Pencils Before Pixels

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An MFA Design Thesis by Lauren Mulkey

Transcript of Pencils Before Pixels

  • A PROCESS

    AN MFA DESIGN THESIS BY LAUREN MULKEY

  • 2011 All Rights Reserved.

    No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the written permission of Lauren Mulkey.

    Call me anytime, we can talk.

    Lauren Mulkey

    503.871.1660 lauren@laurenmulkey.com www.laurenmulkey.com

    Academy of Art University School of Graphic Design 79 New Montgomery Street San Francisco, California 94105

    MFA Thesis Dave Gottwald Fall 2011

    Pencils Before Pixels: a process 7x10.5, 150 pages

    Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and PhotoshopCanon Rebel XSi Epson Perfection V500 Photo

    Giant Horse Printing, San Francisco, CA The Key Bindery, Oakland, CA

    Brown Davey Board Finch 100lb text New Century School Book, Abadi

    PHONE EMAIL

    SITE

    COURSEADVISOR

    TERM

    TITLE FORM FACTOR

    SOFTWARE CAMERA

    SCANNER

    PRINTER BOOK BINDING

    COVER STOCK TEXT STOCK TYPEFACES

  • Table of Contents##

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    INTRODUCTION

    PAST PROCESSMidpoint Advisors

    BRANDEnvironmental

    Schwag Books/Materials

    Web/App

    PENCILS BEFORE PIXELS: WORKSHOPWeekend

    PENCILS BEFORE PIXELS: CLASSSixteen Week Course

    Chapter

    7

    Introduction

    Brand

    Process

    Workshop

    Class

  • Introduction

    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso

    Chapter

    001

    Introduction

    Brand

    Process

    Workshop

    Class

  • Chapter

    002

    Its all about encouraging one another to get more comfortable with the creative process. It took me a very long time to find words for this simple concept, because it is the core solution for several complicated issues. Firstly, people today rely heavily on the computer, in some cases in a good way while in others in a hindering way. Secondly, many people have become detached from their ability to create what was at one time considered simple daily tasks, like making healthy food, writing a letter, sewing buttons back on shirts. Now, many people no longer have these skills because technology has made them unnecessary to learn, but not having maintained them has had some negative repercussions.

    1. The computer makes it possible to skip to the end. Stop and smell the roses

    2. There is so much joy in struggle and achievement, which is so easily found and practiced through simple and complicated creative tasks.

    3. Computers may create cyber network and that is lovely but it better never replace the actual interaction between people, which is often enhanced by a shared activity, working independently or in a group on projects.

    This thesis is the spring board to opportunities, more specifically teaching opportunities. I love graphic design for the problem-finding problem-solving process, and a big part of me uses this same methodologyalbeit more sensitivelyin many of the interactions I have with people.

    I love working with people, encouraging and helping them with whatever it is they need help with.

    I never claim to know everything, because thats ridiculous. I believe in Socratic questioning, and more importantly I believe in the process of struggle. I look forward to the opportunity to teach, and I know to expect the unexpected. Im ready.

    I know for certain that this project has allowed me to explore what it is I am most passionate about; what makes me curious and keeps me excited. At the beginning I may not have had the words to explain what I wanted to investigate, but I had the idea in my mind.

    I needed time to sift through my thoughts and figure out the core idea. What did I really want to talk about? What is it that I want to share with people. I know that technological progress is inevitable, and not the enemy. It is what pushes society along, and we are forever connected with it (hoping the internet doesnt die). I am not against technology. However, I have noticed that, with the invention of the light bulb the world may have become brighter, but people on the other hand started becoming dimmer.

    Over the years as our tools and technologies have become smarter, it has become a struggle for people to keep in step with it. We are distracted,

  • Chapter

    003

    and busy which can sometimes lead us into a state of mind I call Autopilot. Where you arent really driving you are just...going. You arent participating in your way of thinking in your process, and I want to shake it up.

    So if the problem is that people have become disconn-ected from their processes, then the solution is getting them back together with them.

    Now when I say process I mean the way someone arrives at a solution. To me it is very similar to what Craft used to mean to humans a long time ago. Each individual had a different way of doing things a different way of producing their trade. It was special to them and developed by them. They found pride and family reputation in their craft. I dont see why we cant re-connect with that definition.

    Since everyones approach to process is different it is important to have an objective method to grade outcomes. Some people think similarly but more and more people think and learn in ways that standardized methods of teaching arent able to support. Instead of measuring outcomes by testing questions and answers you measure them by output. How many good ideas can you come up with? How many pages can you fill with your thoughts and feelings? Id like to implement

    grading based on the effort, growth and ability to reflect on 6 key categories of process which I will discuss in the Branding chapter.

    An article from Newsweek (July 2010) says,

    A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No.1 leadership competency of the future.

    I have spent the last 5 years earning my MFA and the last 3 discovering a passion for creativity and a desire to learn, share and explore . I want to help bring creativity to the forefront of education and work in a place full of people that want to do the same.

  • Chapter

    007

    Introduction

    Brand

    Process

    Workshop

    Class

    Process

    The noun of self becomes a verb. This flashpoint of creation in the present moment is where work and play merge. Stephen Nachmanovitch

  • Thes

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    At a Glance

    1. Phil Hamlett DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE GRAPHIC DESIGN, AAUStruggle to identify the main idea, but know it relates to inspiring people about hand skills and process.

    FINAL = Creativity Kit, maybe a Workshop

    2. Ivar Diehl MASTER BOOK BINDER, THE KEY BINDERYResearched the history of craft and the current state of craft, and how the public can regroup and recommit to quality goods as well as quality life..

    FINAL = The Craft Crusade (book)

    3. Macy Chadwick BOOK ARTS INSTRUCTOR, AAUEstablished book format, 50 to be printed by machine and 10 to be produced by hand. Contacted a writer to help organize the content Id gathered.

    FINAL = Craft Matters (New title) and prototype binding examples.

    4. Michael Sainato INSTRUCTOR, AAUAfter accepting I am not a writer, I decided the best direction for the content was a class course. I took surveys, and began meeting with the Faculty Development Department at the Academy of Art University to design a curriculum. based on the idea of: The importance of developing and understanding process/craftsmanship for designers.

    FINAL = Working examples of Class materials/Curriculum

    5. Dave Gottwald MENTOR & INSTRUCTOR, AAUIntroduce workshop as primary event, refine and produce all materials for class including an explanation of the entire thesis.

    FINAL = Class materials/Curriculum and MFA Book

    Chapter

    008

  • Cont

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    Officially, the journey of my thesis began at my Midpoint review, Spring 2007. Id just finished my sixth class (GR: 600/Visual Communications Lab), and was headed for the Summer. In that class I had been given the opportunity to research one single topic of my choosing for the entire duration of the course. I decided to investigate the topic of Handmade. Why was it such a big deal at the time? With all the DIY out there and the confusion or stigma around the word craft, all I knew was that I loved making things by hand both for hobbies and for graphic design coursework. It was obvious I loved making things by hand but I felt shame in claiming the title of craft-er. Why did I feel shamed by my colleagues for these hobbies, and why didnt graphic designers claim pride in their craft the same way craft-ers did? When did this split in definition of the word crafter occur, and how could it be reclaimed or fixed?

    Obviously after this project I had only scratched the surface. I was still very uncertain about the exact form my thesis would take, but I knew what it would be about. I knew the word craft and all its sub-definitions would keep my interest for many years, if necessary.

    Im an idealist. I dont know where Im going, but Im on my way. Carl Sandburg

    While at points I felt like i was aimlessly wandering, I was always producing research, reading books, asking people questions, keep