Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – David DeSantis

Artist: David DeSantis
Exhibition: Day Dreamer
Media: Printmaking, Ink, Paint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino
Website: No website; N/A
Instagram: @rapturefineart

About the Artist

David DeSantis is an Undergraduate Senior student of CSULB. Moreover, he is undergoing a degree of BFA in Printmaking. He began pursing his dreams with art about nine years ago; however, he did have some knowledge or past drawings of motorcycles before actually doing pieces similar to the ones in his gallery. David actually wanted to be a mechanic before, but his heart guided him towards graphic art. Besides art, David lives an interesting life where he loves music and actually attends music festivals. Also, he likes to snowboard and skateboard as much as he can. On the side note, he appreciates tattoos too.  To encompass David’s art altogether, his pieces combine fluid art and abstract expressionism where one can tell what is on the outer surface with abstract art within the piece.

Formal Analysis

Walking into the Merlino Gallery, I was immediately intrigued since the artwork closely reminded me of the finger painting activity that we did the past week. Being my favorite activity, I loved how the pieces in the gallery allowed for randomness. It was all about spontaneity with relation to drip, splatter, and flow. For the samurai mask piece, it focused on the color of red with darks and brighter shades of it. Moreover, there were straight lines that formed the shape of the mask to allow the viewer to interpret the piece as what it’s meant to be. For the two mirror pieces, there are spiraled lines that overlapped each other to show connection with flow. The colors itself are mixed between black and white versus the tricolored piece that has green, purple, and red. Honestly, these were the pieces that reminded me of the finger painting activity since simplicity stood out within it, as well as the randomness. As for the third piece, the outer portion of lines that are straight and jagged led me to think of the ocean and waves itself. The blue background made the center black and white piece stand out. Just like the background, the inner portion incorporated the same nature with lines. With regards to the last picture, there was more of a focus on an animal with various shapes and lines formed.

Content Analysis

All of his pieces of focus on abstract art; moreover, David created his pieces with inspiration from music itself. He was attempting to go deep within what pulled him towards the art field, which was more on abstract expressionism over simple, crisp images that other artists normally are known for. David aimed for creativity straight from his mind, which can be drawn back to his love for music. With his pieces, all were created based off rhythms and beats of various songs or just a specific song. He aimed to bring the music into his pieces to show what the music expresses onto paper itself. Moreover, he listened to songs that were of the genre of Dubstep. David didn’t really think about the process and the picture or image he wanted to produce, but he focused more on the music and randomness where there’s no certain limitations. It was all up to how the music wanted to guide him and what feelings he received from the music itself.

Synthesis / My Experience

Overall, David’s pieces inspired me to put myself out there to let the art within me flow free. Just like him, I like to do art while listening to music. Somehow, the genre or choice of music does affect the mood and the artwork being done. For example, I was listening to upbeat music while finger painting leading me to happily guide my hand across the paper. Moreover, sad music would most likely make me slowly and gently touch the paper with paint. In relation to my ideas and perceptions, I wholeheartedly agree that spontaneity and one’s own creative mind are some of the sole creators of a unique piece of art. No matter if one is drawing a piece that is simple as the mirrored pictures or more detailed pieces that were depicted in the samurai mask or animal piece, it’s vital to know that what one loves will guide artwork to mere perfection.

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Wk 9 – Art Activity – Graffiti Writing

Yet again, another activity that sparked my interest as soon as I saw the title and what it was all about. Honestly, I was excited because I had another opportunity to go to one of my favorite places being the beach. However, sadly, I didn’t end up going to Venice beach since plans got cancelled. I was so sad.. Anyways, life goes on, and I still had a blast doing my art activity even if it wasn’t the scenery I wanted.

