Inspiration, ideas, development and documentation for Visualization and Data Processes and other things...
On Getting Paid - Jessica Hische
This article helps guide emerging young designers who are skeptical when pricing their creative work for clients. Hische starts off by talking about how charging hourly is pretty advantageous when freelance is the main source of one’s income. But by doing so, you must be aware of how well and how fast you work under certain conditions, to ensure everyone is happy with the end work and payment. She then leads into how to properly message a client when details are very vague, and the importance of “rights management”. She provides factors to price a job based on licensing - the length of time it will be used for, where and how it will be used, reprinting fees, etc. If clients are to be vague with their requests, Hische gives general guidelines for pricing for “presentation only” based on the size of a company. As well, she includes other price points for various usage scenarios. She also speaks about internships and how they should be a learning opportunity more than anything. And lastly, Hische gives great tips on how to find freelance work out there.
I found this article to be very interesting and handy when it comes to pricing my own freelance work. I have recently accepted some client work from friends and after reading this article, I was reassured that doing work for friends is a great start for building my portfolio, and practicing how I would professionally talk to (or message) future clients. I thought that it was very important when Hische stated to read every contract carefully, and to look out for the red flag – “WORK FOR HIRE”. It is crucial to know if the work you will be creating will hand over your authorial rights as well. Though as a designer, she brings up the point that in those situations we are usually just creating a unique context and not creating new content. I also found it important to know that hourly pricing is okay when creating a logo, as it will be used at an unlimited capacity.
The pricing guidelines are also great to know, as I’m sure most of us have very little knowledge of this. There is pricing for presentation only, and then that price gets tacked onto whichever scenario is chosen – all priced accordingly to usage. I was happy to read that it is fine to turn down jobs if a big name client is to give a very low budget. This just means that you are helping out by not lowering the standards of pricing for other designers. Even though keeping in mind that quoting respectable prices is key. I admire the fact that she says our work has value and that it is ultimately up to me to determine how much my creative work is worth. I am also very lucky to have two older brothers as designers, who are able to help me with ballpark pricing for any prospective work that I may encounter.
I could not agree more when Hische talks about internships, and how experience and knowledge is most valuable thing that can be taken away. Though I do agree that any work should be compensated for, when these days internships are mostly unpaid. When I had my placement at Site3 last semester, my experience there was mostly acting as an extra hand for small, personal projects. Though I wasn’t paid for the assistance I gave, I was educated to the fullest extent on the specific projects I helped out with. Sometimes, just nodding and pretending I understood what they were doing or trying to fabricate. I greatly value the people I met there, and the work that they do because of the passion and knowledge they have. It is very inspirational.
While glancing over Hische’s tips on how to get freelance work, I fully agree that doing work for free (for charities, friends, contests, etc.) to enhance your portfolio is truly beneficial. Besides that, paying attention to the industry so that your work is up to date with designs and being able to hold intelligent conversations is very important to me as well. I am glad to have read this article and very excited to jump into the world of freelance work!
Make every word count: Tips for polishing and tightening copy - Steve Buttry
Steve Buttry’s article is a guide to “polishing and tightening” written work. Buttry first starts off by stating that it is very important to coordinate with your editor so that the length of the writing is correct. Also, to ensure that you are doing the right research so that you can save time. When writing, it is also crucial to “consider the reader” in such a way that you’re writing for the average interested reader of your content. When looking for information to include, think about what you want the reader to think about afterwards and if it will be useful to them later. If there is a lot of information, consider other types of visuals like graphics to better relay some information of statistics. Buttry then says to set the pace with the lead. Starting strong from the start is the topic another article that he has written, which helps with a brisk lead and sharp focus on content.
Speaking upon the writing process, Buttry says to write without the mess of your notes so that you can be more focused on what you want to say. If it is important, then it should be in your head already. Stay focused, and avoid taking the story on detours that do not help with its development. Only use the best information, images, examples and quotes as well to help keep the story tight and focused.
I found this article to be very useful when writing, especially when it came down to the tips and techniques. Aside from the “read aloud” and “check each sentence carefully” that I already knew, I noticed that a lot of things I write should be stamped out or minimized. Reading this article has already semi-helped with excluding many words I would normally include in a piece of writing. I will definitely refer to this article in the future when it comes to writing specific content. I agree with the fact that we are in a technical field, and digital skills are pressured upon us more heavily than anything others. Even when I was studying fine art and art history at another institution, we were required to take grammar courses to ensure we could all write and speak about the history and techniques we were learning. In this field, it is highly important to coach high writing standards so that we are able to communicate and verbalize the work we are making.
