how to be a graphic designer

kindaamindless  asked:

Hey there! First of all, I really admire your devotion to Voltron and how well you're handling everything related to your internship there and the questions hahaha totes! And second, I was studying animation in college but had to change majors to graphic design because personal reasons, I still want to work at some point in the industry, but I'm from Mexico. Do you know how strict they got at DW with hiring latinxs after president cheeto was elected? I would love to get in the design department!

dreamworks is now owned by NBCUniversal but both of them are equal opportunity employers! definitely go for it! 

On The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel, Blue Taako, and Representation

 Yesterday, we revealed some pages for our graphic novel adaptation of the first Adventure Zone arc, and received some criticism of the direction we went with for Taako’s coloring. This artwork reveal came some months after the first reveal of some of our characters, for which we also received criticism of our three leads, all of whom were white in these initial designs. Us and the graphic novel team realized that, yes, that is extremely bad, went back to the drawing board, and had several long discussions about how to best rectify this situation, resulting in the artwork revealed yesterday.

More or less all of the criticism we’ve received centers on Taako, whose skin is a pale blue color in these designs. What we’ve heard most is disappointment that Taako is not realized in these pages as a person of color — or, to be more specific, a Latinx or explicitly Mexican character. There was concern we had failed to follow through on an opportunity to get better representation for Latinx listeners, instead opting to take a safe route, and make Taako a fantasy color without any kind of real-world connection. Much of the criticism also focuses on how that color (or, to be more specific, green skin) has anti-semitic connotations.

This conversation was happening in certain corners of our fandom long before the graphic novel art reveal took place yesterday. We’ve heard criticism from some folks over our policy of not having canonical visual representations of any of our characters — a policy that has resulted in a genuinely humbling ocean of fan art, but also some instances of in-fighting between members of the community who take umbrage with one another’s disparate interpretations of these characters. Another criticism of that policy is that it inherently does not foster good representation, and in fact represents a noncommittal way of handling racial representation on this show.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I think all of this comes from this underlying friction between where The Adventure Zone and us, its creators, were when we started doing the podcast, and where we, the show, and you, the community, are at now. 

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you know I know it’s not fucking profitable for people to study certain degrees over others, but that doesn’t mean you should shit on people for studying what they love. 

Furthermore you shouldn’t talk down to little kids saying they want to be a graphic designer, or a film maker, or an actor, or a musician, or whatever else you deem useless to society, because it’s not profitable in our sociopolitical systems. They have interests, and it doesn’t matter whether or not they’ll succeed on a global scale, that’s irrelevant, they don’t have to be groundbreaking to do what they want to do.

Money is not the fucking point, the point is the kid wants to do something the kid enjoys and is proud and excited about. Encourage children in most anything they’re interested in, as a matter of fact encourage most everyone to do shit they love within basic moral reasoning.

If a person isn’t immediately good at mathematics, physics, or even graphic designing, that doesn’t fucking mean you should shit on them and tell them to give up.

Encourage passions, passions and joy keep people alive. Interests go beyond money, because you can’t really use money if you’re fucking dead due to you feeling like a failure and never did what you truly loved.

You have no idea how successful a child or an adult is going to be in what they’re trying to learn about and do, stop fucking betting against them and maybe they’ll be more confident to improve their lives and the lives of others around them. 

And again, people don’t have to be groundbreaking savants to do shit they like.

[and im literally actually a fucking poor person so don’t even act like I’m spouting some bourgeois propaganda tellin people to stay poor, i aint. i’m saying people should be allowed to enjoy things]

So the new BioWare game… exists?

It’s funny, I guess they’ve been burned by overselling their products so many times they’ve just stopped actually saying what they are.

I’ve been thinking about this since that Kotaku article about how Andromeda fell on its face. I feel like one of BioWare’s biggest issues is their inability to figure out who they are, and the lack of confidence to stand by it. One of their biggest flaws over ME’s lifespan has been the almost neurotic over-reaction to fan complaints. It’s in their entire history. Don’t like the elevator load screens? Replaced with even more boring generic graphic load screens! Economy and inventory system a bit badly designed? Get rid of all inventory! FemShep’s run isn’t ‘feminine’ (????) enough? Give her a laughably exaggerated hip-sway!

