Caught in the act

Sophomore Megan Davidson prepares ingredients for her food photo. The production room table looked like a potluck buffet as she created the scene that would be moved to the studio.

It’s food photography time. That means beautiful photos, lots of offers of free food that has been handled too much and stressed out students.

Food photography is all about preparation – the students invest more time in the planning, shopping and setup than taking the photos. Editing is also important, getting color perfect and cloning out crumbs is a must.

Creepy Creations

Among the many basic production skills covered in the first semester, digital illustration students are currently busy working with vectors in Adobe Illustrator. In a recent assignment they were to create Halloween-inspired two-color illustrations using symmetry and transformation tools to simplify construction. They’re constantly applying the creative process to implement and refine their productions while adding to their mastery of the application. Below are just a few of this years’ creations. Happy Halloween from all of us in GDC!

©Marcus Taken Alive

©Alyza Yasenchack

©Kylie Susag

©Tyler Betts

©Carlee Gifford

©Bethany Reitan

©Shane Spilker

The Halloween Film Festival

It’s time for the annual Halloween Stop Motion Graphic Design and Communications at Bismarck State College Film Festival, also know as the HSMGDCBSCFF. Everyone knows about it, everyone waits for it.

Graphic Design freshmen get about an hour to create a stop motion animation using white board markers and their creativity. The three instructors give them very little input, just new markers and a lot of prodding to draw faster. Here are the results:

Group 1 video

Group 2 video

Group 3 video

Group 4 video

Students Exhibit Illustrative Styles

The first year Digital Illustration students recently completed an analog assignment where they were pushed to illustrate an object using different illustration styles and traditional mediums. For many it was an experimental voyage into trying something new. For others it was continued practice in an area they already excel. Below are just a few of the images captured from this assignment.

‘Moth’ by Alysha Yasenchack

‘Key’ by Marcus Taken Alive

‘Flower’ by Kylie Susag

‘Cactus’ by Emily Schumacher

‘Coffee’ by Bethany Reiten

‘Pup’ by Taylor Lemer

‘TV’ by Jamaika Lee

‘Cactus’ by Carlee Gifford

‘Lighter’ by Tyler Betts

‘Cap’ by Michaela Ahrendt

A time to sow, a time to reap.

For many of our students, sitting in the Graphic Design and Communications classroom is the first time they have had to work collaboratively with other creative folks. It can be tough, everyone has an idea, but students need to rally around the best idea. GDC classes start with collaborative creative exercises very early.

At this point, some of the students have limited skills with design software, but they all know how to use a pencil.

This exercise focused on something bizarre – growing people to fill different roles. Small groups were formed and each member had to illustrate a seed packet centered around a particular industry. Those industries were transportation, the medical field, the entertainment industry, military and also science.

Check out the seed packets and see if you can find which occupations go together to for a set of four or five. Here’s a hint – watch for similar elements on seed packets design by a group.

Analog Past

I appreciate the fact that my education in the Commercial Arts involved a fair amount of analog. In fact, my college class was one of the first to straddle the growing void between the old analog ways and the dawning digital age of the Macintosh.

Every once in a while we stumble upon these reminders from yesteryear in our storage room that clearly show the evolution of the iconic present. If you have ever wondered why Photoshop’s crop tool looks the way it does… I present to you the Brandt Scaleograph. I didn’t read the lengthy instructions on how to properly use it, but I can tell you the modern equivalent is much, much better.

 

Design on Display

On a recent trip to the Heritage Center, the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications class had the unique opportunity to learn from Genia Hesser, Curator of Exhibits with the ND State Historical Society. Hesser gave students an in-depth tour of the most recent exhibit in the Governor’s Gallery, The Horse in North Dakota. The class learned of the many challenges that faced the curators, preparators and designers as they brought the exhibit to life. Hesser stressed the importance of generating content that is descriptive but also very efficient – so that every word written is necessary to tell the story. In turn, the design, or form, of the exhibit must visually reinforce the content. Hesser’s wealth of knowledge will prove useful to the students as they begin the process of creating two new display cases for the program area this semester.

Taking the show on the road

It’s been a very busy week for the Graphic Design and Communications faculty and students at BSC. Monday morning students set up the Spring Show, Tuesday morning the GDC faculty talked with a great class from McIntosh, S.D. Wednesday was a little more normal, but Thursday was great – the show was disassembled in the morning and we were visited by a class of online design students taught by Kristy Horner. We wrapped up the day with screen printing at the Student Union, which is seen in Michelle Kraft’s photo below. The week wrapped up with mock job interviews for the sophomore students. Thanks a bunch to all of the volunteers and BSC staff that helped make this busy week a whole lot of fun.

Pouring out enthusiasm

Wet Plate photographers are a rare breed – it takes a long time to perfect the technical parts of wet plate photography, let alone the artistic components. Shane Balkoswitsch has  perfected both, but still has the enthusiasm of a person who just made his first plate. He treats every project as though it is the most important piece he has ever created and that attitude helps him create spectacular work.

Balkowitsch spent a couple hours sharing his enthusiasm with the BSC Graphic Design and Communications students today. He talked about both the differences and similarities to shooting photos in the modern world. He showed the process from pouring a plate to composing a photo and finally developing it to a solid image.

Thank you Shane – nobody beats your skill, talent and enthusiasm.

Photo credit: Lindsey Willnow, BSC GDC sophomore.

Tell me a story in three photos or more

Photos can tell us so much – emotion, time, location and more. Sometimes it’s very hard to convey something specific, even a couple words with a photo. In this case, the goal was to illustrate a specific saying using a few photos and a lot of Photoshop work. The sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students did a great job, can you guess the sayings?