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Can Videogames be Considered Art?

Art is considered “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Though this can be a very controversial topic, I beg the question: can this be associated with videogames?

Personally, I believe videogames are most definitely forms of art, and if you’ve played a game like The Witcher 3 or The Walking Dead Game you would probably agree. Art, especially from the beginning, has been made to create narrative and an illusion for the viewer which allows them to “walk” into the painting, engage in it, and explore it. This is exactly what videogames do to someone. The narrative, sense of immersion, and emotional investment in a videogame is unmatched by anything else in the world. Sure, movies or books, for example, tell a story and get the viewer emotionally invested in them, but they fail to fully immerse someone inside them to the same extent that a videogame can do.

The definition of art, as explained at the beginning of this post, tells us that art is considered the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Is this also not what videogames are or at least what videogames can be? What are your thoughts?


Is this advertisement offensive to designers?




Recently, a company called South West Trains released a new campaign for their locomotive service. On their twitter page, they have added a banner reading “1,400 extra car parking spaces (More helpful than changing the shade of all our trains)” it appears to me to be very belittling.

Oftentimes companies will poke fun at their own worker’s jobs, or at the jobs of other companies. We designers often make fun of ourselves, too. There is no harm in taking your career lightly sometimes, because every career is going to have it’s weird quirks. But where does the line get drawn from being funny to offensive? The issue lies in the idea that a designer’s job is nothing more than changing a color using a few pantone chips – and that there isn’t any calculation in that. I’de like to play the devil’s advocate for a moment – of course our jobs can appear small in the grand scheme of things. To many, it looks like our job is picking out colors, and creating a small printed logo for a company. But that is all based on the larger perspective, the bigger idea that the company’s logo can become iconic, or become a great story that ties everyone together. A company’s re-branding can sell product.

I think the most perplexing thing of all is that the company had to hire some designer to make this for them. And for you sir, I must ask: Do you have any self-respect?


What are your thoughts? Is this offensive, funny, or is it something in-between?


Body Painting (B6)

Body Painting is a form of Body Art and is something that has been around for thousands of years. Maybe more. Clay and other natural pigments have been used among the indigenous cultures like Native Americans, Middle East, India, Pacific Islands, indigenous Australians, and Africans etc.

When I was taking Native American History class, I learned about Native American body paintings a little bit. It was interesting to know that Native Americans used body painting as signs as well as for looks. For example, red paint symbolized war, and white symbolized peace etc.

In Indian and Middle Eastern culture, henna is very popular. Especially for brides. Now in western cultures henna is also becoming significantly popular.

I love learning about different forms of art. So I recently started watching a show on Netflix called “Skin Wars,” where body painting artists compete with each other. It is amazing to watch what these people can do with paint and human bodies. Just like in painting and drawing classes, they look at naked bodies objectively, and use the skin as empty canvas, only the canvas is not flat or two-dimensional. They take make up and body art to the next level and create visually stimulating art. And they are not permanent like tattoos or piercings. After several hours the paint starts fading, and goes away after a shower. So in a way they are performance art.

Here are some examples.


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Connecting with Art

There is so much art which I find on the internet or on the streets or wherever, and I have no idea who made it or what it medium was used to make it, nothing. But I think thats the beauty of it.

While scrolling through Tumblr, I came across this piece of work. From my eyes, it seems to be an instillation of flowers that have a light beaming through them. Almost giving them the effect of elevating into the atmosphere. When looking at this piece, I found instance peace within myself and the piece. A relationship was formed between the piece and me. Within art and the viewer’s eyes, this is bound to occur, if a connection is made. From this, emotions started forming from the piece to me, and from me to the piece. It’s truly a beautiful encounter.

Looking at the piece, it made me feel I was there in person looking at these flowers. The colors and the aura of it all, sends me to another place, I feel like I am in true heaven when looking at this piece. I think that’s when I know the art has really had an effect on me, when it sends me to another world or place. I feel connected. It’s a magical experience which I hope not only myself, but other people encounter when coming face to face with art. Not only physical art, but art in life. Art comes in many forms, through visuals or through people, nature or any matter in that case. flower

We Give a Sh*t and We Do It for a Living

On Thursday, October 20th, Studio 424 gave a speech at visual voices. They opened with their tagline “We Give a Shit and We Do It for a Living.” Woah, bold words to say; this tagline could scare a client or two away. However, that’s the point. Jon Linton, Co-founder and technical director at Studio 424, stated they only want to work with clients who are just as serious about design and their line of work. They want to work with a client who respects them and the contract they sign. I found what he stated to be an interesting approach when finding clients. Being a graphic designer is not an easy career, especially as a freelancer. You might work for a client who may request more work with no additional payment when it wasn’t part of the contract. You may even get a client who refuses to pay.

Another student and I were talking to one of our design professors, and the student was telling our teacher about a client who was not complying with the deal they made. Our professor told us that we should always make a legally binding contract to prevent us from being heckled and to show that we give a shit about what we do. He told us never let a client bully us, and that we should always stand our ground. The work that we do as designers is valuable. When you work with any client, make sure you have your paperwork and contracts set up and ready, and show that your line of work is important. Demonstrate to the client that you mean business and that you care about their goals. Be professional and make sure you are legally protected.

