What is this?

I’m not sure what this is necessarily about, but i just know that some sort of clarity came out if making it. I’ve become more accustomed to Cinema 4Ds interface, i’m starting to feel more ease with getting ideas across ~ more fluid?

The more i make, the more I discover about my self? Like tiny pieces of a puzzle i’ve been trying to put together for a very long time. One way or another, I hope to bring all of these pieces into one for my final piece. Could the sphere help out?

Outsider Tattoo Collective

I got offered a position as a part-time resident at Outsider Tattoo Collective in Chinatown, Vancouver; I most definitely took it! I’ve been guesting at the shop every month ~ for around 4-7 days in a row. Before the guesting opportunity, I only tattooed from home; an environment I had very much control of. Working in a shop was different, people would come up to me and watch me work and ask questions. The sonic ambience filled with other machines at work, other artists in conversation, and an array of different sorts of music that I actually got the chance to be part of (I was honoured haha ~ being able to play your own music in a tattoo shop is a big deal apparently). I felt like a part-time position may be more ideal for me, as i’d like to slowly adapt to having less and less control over my surrounding environment as I work. It’s been getting better and better. 

Being around other artists at work has been indirectly educating me on certain techniques and methodologies for tattoo work. Whether it be involving machine choice or stroke styles, or even setup and stencil applications.

The artists i’ll be working around seem to all have their own distinct developing styles ~ they are always open for improvement and learning new things, and are pretty transparent about their process. This is most definitely an environment i’d like to be part of. 

Post-application of  Alise’s  stencil. A large chest piece i got to see come to life~

Post-application of Alise’s stencil. A large chest piece i got to see come to life~

Fonts & Fine Lines

I’ve been trying to practice straighter lines, one of the most challenging skills to master with body art. Using text as practice has seemed to promote somewhat of a more enjoyable way of giving that skill some attention. I’ve come across a few fonts I feel comfortable tattooing at my current level - I feel confident with bold curves and sharp edges, starting and ending with those make it a little easier to achieve that straight line in between. The body moves, breathes, twitches, and everyone does so differently. It’s become a large part of my current craft, to understand the body I’m working on well enough at the start ~ even if it means starting slow ~

3 - 5 - 9

I worked on two tattoos back-to-back today. I’ve finally adapted to needle sizes, and thinking ahead of which needles might achieve a better outcome of the strokes i’m looking for. My methodology so far is to start small. 3 Round Liners are very hard to use, the needle is very small, so your hand needs to be steady. I felt confident lining the entire stencil with 3s, moving into 5s for medium-sized sharp fills and my favourite 9s for massive fills. Working this way has seemed to sharpen my designs, making the little details stand out more. I used to work in reverse ~

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RS Abstract

Spheres, an Allusion to Empathy: A Semiotic Examination of the Sphere-Body Interaction.

This paper examines the concept of Empathy through a semiotic analysis of spheres. Observing the visual evolution of halo motifs in Christian Art and its gradual decline with the growth of naturalism in the 15th Century, sets a focus and starting point in investigating the sphere in covert or overt contact with the body. Contemporary ‘Digital Fine Art’ seems to resuscitate this sphere-body connection, particularly alongside the development of visual-simulation software. At its current capacity, the ability to simulate in four dimensions, with the use of 360 and Virtual-Reality practices, reveals an enhanced understanding of applying perspective into creative practice. In order to clarify this reformation, I will examine two-dimensional contemporary works that encompass sphere-body interaction(s), on and off screen. Terms such as material and mark-making shall be examined alongside this investigation, introducing a way of alluding to Empathy through visual language; a placeholder in representing the ways in which we connect to the Innenwelt and Umwelt. This paper intends to demonstrate the seemingly fragmented definition(s) of Empathy, and a proposed method of visually referencing it for further communication, study and decryption. 

Halos

Interesting ‘surface’ research of circular (halo) motifs in Christian Iconography, and its perpetual decline in Art History. This ties in well to my research development ~ looking at circles first, before advancing into the sphere.


The halo was incorporated into Early Christian art sometime in the 4th century with the earliest iconic images of Christ, initially the only figure shown with one (together with his symbol, the Lamb of God). Initially the halo was regarded by many as a representation of the Logos of Christ, his divine nature, and therefore in very early (before 500) depictions of Christ before his Baptism by John he tends not to be shown with a halo, it being a matter of debate whether his Logos was innate from conception (the Orthodox view), or acquired at Baptism (the Nestorian view). At this period he is also shown as a child or youth in Baptisms, though this may be a hieratic rather than an age-related representation … With increasing realism in painting, the halo came to be a problem for artists. So long as they continued to use the old compositional formulae which had been worked out to accommodate haloes, the problems were manageable, but as Western artists sought more flexibility in composition, this ceased to be the case. In free-standing medieval sculpture, the halo was already shown as a flat disk above or behind the head. When perspective came to be considered essential, painters also changed the halo from an aura surrounding the head, always depicted as though seen full-on, to a flat golden disk or ring that appeared in perspective, floating above the heads of the saints, or vertically behind, sometimes transparent. “ (Wikipedia)

Tattoo Booking Challenges

A few challenges I faced this month:

A client asked me to touch-up another artists work. Is that considered disrespectful to the artist? Does the intention of ‘fixing’ alleviate thoughts around vandalism? I decided to not follow through with booking the appointment. I may need to think of this further ~ 

A client asked me to tattoo a flash piece in an area where i thought it would not work. I struggled with this before and ended up tattooing the design anyways - the experience was very different/difficult, it took longer, it felt like endless labour. Trust your guts? Should this discomfort suggest not following through with requests as such in the future? 

