ART 110 Conclusion

As the summer course Art 110 comes to a conclusion, I would like to review the past 11 weeks’ activities: Plaster Casting, Automatic Drawing, Graffiti Writing, Sketching in the garden, Instagram, Landscapes with a Corpse, Art Museum Visit, Street Photography, Cuisine, Couture or Coiffure, Art Care Package, and Fiber Art Wall Hanging.

Three of my favorite activities were Art Museum Visit, Plaster Casting, and Fiber Art Wall Hanging. I have not visited the art museum in a long time, and it was a pleasant experience when I visited the museum, and a bonus that it was coincidentally free admission! I enjoyed the plaster casting activity because it was actually my first time making my own hand out of plaster! I was very nervous throughout the process, but I’m glad it turned out presentable and actually like my hand! Fiber Art Wall Hanging took more time than I had expected, but I enjoyed making the Wall Hanging because it’s a practical, tangible object that I can place on my wall, and it’s a low-cost DIY project! Another activity I also enjoyed was the Graffiti Writing – I appreciate those who are so skilled in graffiti writing and have such creative minds in designing them, but only if they spray graffiti at legal and appropriate places!

Three least favorite activities Sketching in the Garden, Landscapes with a Corpse, and Cuisine, Couture, or Coiffure. Sketching in the Garden was a great activity, but I’d rather focus on one or two sketches to add more details and perfect them, instead of having to draw four representational sketches and four abstract sketches. Landscapes with a Corpse was a difficult activity to complete, because I would prefer to have more time to think about how I would want to die. It was a challenge for me to understand  the original artist’s purpose behind this project. As for the Cuisine, Couture, or Coiffure activity, I enjoyed the “Cuisine” aspect of the project and making new food, but I would prefer not to focus on the “couture or coiffure” activity, because I did not want to change my hair color or hairstyle or change the design of my clothes.

Slack was the website that served similar purposes as an online chat room. I like it better than Beachboard because it’s easier and faster to read the “unread messages,” and I like the idea of a chat room, because I think it’s cool to know that students enrolled in this class, wherever they may be located physically, are all online discussing about an Artist of the Week, or just about Art in general. Although there is an option for discussion, using the “Discussion Board” on Beachboard, it seems less interactive, even though students respond to one another throughout the week. Most of the art activities, art talks, and artist OTW were useful, as I enjoyed the variety of artists that we researched and discussed. I wish the art talks would go more in depth when discussing specific time periods, instead of quickly discussing multiple eras and artists.

Overall, I enjoyed this Art course very much and it exceeded my expectations! Thank you to Professor Zucman!


Week 12 Activity – One More

As the course of Art 110, Introduction to Visual Arts, is in the last week of summer session, I decided to choose an activity from the past 11 weeks and complete it again, but contributing deeper thoughts and putting more effort into this activity, I suppose. The activity I chose to complete again is “Street Photography.” I took a stroll in the park, and thought it would be interesting to take pictures of people and try to guess what their purpose in coming to the park was, at 10am on a Saturday morning. What I tried to achieve was to find out the different activities that people do in the park. I admire those who live in the neighborhood, who are willing to wake up in the morning to get some fresh air and exercise, whether they are with families, or by themselves.

In the first photo, the family is taking a stroll in the park, visiting different landmarks in the park, and enjoying the fresh air in the morning. In the second photo, the couple is walking their dog, and I think that the park is the perfect place for pets to take a walk. In the third photo, there are people entering and exiting the museum, in which the group entering is a family, and the group exiting consists of a group of friends. In the fourth photo, there is a group of children, with a few chaperones with them, and they received free gift bags from the museum gift shop because they were visiting as a group! I took the fifth photo because the little boy was cute, even though he was putting leaves into the fountain. The sixth photo shows a person running – I saw quite a few runners in the park as I was taking pictures. The last photo captures the typical street life: you see couples or families taking a walk together in the morning, the buses come by every 10-15 minutes, and bikers and cars share the road. People may be at the park on a Saturday morning for different reasons, but they all have the free benefits of physical exercise and fresh air in San Francisco, California.

Week 12 Artist – Mahsa Soroudi

Mahsa Soroudi was born and raised in Tehran, Iran since 1981. Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. She went to Malaysia for about one year, and later immigrated to the United States, in the east coast for about half a year, and now resides in Newport Beach for about three and a half years. She attended Islamic Azad University, and is currently a freelance photographer and graphic designer for about four and a half years now.