10 Steps to better blogging - Dan Frommer
Dan Frommer’s article on tips for better blogging, lists 10 different techniques to pay attention to when having an online presence or opinion. From being accurate about the facts that you use - to thinking about the reader’s experience, these tips and tricks are great because they are clear and concise. Frommer says to “write the site that you want to read”, relating to the length, style, attitude, words relating to a specific field or interest, etc. Most importantly however you articulate yourself, make sure to be proud of what you are writing. He ensures that it is okay to be a jerk, only if it is funny. If you’re not an unlikable person offline, why be one online? Frommer says that it is important to “be critical, but don’t be unfair”. Tip number 9 encourages choosing a unique topic, something that has not been written about time and again. If someone happens to get to it before you, then share their work if you think it’s great and this will encourage conversations to spark.
This entire list consists of great approaches when it comes to “better blogging”. One that I greatly agree with is to “be more skeptical” – by trying not to take one side and fully agree with a source. Instead, question it and question everything. Another tip that I already follow is to “attribute well”. This is always great to practice, as we all hate when we’re not given credit for our own work. It is very simple to link sources, which in turn will create traffic to the blog. Frommer also lists other sources that are great to refer to when it comes to attributing. I think it’s important when Frommer states that you shouldn’t “assume people know what you’re talking about”. Especially when speaking about a specific field with concepts that are not commonly known, or even new and emerging – simply adding a good description that’s a click away is the best way to solve this problem. Lastly, the encouragement to “try new things, all the time” is something that I will take away from this article. With the new social media platforms that have emerged in our time, there are many ways to communicate a story or message. Whether it be through images, charts, other graphics, or short and concise text – Frommer says to use these as experiments and keep the results in mind for future posts.
I was greatly influenced by the lectures that showcased artists who have made generative artworks, and also artists that used crowd sourcing. I have never created any sort of collaboration work before and thought that this would be a great time to try it out. Little did I know, it actually wasn’t a great time. Working on this project has shown me that this time of year is not the best time to ask for tedious little tasks. Everyone is too busy and would rather do anything, BUT extra work. I can’t blame them because I feel the same…though it was definitely a great learning experience. For next time I could give myself a longer time limit, or even offer an incentive for the people who do participate. I came across many other collaborative pieces, but wanted to make mine unique compared to those that exist.
The specific pieces that I looked at for inspiration and ideas were, many of Sol Lewitt’s rule set drawings, Aaron Koblin’s “The Johnny Cash Project” and “The Sheep Market”, as well as Million Masterpiece. All of these works, specifically the last three, called for numerous amounts of submissions from various people, and combined them all into a collaborative work. The main concept of my piece was to take the poem by Pablo Neruda and have people aid me in depicting the lines of poem into 5 x 5 inch colourful artworks. I would then take these submissions, and post them to a website that I would create to allow the people who have submitted, and others who would like to view them, a chance to read the poem visually and interactively.
I first sent out an email with the required poem, which I had previously broken up into 17 sections. I also sent a rule set for the participant to follow:
For my final project, I will be creating a piece that involves compiling art pieces in response to Pablo Neruda’s poem, Dazzle of the Day. I am hoping to have as many volunteers as possible help me with this project. I was inspired by Sol Lewitt’s pieces where he generated sets of rules for curators and volunteers to follow, as well as The Johnny Cash Project because of the collaborative crowdsourcing aspect.
Below you will find the message that I have emailed to roughly 365 friends, friends of friends and family members…
Here are some guidelines to follow:
The artwork that you will be creating will be based off of one the groupings from Pablo Neruda’s poem “Dazzle of Day” (found below). I’ve broken it down into a few lines, choose ONE of the groupings and intuitively draw (let your hands and eyes do most of the work) how you would depict that line.
- Using any medium, create a 5”x5” document
- Only use black, grey, or white for the background - otherwise there is no restrictions for how many colours used
- Set a timer for two minutes - that’s your time limit
- No real figures or objects
- Relax and have fun - think of it as a way of releasing stress or anything bothering you
Whichever medium you choose, please try to send a digital version to me - my email is email@example.com and you can set the subject as “Poem Response” or something along the lines of that. If you don’t have a scanner, let me know and we can probably figure something out.
