New Hobby

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I bought a table top starter kit to learn how to screen print. Will be a challenge to make only one color designs considering how much my designs incorporate lots of colors but I love the challenge! If youre looking to learn I suggest buying one of these kits from DIY Print Shop and taking a hands on class. Here is the kit I got, loved the box print!

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Some extra screen and inks I bought from my local Blicks store:

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The table I built with my dad for a nice surface area to work (easy build and not a big deal for spills and stuff)

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My supplies all laid out. Stuff from the DIY kit plus a canvas sheet I laid on the ground so not to mess up the carpet, a few extra inks, and an architect lamp I got at home depot.

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Something new this way comes

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If you get the title, marry me.

A new project is headed its way! some interesting conceptual elements and a sneak peak into my senior year this past school year. Graduated but still up to no good. Here is your only clue:

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Sketch Update .. Super sketchy stuff going on

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I took up boxing within the past almost 2 months now and it’s something I found very inspiring creatively. I recently found out my real grandfather was a professional boxer in his day so hearing that really put some more passion into my boxing hoby. As a result I got myself a little ‘keep at it’ gift and I never take it off. Based off of that I did a little quick morning sketch…

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My morning coffee didnt fully wake me up so I thought a quick sketch would: (and it did)2015-08-03 13.27.16-3

Words to live by, that is my only comment:2015-07-28 11.40.18

Shirt Drafts

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Here are the original shirt drafts based on the sketches I had done earlier on this month. Ill post the final shirt next or you can look to your left and click on the shirt tab to see all my designs. Enjoy!

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Tea time and tagging

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More daily morning sketches. Combined a couple to make a shirt. Drafts in next post.

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Sketchy things going on

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Been sketching here and there, probably out of lack of things to do, but i’m hoping to turn these into digital works of art and print some more shirts. Progress update to follow. For more instant postings, follow my Instagram HERE

Baby, there’s a shark in the water (VV Brown).IMG_4178

This happened when I got angry (Trex is my favorite), inspired by my recent visit to the natural history museum.IMG_4308

Fly away with me (because who doesn’t dream of flying up in the air in a giant balloon.)IMG_4348

Update blurb

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Attempted to post from my tablet and apparently nothing has been going through. Currently at NBC as a digital designer unfortunately can not share with you my work from there, however I can tell you I am in charge of the NBC app and a show coming out this August. Super stoked. In my free time i’ve been designing and sketching so ill make a couple consecutive posts today to update a few things of where I am at.

Be a Scenius

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For my final media project, as vaguely mentioned before, I created a self portfolio website. This website acts as my very own platform to showcase the work I have done throughout my years at University and give people a little snippet of who I am. laurenarmenta.com was made with the sole intention of online exposure and getting noticed. As a designer we are constantly fighting to capture the attentions of audiences.

As mentioned in Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work!, creatives thrive in what is referred to as a Scenius– what this means is a collective group that contributes ideas, makes connections and start conversations. Sharing ideas can lead to a snowball effect of even greater ideas. In today’d world, we join the world’s biggest scenius- the internet. This new form of media has allowed us to share ideas and contribute feedback on many people’s ideas. In a few clicks we can be anywhere in the world, creating conversation. Need an example?

His name is Tony. A guy in my graphic design graduating class decided to try for a Dribbble account. This online platform is one built and made of designers, all type of designers showing their ideas, work, and answering other designer questions. Tony (residing in California) has a client in France, Paris due to their connecting on Dribbble. This new form of media allows for connections like this to thrive from all over the globe. Tony putting his work online and becoming apart of a scenius has allowed him to be discovered.

So lets talk about techne. What tools we use and what tools we should use.

For my final I made a website for myself showcasing my portfolio. For designers and even non designers, here are a few extra elements to add to get your site interactive and things you can do to get noticed online.

If you go to my website, the first thing you see is a gif-a format for image files that supports both animated and static images. A gif can be a good way to capture the attention of your audience.

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On the right hand side I have a static line of social media buttons. Having social media allows you to connect on multiple platforms and join multiple sceniuses. You never know which clients have what kind of media, so if you are connected on multiple, odds are you can make more connections that way. A primary platform for professional contacts is Linkedin.

