Listed below are links to pages that I find interesting or that helps me create art, please enjoy!
I guess since 2012 starting on my road towards getting a degree, I never considered myself as an artist. It wasn’t until I started at Siena did this question arose.
What would make me feel successful as an artist?
I think creating art and being a part of my community and showing it in murals and inside buildings, since there are no art galleries. Since last year I have considered finding a location that could be great for hosting shows. I think showing my work with lights would make me feel successful, just seeing people enjoy it. I think this deals with the fact I want some of my artwork to feel interactive.
What would make me feel successful in my relationships with my spouse, children, and community?
I think the process of all this schooling and dedication towards it all and for them to see me do it, is enough. I know this is something that they would be proud of me doing. My family knows how important I feel that we leave our mark in the world or our little piece of town and to leave something behind. I have been trying to do that with my actions at work and now expressing that through artwork. I guess this is a variation of what I would consider successful.
What kind of life would make me truly happy?
Continuing my photography, my graphic design. I think I am equally pleased to work in my current role with students and helping families, is it wrong that what I just went through with school for the last 6 years be a side job?
I think I am still trying to find a way to merge these together. Honestly since I am older, things are simple. My family that I mentioned in the last question to include that legacy towards my grandchildren. To own my own home in less than twenty years. I think about where I come from and what I have accomplished, Could I want more? Well yes, but I think I am almost there. Graduating from Siena showing my art and hopefully being accepted by my classmates. It just hit me, when it comes to these aspects I guess I just want to give a piece of myself towards helping others and hopefully that this art work that I create going forward helps those as well.
It feels good to write these points down, I did stop when my wife approached me in my computer room. I think she sensed that this was a private exercise. As I reread certain areas of the book, I think about the quality time with my granddaughters and how they all are expressive in art or music and how I want to support them as I wished I would have. Not regretting but I should have done this years ago. Ive always know but I place family before myself and I would quit school again for them. Lucky for me that life is balanced well now.
Starting something new is always a bit scary but like with many things there is always a reason. My reason comes at the age of 47, my purpose has always been to help people. Along with that I have expressed myself through art since I was a child. The reason why I make art is something that I have been able to explore the last year and a half. My art is like a camera man taking a photo, it is a sliver of a moment that I capture. What I am capturing with my art are the choices we make which is usually influenced by emotions like anger, caution, and passion. I think about what has happened to me and the emotions that I have felt when confronted by a decision and I think about how I have reacted to those choices. What intrigues me is the choice of saying yes, do this, or no do not do that when a problem occurs. It is that cross road in life, that moment of why did I do this and not that? The choices that keeps us safe or sends us down the wrong path and the roots that give us strength to follow our hearts, or to explode with anger, and think about our actions because of loved ones. An artist that inspire me is Jenny Holzer because of her truisms, this is me to a T, and how I apply this in my life when talking with my children, youth, or even adults. Exploring this art is a new experience for me and my process of writing my experiences are core to what I make. It gives me the purpose on placement of what I make digitally, in essence I recreate the scene that I remember and the emotions that go with it representing it with colors of how I feel during those times.
The next decade of Graphic Design
Looking forward to what I would expect to see in graphic design, I first must consider my view of what graphic design used to be. In order to be able to think about the look of what we will do in the future. I also will review five sources; Patrick Cramsie’s last chapter in his book. “The Story of Graphic Design from the Invention of Writing to the Birth of Digital Design”, Graphic Designer Nick Law’s comment in video from a conference Make/Think 2009, Curator Ellen Lupton’s tour of graphic design, Andrew Blauvelt’s comment on Graphic Design in the 80’s to now, and Cennydd Bowles who is a designer and book author that made a comment in a video for Adobe Creative Cloud. All these sources have helped me conceive where I believe Graphic Design is headed.
My interpretation of Graphic Design 20 years ago as a single highway that got you to a destination. Now I look at it as several highways that interact with each other, that take you to the same destination but with many stops or views to get there. What I am referring to are the ways apps work with websites and how every website page flow and mesh well with each other. If you look at what our focus was on twenty years ago, we looked at banners, a way to click on an advertisement that took us somewhere on the internet. The limited selection of fonts, then the creation of logos to what felt like the big bang! I graphic design going into many different areas, that expands into whatever new market that will be created. I see it changing and molding as the world changes too. This is because from what I have learned is that society influences design and in turn graphic design creates the image of what is going on around us.