You look at a franchise like Uncharted, and see a dev who decided what they were about and stuck to it, and did it well. And granted, their gameplay didn’t exactly chart (hoho) new waters. But that didn’t matter because they decided what kind of game they wanted and they made four of them. And they weren’t flawless games, either. But they stuck to their damned guns and as a result they have a quadrology story that will be well-regarded for a long time. Meanwhile, CDR spent a lot of effort on creating an amazingly powerful cutscene animator engine for the Witcher games, and the result was a third game packed with character moments that will also stand the test of time.

Dragon Age has fared a little bit better over the years because if its pedigree as a fantasy RPG. It was able to cling to gameplay conventions that ultimately gave the whole franchise an underlying direction, even when they were having trouble finding a good line to walk between story and open world.

Mass Effect, on the other hand, spent ten years… flailing. It bleeds out of that Kotaku article. Their grasp of what made ME special was apparently so weak they spent the majority of Andromeda’s five year dev cycle on vaporware. They’re still desperate to please both the hardcore shooter set and the RPGers, for some reason. They crammed in an MP no one asked for, which, despite in itself being a decent little game, had strong and IMO negative blowback into the single player game. (I would forgive the MP if it didn’t affect SP development, but it did. A LOT.) 

I can’t help but think BioWare spends a lot of time apologizing for being a storytelling dev. It’s almost embarrassed by the notion that a lot of people play for the characters and relationships rather than the video game mechanics. Its biggest problem is a decade-long identity crisis it can’t seem to resolve. And the result is Andromeda, where the strengths we know and love are grossly underserved by a mishmash of problems that evolved out of trying to be everything to everyone and never deciding who they actually are.

I’m honestly kind of tired of it. We’ll see if this new franchise manages to stake out an identity, and, I don’t know, stand up for it.

been thinking a lot about how the adventure zone handles representation and why it’s so satisfying and well done… i think a lot of it is because the mcelboys understand that diversity is realistic, natural, and frankly just more interesting.

that’s why it usually doesn’t feel forced or tokenistic. there’s an understanding that as the real world is diverse, so should fantasy be. they’ve also taken the time to listen to criticism levelled at them; justin’s hesitance over making taako’s sexuality explicit once griffin pointed out the possible negative connotations of his character voice, their decision to rework the designs of the characters in the official graphic novel once people complained about the whole main cast being white. it’s not pandering, it’s a genuine commitment to creating an interesting and believeable world that their diverse listenership can relate to.

it’s natural and non-sensationalised - queer characters in particular don’t have a big shock reveal, it’s just a part of who they are. take roswell as an example - they’re agender/nb because of course they are. if you think about it for more than four seconds it’s pretty obvious that arbitrarily assigning a gender to a powerful earth construct would be a much weirder decision.

taking away that automatic assumption that all characters should be cisgender & heterosexual as their default setting makes inclusivity easy - when griffin asks clint about merle’s marriage, he doesn’t automatically ask about his wife, he says ‘husband or wife’. little things like that make so much difference.

i’m not saying it’s always perfect, but jesus, they’re really trying. and usually succeeding. as white (i’m assuming) cishet guys they would not have been dragged for neglecting diversity, but they did it anyway. we need more content creators like them, who treat representation as something natural and normal and interesting rather than an annoying obligation.

tl;dr i love taz & the mcelboys a lot and i think about it all the time

Learning Graphic Design On Your Own

A Quick Note…

Everyone learns differently. Some people like to ask questions in class, others like to watch videos that they can pause and replay, and even more people could prefer to just tinker and see what happens (I’m personally a tinkerer). The first thing you should do when learning on your own (so probably online or through books) is to do some research and know how you like to learn.

So, let’s start with… what even is “Graphic Design”?