Dazzle of the Day
Enough now of the wet eyes of winter.
Not one single tear.
[Hour by hour, green is beginning,
the essential season, leaf by leaf,]
until, by spring’s name, we are summoned
to take part in its joy.
[How wonderful, its eternal openness,
clean air, the promise of flower,]
the full moon leaving
its calling card in the foliage,
[men and women trailing from the beach
with a wet basket of shifting silver.]
Like love, like a medal,
I welcome it,
[I take it all in,
from south, from north, from violins,]
[from newly liberated air,
machines smelling of mystery,]
everything I need:
[orange blossoms, string,
grapes like topazes,]
the whiff of waves.
I gather it up
I dry my shirt in the wind,
and my opened heart.
[The sky falls
From my glass,
(via thenextweb)Laughing Squid Links
Face Music, 2011 – Ken Rinaldo
The piece that I am responding to is called, Face Music by Ken Rinaldo. I visited this installation during Nuit Blanche this fall, at Dundas Square. The piece was categorized as an interactive robotics installation. It was described as “soft-skinned robotic sculptures [that] compose music with input from the public. Micro-video cameras mounted on the robots move toward people’s bodies and faces and capture human snapshots. The images are digitally processed, pixilated and transformed into a constantly evolving generative soundscape where faces are turned into sound”. After reading this description, I thought to myself that this project definitely correlates to the material that we cover during lectures, specifically because of the word ‘generative’ and the necessity for a user’s input.
Due to time constraints I did not experience this installation myself, though I did document video footage. Watching this footage after visiting the installation gave me a better understanding of how the users are supposed to interact with the robots. Since it’s location was at the stage of Dundas Square, the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area (plus the hundreds of people chatting) distracted my hearing and overpowered the installations sound output. At the time, I could only see the visual aspect and it was people frantically running around the stage trying to get in front of the camera’s eye. I feel that this piece would be better curated in a small room where the sound is more isolated. Dundas Square was a bit too chaotic of a location to fully take in the entire piece of work, though it was a great place to attract many people.
Many aspects of the project parallels to concepts that we cover during lectures such as; the input is necessary in order for the output to be generative, and the system the artist used is programmed to translate the data into varying pitches, possibly due to colour tones. This reminds me of a couple projects from the midterm that used video cameras as the source for input – where the camera acted as a trigger and changed user’s environment. The theme of surveillance could be applied to this piece as well because the robots are constantly searching for faces, much like cameras hidden throughout the city are used for identifying people’s faces as well. I really liked how this project was so similar to the other works we have been looking at this year; it truly inspires and motivates me to hopefully have the opportunity to show one of my pieces in a show one day.
Click here to view video documentation.
Jason Edward Lewis – Vital to the General Public Welfare
The second artwork that I will be responding to is located at the Edward Day Gallery beside MOCCA. The piece is titled, Vital To The General Public Welfare by Jason Edward Lewis. This gallery is part of the imageNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. The exhibition is intended to make the viewers “consider language and technologies in new (and old) ways”. The exhibition was titled after a 1964 Louisiana court case, where the race of an adopted child needed to be specified and the judge claimed that information to be “vital to the general public welfare”. Lewis wants the users to reflect on that “archaic (to us) form of language regarding racial taxonomies and perceived ‘purity conventions’ of the time” and “…how manifestations of language inform our cultural and social processes”. Lewis takes the “concreteness” of the formalized structure of language and creates an alternate environment that “[facilitates] a fluid, user generated cultural and linguistic/aesthetic experience”. Most of the pieces incorporated interactive touch screens along with large-scale prints. Lewis does this to juxtapose old media and new media, hoping to create a conversation between the two types.
I found it odd that I approached one of the screens, and misread the sign beside it. I thought it said ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ instead of ‘DO TOUCH’. Once I had re-read the sign, I realized that other people in the gallery did not know to touch the screens. While interacting with one piece, I heard from an older couple, “Oh, so I guess that is the only one you can touch…” and then seemed to leave disappointingly. I found it kind of funny, having worked with installations before, and seeing where not reading the instructions properly can lead the user. I really like how changing roles, (from artist to user) can aid in understanding interactive works better and how to create better signs and affordances.
