Wednesday, June 5, 2013

AAU Spring Show 2013

Although my teaching schedule kept me from attending the opening reception back on Wednesday, May 22, seeing the Academy of Art University Spring Show last Tuesday without the massive crowds gave me more time to take it all in.

Five of my projects from 2012, including two personal, two creature designs and one figurative paining in oil, were accepted

into this year's show. It was a huge honor to have such a range of works and mediums acknowledged by my department. The Academy's emphasis on principles rooted in classical realism continues to inform how I approach drawing and painting as a concept artist.

I also saw my first credit as a concept artist on an animated short entitled Wafa ki Wafa, written and directed by Alifya Khandwala. Wafa's story is of a little girl and her brother who have their own planets. Wafa's world is lush with trees, plants and flowers, and Amir's world is rocky and barren. A conflict arises between them on Wafa's world, after which Amir returns to his world and begins raging. His violence eventually shatters his planet, prompting Wafa to come to his rescue. I designed trees, a couple of environments, several plants, storyboarded the fracture of Amir's planet, and painted rendered T-poses of the main characters. Working collaboratively and with a demanding, passionate art director was a great experience that helped me to better understand the role of the concept artist on an animated short. I have to be ready to wear many hats, be fast and flexible, and design beautiful things without sacrificing quality.

Seeing work by several former classmates and rising stars this year was both inspiring and informative. I found myself focusing on the award winning pieces and what made then so much stronger than my own. In generally, they each had the following:

1. Strong design
2. A high level of craft and attention to detail
3. Effective use of color
4. Charm or universal appeal.
5. Storytelling and personality

The good news is that my work is getting better. Balancing work and school was really tough this semester, and at times I regret I'm not able to put in as much time as my peers. I saw some incredible finals in my Advanced Perspective class with Brandon Luyen. Joko Buodiono's Adv. Perspective class also had a phenomenal group of hard-working and inspired students. It would have been great to have studied with them last semester.

The Academy of Art Univesity Spring Show was held from May 23, 2013 – June 5, 2013
10:00am-6:00pm. (Closed Sundays and Holidays) at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA.

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