Tutorial (3)

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Jonathan Kearney - June 18th - 9:30am - Skype

I’m anxious to post on the blog, there’s so much I want to say, but i’m finding it strange to formally put things into words. Jonathan & I contemplated the blog as a time capsule ~ speaking to myself in the future. 

My work currently jumps from medium to medium, tool to tool, but the same narrative wants to get told. Jonathan suggested thinking about how these mediums could visually come together ~ embracing the fragmentation?

Some things in progress; 

family interview questions, further research into the the theoretical mathematics of spheres (use C4D sphere object properties to experiment/simulate/tweak? the theories). 

Absence

In an absence i dream,

Of what ladder to climb

It’s a darker scene,

No glow or chime.

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In or out they say, are you coming,

Have you lost your way?

Eager to respond, 

But immobile to try. 


If only a hand to lift me,

Large enough to hold me whole.

But no bumps or cuts, 

For the happy eye. 

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In absence we see

What we lack the most,

An honest desire,

To untie the ropes. 



From Screen to Skin

I’ve been exploring different ways to bridge my screen-practices into more physical mediums. Using 3D renderings i’ve modelled as references for future drawings has been a captivating journey so far. Im starting to think about material-synthesis through mark making, and using simulations of that material (virtually) as references. My drawings seem to make use of light and dark, and slowly, material is making its way In there now - a way of enhancing depth? creating a contrast between elements? providing the viewer with more context around an object, and potentially its previous journey(s)?

Rendered on Cinema 4D

Rendered on Cinema 4D

Sketched on Paper - Translated to vector on iPad

Sketched on Paper - Translated to vector on iPad

Ink

I have most recently decided to take a few extra steps forward with tattooing. For the past year, I had been looking for apprenticeship opportunities all over the city - but none of them seemed to fall through. So I decided to teach myself. I purchased a rotary machine two months ago, and decided to tattoo myself to get a hang of things. After a really strange experience tattooing my own knee, I decided to give it a go on someone else. I had done a variety of research around maintaining a proper hygienic standard with the tools and space - I was ready. My drawings seemed to grab the attention of a few friends, and with that came an evolution of my own style - a more refined one, a visual language that works better in the form of a tattoo. I opened up an Instagram account, and started to exhibit my drawings and tattoos. 

It seems as though my work, as fragmented as it is in medium, chronology, and context, seems to always want to tell a story. As if each piece somehow pinpoints a moment in time in this little reality.  The sphere as a placeholder? A reminder that we are back in that reality?

With time, finding ways to remind myself of how to acquire tranquility  within a traumatized mind has become a passionate pursue of mine. The tattoos on my own body have symbolized those reminders, images that eventually translate into states - building somewhat of a relationship with these images on my body can be described as therapeutic. 

The sphere is that reminder in my works - a reminder to enter a mindset, a journey in an attempt to grasp the nature of Empathy. 

Can that process of migration into that realm, to recognize a symbol and  allow it to guide you through an inconsistent narrative, be in itself a practice of Empathy? 

Mid-Point Review (Comments)

“How do you envisage developing this narrative of reflection, what form might it take, what might it sweep with it? … The sphere is a place holder...” - Alexis

“ I felt that the chain of events in your narrative was somehow predictable and relatively logical. I would have liked to be more challenged as a viewer by your acknowledgement of the existence of a broad range of contradictory contextual perspectives.” - Pav

“I'd love to hear more about your train of thoughts behind of this sequence and how you put it together.” - Aristotle

“In some ways I feel a sense of separateness yet togetherness – loss yet comfort and sometimes anxiety yet a feeling of calm.” - Michelle

“When I first watched it, I struggled to understand what it is about, on the second watch I got much more from it. Are these meant to be separate works?” - Kelda

“Also like a dream I am struggling to remember specific parts of it” - Arthur

“Because I find how to know yourself is a crucial subject matter in your works, and a social account sometimes is way that people defines themselves nowadays. 'Mental landscape’, which refers to landscape as idea and concept, may also give you some inspiration.”- AxAsh

“I just always have to think of William Kentridge when I see your work.” - Friederike

“A snippet i remember from the 360 workshop is that when we are viewing 360video we are essentially trapped in a sphere. Im really curious to see how the format of the work unfolds moving forward towards presentation/exhibition.” - Matt

“have seen your individual works in blog before. I thought it’s cool but didn’t understand the meaning behind it. It’s very surprised that you put them together and it works. This narrative seems new and interesting but I think the visual parts are a little bit mess. The black and white part and 3D animations doesn’t seems match very well.” - Taiyo

 

A Pause

I’ve been struggling to write these days. I’ve been in a state of making - reflecting ideas outwards and executing them immediately. I’ve acquired some sort of pace, a routine of some sort. It seems as though this method has prioritized my making process, but has put the reflection process on pause. I’ve decided to make an effort to start writing more frequently - no matter how informal/disorganized it may be. I should start seeing the blog as having the ability to act as a time capsule - revisiting ideas, my own history, opinion, research, work. 


