I have seen everything on her site, I get sort of bored. Not bored with Audrey or her art but I constantly find myself wanting more. That is why I appreciate that she keeps a blog of all shows she attends and keeps everyone updated with the happenings of her art life. It is cool to hear her talk about other artists she admires and appreciates through her blog and I appreciate that she posts pictures of events she attends. So I want to do the same because it is fun.

I would also like to express gratitude to my friend Courtney who maintains an online journal of her writings. She has always served as a great inspirator and motivational force in my life. She is one of the most real and raw people I know who cares about her friends and family as much as she cares of herself. She has always taken the time to really and truly get to know me by attempting to understand me in every possible way by looking from every possible direction and does so purely and without judgment. She even takes the time to share her findings with me and for this I am eternally grateful. I don't get to see her very much, but I can still say she probably knows and understands me better than almost anyone. All this to say that I owe Courtney for getting me started in the cyberific world of blogs. It all began with livejournal and migrated to myspace, which is now manifesting itself here. While myspace is more of a social network and a way to maintain contact with old and new friends, this blog will be more of a way to network and stay connected to the art world and new/old friends in that world. Its a fun place to be and I want to jump right on in without holding my nose first.

So plug yourselves into me, kids and I into you! And brace yourself for one hell of a all starts and stops right here. <-----> ...or does it? ; )

~Mira Sol