This type specimen book design and created by Jessi Dilts is an exploration of five different font categories and twenty-five different font families. It explores the narrative written by graphic designer Paula Sher, through her speech “Great Design is Serious, Not Solemn”. The overall theme of this narrative is the juxtaposition of serious design contrasted with playful and vibrant design in order to show two contrasting spectrums and styles of design. Throughout the pages there is a series of photographs taken and edited by Jessi Dilts, mixed with different images and textures that were found. Within each font, behind the flap showcases the font families and shows an example of the text, all in a clean and juxtaposed manner in comparison to the rest of the book. The little glimpses of solemn design lies behind the flaps and overall this narrative is vibrant, chaotic and juxtaposes two contrasting styles of design, solemn and playful.
“Reality” is a surreal fine art photography piece displaying the reality of global pollutants. I titled it “Reality” because the globe in the middle is a literal depiction of the effect on our Earth from pollution, and there is a juxtaposition overall because the image is not a real scene from our Earth but a surreal depiction of Earth’s relationship with pollution. I took some pictures in Marina Del Rey as well as El Segundo and Anaheim of different factories and refineries. I then realized that I could use myself as Mother Nature, and subtly represent all things living that are affected by pollution. Once I got back to San Diego, I went down to Sunset Cliffs and hiked to the tide pools an hour before sunset. I had my twin sister use the tripod as I directed her where to shoot the pictures of me. I stood on the tide pools for a while and got a variety of pictures that were all a slightly different motion, because I knew I wanted myself to not be in a static position, but have more of a free flowing, organic feel.
After editing the pictures, I began with warping the background with the factories and refineries, and stacking them on each other to symbolize pollution going into the atmosphere and oceans. I then put the tide pools fading into the ocean in the foreground, I did this in three different sections lowering the opacity and blending them together. Then for my body I decided to create two so that I can create negative space in the center where I put the globe blending into gray. I wanted to represent on a global scale, the reality of pollution. I spherized a piece of one of my paintings in order to add a brighter element to the Earth to symbolize hope in restoration preservation on Earth. During the editing of the figures I used a lot of clone stamping and puppet tool warping in order to get the dress to extend into the ocean. I then added a gradient blend mode to the dress to the ocean. I wanted to create this essence that I was a part of the ocean as well as the sky, because the destruction from pollutants is a huge damage to the ocean and bodies of water, as well as our atmosphere.
In this piece I was particularly inspired by jerry Uelsemann and his highly surreal black and white collages that are incredibly seamless and powerful. Ueslemann’s work peaked my interest in particular to the psychedelic mixture and feeling of his images with the highly realistic and surreal mixture of nature and people/places. I wanted to incorporate some of the characteristics of his work such as the naturalistic, surreal feelings all in a highly contrasting and vast range of black and white tones. It took me a while to truly connect with one of my ideas and when I went to the San Marcos lake where my background images are taken, I was almost lost in the beauty of the nature and for a few minutes forgot about stress, worries, obligations and anything that keeps people from stopping to appreciate the world; and that idea and feeling sparked my idea to create a surreal collage that captures that feeling of being lost within the atmosphere. For my piece I wanted there to be a chaotic and psychedelic feeling that the viewer could lose themselves in, yet not fully understand at first. I incorporated my face in a few parts of my image and warped the lake on the bottom and top in order to create a dreamlike illusion. I used many different blending modes and had my hands blend into the lake by using the gradient tool. I worked a lot with Puppet warp and blending modes and drop shadows in order to try and connect the reality and surrealism of the composition. Overall this surreal photographic collage embodies the idea of slowing down and connecting with the atmosphere around us, which so many people do not either have time for or do. We are only on this earth for so long and it is important to stop, connect and appreciate it.
I took this previously destructed vintage photo that was damaged with cracks and crinkles that distorted both of the noses and through Photoshop was able to reconstruct both faces and add color through the use of various tools. Some of the tools that I used were the healing brush, clone stamp, the brush tool eye dropping the color and painting in the noses. I also worked with the dodge and burn tool, paint brush and selections to add color with various blending modes. Photo retouching is a skill that is very valuable to current day artists because the technology and material we have preserved from the past are not ever going to multiply, but they can be restored and brought to the forefront of current day. It is a difficult thing to retouch a photo because there is no “right” way. Photo retouching can be an art form in itself based on the levels of saturation, vibrance, hand drawn in features, and other aesthetic decision that can take, for example, a black and white broken picture of a child to a surrealist photography color piece. That is why as a designer and artist in 2014, utilizing every tool and medium can lead to more complex and diverse pieces of artwork.
u n c e r t a i n
h o r i z o n s