Thinking about the last chapter in our book for this assignment. “The Story of Graphic Design from the Invention of Writing to the Birth of Digital Design” by Patrick Cramsie. He said “Any attempt to predict the future of graphic design will suffer from the same sort of limitations” (Cramsie, 2010) This being the first source it really made me think of graphic design as a child. To think that your child is limited to certain parameters will stunt its growth and not blossom into what it could, it is a serious view to consider, especially if you love graphic design. During this course I learned how graphic design has evolved and as each century has passed how fast it is going and I would say that the growth is exponential.
My second source Nick Law expressed the ideas that graphic design must be a collaborative effort in an organization. I truly believe this in doing some work for Adrian Public School Bond’s effort. While I was doing this, I would get feedback to what I was creating or asked to make design based on our message to get the votes needed for our bond to pass. I only echo what Nick Cave said in his video “The future in not in silos. The future is the people collaborating. (Cave, n.d.) at 16 minutes 35 seconds into the video. He used a PowerPoint to describe to design a system that involved everyone involved from coming up with the story, which thinks up the story, those that edit it, and those that create it. He mentions one person can not do it well or see every angle to come up with a complete story which creates a medium that when done well it involves all of those people that creates the advertisement that is beyond a message.
My third source Ellen Lupton a Curator. She gave a tour about graphic design and showed how design looks now and showed several interesting pieces that incorporate the internets feeds like twitter to create artistic posters that regenerate what ever is being posted on the internet. What I took away from this was how artists take ideas and expand on them and redevelop an idea and how it influences new designs to be create. Ellen Lupton said, “your niche will define you” and “Graphic Design is a physical activity.” (Lupton, 2012) When I think about Nick Law’s video, I do think its your niche that will define you, just like what Patrick Cramsie implied that there is so many graphic design branches and it can explore many forms of design. These two concepts are like a design team working together all doing different parts to get the finished design. I did enjoy seeing all the artists in the video by Ellen Lupton and think about how I see Anthony Burrill work and Barbara Kruger’s work. It’s the next evolution of design which also looks like the future of graphic design.
Andrew Blauvelt is my fourth source and I decided to watch each of my sources videos to get a personal understanding. He was interesting presenter, I felt he was nervous but not scared, just concerned. He described “graphic design as bloated, soft” (Blauvelt, 2011) He was referring to the 80’s. It called it a blob not formed yet is what I think he was implying. This was due to the personal computer coming out and many people had access to the tools to create and design. I can see that, I think if I was an artist without a niche, I would feel overwhelmed in what direction to go or what to make, even though I feel that the 80’s were an interesting time for graphic design. The other thing that Andrew Blauvelt said was “Graphic Design finds itself as dispersed as a decade ago, however the critical space running room is open to adjacent and not so adjacent practices. We might save it after all.” I felt that even though a decade ago it was a blob and he said the same for 2011, I think he was indicating now there are branches of graphic design and practices that we can use to creating and designing. This all wraps around the other source’s comments too. To think that we are now seeing collaboration, finding the niche as artists, evolving as artists, which helps us see how graphic design is shaping towards the future.
My last source I added is important to me because of another class that I am taking and deals with just about everything I have learned in all my classes. When it come to the practices of UX/UI, designers and can create an app or a website that must be free of flaws to get you to what you want to see, in the same way as a highway would. I feel that it will be how well it gets all put together that will be the core to making graphic design feel smooth and simple between its future of how things are designed. This is what Cennydd Bowles said in an Interview with Creative Cloud on YouTube. “We need to design beautiful seams versus seamlessness.” (Cloud, 2017) Which looking at the future of design I think it will be larger companies and the people that work together that will collaborate that will set a trend on the styles we see and use. If you look at what we do now you see a new flat design look its those seams that are beautiful that join pages to create a theme that turns graphic design and fine art together. What looks more minimalistic but has more meaning with little to no words, with lots of color. This design is cleaner that get the message to the viewer to make a quicker overall look to decide of what to click to follow along easily. I do believe that collaboration is the way to go. In researching this assignment, I searched for designer jobs at Microsoft. I came across well over 50 jobs just within the United States and India. It is this type of collaboration that moves like an army in the Graphic Design world. It will be these companies like Microsoft and Apple that set the foundation to society of how we should view graphics along with those celebrities that we follow in social media.
