Oct 28, 2011

It's that time again... (NaNoWriMo)

that's Greg at the bottom right there.

National Novel Writing Month is once again upon us! I've tried thrice and didn't hit the goal once, though I've gotten close. This time I think I just might do it.

For those of you curious, My attempted 50,000 words will be about the Unadventures of Gregory Starcross, a title I had thought of years before I knew what the story was about, or indeed who Gregory Starcross was.

Who is Gregory Starcross? Well, you'll have to read to find out, and I of course will have to write it.

*disclaimer: "The Unadventures of" was not taken from Tracie's blog name. Rather, it's the other way around. Just sayin...

I let you know I'm doing it because as with every goal it's much more likely to be accomplished if you tell everyone about it. Expect to see me say it on Facebook and Twitter soon. Ooh, the anticipation.

I also challenge anyone who has wanted to write a novel but didn't have the support or month to do it to give it a try, nanowrimo.org. it's awesome!

See you on the other side!

Oct 17, 2011

Picdump - number the sixth - Illustration edition

Lately I've just posted boring design schoolwork. To clear out my desktop, and reward you for still reading, here's my picdump # the six: illustration edition.

Oct 16, 2011

Dada BonBon

After much hard work, family neglect, and one night spent in hell, I am done with my menu design.

Center Spread

Back Cover

Now onto the NEXT project!

Oct 12, 2011

First video on Youtube!

At last I feel like I'm contributing to the internet instead of just taking away, I have a video on Youtube!

Having my own blog didn't do it, posting memes on cheezburger didn't do it, even building austinbeckstrom.com didn't do it, youtube is the benchmark, folks.

In my digital imaging class we were assigned to turn @ 30 seconds of audio into a kinetic typography assignment. Is it good? It's decent. Is it mine? Oh, yeah. Is it complete? Heck yes!

For those of you who would rather watch it on vimeo, click here.

Oct 6, 2011

Menu Design Rough

Our next assignment in Typography is to design a menu for a restaurant. Looking at the website: http://underconsideration.com/artofthemenu/, the restaurant Trattoria Pomo D'oro designed their menu under the idea: "What would it look like if Leonardo Da Vinci designed a menu?" I then got the idea: "What would it look like if Marcel Duchamp (or another member of DADA) designed a menu?" and here's what I've got so far for the cover. I've spoken with my teacher and will have to (somewhat) drastically change it, but I wanted to save what I've done so far for Dada BonBon: those who are starving only prove that they don't have any faith in their government.

And if you say "it doesn't look like a menu," I will say "exactly."

Oct 5, 2011

Experiments with Type

As I said in my last post, I've been giving myself typography assignments in effort to improve.
Here are the first three fruits (or vegetables) of that labor.

Oct 4, 2011

Road Closed: Haven't I posted this before?

About a year and a half ago, I posted about being at a crossroads in my life, and whether I should stay with Graphic Design or if I should try my luck down a different path.

Well, in case you didn't know and have been wondering for 18 months, I decided to stick with Graphic Design. Unfortunately I'm still not sure if I made the right choice. But I am sure it was my choice, and so there's no backing out now.

On the positive side, I've learned a lot since then; in fact I've learned a ton. (Still not when to use semicolons, however.) I've grown an appreciation and love for good design and designing I didn't have before. But still, I'm discouraged. That's putting it lightly. I'm downfallen. That's a word, isn't it?

My skills are improving, but certain factors like uncharitable teachers or my own two eyes are telling me that my skills aren't where they need to be.

Last week I met with a teacher to go through my portfolio with me before I submitted it, and I don't know what I was thinking. He's never liked my work. But to his credit he was honest and candid and told me the portfolio as it was constituted would not get me into the BFA program. Ouch. Though I can somewhat agree with him. And fortunately I spoke with him about why exactly that was, and he explained several reasons I could agree with and gave me good advice on how to improve. Although he didn't realize (before I told him) I've only been in 3 design classes, and I didn't realize that this semester wasn't the only one I could apply (until he told me).

So basically I tried applying a little prematurely, which is good. At least better than if I've taken every design class and my portfolio looks like this, I've only taken Graphic Computer Applications, Interactive Design I and Typography and Layout I. (I still need to take Graphic Design I, Graphic Design II, Typography II, Advanced Layout, Interactive Design II, Advanced Interactive Design, and others).

I also met with the counselor who explained that I would need to have taken Graphic Design I in order to apply for the BFA, which I have not. That would have been nice to know. My abilities or lack thereof are just premature, I keep telling myself. It still was difficult to hear what I've done so far is effectively worthless, however. Being rejected even when you agree with the rejection yourself is never easy. But, fortunately, instead of depression, it's helped cement my resolve to become a better designer. I've started working on a personal Graphic Design goal: to regularly make up projects on my own. Right now I'm in the middle of making several typographical posters (like this one, but not), then I'm going to make some book covers, and maybe advertisements. The bottom line is I'm going to follow the advice from my favorite Mark Twain quote I had forgotten:

"(To) never let my schooling interfere with my education."

I'm too far into school to merit turning my academic life around, plus I'm genuinely interested in my major, and I think I could eventually be very successful in the field, provided I'm able to get a job once I graduate and keep learning and improving at the rate I've been.

This post originally was going to me complaining about school and whining, and it ended up more hopeful and optimistic than I expected. Oh, writing, I love you.