Saturday night, I decided to do my graffiti writing in my backyard right after I got home from work. I would say it was around eleven at night, but I had a feeling in me that pushed me towards doing my activity even it was as cold as ice outside! Given that I only had a small backdrop to do my piece on, I had to shorten my name completely. I initially wanted to go with writing Ashley, which is part of my first name being Bernadette Ashley. However, I began with writing the A and noticed how little space I had. This led me to writing a shortened version/nickname of my name: Ash. If I did have more space, I would have completely written my whole name out because I really liked how the paint spray flowed so smoothly. I wanted to write more and design more, but I didn’t have much of a choice sadly. On the upper portion of my piece, I aimed to draw a heart. It somewhat looks like one, but it doesn’t at the same time. It’s all about the effort though for me, so I tried with that one. Please give me mercy though, this was my first time ever really using spray paint, so I would say I did a great job!

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To be honest though, I am quite satisfied with the outcome of my activity. Looking at it, I am drawn in with the contrast and correlation of the colors I used. Moreover, I used light blue and pink because I love the colors alone. The mixture together reminds me of cotton candy, as well as good vibes with pastel like colors. With my life, I’m all about positivity and I guess that’s why I chose to focus on the bright colors to paint the brightness in my life. Next time though, I’m hoping to do a piece with spray paint on a bigger and better mural for a more detailed depiction of whatever I plan to do. Overall, this graffiti writing activity was one for the books, and I sure loved spending my night on it.

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Wk 8 – Art Activity – Finger Painting

Anything with painting is an activity that I love. It’s not only painting alone, but it’s finger painting where one can get their hands dirty! I’m honestly all about art that lets an individual explore the depths of the paper through just letting fingers alone guide the whole process. When I first thought about this activity, I initially thought that my painting wouldn’t come out looking as nice as it did. Thankfully, I actually appreciated the outcome of my painting, and even might keep it to hang in my room.

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When I first started to finger paint, I was dipping my fingers into the various shades of colors not realizing until later that I should’ve put all the colors on a plate for easy access and mixture. This first part was when the paint wasn’t really showing up as much on the paper, so I figured I had to get more paint onto my hand for a better outcome. Once I placed the paint on a plate, I was able to get more darker shades of the colors that I picked. The colors being: red, magenta, blue, turquoise, and violet. I picked more of the cool colors besides the warm, red color. Honestly, I picked the cool colors because I love more vibrant pieces that pop out to the viewers.

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Easy or hard? I would say this week’s art activity was the best one yet and quite easy. It was more of just feeling oneself do the art, and letting oneself free. Plus, I had my dog and outdoor nature as a peaceful addition and inspiration. At first, I felt like I was dragging my finger in circular or spiral motions then it changed to an area within a square type of painting for me. As you can see from the plate, I’m more of the spiral-shaped painting type of girl. Here and there, I just let the tip of my fingers touch the corners or either my whole finger slipped across the paper. The outcome lead to a messy looking painting; however, it still looks as if there is meaning to the painting with all the colors thrown onto the paper.

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With no subject, I felt like the experience was more free and to the heart for me. I was able to close my eyes at times and just let my fingers do the work. In a way, this activity reminds me of the automatic drawing activity where we let ourselves feel the painting within us. It was not confusing or frustrating at all because I didn’t have any guidelines to run off of, so I let my mind explore. Moreover, it was liberating and inspiring because I didn’t know that I would be able to produce a beautiful piece that was created from simplicity.

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As compared to other paintings I have seen, this painting is more messy and somewhat done with not as much thought to it. However, even if it may seem messy, I feel like I could tell a story through my own painting. I guess my story would be: there’s thin lines behind or hidden in an individual, but there’s also thick lines or personality traits that pop out to others. Moreover, there’s that unique side to everyone, in which everyone can be different shades, shapes, and such. No matter what, it all comes out to beauty. When my sister looked at my painting, she immediately said that it looked like a painting she saw at the museum. This honestly made me so happy that such a simple piece can actually stand out there. Furthermore, she told me that abstract paintings are all about randomness and interpretation in many ways. Overall, this finger painting activity is one that I would honestly do again when I need a stress reliever.