Let’s get this straight… graphic designers aren’t fine artists. They are problem solvers, visual communicators, and sometimes curators of information in an aesthetically pleasing way. We organize information and try to make the world an easier-to-understand and more beautiful place. Of course, there are other fields like advertising where we communicate to customers why they should buy certain products. Or there are User Interface/Experience designers that will develop websites and video game interfaces and design how you interact with it. Look into graphic design and see what field you want to be in. What do you want to do with graphic design?

Fun fact, the google definition says: “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” and to that, I’d like to say we do SO MUCH MORE.

Now that you know what you’re doing…Here’s the VERY BRIEF process!
(I may make individual posts for each step later on)

  1. Learn the basics
    1. Typography, how to use the basic principles of line, shape, color, and so on is usually for everyone no matter your field.
    2. Basics like composition are also very important. If you’re into editorial then typographic spreads will be more of your focus. If you’re in web design then seeing how websites are typically laid out will be a thing to look into. Basic typography, color theory, and principles still apply!
    3. Basics and principles are a google search (or a book) away! Everyone talks about these things ALL the time.
  2. Look up inspiration and develop an “eye” for design
    1. Follow design blogs! Follow other designers! On all of your social media! (There are so many Tumblr blogs and Instagram accounts solely dedicated to graphic design curation).
  3. Look into the big names of the industry
    1. Why were they remembered? Everyone else in the field probably remembers them for that, too.
    2. What was so great about them? Apply what you learn to your own work!
    3. If they’re well known, they probably have at least decent work to get inspired from!
  4. Research is done… time to do some work!
    1. If you’re just starting out, there are some things you’re probably not used to. Doing things by hand with sharpie markers on paper will definitely help train your eye and mind to think more about communication, not pretty things. 
    2. Abstract things down into simple shapes. Then try communicating that same object with fewer shapes. Maybe only lines? Geometric style? Play around with communication! This is key when you get into icons, logos, and other visuals that require a more minimal look. 
    3. Remember, you make information more easily accessible. The best logos are easy to remember because they are simple and effective. Your work may one day need that kind of punch!
  5. The jump from traditional to digital
    1. It’s time to learn about your program(s) of choice… my biggest piece of advice would be to just mess with it. Learning on your own by trying to make something is one of the best ways to train your mind and body on how to use the programs.
    2. Try every tool. Try making basic shapes. Then make basic objects with those shapes. Then try making a person or something more complicated. Try to test every tool to see what you’d use it for!
    3. Don’t know anything or how to do something? Google it! If you’re asking there’s probably 5+ different YouTube videos, 3+ articles, and 100+ tutorials on how to do it.
  6. Let’s work on projects!
    1. Now that you’re familiar with the history, principles, other designers, and the programs… just keep on making stuff!
    2. Making your own projects (make your own website, business cards, a flyer for a club, a T-Shirt, and so on…) is my biggest recommendation on how to learn graphic design. Actually applying everything you’ve learned will make you think in a problem-solving way! Also sharing things that you’ve made that actually matter is way more fun than sharing a fancy circle you made with no context. (You can say “look at this T-Shirt I made!” instead of “look at this weird circle I made!”)
  7. Get feedback from designers and non-designers
    1. Once you’ve made stuff… ask everyone! Non-designers will give you a client’s perspective of your work. A designer’s perspective will help you grow as a designer and they may see things that you and your average person wouldn’t have noticed. (you’re always free to ask me if you’d like!)
    2. Please remember to not take feedback personally (unless they’re being rude, then just ignore them). You’re learning and growing and there’s always room for improvement. A lot of feedback is not a bad thing!
  8. Stay determined!
    1. Being a designer isn’t easy. That T-Shirt you made that took you a couple days? Someone could say they don’t get it. Other designers could say there was a better way to execute your idea. Another person may even say it looks like something else!
    2. When you design you have to expect to make revisions, rethinking, and making more revisions until it’s at a good enough place to publish. But no matter what, you have to remember that it’s not about PERFECTION. It’s about getting it DONE and learning to grow. No one is perfect, and it’s mostly subjective, so just take the criticism you agree with and don’t apply what you disagree with. As a designer, you should know what’s right, wrong, or what you should consider bringing up to other designers.
    3. KEEP MAKING MORE STUFF! You can even remake older stuff as you go on! Just keep going!