More interactive elements of a site are simple but effective features such as rollovers. Rollovers, surprise and engages the user to click through or view the rollover and its contents.

Navigation is also a huge factor in keeping a user focused and driving them to the content you want them to view. Static navigation is best because it allows the user to direct themselves to what they want to view and not get lost in the website and leave. Another useful tip is try to not outsource as much. the fewer clicks the better and you always want to grasp their attention to your content. It is great to hyperlink to other resourceful elements but for the most part stay focused on the important content of your site.

Other popular navigation includes the hamburger navigation. Click on the hyperlink, the graphic you see in the top right corner is a great example of a hamburger nav. It allows the user to browse freely and hide or show more content.

Combining navigation, rollover features with the use of color is also another engaging tactic. The use of color makes it easy to separate content, draw attention and add some personality to your website. For some helpful color psychology and design, check out this great book.

There are many components to add to a website to get a viewers attention. However, the most important part is drawing them there in the first place. As discussed in previous posts, putting yourself on the online map is a great way to gain exposure. But as a designer, join a scenius. It’s good to put yourself on the grid, but sharing ideas, forming connections and starting conversation is what will really get you noticed.

Ready for Finals? you could be

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Check this out,

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My friend Leslie Yeh and her friend Amy Lee made an awesome site of “the ultimate guide to the best study cafés.” They have quick rating guides like how the wifi, parking, coffee/food, price, outlets and atmosphere are. For the greater details visit:

http://kalelifornia.co/

Facebook: facebook.com/kalelifornia

Stay Caffeinated and Good Luck with finals

How to create opportunities online

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Hello my fellow artists,

As many have you have been following, my new media class has allowed me to go pretty in depth within the artistic culture and more specifically street art. Today I am giving you a little snippet of my final project.
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I know, I know, you’re all very excited. For those of you who didn’t catch the sarcasm or not excited at all here’s why you should be:
This project, like I have mentioned in a previous post, will talk about not just the importance of why you should be on the internet but how to do so and maintain everything to get yourself noticed. Now you may get excited.
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We are going to switch gears for a bit. Instead of street artists we are going to dip our toes into the design world. Three main things to keep in mind:

1. Portfolio

2. Portfolio

3. PORTFOLIO

One of the key aspects of getting noticed as a designer is having a great… you guessed it, portfolio. But look around you, look at our world today. You see everyone glued to their phone, attached to their computer or stuck to a television. We are in a new media world. And with that note, my fellow designers, artists and bloggers I am arguing why you should have an online portfolio/profile over a printed one. This is going to be nothing about dissing print but all about how helpful the new media world can be for future opportunities.

Now why do this? I’ll tell you why, Because Its Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be. I get it I’m a college kid why listen, well because I have taken the advice of such people like Paul Arden, an advertising guru, and applied these things to my life to turn out some really great results. But Im not going to give away all the great books I’ve read just yet. For the good reads list you’ll have to read my Final project post coming soon.

In light of all this research collected over the course of this class and my four years studying as a designer, most of you may already know I have created my own website. As of now it is a Desktop only functional site but I am in the middle of making it compatible for other devices such as tablets and phones.

As a part of our final project we must select a topic and create a website for it. My discourse community is street art however im switching over my final project to help other artists like myself have an easier time getting noticed. With this being said, my final project website I chose to create was my own.

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I did this to show helpful tips with designing, making, implementing your website and all your social media. Not feeling too much like a designer? No problem, I’ll also list some great sites that do all the heavy lifting. Until next time, check out some features, social media and navigation of my website laurenarmenta.com.

Keepin on

War of the Wall- a story on Storify

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As my first Storify attempt as apart of my New Media class, I chose for my community the legendary story of Banksy vs Robbo. Although I am a huge Banksy fan, here is the story from Robbo’s perspective:

CLICK THIS

For the lazy people quick cap:

Most people have heard of the feud between two legendary street artists Banksy and Robbo. Each Have had their opinions as well as silence but the real war is strictly on the street. Here from Robbo’s perspective is the story of their rivalry, like I said, from Robbo’s perspective. Full documentary below:

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End Excerpt:

However, in light of this story, I decided to show Robbo’s perspective of what went on between the two. We may all agree to disagree because when it comes down to it, it was between the two of them and only they will know the truth. Whether team Robbo or Banksy, we can all agree street art is changing and has an impact, especially in the new media world. How else would you have known about the feud? #teamstreetart

Virtual Victory

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In the past posts, I have related street art to various theories and have touched on topics such as visual communication to which you can refresh your memory on my previous posts here.