Wk 8 – Classmate Conversation – Josh Ocular

I love when I meet new people that share such similar values and ideals with me. For me, the deal breaker when I make new friends is that they should not only be amiable to the people around them, but also understand what makes a person unique to the point where appreciation is present. Anyways, for this week, I had the pleasure to meet an awesome individual named Josh Ocular. With the group of gals that I hang around with in art, I’ve seen his face a couple of times; however, I didn’t really get the chance to introduce myself and talk to him about life. Given this classmate conversation, I was able to grasp the opportunity and put myself out there to have a chat with Josh.

Honestly, we both didn’t really know what to talk about at first. However, I knew that Josh himself seemed to be the type that was not afraid to talk at all, which later lead to him leading the conversation with all our topics. Let’s start with the basics: Josh likes the color green, more on the olive green if possible. He also had two cats, whom are named Pepper and Angus, which I found quite hilarious. Moreover, he told me that it was supposed to be a correlation between meat and food. Two things that I completely love! It’s funny because I literally looked at him in confusion when he stated his cats’ names and then he quickly told me that his sister was the one who named them, so he didn’t really attribute his own ideas into his cats’ names.

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Relating to the idea of school, Josh is a second year student who is undeclared; however, he is thinking of specializing in Medical Sociology. He wanted to become a nurse before, and he possibly still wants to. I applaud him though because we both want to pursue careers in the medical field, and I love people that are interested in the health of others! Back at Carson High, Josh played tennis as a doubles player. I also played tennis, but I didn’t have a funny story to share as he did. He was telling me how one time he had a partner who was a really bad player. One time during a game, Josh got hit on the head with a tennis ball from his partner’s serve. Let’s just say, the other team started to laugh and it was embarrassing for him. Sorry Josh 😦

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Now for random facts about Josh. He believes in ghosts, and I somewhat do in a way, if that matters. He also used to work at Cinnabon, which sounds pretty delicious right now. However, he quit because his manager was rude to the bone. Josh did like the perks of the job though where he had the chance to eat whatever he wanted, and also get freebies from Auntie Anne’s since their companies merged when he worked at Cinnabon. Oh, if that was me, I’d be living the life and drowning in food. To leave off, I’ll leave you all with the fact that he can sing and dance, but ONLY when he’s drunk. So everyone, if you want some entertainment, get Josh Ocular drunk!

 

Wk 7 – Artist Conversation – Juliana Bustillo & Tidawhitney Lek

Artist: Juliana Bustillo & Tidawhitney Lek
Exhibition: Doodles in Space
Media: Drawing and Painting (Roofing, Dry wall, Toilet, and Butcher paper)
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn-Werby Gallery
Website: No website; N/A.
Instagram: Juliana: @juliaanaaaab & Tidawhitney: @tidawhitney

About the Artist

Both Juliana and Tidawhitney are Undergraduate students of CSULB; moreover, they are both finishing their last semester at The Beach. They are pursuing degrees in BFA with emphasis on Drawing and Painting. After they both graduate, they plan to continue their education for their Master’s Degree at schools on the East Coast. Combined, their work explores simplicity in doodles. Both artists wanted to expand upon the usual colorful artwork that they usually do in pieces and intended to twist their art up a bit to explore bland tones of black and white.

Juliana Bustillo was a young, blooming child artist born in Texas, but raised in LA. Growing up, she took great interest in drawing that even her teachers encouraged her to perform her ability to the fullest. Furthermore, her teachers entered her in art contests that allowed her to show the artistic side that was within her heart. From those contests, Juliana won various awards as an astounding artist. As a child, she didn’t assume that art was her calling; however, she knew once she went to CSULB that she wanted to pursue a degree in art itself since she fell in love with it further.

Tidawhitney Lek was both born and raised in Long Beach. When she was a child, she first explored art in its realm of drawing. The reason being is that her parents couldn’t afford paint for her to do painting; moreover, she simply used water alone to attempt at getting the feel of painting pieces. As high school approached, she began to do oil paintings that allowed her to realize her full on love for art. Choosing an art degree was all about picking a choice that made her happy, and she knew that art was the key. When she first came to CSULB, she chose to focus on basic techniques to later expand and progress on her works as time passed on.

