musical goodness from playlist

i've discovered some awesome music in the last few days...and months. thanks to the fabulous whitney, owl city is on there and my new favorite. and i just feel like regina spektor lately. and other such fabulous musicians. i set it so it won't play automatically, so you have the option. it's down on the right side. just letting you know it's there.

so take a listen...or don't. your call. if you do, feel free to comment on any of the music! i love to music-talk. :)

ps, owl city lyrics! the first is from 'rainbow veins'. this especially gets me through the 8-hour work day where i sit in front of a computer...
Your nerves gather with the altitude
Exhale the stress so you don’t come unglued--
Somewhere there is a happy affair, a ghost of a good mood....

also, here are some from 'hot air balloon':

I'll be out of mind,
and you'll be out of ideas pretty soon.
So let's spend the afternoon
in a cold hot air balloon

oh man. so great.


scripture + distraction = ?

I was reading my scriptures this morning in 3rd Nephi 11. I love that chapter, so this is the second or third time I've read it this week (which is why I have a weird scripture study pattern). I was reading in the first part of the chapter where God was introducing Christ. God spoke 3 times to the people, and the first two times they hear but don't really understand what He is saying. When they finally understand, "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", I'm sure they perked up.

Ironically, during this part, I was still reading but my mind started to drift off somewhere else, thinking of good things (visiting teaching to be exact) but not really comprehending the verses. When I got to that verse, I perked up, too. I read the next verse when Christ starts to descend from the heavens. Suddenly, all my attention was focused and I felt guilty for having skimmed over the first part of the chapter. Once more, I started over.

It got me thinking. How many times do we do that? When we're trying to be focused on the best things, only to get caught up on other things? Not to say that other things are bad; of course not! Logistics of visiting teaching need to be thought out and visiting teaching is very much an important part of the Gospel and our lives. Lots of our distractions are made up of good things.

However, we need to make sure that our first priorities are the best things. God. The Gospel. Family. I wonder, if I were a Nephite, would I have understood God's voice the first time? Or, like when I read about it this morning, would I have been distracted by something that was good but not as important at the present moment?

No wonder patience is required of us. Half the time, we're (excuse me, I can only speak for myself) I am messing up and getting distracted. Most times I don't always get answers in the way I think they should come or in my time frame. Maybe Heavenly Father is testing me to see if I'm really listening, really ready for the answer. Maybe it's just something that I can decide so He lets me. Or maybe sometimes He is trying to talk to me, but I'm just not hearing it, like in 3rd Nephi 11. "Not hearing it" can come in many ways, including not accepting it or not being willing or ready to act on it.

Anyway, this was a nice little experience to remind me to focus on the best things first. The lesser good things can wait. (By the way, that link is one of my favorites- it would be well worth your time to read or re-read that.)
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives." Ezra Taft Benson sure knew what he was talking about.


quick interjection --

look! Gale Larson, who is fabulous, paid me to create a baby shower invitation, pooh bear-themed if possible. i am a huge fan of Ernest Howard Shepard, the artist who first drew Winnie the Pooh. so i decided to go with that style. the line drawing actually his original, then i had fun in photoshop to color it (tangent: did you know that Shepard drew all of the illustrations in pen and ink, then when he was super old, like in his 90's or something, he was asked to color them? so he did! crazy. i think that's the story, according to Bethanne's history of illustration class). Gale's co-worker Lisa whipped out the poem in about a minute, i then designed the little card, gale printed it on cute little 5x7's and that was that!

i changed the info on the card in case any crazies come across my blog. sorry, folks. no stalking available here.

ps, how do you like the new blog header?


why it's wonderful I - typography::

now that my 'antisocial' series about fall 2008 is over, i'll write 'why it's wonderful' posts about the winter 2009 semester. stay tuned, hopefully these won't be as spread out over time :) i actually wrote this one on april 23rd.

Day: Wednesday
Class: Typography
Time: 7-11.....pm.

you'd think, with that schedule (on top of the fact i had class/work on wednesdays from 8 am-3 pm, 5-7 pm, and 7-11pm) i'd hate the dang class.

i didn't.

i actually...absolutely loved it.
the class::
typography is the study of type as a crucial element of graphic design. we learned things like kerning (how close each letter is to each other), tracking (how close the spaces in between words are) and leading (the space between lines of type). we learned the anatomy of letters, such as the x-height (height of a lowercase letter 'x', used to determine height of main body of fonts), ascenders and descenders (parts that ascend and descend the x-height, such as the tall part of an 'h' or the bottom of a 'g'), and counters (the middle parts of letters with enclosed spaces, such as 'p', 'g', 'a', 'd', etc). we learned about specific typefaces and created posters about them after we researched them (i chose neutraface. good-lookin!). we took note of type all around us with our 'typographic journals'. we also learned what good type looked like...and what it doesn't look like. we even created our own fonts!

