Hi there! This is a new experiment Mr.Craig is going to try as an even easier way of bringing you examples of student work and to keep his image set organized and useful. Let me know if you are using it, if you find any problems or dead links and if there is anything you would like to see!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sketching scavenger hunt!

Artistic Scavenger Hunt

If you are in the classroom this will be a chance for you to better acquaint yourself with the incredible resources available to you here. If you are at the museum it is your duty to take advantage of the amazing opportunity you have to see incredible artifacts of the ROM and the natural wonders of Ripleys.

During this time You are to search through the art books or galleries available to you and to take photos or make drawings that reference things you see. You may not split this workload and submit your friend's discoveries...you must find and compile your own. I want to see what you can find or create with the following terms in mind - one photo or drawing for each:

Exploration           Beauty            Invention
Revulsion              Home             Revolution

Art                        Conflict           Progress

Family                  Dreams            Warning

You will label and compile this collection. For the TWO that you find most compelling I would like you to write a short paragraph explaining the connection to the term and why it elicits a strong reaction from you. Also suggest one additional term that I should consider adding to the scavenger hunt list when I do this again in the spring!

Email as a completed Word file to nccart@gmail.com or place in the class VC drop box by Monday.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Norval MORRISSEAU and the Indian Group of Seven

From http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/indiangroupofseven.html

Hey Folks - Take turns reading the following paragraphs out loud! Then you get to watch a pair if videos as a reward :P

The Indian Group of Seven

The Indian Group of Seven was the moniker Winnipeg Free Press reporter, Gary Scherbain, gave to a group of seven native artists who, in 1973, gave birth to the Professional National Indian Artists Incorporation.

Ten years previously Norval Morrisseau had exploded onto the Toronto art scene. His success inspired other artists to look to their native origins for inspiration to paint memories and imagery that represented their own culture.

Three of those artists were Jackson Beardy, Alex Janvier, and Daphne Odjig. In 1973 they had a group show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery called Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171. The numerals were a reference to the numbers given to their respective bands when treaties had been signed with the Canadian government.

The exhibition was ground breaking. For the first time those in the mainstream art world recognized that indigenous moden art was just that...art...not simple scribblings by a simple people.

To follow up their success, the idea came to formalize a group of native artists that would spread the word about native art and assist up and coming younger native artists. Daphne and Jackson Beardy were the main instigators.
But Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray and Joe Sanchez met in Daphne Odjig's Winnipeg home and discussed common concerns and possibilites for the future. The Professional National Indian Artists Inc, funded by Indian Affairs, grew out of the meeting. Bill Reid of the Haida nation didn't officially sign on at the time, but participated in some group shows later.

The Indian Group of Seven Influenced a New Generation

I haven't been able to find information that confirms that the group, under the banner of the PNIA, organized any activities that directly benefited young native artists but as individuals some of the group members did so. Jackson Beardy opened a school for First Nations artists and Daphne and Carl Ray taught at the Manitou Arts Foundation on Shrieber Island during the 1970's and some of those students became the second generation of Woodland artists and are continuing to impact the Canadian native art world.
Although it had a short life and never expanded to include other native artists like Arthur Schilling or even Goyce or Josh Kakegamic in Red Lake, that the Indian Group of Seven existed at all was a critical first step in the development of the concept of Indian art as a part of the Canadian art cultural scene.
Even throughout the 1980's curators and artists were still arguing about whether contemporary native art was a function of the prehistoric/early historic works in museums or whether it had a place in mainstream galleries. For example, in 1989 when the Vancouver Art Gallery produced an exhibition entitled "Beyond History" it specifically named the art of the Canadian Woodland School as 'tribal'.

The Professional National Indian Artists Inc. eventually ceased to exist as an organization as the individual members concentrated on developing their own careers. But they had cleared the way for another generation of Anishnaabe artists.

Here is a video on Morriseau:

Here is a short one on Odjig


Friday, June 17, 2016

Just a reminder kids - End of semester is here 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Character design process

Here is a really awesome article on Character design from the folks at Privateer press - I want you to see the connections between the process shown here and what you are doing in your own projects.


This is the type of process I want you to try out!

Another incredible article from PIXAR http://pixar-animation.weebly.com/character-design.html which includes the following:

Pixar's Tips For Designing a Successful Character

When a Pixar artist is designing a character there are a number of areas they explore to ensure a successful character design.
Research and evaluate
It can be helpful to try and deconstruct why certain characters and their characteristics work and why some don't. 
 Study other characters and think about what makes some successful and what in particular you like about them.

Who is it aimed at?
Think about your audience. Characters aimed at young children, for example, are typically designed around basic shapes and bright colours. 
Visual impact
Whether you're creating a monkey, robot or monster, you can guarantee there are going to be a hundred other similar creations out there. Your character needs to be strong and interesting in a visual sense to get people's attention. 

Exaggerated characteristics
Exaggerating the defining features of your character will help it appear larger than life. Exaggerated features will also help viewers to identify the character's key qualities.

Colours can help communicate a character's personality. Typically, dark colours such as black, purples and greys depict baddies with malevolent intentions. Light colours such as white, blues, pinks and yellows express innocence, good and purity.

Conveying personality
Interesting looks alone do not necessarily make for a good character; its personality is key as well. A character's personality can be revealed through animations, where we see how it reacts to certain situations. The personality of your character doesn't have to be particularly agreeable, but it does need to be interesting (unless your characters is purposely dull).

Express yourself
Expressions showing a character's range of emotions and depicting its ups and downs will further flesh out your character. Depending on its personality, a figure's emotions might be muted and wry or explosive and wildly exaggerated.