So many avenues have made graphic design a solid part of how we do things globally, to think what used to be looked at it as a glob, has now branched off into new territories of design specializing on product, destinations, prints, magazines, web graphics, and the list goes on. I would be negligent to assume I would know where graphic design is headed 10 years down the road. I can see trends of design, but I can't see the what our future holds that could shape where graphic design is heading. What I am referring to is social issues of the worlds like war, disasters, and political change. What I do realize is that as a designer we see what is happening around us and use those ideas to create. Others see that work and improve on it and recreate it. Those iterations are happening so fast and we must be flexible because of technology allowing us to share around the world. It will be a collaboration of big corporations and individual designers that become the glue that forms what we will create, to reaffirm what Ellen Lupton had said, “Your niche will define you” (Lupton, 2012) and I believe it will be that, that shapes graphic design in the future.
Blauvelt, A. (2011). "Tools(Or Post production for the Graphic Designer).". Retrieved from www.Vimeo.com: http://vimeo.com/66385792
Cave, N. (n.d.). www.aiga.org. Retrieved from www.YouTube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBetjaZKtx4&feature=youtu.be
Cloud, A. C. (2017, Apr 10). YouTube. Retrieved from Ask a UXpert: What do designers need in the next decade?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TJqCRZX92E
Cramsie, P. (2010). The story of Graphic Design from the invention of writing to the birth of digital design. New York: Abrams.
Lupton, E. (2012). Ellen Lupton's "Curator's Tour of Graphic Design-Now in Production". Retrieved from Smithsonian: http://www.cooperhewitt.org
I am not sure who would speak at my funeral, I would like to believe more importantly that I would have a few volunteers that would want to honor me. I say this because I have always been the type to consider my actions and not close doors or make bad decisions that could affect my children’s future. My work with students too, I think my funeral will be like an open mic sessions, haha! If I were to die and my childhood priest was still alive, I would like for him to fly from Oregon to be my speaker, he knew my struggles as a child and I think he could give everyone the closure to why I have helped, why I loved art, why I love my family. He could tell everyone how much I loved them all. Now I think if I could have the perfect death, I would love to be with my entire family, to tell my grandchildren that I will be watching a to draw something for me. Its something that I do once and a while with them. Its hard to measure what I have given them. It is easier to say what I gave is what I never received. I use the reference that I am version 2.0 of my father and I expect them to be a better version than me, which is why I am also in school, to set the bar higher.
Attention! Steve Gonzalez, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Artist, and beloved community member has died. While most are sad, some of you may be happy. He wanted you to know that he never hated you or was mad at you, he just expected more from you. To him you were the example and if he knew you enough for you to get upset then it was because he cared. Steve Gonzalez took his job of Graduation Coach serious, he wanted to be the support you needed and didn’t mind being a father figure friend or mentor and honestly was humbled every time you thought of him like that. Steve was a member of the United States Army. He joined on the 4th of July as a Military Police officer and served for 5 years and was proud to be a part of a family and have so many wonderful brothers and sisters from his service in the military. Steve was preceded by death by his Grandmother Concha Gutierrez, Father Juan Gonzalez and Mother Ernestina Gonzalez. These people were important to him and help mold him. Even though Steve’s father was from Texas his mother was from Mexico, he considered himself first generation born American just because he appreciated what his mother did to come to the USA. Steve went to many places across the world but always wanted to make Adrian his home. Steve leaves a legacy of five great children. Four boys and one daughter and his beloved wife, including his only sister. You made my life have meaning and I would do it all over for you. You were my greatest pieces of art! What he is most proud of are his six grandchildren. He loved to hug them and tell them he loved them with a hug. He wants you to know that a hug means more than anything and its free. All are welcome to visit at the funeral home and are welcomed to speak, please console my family, they need you. One last thing… Thank you for needing me.