Quick Refresh (for those who were too lazy to click on the link), Visual communication is expressing ideas and experiences with a combination of imagery and textual content to communicate a message to a viewer.

However today we are switching gears to place street art and graffiti with video gaming. We are going to go more in depth to connect street art to Bogost’s theoretical frame of procedural rhetoric within video games that are inclusive of street art.

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Video games are awesome, anyone can take on the persona of another and fight battles or build a farm or practically anything. Today’s games exist to which an almost alternate reality is created for us when we see real life people and places recreated for a gaming experience. Video games are a form of persuasion and expressionism, drawing in a person to interact and creates a model that represents cultural, social, and ideological realities.

First the Games:

Graffitier (A site where you may spray paint or use paint marker virtually to tag any surface. Including a woman’s back) Example below:

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Graffiti Time (a game where you jump walls, avoid cops and tag places to get keys to unlock the next tagging location) Example below:

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Many other graffiti or street art games incorporate tagging. For example sites where they provide a picture location of trains, walls and other places with an assortment of digital spray cans and paints to create virtual street art or tags.

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Street Art and public opinion has come a long way. One example of real life gaming with street art is the newest Oxygen buzz of Street Art Throwdown where a group of artists are in competition for 100,000 dollars while thrown into a series of difficult obstacles that push their skills to the next level.

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Next the theory:

Looking at Bogost’s framing of procedural rhetoric, we first break down the word procedure. It can be described as something following a structured behavior. Procedure often is given a less positive meaning because it is often used in negative examples. However procedure is tagged (pun intended) with official standing and bureaucracy. In contrast to that, it can also limit our way of thinking due to focus on structure that procedures provide.

Now, rhetoric can be defined as effective or persuasive expression in writing and speech to communicate what the author wants while captivating an audience.

So then what does this have to do with video games and street art?

Bogost tied the persuasive power of video games to the ability they have to recreate and support cultural and social positions (tagging scenario, social opinion of street art = vandalism) but can disrupt that belief by letting you alter that reality. Therefore having this manipulation can lead to a social change for those positions.

One game, Graffiti Time, is a minimal example of such. You start as a graffiti artist and your main goal is to get to the place you are tagging (avoid cops, ect), make your mark, grab the key that appears and move on to a more challenging level.

This takes a socially constructed idea of art on public walls as vandalism to a challenge to continually tag surfaces to move to higher levels in a game. Or therefore finding challenging obstacles or getting through those while passionately putting up your art much like Street Art Throwdown has recreated. This is true for other things as well, where you are given a photorealist version of a wall, train, ect and can digitally create tags or works of art.

Very closely related to the idea of visual communication is a more specific rhetoric Visual rhetoric in which, “visual elements are used to influence people’s attitudes, opinions, and beliefs,” (Helmers and Hill). Visual communication cannot formulate the same ways of oral and written expression, therefore street art creates a new form of rhetoric thats visually impacting.

Now Extras:

  • (Relating to visual rhetoric right above) Digital media as mentioned in previous posts is a good way to gain exposure. One way street art, visual rhetoric, and politics has collided was in Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope campaign posters.
  • Invader who I have talked about in prior posts has created the ultimate game for himeself where hes does the opposite of what we tallked about today. He explains his project as, “freeing the Space Invaders from their video games TV screens and to bring them in our physical world. Everything started the day I decided to give a material appearance to pixelization through ceramic tiles,” (Invader About). But invader goes a step further, he is seeking world domination of this games he has created for himself. View Map

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“I try to display 20 to 50 pieces per city, which is already a good score. Sometimes I happen to return several times in the same city, deploying different “invasion waves” as I like to call them. The goal is to increase my score by continuously and restlessly invading new spaces.”