Ms. Soroudi is currently working on two projects, “Nature’s Cadence,” and “7,500 Miles.” Nature’s Cadence is a project in which she is growing succulents to draw the connection between the little amount of water it needs to grow, almost “drought-tolerant” and the “drought” of her own life since her immigration to the United States. 7,500 Miles represents the distance between Ms. Soroudi’s current home in Newport Beach, California, and her original home in Tehran, Iran.

In the first photo, it shows a closeup of Mahsa Soroudi’s succulent plant that she grew herself. The second photo is a self portrait of Mahsa Soroudi. In the third photo, guests are at Ms. Soroudi’s reception for her presentation of her project, “Nature’s Cadence.” In the fourth photo, a variety of arrangements of succulents are displayed across the table. I wish the succulents were in color so that I can see how pretty they turned out! In the fifth photo, Ms. Soroudi is presenting her plants to a guest at the reception. In this photo, I see Ms. Soroudi’s heart and efforts in the succulents that she grew, and the efforts that she has put in her life. She immigrated all the way from Tehran and has now become a freelance photographer and a graphic designer.  I admire her bravery in traveling such a far distance to the United States to pursue her dreams. On another note, I find it interesting that all these photos taken at the reception and of the succulents are in black and white instead of in color.

Week 11 Activity – Fiber Art Wall Hanging

This week, or last week’s activity, I should say, was to make a Wall Hanging, a fiber art creation that can hang on the wall. I gathered up two balls of yarn, a pair of scissors, and a gold macrame ring. In this fiber art wall hanging activity, I used estimated measurements of each piece of teal yarn and doubled the length of the string to tie the knots to the ring. After I tied about 20-30 pieces of teal colored yarn to the ring, I started to gather up the pink colored yarn, repeating the same process, doubling up each string. However, instead of tying each knot on each string to the ring, I gathered 15-20 pieces of yarn altogether to tie to the gold ring. Two “bunches” of pink colored yarn were of the same length, with one “bunch” being longer than the other two. I definitely learned something new, because completing this activity introduced me to fiber art, and that this project is simple and I can decorate my wall by attaching yarn to a gold macrame ring! I watched many YouTube videos and some artists gave their viewers some ideas regarding different styles that people can create.

This activity took longer than I expected, because I had a larger ring size. My hypothesis is that the YouTube artists had a 6″ or 8″ ring, whereas my ring was 10″, in which I used more cover more circumference of the ring. It was frustrating when I was not satisfied about how much circumference the teal colored yarn would cover the ring, but I tried to have patience to complete this activity. The results were not as I expected, given that I was inspired by a YouTube artist – the three “bunches” of pink yarn were supposed to be adjacent to one another, with no gaps, with the teal yarn behind each “bunch” of yarn. However, as shown in the photos, each bunch of yarn is somewhat separated by the teal yarn in between. Nonetheless, I am still content with my project, even though I am not completely satisfied. Overall, I enjoyed this activity, and it made me think differently about fiber art and fiber in general. I was able to use fiber, a common every day product that I overlooked to create something that can be used as a wall decoration. It’s quite fascinating!


Week 11 Artist – Vanessa Blaylock

Vanessa Blaylock, born in Washington DC in 1969, is an avatar artist who owns a company named after herself, focusing on virtual public art. The goal of the Vanessa Blaylock Company (VBCO) is to invite avatar communities to express themselves, explore their own culture, and have the freedom to demand civil rights. It was founded in 2009 with the headquarters located in the Netherlands. The specialties of this company include virtual public and performance art, identity art, and civil rights. I find it interesting that creating avatars is belongs in the fine art industry, and that it is also a form of art in that Vanessa Blaylock established a community for people to freely express themselves in a different “identity.” Perhaps the people’s avatar is a representation of their identity, but in the virtual world, people can be their complete opposite selves, or they can be one side of many of themselves.

Other than creating different kinds of avatars, she also wrote a book titled Avatar Field Guide at the age of 26, with more than five editions. Vanessa Blaylock is also a very talented dancer! She studied dance in Hong Kong for a few years! Vanessa received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980 presented by President Jimmy Carter at the time, and was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize as the years progressed.

Below are examples of virtual avatars that Vanessa Blaylock has created. The first photo of six women standing together, created in October 2010, depicts the New Hampshire Rebellion. The second photo with the angry, fierce woman shows Fiona Blaylock, who is Vanessa’s sister, yelling at her. This is an extreme closeup and magnified avatar version of Fiona Blaylock. The remaining three photos are portraits and profile pictures of Vanessa Blaylock herself, but taken at a different angle. From the self portraits, I imagine her to be a liberal person who is confident in her identity, and has no fear or shame of who she is. I admire her boldness in creating a virtual world for people who find it comfortable as a safe space for them to express themselves and create their own identity.