That’s my super brief process!

Now honestly, I could’ve gotten down into the nitty gritty details of each step, but this is basically how I’d suggest going about it if you want to get a head start before getting into college, or you want to just learn on your own.

If you guys have any additional questions or want me to go more in-depth about anything, feel free to let me know! :)

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COLORING BOOK - A VISUAL ALBUM OF CHANCE THE RAPPER’S THIRD MIXTAPE


Coloring Book is a visual album of Chance the Rapper’s latest mixtape of the same name. Each song of the mixtape is represented by a poster, each poster taking on the emotion of the song.


UPDATE: Thanks for all the love y'all. I just finished my latest project, a little throwback this time: Yeezus. I hope y'all like it:

http://its-me-ethan.tumblr.com/post/152035693005/yeezus-a-visual-album-of-kanyes-sixth-solo

junebuggu  asked:

i... dont get all of this, really. the mcelroys have repeatedly explained that the graphic novel is NOT canon for the character's designs, and taako is literally blue because he is a magical elf? it was not made with antisemetic connotations, and not only that, but when was it ever stated that taako should be jewish. or mexican! in fact if they made them any type of hispanic people would get even angrier because of the names. why can't people just enjoy things?

cool! i’m happy to explain.

firstly, taako (named after tacos) who is on the quest to create the taco (established in here there be gerblins but not left there!) should be, or rather, better be, or rather, is mexican because if not, they are using a culture as a joke. that’s not alright! unless he is mexican, it doesn’t make sense for him to invent mexican food or have the name ‘taako taaco’

also, just so we’re clear: taako is a sun elf! they have “bronze-colored skin and hair most often of copper, golden blond, and black”. having him be green - or blue, or purple, or whatever - doesn’t make sense. 

anyway, to the point of “people would get even angrier because of the names’ - why don’t we try actually asking these people who would apparently hate it even more? here’s one response, and here’s another. heck, here’s another. people wouldn’t get ‘more mad’ at all, because he’s not treated like a stereotype. here’s the thing, we shouldn’t assume. no one should just Assume that people are gonna hate a thing before they do it, especially in regards to like… representation. like that’s not their problem, it’s yours for not just asking them. 

so, why can’t people just enjoy things? well, the adventure zone presented and continues to present itself as something that tries to do right by its fans, especially in the representation department. i wrote a thing about it here, at least in regards to race, but the basic thing i’d like people to take away from it is this paragraph

Saying ‘there’s no canon design’ for a character means nothing when the graphic novel, the merchandise, the posters, the zine - these all feature white designs. You can’t say you care about representation - how important it is to you - when you don’t represent anyone. You can’t say you accept all designs when the only ones that seem to be accepted all look the same. You can’t say there is no default when white is the default.

on twitter, @fraanziawhine made some really good points about how the representation in taz, like, works. and it’s not great. the mcelroys get praised for being empathetic, for being kind, but while i believe they try, they don’t ask for help with things they don’t know about - how to do race and lgbt rep for instance - and they do it wrong.

and you know what? it boils down to this: why are they more willing to make someone green than to make them brown? 

fans of colour continually talk about why this is important, how to do better by us - and we do it well. regardless if we are ‘polite’ (spoon-feeding) or ‘angry’ (you know, like, the emotional humans that we are) we have repeatedly tried to get through to the mcelroys and say ‘hey, you might want to do this, if you’re so interested in doing it’.

taz celebrates its ability to bring all kinds of people together. however, it kind of seems like only a few kind of people are welcome.