The reason for doing this type of a search was to find information of someone else having the same or similar name to me that has an online presence. This was to avoid getting myself mixed up as them as I establish myself on the internet as an artist. My results came from searching myself under the following names; Stevie Almaguer Gonzalez, Stevie A. Gonzalez, Steve A Gonzalez, and as Esteban Almaguer Gonzalez. All results came back with no issues except there was an Attorney in Washington State that is running for office and I found that there was an Argentine Soccer player.
This let me explorer the concept of being careful with choosing a name that might have drawbacks. the discussions in class I found valuable because I already have a dot.com and not naming it as me was helpful. The other part of this has me thinking of making my website with a shorter name that would be easier for viewers to find me and they would not have to type as much to find me.
I reviewed five websites from past alumni from Siena Heights University. My perspective will be from a Graphic Design perspective and from owning my own .com and running my own site. I think the amount of information a visitor gets can be overwhelming. I think any site can display as much as they want but it might need to be spread across many pages so it can be read clearly and not to overwhelm the viewers eyes.
For Todd Marsee he had a lot of informational links, for me it was too much. He had a lot of great images but I felt there were too small and should be larger. Christina West's website was also very clean, maybe too clean. My eyes drifted to the white space too much. Her fonts were small and that might have something to do with it too. Nicholas Hullibarger's website was probably my favorite. Large photos, finally! His font size was good, and his site was clean. It had a good balance overall that I appreciated. Kenneth M Thompson ran a close 2nd among the four artists. Photo size was okay, his website was clean. The biggest difference was his was black and white letters and Nicholas Hullibarger's was the opposite colors. If I had to offer what I thought could be improved would be his name against the images. Name was a little hard to read, its visibility was the best. Now because of the opposite color scheme used, I felt that his Bio page was harder to read because of so many white letters bunched together. I think a larger fount would have helped in this aspect.
These are similar qualities I strive with my own website so it draws visitors to keep clicking links. To respond to the question of what is more important the quality of the work or the quality of the website. Its the website, you wouldnt enter a steakhouse if the building was falling apart or the whole parking lot looks sketchy. Its the look that draws people in, along with good marketing.
This was an exercise that I will apply to my own website or ask others to critique for me.
This weekend I was able to reflect on what I learned from Art-A-Licious.
I had a chance to visit the event and browse many artists. I did take a moment to step back and look at it as a whole to critique it. I felt that while it was great to see it across the four corners of downtown but I felt that a theme maybe was missing or a better way to tell what was where? I think about how many forms of art there is including the food vendors. I guess I always look for the 2.0 version of remaking something. I would have to say of all of the artists that I saw I was mostly fascinated with anyones work with ceramics. I think its because I have never done it before and I am learning to appreciate the effort it takes to make it and the technique and amount of time it takes to develop that skill. I think being on a committee for an event like this would be a great experience to be a part of.
When creating this list I reviewed who had connections to myself and or my artwork. From there I placed who were in different categories based on knowing me or not and have they ever been exposed to my artwork. I wanted to focused on who were my core supporters were. The idea to this exercise was to increase more exposure, to build connections and to eventually have a larger core support to help me as an artist.
My core supporters at this point are my wife, my family, a few co-workers, and my professors here at Siena Heights University or at Jackson College.
When it comes to my list of who are connected to to my work, these people would be past clients for my photography or anyone that I have done graphic design work in the past. Originally I under valued my connected people and only saw them as those exposed to my work. Once I placed these people correctly I felt that my connected people were larger than my core supporters. Using social media I am trying to connect myself to the world and bringing in those that are unexposed to see my work. Instagram seems to be a driving force to bring those closer to my work.
After looking at all of those professional relationships I decided to interview Chrissy Hughes. Chrissy was my professor at Jackson College.
During my interview with Cindy I was asked to speak to her students about what it is like and what to expect to do if they transfer to Siena Heights University. This was helpful to test how comfortable I would be talking in front of a classroom. Since I work at a high school this seemed fairly easy. Afterwards I talked with Chrissy and she expressed that I would be ideal to teach at the Adrian Campus for Jackson College. That my BFA would be okay to work as an adjunct instructor. I would consider doing this in the summer and perhaps during the school year at night.
I in my current job I love working with students, teaching at a community college would allow me to continue working with students. I feel that this is a good position for me in life and I can continue to work on my photography and work on creating art.