Week 10 Activity – Art Care Package

In this week’s activity, I have prepared an art care package to send to my relative. The care package is consisted of ephemera, or collectible items that were used and enjoyed for only a short time. I decided to send a care package to her because she is one of the few people I know who enjoys receiving mail, and I wanted to surprise her. Sending someone an art care package can be similar to sending someone a Snapchat in the way that both consist of somewhat random content, since the art care package does not need to contain anything “art-related,” although it can. Whether it’s sending someone an ACP or Snapchat, there is a sender and a recipient. However, the differences between the two are that sending someone an ACP is more personal, and the duration of the time in receiving the package is longer than that of receiving a Snapchat.

Ephemera is quite precious it shows who we are in this world, as we live through the years of life on this Earth. No matter what the item is, whether it is my grandmother’s old photo or an old movie ticket, I find them to have value in my own definition of what is valuable. It may no longer have monetary value, but it is still precious to me, because it is from a relative or a friend. There is a difference between art that is seen by many people, like a painting in the Museum of Modern Art, and art that is seen by few, like the ACP I send to my relative, because the purpose of the painting in the Museum is for everyone to appreciate and admire, but the care package is for that one person or a few people to appreciate and treasure.

The time and effort difference in sending a care package versus a Snapchat does mean something in that it shows that the sender was willing to sacrifice the time to put together a care package of what he or she thinks is special or holds dear to the heart to send to the recipient, and it means that the recipient is also willing to wait for this care package, awaiting for the items in this package, leading up to opening up the person’s story, family history, the culture, and who the sender is. Both Snapchat and care package have its pros and cons – depending on preference. The photo below shows the items in my care package. I plan to send a bag of goldfish snack, two books that I read in my childhood, a journal that I have written in when I was in elementary school, and a drawing of myself that was drawn by an artist in an amusement park. 20160729_165406

Week 10 Artist – Joseph DeLappe

Joseph DeLappe teaches as a professor at University of Nevada, Reno, in the Art Department and directs the digital media program. He attended City College of San Francisco and received his associates degree in Art in 1983, attended and graduated from San Jose State in 1983 with a B.S. in Graphic Design, continued and received his Masters in Art in Computers in Art and Design, and Fine Arts in Pictorial Arts in 1988 and 1990, respectively.

One of Joseph’s well known projects is called dead-in-Iraq, in which he began in 2006, and the purpose and goal of this project was to type out all the names of America’s military casualties from the war in Iraq into the shooter online recruiting game. Joseph DeLappe has given lectures in many places in the world, and has been on many sources of media, such as CNN, NPR, CBC, and on the radio. He also had another project in which he rode a bicycle to draw a “460-mile long chalk line around the Nellis Air Force Range” to surround an area that could potentially create a solar farm to power the United States.

Joseph DeLappe is still working on projects as of 2014, such as the Drone Project and had an exhibition called the Social Tactics in the Fresno Art Museum. In one of the photos below depicts Ghandi made out of cardboard, and it is part of the Drone Project. Another impressive masterpiece created by Joseph DeLappe is the soldier made out of cardboard, as seen below. I think it’s interesting to combine and incorporate art into online games. A good majority of males enjoy playing video games, online games, and possibly even violent games. However, it’s tragic to hear violence happening in the real world. Joseph DeLappe’s efforts in completing this project is much appreciated, and I think it’s great that he’s willing to make an influence in this way in people who play online games.


Week 9 Activity – Cuisine

This week’s art activity is named Cuisine, Couture, or Coiffure. I would experiment with food, fashion, or follicles. I would experiment with food because food is something I love and find practical for the future, whether I cook for my family, friends, roommates, or simply myself. Thus, I decided to experiment with chicken wings. The focus was not necessarily on the chicken wings, but on the sauce. I’ve always loved chicken wings, and decided to find whatever is available in my sauce cabinet(s) and experiment with the various tastes. Of course, I researched online for recipes and directions before creating my own. A common occurrence I find interesting is that there would always be one or two ingredients in the ingredients list of a recipe that I do not have available, or would not use in the future except for this one time that I decide to make this food. Hence, I used recipes as a general guideline as to what ingredients and sauces would mix well, with the rest of the sauces being trial and error. I marinated the chicken wings with ginger, garlic, white sugar, ketchup, parsley, a dash of salt and pepper, and apple juice and honey for the glaze. It may sound like a lot of spices, but it actually tasted delicious. I invited some of my friends and roommates, and they seemed to enjoy it. They were the ones who gave suggestions to help improve the food, in which they encouraged me to make them again.