An Art Time Capsule

Bitform recently featured Yael Kanarek`s Kisses Kisses. This exhibit featured a lot of installations which brought into light the changing world due to digital network technology. A few of the piece included a table and chairs with computers on them and off to the side a TV attached. Behind the computers is a box type thing holding up an old sheet of paper with writing on it and in front of the page is a candle. This was supposed to represent the oldest first even creating of a computer type object that she recreated. There was another piece which consisted of old computer part and the monitor sitting on the floor, but all the cords combined start rising up making a tree like structure which has CDs hanging off some branches.

This exhibit would be one I would add to a time capsule because it to shows that because we are attaching ourselves to all this technology we are missing the beauty that is all around us. The whole gallery gave off that sense and that is something I truly believe is happening with the younger generation today. People now have all this technology that can do virtually anything for them that we sometimes forget that there is so much more around us to be seen or taken in.

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Alice in Wonderland

As an art major I am inspired many artist, and Anna Gaskell is one of my favorite. Gaskell uses Narrative Photography, which is a style used to tell a story using photographs. She is quite well known for using this style, having a lot of of her work influenced by well known stories throughout literature.

One of her earliest and most notable work is called Wonder, which is inspired by Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland. I think the Wonder series best shows Gaskell’s practice and significance as an artist. She uses theme of gender, identity and growing up as a girl, which were very important issues that needed to be addressed during that time.


Wonder contains collection of Colored Photographs showing a pair of preadolescent twin girls dressed in blue apron dresses, white tights and black Mary Janes. The two Alice’s are photographed playing in the woods and on the grass, posing to re-create moments from the story of Alice. Some of the poses are pleasing to the eyes, while others are rather bizarre. The images are like an allegory, containing hidden meaning and leaving the viewers wondering.


I find these images very striking and interesting. What do you think?

Why Hello Kitty Has No Mouth?





Hello Kitty, a fictional character created by Yuko Shimizu with the Japanese company Sanrio. When I think about Hello Kitty, it always reminds me of a question — why Hello Kitty has no mouth?


Why Hello Kitty has no mouth?

Normal people would tell me an old and frightening Japanese story that they removed the mouth of a kitty doll to avoid it speaking because an aggrieved and injured soul was in that doll.



Why Hello Kitty has no mouth?

Fans of Hello Kitty would tell me that designers want her expressionless face to bring viewers different feelings. When people see it in happy, Hello Kitty looks happy; when people see it in sad, Hello Kitty looks sad. There is another reason on Sanrio’s website that Hello Kitty’ speaks from her heart.



Why Hello Kitty has no mouth?

A Japanese graphic designer told me that Hello Kitty needed a blank space on her face because the blank space balanced everything on her face. The concept of blank space is really important in artworks. Kenya Hara, the art director and curator of MUJI specially wrote a book called “White” to emphasize the significance of blank space. He did an awesome job to use the blank space in all products of MUJI, which successfully has a powerful and simple branding style. I think blank space contains all the imagination and possibilities in our works. It can make our works cleaner and sharpen our focus in design works. Set off by an abundance of blank space, the main image and ideas are more distinct and stronger. Large blank space can also filter out unnecessary visual elements. The blank space in the composition of a work can attract attention, strengthen the rhythm of the layout, stimulate the viewer’s imagination, and improve the quality of design works. The blank space is a breathing space in our works.



What do you think?

Why Hello Kitty has no mouth?

Gross or Wonderful?

Gu Wenda is a Chinese artist who uses human hair as his medium. He collects hair donations from people all around the world, and keep them in a container to create his pieces which are usually plastic and transparent material filled with hair. To make the shapes and forms he uses glue to get the perfect contrast.

At first glance, it was really disgusting to me, to be honest. Hair attracts dust, has oil and carries microbes. As soon as hair falls off and separates from the body, it automatically becomes something to throw in the trash, because it is unwanted human remains and makes the floor look dirty.

BUT, Gu Wenda’s concept and idea for human hair is truly amazing and wonderful. He explained that his artworks unite people, because he has a collection of brown, black, blonde, and red hair that indicate people’s lineage and ancestry. When he put it that way, it was really pleasant to think that all these people’s DNA, in other words, part of them are uniting with part of other people. People who probably would never meet or know each other.

Personally, I could never use hair as my medium. But Gu Wenda’s projects are not only visually interesting, they are also spiritually pleasant.

Here are some photos from his exhibitions.

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Car Design Can Determine Our Choices

In recent light of having to buy a new car due to having a car accident, I forgot how particular I was in the design and shape of a car. I’m probably not the only one. I have called most of today’s cars “cookie cutter cars” because they all look the same just with different names. The cars that get my attention are the uniquely shaped and sporty looking cars. They just look so fun and different!
Now of course the shape and design of a car has an aerodynamic purpose but when we are buying a car, no one is thinking about that. The sentence “How aerodynamic is this car” never crosses our lips when talking to a car dealer. Just like in graphic design, car design has rules too.

For cars, they have design rules and must-haves like having all of the surfaces curved, shoulders, front wedges, plan shapes, and having the car components all fit inside the outer design. Graphic Designers often times have these very similar restrictions and rules. As graphic designers we have to fit the instructions of a project or guidelines and constraints of a client while we also have basic design rules like not using borders because it boxes in the design and using white space so the design doesn’t seem over crowded, amongst many other rules.
We are the lucky ones when it comes to design. Graphic designers can break the rules as long as we pull it off successfully. We get to have a bit more fun.