I recorded a two-track EP with my band Laura K Prophet. 

I have never been able to dive this deeply into music before, to be able to learn the intricate engineering behind it all. We spent two days at Monarch Studios - the first day was dedicated to making sure all the instruments are recorded properly (bed tracks)- with their sounds perfected either through re-amping or other analogue techniques. The next day was dedicated to vocals and other textures. I spent the entire morning laying out vocals and layers, experimenting with different microphones (The C12 Vintage was my favourite) and the possibilities of vocal layering and delay. I was able to witness the way space is engineered through analogue methods. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals who managed to work with my visual-thinking. I was able to communicate my suggestions through images, and the engineer was able to understand and further translate that idea into sound. 

This render was inspired by a conversation I had with the engineer about how I wanted my vocals to sound in relationship to the synthesizer near the end of one of our tracks. I was trying to describe the vocals falling in slow motion from above - plush but elastic, adaptable and moldable, but always managing to retain itself. The Synthesizer a fast growing tree, sharper branches, echoic, reflective. I wanted them to collide, but not destroy one another - somewhat of a balanced coexistence of sharp and smooth.


I’ve been tattooing more frequently. 

I’ve grown accustomed to the tattoo machine, its vibrations, voltage settings, needle size, ink densities, skin varieties. I’ve been noticing a sizeable amount of improvement after every tattoo - this is building my confidence with the tool, making me eager to experiment and further my learnings within this practice.


It seems as though this program (MFA) has facilitated the ways in which other endeavours of art-making are interconnected. I’ve come to develop a clearer visual language, furthering my understanding of the screen and its capabilities. Tattooing is elaborating the two-dimensional, the plane. Music is contributing largely to my conceptual framework of space, and my digital fine art is becoming a language in which I communicate these ideas. In connecting these ideas, translating, bridging. In doing so I have come closer to an awareness of what a “digital artist” (for the lack of a better term) is suggestive of. 


Discovering the framework of Empathy has been a starting point that I’ve managed to remain consistent with. So far I’ve come to a moment of reflection, in which I need to contemplate the following ideas:

Can Empathy be achieved as a consistent state of being or a state that fluctuates based on exposures to instinct and survival mechanisms? Or neither? 

How do/ do Empathy and the Sphere (further research/exploration needed) connect?

Can material (texture), represented in digital form (renderings), achieve an added awareness to space and environment to the visual language of the screen?

Can expanding quality and scale of renderings, projecting them in large spaces, immerse the viewer into its world more effectively? 

What would 3D renderings feel like as large-scale prints exhibited in vast empty spaces with sculptural objects (connecting to elements within the render) surrounding the area?

What does it mean to be an artist? To me? 

Mid-Point Review (Video Presentation)

The canvas was always black. 

You know when your mom tells you to close your eyes and imagine something,

like a peaceful dream, most lifelike with water, a boat- 

A reflection, the sky, space,

States, shapes, desires.

Thoughts that stick, 

or that erode what already existed. 

That the world is only larger with bridges and bonds,

Sharing the tools we use. 

The ways we choose. 

That fear is like an old friend.

A simulation of Then. 

Then, reconsidered. 

I assume the role of-

I’m not sure. 

Are you?

Who are you?

If not an absolute

Then a collection of a few?

Memory

Do you see?

Language

What do you make of me?

But we can’t fully understand. 

Therefore we can’t define.

What float and hovers

Invisible, yet always divine.


Home

“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” ― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

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But nobody told you
What nobody told you

Sketchbook

I’ve decided to open up a separate section on my page for my sketchbook (digital drawings). Drawing is a form of brainstorming for me - especially in this form/style/language. It’s a vulnerability, a skeleton, a foundation of a future idea - or perhaps, quite often, a translation of thought that may just exist as is.

Words to ponder on: 

Mark-making, translation, tool.

Miles Johnston

Thoughts

  • Sensationalizes the psychosomatic 

  • Visualizations of mind-body interaction and neurogenesis  

  • Tranquil states - still life - freezes movement. 

  • Fluidity, morphology.

  • Tackles subjects such as melancholy, desire, fear and isolation. 

  • Soft aesthetics and choice of perspective generates an intimate proximity. 

  • Sympathy.

  • The visual language carries the subject as neither a protagonist nor antagonist. Rather, the subject seems to exist beyond the scope of narrative - a cognitive portrait perhaps?

  • Reconnecting to the sphere through prayer