Formal Analysis

Just as their exhibition name states, the whole gallery itself was centered around simple doodles of neutral colors. The media they used was four types of paper: roofing, dry wall, toilet, and butcher paper. Even if they used various types of papers, there whole point was to combine the pieces and make their exhibit look natural and simple to the eye. As a whole, the black and white colors complimented each other while incorporating different types of geometric shapes and lines. It kind of felt like there was a scattered feel to some areas, especially the last picture of this blog with all the papers bunched up together in the corner. In a way, the papers traveled differently and moved in random directions. Honestly, I would say that there was a good mix of straight, spiraled, and jagged directions spread out through the exhibit.

Content Analysis

Juliana and Tidawhitney aimed for their “Doodles in Space” exhibit to depart from their normal work, which tends to be more on the colorful and loud side. For this piece, they decided to experiment with black and white colors to tone down their art for simplicity in a dimensional space. From their mind and heart, they chose to show their intimacy with drawing from a different angle that hasn’t been seen before from them as artists. Moreover, Juliana and Tidawhitney wanted their piece to travel in different directions as seen with the varying views. Looking at every corner, there are different structures and shapes presented in each area that goes forth towards their idea of random motions and shapes.

Synthesis / My Experience

Overall, I felt like this exhibit showed a lot even if their media was just plain papers and simple shapes. Moreover, I felt like it connected to the people looking at the exhibit itself with all that was going on with every turn of the head. Both artists’ idea of being simple and toning down hits the spot when I attempt to do my art. Of course, at times, I will want to overdo things just to make it look pretty; however, this exhibit made me realize that beautiful art can be simple with laying things out in certain directions. Relating to my life, I feel like there are times when I want to move in various directions. Now, that I’ve looked at this exhibit, I believe that it doesn’t really matter if I move towards a straight or crumpled up decision. Furthermore, the direction will just guide me as the papers lead each other in this exhibit to the right way. Things may seem scattered and out of place, but I will always know that mostly everything will all work out in the end.

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Wk 7 – Classmate Conversation – Priscilla Mota-Gaona

Classmate conversations are honestly one of the activities that I look forward to because I get the opportunity to meet such amazing individuals. Each and every person I meet has their own unique story or interesting facts about himself or herself that it gets me so intrigued to learn about other’s stories. Meeting all these people makes me ponder on what it’s like to be in their shoes, whether it be through glistening or troublesome memories. I’m sure that no matter what, my classmates or now friends, live a life that’s worth living even if there may be some bumps in the road. Anyways, before I get too sentimental and all in my feelings about life, let me talk about my amiable friend that I met this week.

Flashing back to the first week in art, one of our first duties was to do plaster casting at the beach. Let me say, this was one of my favorite art activity assignments; moreover, I actually met Priscilla for this assignment at the beach for the first time. We were actually both quite confused about what to do that we confided in each other for help. It’s funny cause we were both accepting the fact that our plaster casts would probably come out looking like trash, but thankfully ours didn’t turn out that way. Moreover, we both found it quite difficult even if it was a fun activity to do. That day quickly passed, and we didn’t really get to talk much besides asking each other basic help questions about the project itself. Sad, but I knew that I would see her in class to be able to talk to her more.

Now, fast forward to week seven, I met Priscilla Mota-Gaona in a better sense. Walking around and looking at the artworks in the SOA galleries, I saw Priscilla looking at art and decided to ask her if she had someone to talk to for the week. Well, gladly, she said she didn’t; otherwise, I wouldn’t even be writing this post about her. As for amazing facts about her, I learned that she’s also majoring in Nursing similar to me. However, she’s ending her third year. For nursing, we have to finish our pre requisites in two years; moreover, Priscilla has finished hers and is actually just taking classes that will count for her transfer to Azusa Pacific University. Specifically, she is taking literature, philosophy, and this art class that we are both enrolled in (YAY!). Even though Priscilla didn’t get into the nursing program at CSULB, I’m sure she’ll have a bright future where she’ll be a future pediatric oncology nurse.