Work Cited:

Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames -Bogost

Rhetoric: Classic to digital –Bogost 

Defining Visual Rhetorics – Charles A. Hill & Marguerite Helmers

Put Yourself on the Grid – Why Online Exposure is a Good Thing

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Stop what you are doing. Now, look up, down, left and right, what do you see? Odds are most of you would have come across some form of visual communication.

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(advertisement right column)

What exactly is visual communication?

Visual communication is expressing ideas and experiences with a combination of imagery and textual content to communicate a message to a viewer.

For example the famous The Treachery of Images by Magritte

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The image shows a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” below it. Which is French for, “This is not a pipe.” The painting is not a pipe, but an image of a pipe. This example of Surrealism suggests a paradox of that objects correspond to words and images. In other words this is a masterpiece of visual communication. It is taking imagery and words and formatting them in a way to communicate a message to a viewer.

But in a fast paced, digital year of 2015 how does anyone or more specifically artists get noticed?

Visual communication has made a great shift to digital works. Online presence is a growing must have for exposure. It’s hard enough gaining recognition as an artist but without an online footprint you practically don’t exist.

Picture this; you are in class or work. Your phone beeps. What is it? It is a phone call or text or email. Someone is trying to communicate with you. 2015 and every quick, efficient way to get in touch with you is at the fingertips of millions of people and you have that same ability. Every day we get calendar reminders, emails, and texts. We can track what we eat and who is at our favorite places and so on. Welcome to the age of the quantified self. In today’s world, technology has made everything responsive and at a push of a button.

It is December 17, I am in class when my phone lights up. I see an email notification, from Behance saying I received a message. It shows a snippet, “Hi Lauren – You have a great portfolio. I’d like to touch base regarding Spring 2015 internships at NBC Universal within our creative departments.” (note my excitement- SNL gifs)

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I instantly go to the Behance app on my phone and open the message. Completely intrigued at the offer, I think to good to be true, I open the Google chrome app and search the name of the person who sent the message. Between the phone applications and easy access to information on the internet, it was easy to find multiple platforms that legitimized who he was.

I sent an email back off my phone to request more information. Within the hour I was already touching base with one of the creative directors at NBC. The same day we had set up an interview time to which I would have never had the chance if it weren’t for my online media presence and techne (visited in previous posts).

About 4 days later I had the interview. I didn’t walk in with a giant portfolio book but an iPad. I unlocked the screen, pushed a button and there was everything he needed to see. That very same night my phone lit up again. I had been offered the job.

Needless to say, digital media is incredibly important. In my line of work, if you aren’t online, you don’t exist.

My Online exposure:
Behance
Instagram
LinkedIn
WordPress blog (what you’re reading)
Twitter
Website (Launching in a week)

What is most important is digital media and how to utilize that in today’s world to capture the attention of those you need to in order to advance in this world.

However, regardless of major or profession it is clear digital media is a very relevant factor. In fact, some heavily print and hand done art forms have been able to utilize online media to gain a community of followers and to get a conversation going.

In my previous post about hyperreality I somewhat touched on Invader who uses online media to map where his art is or Banksy who actually gained most of his following from online presence. I also touched on the incorporation of media with a hand done medium to create a spectacular piece of work like BLU had.

Here are a few examples of how Graffiti artists have used media or gained exposure from new media:

More Street Art Throwdown found on Oxygen

Useful Articles and Creative Platforms:

LinkedIn – If you don’t have one already, get one. LinkedIn is basically in simple terms, an online resume. But this is one platform that makes you digitally available to anyone. You can be searched and messaged for an opportunity you may not have gotten otherwise. Yes you can send in printed resumes but a lot of employers are now asking for LinkedIn profiles. This isn’t to say print media is going extinct but to say digital media is relevant and almost a must have.

Behance – online creative portfolios ranging from Graphic Design, Photography, Street Art and more.

Graffiter –Fun application to paint the streets yourself.

The Rise of Visual Social Media Article

Digital Self Article

Designspiration – for Inspiration

Street Art Inspiration

Global Street Art – follow street art around the world.

Digital media has given me a variety of opportunities and expanded my network. Whether its inspirational websites or online media presence I always tell people to get connected and establish roots. You never know what sort of opportunities await unless you put yourself on the grid.