Author: Libby

COMD 1103 Spring 2016: First Encounter with Color and Glass

In COMD 1103, I teach the fundamental skills needed to draw the observed world. This is the second semester I have been able to do so at City Tech, and I am teaching it to students within a graphic design program. Over the 15 weeks. I try to assist my students as they conquer their fear of drawing, of the blank paper, and of their own possible abilities. Color is hard, so I bring it in through the undersung loveliness of colored pencils. They are cheap, they are familiar in mark marking mechanism. They produce unexpectedly lovely results. I spend 90 minutes having my students create a color wheel with red, yellow and blue after we discuss the history of color. We compare and contrast the ways different brands’ colors mix, which actually really relaxes the students: there is more at play than talent or experience. I have the students take the dive into drawing glass at this time because they are so dazzled by color, they forget to be freaked out by transparency. No …

Developing a Skillswap: Gum Arabic Transfer

My amazing sister, Genny Clarke Neice, stopped by while dropping a piece off for an art show. We had a few hours in the studio, so we went over the Gum Arabic Transfer method, a printing process Gen had yet to get a chance to try. The amazing Peter Cavanaugh was also there, so he joined in and pulled a couple prints as well. It got me to thinking that I could organize a Skill Swap at Gowanus Studio Space: we could set up a week during which people could make small workshoppy-type teaching moments available and swap skills with each other. I want to help the members really see what an amazing community we have, and I want to learn new stuff without going poor.

Knowing Brooklyn: GenEdge Spring 2016

After a lot of work behind the scenes, the Spring 2016 GenEdge work is coming to fruition. Over 30 people (faculty, staff, and students) from across the City Tech campus submitted work to be displayed in three amazing and concurrent exhibits which will happen from April 11-15. So far I’ve made the logo, the branding campaign, a style guide, several animated pieces, assignments for students, staff, and faculty… Oh, and video spots that are coming up. I curated a show, I am documenting it all… A lot of work! I hope it makes a difference for City Tech!

False Dichotomy: Official Launch

False Dichotomy is beginning to truly take form! I have artists agreeing to show, essays coming in from respected members of the fine art printmaking community, and a site in place! There is a lot to do: I have to find funding to print a decent catalog–but I feel so renewed. I have not been able to make a lot of work myself this year, but I can contribute through facilitation and research!    

Knowing Brooklyn: F15 Student Work

At City Tech, I am leading a subcommittee to promote our General Education efforts. This has evolved into a brand I developed for the purpose and the City Tech College-Wide Theme. This theme is Knowing Brooklyn. I am processing work produced for this theme now as we are getting ready to have a series of college-wide shows. I assigned my Foundation Drawing class this theme as inspiration for a free draw, using the materials and tools we have covered up to that point. I asked them to add the meaning and forms they chose. The results were lovely! Effervescent, serious, and all engaged. Foundation Drawing is one of the first classes students take in the Communication Design program. Students come is with a wide variety of skill levels, but I find them all willing, playful, and eager to try new things.

Results: Paper Litho for Beginners at the Brooklyn Brainery

The class was a huge success! 12 people came (a full house!), and after some initial issues with the paper I had chosen (seems that the Staples brand of 28lb is not up to snuff), we rocked with a mighty roll! Paper Litho Handout Look at all that fun texture! 👀Experiments from @bkbrains most excellent #paperlithography workshop today with @mon_stress #sundayfunday #messmaking #handsonfun A photo posted by Megan (@sugarlamble) on Mar 13, 2016 at 4:36pm PDT Paper litho class kicking off with @mon_stress A photo posted by Brooklyn Brainery (@bkbrains) on Mar 13, 2016 at 12:09pm PDT Learning Paper Lithography #craftysunday #crafty #lithography #sundayfunday #alwayslearning #printmaking A photo posted by cherylcrouse (@cherylcrouse) on Mar 13, 2016 at 3:13pm PDT

Monstress Mid-Living: Prototype

I have a few ideas bouncing around in the conceptual space I have titled Monstress Mid-Living. I am not giving much in terms of details at this point, but here are some shots of an initial prototype for a pop-up book that will also inform an immersive interactive piece. It’s very rough (10 minutes of cutting), but I am working out how to reproduce a non-obnoxious shrug.

Monstress Mid-Living: Progress Report 01

I was overwhelmed by the response to my survey! 56 respondents right off the bat–and still counting! I’ve been using the data to help me start delving into some themes for the project and already I am blown away by the flood of ideas I am having. After 15 years of working as a professional designer, I have become convinced that gleaning data from people is an essential part of my workflow, no matter where on the fine art / commercial design continuum I am working from. Data is just gold, man. As simple as my survey was, it means I am at least attempting to create from a place of circumspection, not navel gazing. There is a practice in interaction design called Persona Creation: you basically use research to help you come up with a realistic ideal user, a fictional character who becomes a testing tool for your team. I have never been lucky enough to see it done well. Too often, I watched as teams basically created a virtual yes-man, always happy with their choices. …

Workshop Ideas

I am trying to align making a paycheck beyond my teaching with advancing my research as an artist and designer. As such, I am looking to put together workshops that test ideas I am having while pushing me up to my top game. Read through the list and let me know if you are interested in any of these–I’ll prioritize the ones that y’all think are most interesting! And if you have further ideas, lay them on me, sweet people! Introduction to Building Peep Boxes I need to dive back into using lenses and such for a project, why not teach it? Gum Transfer/Paper Litho for Beginners I want to really cement my approach to this process as it is evocative, fast, and fun. Dynamic Dioramas I have a college-level class I’ve developed called Kinetic Storytelling that I want to workshop, bit by bit. Photo Pop-Ups This is to help me build steam for a project I have coming up Shadow Puppets with Modern Tools  Always wanted to teach this, trying to find a precise approach… Paper Automatons …

Kinetic Vis Comm: Where My Research is Leading Me

I have lived, played, or worked in Visual Communication in some way for nearly 30 years, since the days I discovered I had to draw in order to stay sane. I have been through the waves of self-development and technological change and now that I teach these skills to others, I am always looking for ways to give the most high-impact lessons at the right time. Now, as I find myself drawn to physical computing and other modalities, I have to regroup and figure out how to show my students how to engage as beginners. Once I started teaching at the college level, I taught straight-up web design for a number of years–it taught me process, code, order, and clarity. Now that web design has been tamed rather a lot, I am anxious to find another compelling way into the conundrum of how to show students what is truly possible without overwhelming them from the start. The rub is this: how can I awaken my students to all that is possible without immediately lashing them to the …