Harry Styles, former One Direction heartthrob, remains one of the best-dressed men in music. Back in 2013, he won a British Fashion Award for his signature skinny suits, but has since swapped out the slick Saint Laurent for more whimsical, graphic pieces from Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. For an appearance on The Graham Norton Show that will air tonight, Styles performed in a custom suit from the Italian house that showed how the now-solo star might bring louche glamour back to the stage.

The peak-lapel jacket married ’70s and ’90s design cues, thanks to its strong shoulders and velvet trim. The retro Bowie-meets-Jagger effect continued onto Styles’s flared trousers, which came with red silk embroidered dragons running down the pant legs. A simple silk shirt kept everything sleek, as his go-to rings completed the rock star look.

[image description: a graphic featuring text laid over two boxes of different shades of blue.

the first box is smaller and contains two headings, “So your buddy’‘s disabled:” followed by “How Can I Help?” in quotation marks.

the second box is larger and contains a list of five subheadings and descriptions, which are as follows:

1. Pity parties are boring. I don’t need you to tell me how awful my life must be or how sorry you are that I have to deal with it. I don’t care. I’m doing exactly the same as everyone else - managing with what I’ve got.

2. Don’t assume I’m incapable. I can still open doors for myself and hold a conversation. Even with a crutch. Blind-blowing, I know. It’s frankly a little insulting how quickly people will rush to ‘help’ me when I’m using a mobility aide. If you’re not sure, then ask first! Or alternatively, wait for me to ask you.

3. Let me grab you on the stairs. Stairs fuckin’ suck and I may have to grab something very quickly in order to avoid collapsing. Sometimes that something may be you and I am always very grateful for your presence in this situation.

4. Meet in accessible spaces. If you choose to sit somewhere I can’t get to, i.e. upstairs, then I’m left with three options: a) I kick up a fuss and make you move, b) I get hurt by forcing myself to join you, or c) I sit on my own. None of these options are ideal for any of us but they could all be avoided if you’d sat somewhere else.

5. Listen to me. My condition and how I’m feeling with it changes from day to day, and what was fine yesterday might not be today. I will always try my best to communicate what I can and can’t manage; all you need to do is keep an open mind and listen to what I’m telling you.]


Not all of these points will apply to everyone with a disability, but certainly the 1st, 2nd and 5th should apply to almost everyone. I often find that nobody really knows what to do when they discover that I’m disabled, and I’m often asked “how can I help?” but never have much of an answer, so I finally thought I’d put together a masterlist for my friends to take a look at.

Can IG ACOTAR accounts stop posting posts on Tumblr without the respected credit?

I found a post from the ‘Explore’ tab on Ig and it’s a screenshot on Tumblr, created by one of us here. And I clicked on it because there was no credit to that person? And as I’m scrolling I find a couple of my own personal posts WITH MY URL CROPPED OUT?

What the actual fuck? How hard is it to KEEP PEOPLE’S URLS ON THE POST. I swear I never get salty, except for this shit. 

Copyright and giving credit where credit is due is a form of respect to the person who originally posted it. I would never share someone’s painting or song or novel somewhere without acknowledging where it’s from. The same reason why you footnote, or you Harvard reference on a paper. I come from a heavy graphic design, photography background and I AM BIG ON ARTIST APPROPRIATION.

STOP THIS SHIT PLEASE. It doesn’t take more effort to leave someone’s URL on your screenshot. RANT OVER.

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Art School | Sophie Roach (Austin, TX)

Drawing and painting her way through an imaginative landscape of intricate and visual entanglements is Austin native, Sophie Roach.  Her artwork has endlessly covered  surfaces from– guitars, beer cans, Vans, to entire rooms.  And if that isn’t already insanely rad, her organic approach and laid back attitude make her not only incredibly humble, but also a super awesome collaborator.  While finishing up one mural and starting up new projects, we had the chance to ask Sophie a few questions about her art, her career, and her approach – from finding her voice, attacking a mural, to digging the quietude one might find as a mail person hah!  

Photographs courtesy of the artist. 

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just some silly little serra portrait drawing things that nobody asked for nor did need i’ll crawl back in my basement now