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Nursing and the health field in general is a vast field that many people want to pursue, so we both questioned each other why we wanted to have an occupation in this specific field. For those that don’t know, oncology nurses deal with people who have cancer. Given that, Priscilla shared with me that she once had cancer when she was seventeen. Thankfully though, she is a cancer survivor!! At this point, I really admired her for standing up against  cancer and being able to fight for her life. She further began to explain that all her nurses took such great care of her at the hospital that she too wanted to return the favor to those around her by taking care of people that are going through what she once went through. Before, Priscilla actually wanted to be a teacher, but the nurses around her cared for her in a family-like way that she knew that she wanted to be just like them.

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“Whatever it takes, wherever it be.” This is what Priscilla said when I asked her if she had to move for her occupation, would she end up doing it? Or would she just move in general, basically. This statement alone made me realize how much Priscilla would do just to pursue her dreams. After this, we began talking about basic facts about us, like family. She told me that she has a sister that also wants to pursue a job in the health field. Specifically, her sister wants to be an occupational therapist. When Priscilla was going through therapy, her sister was really patient and saw the job of an occupational therapist. From then on, she wanted to pursue this certain occupation. The sisters actually want to work together, in which they would make a braiding book for the people they take care of. The braids would be ones that weren’t known to Priscilla’s sister, so that she would be going through obstacles just as the patient is. Random insert, Priscilla has a chihuahua. Oh, and we both have baby fever where we just want to kidnap random babies at stores because they’re all so cute!! Getting to know Priscilla more this week was a pleasure, and I can’t wait to talk to her even more and meet more people like her.

Here’s Priscilla’s blog: https://priscilla626.wordpress.com

Wk 6 – Art Activity – Zines & Flip Books

With all of the art activities in this course, my mind wanders around to different thoughts about what specific subject or topic I want to focus on for a certain piece. It takes me quite a long time to process my ideas, and I always attempt to aim for perfection even if I know that it isn’t possible. I guess I just like the feeling of accomplishing a piece and actually being proud of it. I’m sure all artists and want-to-be artists (like me) yearn for this feeling. I mean not many people, or if any, would want to produce something without wishing for it to come out in the best form. The main point of this whole blabber is that I literally spent hours thinking of what I wanted to do, as well as doing the actual project that I soon realized that I should just let myself free to wonder and not think too much.

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Anyways, I honestly had a hard time trying to pick between a zine or a flip book. Even more, I had a more difficult time choosing what to depict in my drawings. The only thing that I really like portraying in images is love and relationships as a whole. With this, I drew exactly what came to mind. I decided on putting simple phrases with deep meanings. In a way, my zine is encompassed around a basic five body paragraph where there’s an introduction, body, and conclusion. For my intro, the first two pages showed two stick figures meeting each other and asking to be friends. The body paragraphs were based off the guy asking the girl to be his girlfriend and wife with the statement of “I love you” at their wedding. Lastly, the conclusion of my zine was the death of the girl’s husband with the saying of “I miss you.” From the beginning to the end, there was a shift from questions to statements alone that secured their relationship together. Basically, it was a story of a typical couple where life can begin at a relationship and end with death.

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Overall, my experience with my zine was quite troublesome; however, I was able to push my thoughts out of my mind onto paper into a art piece that I truly appreciate. I gained knowledge about how difficult it can be for an artist to establish their motif and what they want to create for a certain audience. What may seem easy to the audience may not really be easy to the creators themselves. Also, I was able to look at love from a simple angle with just questions and general statements. As for what I would like to try next time, flip books would be an option that I would like to explore. Originally, I wanted to do a flip book, yet it seemed like it would be time-consuming. Also, I figured mine wouldn’t come out looking like a flip book since I’m not an artistic individual (as seen with my stick figures). Zines and flip books truly get an individual to think about various things, whether it be about love or random other things. However, it’s a great experience to draw and share one’s thoughts and feelings with others.

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