I achieved my goal eventually, after a few tries. It was fun because I enjoyed the anticipation of my results. I find it quite challenging to connect it with the aspect of “art” in this activity, but perhaps I can see that creating anything takes time, practice, and patience, especially with trial and error. One must be willing to acknowledge his or her own mistakes in order to learn from them and improve next time and become better. Next time, I would like to try to experiment with new foods and utilize my resources well so that I don’t have to make impractical purchases or waste the resources I already have.



Week 9 Artists – Guy Tang & Kat Von D

The two artists of the week I would like to focus on are Guy Tang and Kat Von D. Guy Tang is a hair stylist who is very talented in his “masterpieces.” He calls himself a “hair activist,” residing in West Hollywood, and takes clients to transform their hairstyles. Guy is known for his hair color designs, and is very well-known on his social media of Instagram, as well as YouTube. As of 07/24/2016, Guy has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and 1,275,098 subscribers on YouTube. He has developed the recent trend of the gray and purple hair color, and is an expert in creating different hair colors on people’s hair. Examples are shown below, ranging from the gray and purple hair color, to an absolute rainbow color. He has helped many famous people with their hairstyles as well, with one of them being Michelle Phan, who is a well-known YouTube artist and entrepreneur.

Kat Von D, whose full name is Katherine von Drachenberg, was born on March 8th, 1982 in Mexico, currently at the age of 34. It is said that she dropped out of high school to become a tattoo artist. Not only is she an American tattoo artist, but also a musician, author, entrepreneur, and musician. In addition, Kat also had her own reality TV show called LA Ink. In this reality TV show, people would approach Kat and ask her to give them a tattoo, usually with a story and reason for the tattoo. Although I have not watched this TV show, I hear that it offers her watchers a new perspective and view of tattoo, and that it becomes more personal when there is a “story” attached to the tattoo, instead of it causing intimidation to others. Kat Von D also created her own make-up line for Sephora, and expands her collections every year!

Although I have my stereotypes of tattoos, that people who have them are intimidating and non-approachable, I respect Kat Von D for pursuing her passion and dreams. I respect her for creating the reality TV show that offered a new perspective of the reason and stories behind each tattoo that people choose to place on their body. I also am impressed by how detailed she can be when creating tattoos. An example is shown below, in which Mona Lisa is tattooed onto the person’s arm. It takes a lot of skill to produce such beautiful art, and with limited amount of space, as a person’s arm is not very wide or long. I love how Kat Von D can use tattoo to recreate and challenge the definition of art!

Week 8 Artist(s) – Daniel Arnold

When I visited Scott Schuman – The Sartorialist’s website, I noticed the pictures of different individuals, male and female, and their different styles and outfits. This photo is taken by Scott Schuman. The first thing that I thought of was “Humans of New York.” Coincidentally, both the creator of “Humans of New York” and Scott Schuman capture individuals from New York! Although both photographers capture different aspects of these individuals, they’re doing something meaningful. Scott Schuman captures people of different genders, ethnicity, ages,  personalities, styles, outfits, clothing, emotions – the list goes on! The author of Humans of New York records each individual’s story and puts it on social media to spread the word. I was unaware that The Sartorialist’s books or photos can be purchased on Amazon! If I had the money, I would purchase the hardcover version or if they would make it into a magazine format.

The second photo is by the street photographer, Daniel Arnold, of a man in his house, standing by the window or patio area. This man was the first person I noticed, then I noticed the flowers and the snacks on the table. It seems as if there was an event happening outside this house. As I take a closer look, I see shadows of people reflected off the sun, and it seems like there are at least four people. I find this photo quite fascinating with lots of secrets. I also find it quite interesting that I do not see the shadow of the photographer! I think that Daniel Arnold wants his viewers to enjoy and closely examine his photos to find more hidden “gems”, if you will, when you are patient and take the time to look at it!

The third photo is also taken by Daniel Arnold, and I love some of his photos. There are a couple that have a blurry background but a very clear and specific object or person to focus on. He decided to focus on the skater in the middle of this photo. To be frank, my first impression of the skater in this photo is that he is not in the safest or most peaceful neighborhood. Assuming that this photo is taken at night time, there are still many people on the streets, and the car next to him seems to be a police car. I think Daniel Arnold would like his viewers to see from his perspective, focusing on the person on the skateboard. I am fascinated and impressed by how Daniel Arnold is able to capture this photo, right in between the cars passing by on both sides of traffic, with the police car right beside him!