The pieces that I closely looked at are called, The Great Migration (2011), and What They Speak When They Speak To Me (2008-10). These two pieces use a 42” two-point touch screen, utilizes the Java application software, and has a large-scale, full colour print beside them as well. While interacting with the works, the words that appeared and created sentences as I moved my fingers on the screen seemed very ambiguous and arbitrary. There also was not much of a description beside the pieces. Before leaving the exhibition, I noticed there were pamphlets left by the artist/curator and reading them since has helped me learn more about this wonderful exhibition. In one of the program books I grabbed, the word visuals on the screens were described as “Twitter-like interchanges”, and I could not have better described it myself. Before knowing the background to the artworks, it seemed that wherever you placed your hand on the screen - especially if it was directly on a certain letter – the sentence would then formulate from that letter. The piece, The Great Migration, comments on event of leaving home and setting out to an unknown destination. Having moved frequently as a child himself, Lewis presents “ideas of departure, movement, leading and following”. He also uses the allusion of sperm moving up the fallopian tubes as a metaphor for birth and belonging, “hopefulness of successful fertilization to our innate desire for finding one’s place in the universe”. The other touch screen piece by Lewis titled, What They Speak When They Speak to Me”, created sentences that were also arbitrary to me at first. For example, the footage that I captured had the sentence, “Spanish in chichicatenango, but no hola here.” Lewis wrote that these are his words from his notes while traveling in his twenties. He was in the Turkish section of Berlin, constantly being mistakened as a local. This confusion led to taxi drives, vendors, and even policemen being angry with him because he could not respond. As the user tries to make a narrative with these fleeting sentences, the letters dissipate, which may comment on his travels.
These pieces relate to our lecture topics and class discussions because of the programmed aspect. As well, some of Lewis’ other pieces such as, I Know What You’re Thinking utilizes data that is residing on his hard drive. This piece is programmed to take the “bored and restless texts” and bring them to life with a poetry generator. This becomes a live stream of the artist’s data – of his past and present. This piece is actually similar to my version of the self-portrait, where I gave a new life to “bored and restless” data.
Click here to view video documentation.
Click here for the link to the documentation of Polar Opposites.
The Next Web
Created by Twitter’s ‘Information design nerd’, Miguel Rios, this poster includes all the public #thankyousteve Tweets sent over about 4.5 hours on the evening of Oct 5, 2011. The Tweets are ordered by number of Retweets, from the top left – view high res here. Arnold Schwarnznegger’s tweet was the most retweeted.
If you haven’t had the chance, don’t miss our round up of the most notable photos, videos, quotes and tweets about Steve Jobs from the last 24 hours.
Just me? Anyone else?I Love Charts
Love this kid’s reaction when Darth Vader reveals he is Luke Skywalker’s father.
Love Star Wars - too goodMatt Brian
Singing along with songs is fun. And it’s a lot easier when you don’t have real lyrics to remember. This is a simple tribute to classic “la-dah-dee-dah” moments from the last five decades of pop music, including the Beatles, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and Pink, performed by Jane Lui, Michael T. and Jonathan Batiste. It’s also the first video on the Collective Cadenza YouTube channel, which director Joe Sabia says via email will be “a new big experiment where I’m teaming up with Juilliard students and alums to do conceptual, thought-provoking music videos.” I’m pretty jazzed (sorry) to see what’s next.
Couldn’t help reblogging this video…Here's Some Awesome
Click here to watch.
This video is a collection of footage from my camera that has accumulated over the past couple of years. There is footage that was shot on purpose, and some that was taken accidentally. Together all the footage forms a portrait that depicts my identity utilizing digital data. The people and places that are shown, best represent my identity, as I believe that who I am is shaped by my surroundings. My family and friends that I surround myself with, portray the type of person that I choose to be. I am not present in any of the scenes because it is from my point of view. The camera has the potential to capture close to exactly what I see, acting as an extension of my vision with the ability to also record.
What I wanted to focus most on was the existing ambient sounds and some of the original music, rather than just the footage. I feel that by using the original sounds, it makes the experience more intimate and true to life - it even has a nostalgic feel when watched each time because there are conversations that can be heard that I have now forgotten. The order of pictures do not follow any sort of pattern - just like the footage, it is miscellaneous. These videos have never been put to use before, and are located on my external hard drive - just being data in an archive. I feel like it is time to give these short clippings of my life a debut, and even a tribute, while practicing video editing skills at the same time.
Shugo Tokumaru - Metrion
Music video for the song I used for my Dataportrait assignment.
Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in Bed, NYC, 1983