*all images copyright kristin gulledge, 2009

the final project::
our culminating project that took the entire last half of the semester was the magazine re-design. we had to take a lifestyle magazine and redesign the entire thing, including the masthead (the actual letters that make up the name of the magazine, giving it an individual feel.) i chose spin magazine, because it's a music magazine for really artsy music lovers. perfect for me. ;) (however, after researching a lot of them, i don't suggest reading it...not all the issues are exactly my cup of tea).

i worked for many long and grueling hours on it, and would have posted the progress, but i was so busy and exhausted by the time i'd be able to post so i opted not to. BUT...here it is. the final project.

i'd rather you see the final physical project; it was so time intensive...we had to print it and mount it on foam core, then crop it. it looks awesome in real life. i guess you can check out the details here though. enjoy!

*note: photographs (excluding the garage photo) were found on the web, and used for educational purposes only. magazine masthead copyright kristin gulledge, 2009.

the nitty gritty details::

for those who would like to learn more
  • we had to design the masthead, mine being 'spin'. i had a bunch of different ideas and came down to the one you see below and one in a circle. i chose this because it's more interesting, and my teacher made the observation that it's more interesting because we usually think of "spinning" things as circles...not rectangles.
  • i tried to keep this rectangle thing as a theme throughout the whole magazine: i slanted the headlines and call-outs, also the photo (do you recognize it?) for the table of contents. consistency is crucial.
  • we were required to have one department. each magazine has many departments, or similar types of articles in each issue.
  • we were also required to have a 6-page feature, which is what the focus of the magazine is on in any particular issue.
  • grids are essential to good design. i used a three-column grid for the feature and a four-column grid for the department.
  • call-outs, in magazines, are certain parts of the text that are set apart from the rest of the words to give emphasis. mine are red and black, slanted with varying font size. this was actually inspired from my blog stylization!
  • captions, in magazines, describe pictures and they are set apart from the text as well by a different design element. mine are smaller, always next to a photo, and gray colored.
  • dummy text, or greek text, is just nonsense text that we use to fill in where text would be in a real magazine. even this, however, had to be custom-designed to an extent.
my goodness. i feel as if i've told all my design secrets; i guess i have no more to share. now you can go out and design fabulous magazines as well. piece of cake.*

*this is, in fact, a lie. it's NOT a piece of cake. it's more like a slab of stone...a really really big hard stone that you have to carve with a knife. a butter knife. call me masochistic, but i really love doing it.


salt lake sketchventure!

goal: find awesome neighborhood filled with cool-looking homes and narrow streets. draw/paint/photograph said cool-looking homes and architecture. and each other, when least expected.

[i think my personal theme was 'color'. i love love loved the colors we saw that day, and laura and zach were wearing fabulous colors to match/complement their surroundings!]

[note: i'm still obsessed with typography.][the picture below is a cool shot taken by zach. he was a fast learner and after a quick photography lesson, he was banging on all cylinders]this was my first drawing that day.[this was my first house i painted with using laura's awesome water color pen and my tiny paint set!]
love this one. such great personality.
[coolest things to paint with: tiny watercolor sets and awesome watercolor brush pens]

mission accomplished.

{{the after-party}}
goal: go to the gateway, find zach cool new shoes with to buy with his birthday money.

varied actual results: cool shoes too expensive, affordable shoes too ugly. instead, the three adventurers found a cool store with cool stuff and took cool pictures. please see laura's blog for further explanation. really. you will not regret it...unless you're not awesome.

ps. shout-out to laura, or Sister Smith: samara's about to get even better. i'm so excited for you to be a missionary. i'll hold down the fort...unless i end up joining you. in which case we will rock sketchventures and sketchisodes around the world.

until we sketch again! :)

* all images copyright kristin gulledge, 2009

sketchisodes #1 and #2!

so. ever since laura and i officially became friends through murphy (that's an awesome story all on it's own), we decided we needed to go sketching.

that was back in...whenever murphy left on his mission. in fact, here's my exact message via linkedin.com to her on 8/28/08 at 7:05 AM--
"Now that Murphy's gone...we still have to be friends! :) Maybe if we're "linked in", we'll go sketchbooking more often."
note: that was august. we've been pestering each other about it ever since.

and the FIRST time we went skeckbooking was on may 14th. as in....a few weeks ago. we decided since she's leaving on a mission on WEDNESDAY (as in, two days) to russia, we'd better make good drawing time with what time we had left. so, we decided to plan a big drawing trip and some other little ones. i coined the little ones 'sketchisodes' and the big ones 'sketchventures'. why? because...they're awesome.