Goals and dreams
The driving force behind a character's personality is what it wants to achieve. TOften the incompleteness or flaws in a character are what make it interesting.

Building back stories
If you're planning for your character to exist within comics and animations then developing its back story is important. Where it comes from, how it came to exist and any life-changing events it has experienced are going to help back up the solidity of, and subsequent belief in, your character. Sometimes the telling of a character's back story can be more interesting than the character's present adventures.

Beyond the character
In the same way that you create a history for your character, you need to create an environment for it to help further cement believability in your creation. The world in which the character lives and interacts should in some way make sense to who the character is and what it gets up to.

Fine-tuning a figure
Question each element of your creation, especially things such as its facial features. The slightest alteration can have a great effect on how your character is perceived.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Article: Lessons From The Apocalypse

Lessons From The Apocalypse

Fallout Vegas gate

Video games are increasingly shaping our discourse on science and warfare by letting us explore worlds that may be decades or centuries off. For some titles, like the Fallout franchise, a series of video games depicting American society after a nuclear apocalypse, they can help us see facets of today’s conflicts more clearly.
Fallout offers a glimpse into an exaggerated 1950s-era pre-war culture, whose hokey facade is stripped away after a 21st century Cold War between the United States and China escalates into nuclear war. With its apocalyptic landscape and Cold War backstory, Fallout’s landscape is the chaos and political dysfunction of America as a war-torn failed state. The line between order and chaos is blurred as rival factions vie for control over the wastelands, battling for populations, resources, and technology. While some factions are holdovers of the past world order, others are born out of the power vacuum caused by a devastating war.
One of the most insightful titles, Fallout: New Vegas, was released in 2010. Through the game’s immersive open environment, which allows players to roam freely and learn about the expansive game world, game developers are able to create a narrative which contains incredible levels of complexity and layers of narratives within a simple storyline. It was, and is, a game worth playing for its narrative and visuals but it can also be experienced as an allegory for the Iraq War. While there is plenty of art that can fit into an occupier-occupied construct, many of New Vegas’ elements can be seen in today’s challenges with centralized power, insurgency and resource control in Iraq.

Fallout Vegas gate
Image: Bethesda Softworks

Set in post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, New Vegas represents a caricature of its real-life inspiration: drugs, prostitution, corruption, and crime are rampant. The city has semi-autonomy within the New California Republic (NCR), which has stationed troops in the region to protect a vital strategic asset, the Hoover Dam, under threat by a burgeoning insurgency.
The NCR, which can be seen as an analogue for coalition forces in Iraq, controls the surrounding region around New Vegas through major military installations along the immediate periphery of the city. Meanwhile New Vegas’ local authority, representing more or less the Iraqi government, enjoys a wealth of NCR services, security, economic projects, NGOs, but is eager to utilize these services to its own ends. This cold tension between the NCR and New Vegas is contrasted with the active insurgency within the NCR, Caesar’s Legion, representing the guerilla warfare between the US and local, often Sunni, militias during Iraq’s occupation.
It is the nature of Caesar’s Legion that makes the game a prophetic analogy for the current situation with ISIS in Iraq. Caesar’s Legion does not fight a guerilla war against the NCR. Instead the insurgency has developed into movement warfare (see David Galula’s Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice) where the insurgency fields a regular army which takes and holds territory. Fundamental to their ideology are gruesome punishments, crucifixion and enslavement being their most common, which are dealt to criminals and civilian populations alike. Its battle over control of the dam presents a striking comparison to the importance of the dams in Iraq to territorial control.
Perhaps it is coincidence that the events of Fallout: New Vegas resemble those of current Iraq. The game does not depict a society characterized by hundreds of years of sectarian tensions, nor a government which represents those tensions so starkly. However, the similarities between the current reality in Iraq and the virtual reality in New Vegas gives insight into two key factors of war within failed states.
Water And Order
As a geographic feature and necessity for life, water is both cheap to exploit and vital for supply and control of a population, and has been the focal-point of failed-state conflict, notably in Sudan, Darfur, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As seen in Fallout: New Vegas and demonstrated by ISIS in Mosul and Ramadi, preexisting infrastructure built to generate power from water and dispense it as a resource can be readily adapted to suit the purpose of the occupier. Even without a dam, controlling water as a resource ensures the occupier’s role as a service provider, the fundamental metric of victory in a failed-state. The impact of this resource can be further augmented quite cheaply, to the benefit of factions with means limited by internal strife: crude water purification and irrigation can be achieved cheaply and reap significant reward. This is also explored on film in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Providing order to a population is another essential role for the state. As such, in a failed-state, where law and order is compromised or has collapsed, factional competition will center on filling a security void. In Fallout: New Vegas, Caesar’s Legion and its ideology, centered on a brutal Roman-inspired rule of law, is shown as the inevitable outcome of corrupt management and insecurity within the NCR. Looking at Caesar’s Legion, or indeed countless other historical examples of this phenomenon, it is no surprise that ISIS’ interpretation of Sharia law has received support from Sunnis in a country where corruption, insecurity, and sectarian aggression dominate a Shiite-favoring judicial system.
Fallout is perhaps just a game, however it is also one of many titles that can offer policymakers and leaders, both civilian and military, a look at complex future worlds that are imaginative yet remain rooted in today’s security problems. With a new Fallout installment being released November 10, it will be worth watching to see what kind of post-apocalyptic fable the developers have crafted to discuss conflicts of the present, past, and future.
As the franchise tagline hints: “War never changes.