{{sketchisode #1}}
our first sketchisode took place at phs' track. we wanted to dr
aw people but they were too far away, so laura taught me a creative exercise: scribble shapes! designing characters out of scribbles. laura showed introduced me to the work of brittney lee, who is absolutely brilliant in my mind now. apparently brittney makes some of her characters out of scribble shapes. mine aren't as good, but here they are:

{{sketchisode #2}}
sketchisode #2 was downright faaan-tastic (it must be sai
d with emphasis on the first syllable). we went to barnes and noble and i bought a mini moleskin sketchbook, then we went to gelato's and drew the unassuming patrons! it's so much more fun to draw with a friend.

for some reason, my drawing utensils didn't get packed in my bag...so i drew with ballpoint. it was a new experience!


Antisocial: Part III (Anatomy for Artists)

the last installment of my 'antisocial' series! i've blogged about this class before. and i'd really REALLY like you to visit Laura's post about it...she summed it up really well. i'm giving the extended version, i guess. :)

i just remember coming out of class every single day with new appreciation and fascination of the human body. and of art, but more of the human body. here is one example of those days. as you can tell, i was pretty excited.

okay. being months later, i'm going to try to explain how amazing and inspiring this class was, but i'm sure it won't have the same feeling that it would have if i would have blogged then. i apologize. i mourn for the knowledge that has seeped through my mind like sand out of a cupped hand...but i want to try to gain it back.

a couple of things::
anatomy for artists (VAILL 252) was taught by niki covington, a young teacher who had just returned from the Florence Academy of Art (as in, Italy!). he was classically trained, and thus taught us in the same method. and 'method' it was: everything was very methodical, drawing-wise.

lectures:: each day, we'd come to the 3-hour class (8-11am) and for the first two hours or so, he'd lecture on anatomy. then we'd draw the model for the remaining time. to start with, we bought books by Paul Richer (the ultimate genius of anatomy) and Eliot Goldfinger (who copied off of Richer...like the rest of us, but his book was more helpful to figure out how muscles/bones relate together) -- which i highly suggest for anyone interested in drawing anatomy. niki would show examples from the great artists. during lecture, he'd use slides projected from his computer and we got bajillions of awesome handouts (from Italy...i feel really lucky to have them). we took tedious and meticulous notes as much as possible (i even attended the night section of the class...just so i could reinforce what i'd learned). later, during muscle reviews, he'd project the skeleton on the board and draw the muscles on top of it, or have us come draw the muscles. he'd use the muscle statue in the room, the models, and joe (our trusty, but very old skeleton) to teach us about specifics (sometimes, he'd use all three).

this is how niki taught us (not the only way to draw, but this is how we did it in this class):
-pencil sharpened with a razor to a very tiny sharp point
-make sure your easel is upright, and stand so th
at half of it blocks your body so the other half of your body is where you can see the model
-stand an arms length away from the easel (where your palm can touch your paper)
-take away any distractions (even move the p
aper to the edge of the easel so there's no line between the paper and the model)
-if you wear a hat with a rim, it helps because it takes away the light that comes from above which detracts from seeing the figure totally accurately
-sight size: where you draw the model exactly how big you see him/her. can directly translate proportions and measurements
-good way to start: draw constraints first: a top and bottom mark in which your figure will be placed. find the middle line, then the angles. find the pit of the neck. then block it out.
-make sure you can always see the entire figure, and st
and back to always make sure everything relates to itself
-triangulate-- take one point (landmark on body) and measure it with at least 2 more points to ensure accuracy
-simplify. anatomy isn't everything. just because you know tons about the body doesn't mean you should use all that information in your drawings. the best drawings are designed well and have strong and confident shapes.
-"appreciate this curve and how it dips down into that depression....appreciate how there is a subtle transition between the bone and the muscle...appreciate the curve against that straight there..." niki said 'appreciate' a lot :)
-"yeah. yeah. for sure." anyone who's actually taken the class can just picture niki saying that and chuckle. he said it daily. we loved it.
-SQUINT; LOOK AT THE WHOLE!!!! (niki pounded this into us; he'd always always say it! if there was ever too long a period that went by with too much silence, you could hear scott or someone mumble it from across the room :D)


we started with bones. we learned about a new set of bones each day. we'd come to class having drawn the specific bone or bone set 3 times, labeling everything, and after the lecture our homework would be the same bone(s) 2 more times now that we knew more about it, plus 3 of the next lecture's bone(s).

(if you look closely, you can see some that say "drawing 1" vs "drawing 2" signifying before and after the lecture)

our teacher would then correct anything that was wrong by laying tracing paper over the top of our drawings and correct them individually and write comments. which i thought was awesome.

then we put all the bones together. the skeleton.

5-eyed squares::
we learned how to draw the skeleton from memory by learning about the 5-eyed squares. did you know the width of your face is five of your eyes wide? well, so is the height from the top of the head to nose, nose to top of sternum, top of sternum to bottom of sternum, bottom of sternum to end of rib cage.......do you see where this is going? AND everything (except for the arms) fits nicely between two 5-eyed squares next to each other.

so. freaking. awesome.

after lecture each day, we'd be given a handout of a photograph of a model. we'd take tracing paper and put it over the photograph, drawing the bones where they should be. then, we'd put tracing paper on top of that and draw where the muscles would be, in proper relation to the bones, including where they originate and insert. these were called ecorce drawings. we'd only put down the muscles we'd talked about thus far (we knew the bones by then) so it built over time. we also had to draw the "deep" muscles, then erase those to draw the "superficial" muscles on top that cover them, so we could understand the form better. the more muscles we learned, the more complex the photographs (and our drawings) got. note that we couldn't just put generic bones and muscles; we had to draw exactly where they'd be on that individual (we are not all the same!). which made it a hecka lot harder.
(we started with heads)

(then upper body and lower body. for some reason, i didn't include my lower body ones so i'll get some up soon. check back. i censored some for anyone who might be offended, and i won't show any picture without the drawings on top of it. however, the real things are really awesome, so you are welcome to come over and see them!)

this was probably my favorite position we had to draw (and the most difficult). i re-did part of it to get a better score, and a better understanding.

for the pseudo-final exam, we had a t-shirt contest. we made our teacher enter as well, and the majority voted for his, so we all got shirts with his design on them. which i was perfectly fine with :)

here's the one i submitted, front and back:

final exam::

then. for our real final exam, here were the stipulations, as dictated on a contract we signed:

1) draw the entire skeleton: front, side, and back
2) draw all the muscles on top of the skeleton drawings (on tracing paper)
3) label every bone and muscle
4) all of this must be done in one sitting (as in, sit down, draw, you're done when you stop)
5) though it is a take-home final, all of this must be done from MEMORY with NO NOTES.

well. in all my experience being an artist of any sort, i believe this was the most strenuous and concentrated work i've ever completed.

i started studying hardcore -- 7:30 pm
i felt adequately ready, thus beginning to actually draw -- 12:06 am
i had the entire skeleton drawn -- 3:00 am
i finished the first set of muscles -- 4am
second set of muscles -- 4:35 am (the side view is fastest)
completely done with my anatomy for artists exam -- 5:30 am

i was a sleepy little puppy after that. but do you know what? i have never felt so blessed or accomplished. that night was one of discovery for me. it was a near impossible task, to take all of the knowledge i'd gained in one semester to spit it out in one night.

but i did it.

here it is.

(this is all we were given:)

(below are the bones on tracing paper on top of the squares page)

(this is the muscles on top of the bones on tracing paper)

how i survived::
i'm not generally one to toot my own horn, for lack of better term, but i was so proud of this final exam. i could never think that i did it alone. my teacher was awesome and helpful; so were my classmates and books. but that night, as i sat solitary at my kitchen table for 10 tedious hours, i knew that my Heavenly Father was up with me. he blessed my mind to recall all i'd worked so hard and studied for. he blessed my body so that i could stay alert and focus. he blessed my hands and eyes to connect with my knowledge.

i'd prayed beforehand when i started to get one of my infamous headaches that i would make it through the final free of pain. all was well. as soon as 5:30 hit, i got super sleepy and started to sense an ache in my head. atypical of my usual response, i grinned from ear to ear. no headache during the final. no sleepiness. that's all i wanted, and i got it. this was one of my favorite things i took from the class.

another thing i learned from the class was how sacred and special and utterly amazing the body truly is. each day, as we learned about the body, i realized how much of a divine design it truly is. there is no way we could have just 'happened to be'...the body is way too complex for that. as we learned about bones, we'd have to label tiny little ridges or indents. i'd first thought it was ridiculous and insignificant, but as we learned about the muscles, we realized that big muscles would attach to those tiny little marks. each part of the body is crucial to itself to function properly. i am now reminded of the scripture in 1 Cor 12:12-27 where it relates the church to a body. it really is so critical that we all help each other and learn together, being so unified. as laura puts it, "We're China-doll fragile"...yet we can accomplish so much (my brother competed in an IronMan triathalon a few years back...that opened my mind to a lot of possibilities).

anyway. i think it's kind of funny when people say 'art major' with tongue in cheek, rolling their eyes. i think it's funny when they think it means all we do is draw pretty pictures out of our heads all the time. i'd love to see them take this class. :]

*all images copyright kristin gulledge, 2008