What Makes an Artist

When I think of someone who is an artist, I think of someone who has a drive to accomplish something, that sees a purpose in what they are doing; takes pride in their work. I often feel I never do any of these things, whether doing an art project or not.When it comes to doing assignments I am given by professors, I do enjoy certain aspects of them on occasion. This is usually not the case though. The¬†only drive I have for every project is knowing that it is an assignment for a class and without completing it, I will fail. If I fail or refuse to do my assignments, then I am wasting my time, money and resources. In my eye, to be an artist, you need to be able to have an actual drive and purpose as to why you are drawing what you are drawing. Of course, this is not always the case and you could draw something at random. But as these are projects and have certain requirements, I must try to meet the requirements of what is asked. An artist is able to go about their everyday lives and take inspiration from everything that they encounter. I feel I can not do this on the same level as others. I do use inspiration from life, but on very rare occasions. If I’m working on something that isn’t an assignment, then it often has a dark, psychological theme to it; usually compared to Tim Burton’s look. If I want to become an artist, I need to be able to take more inspiration from my surroundings to use in my work instead of just using the ideas that are in my head; often repetitive. I also need to be able to find a stronger drive to actually do work.¬†Although I brought up that not all work needs a drive of some sort, I find it difficult to work on and appreciate something that does not have one. It just seems like a waste of mediums to work on something that you actually have no passion for. But again, like I said, this is only on some occasions and not all. But its still enough for me to feel that I myself am not an artist.


Silhouette Image: UPDATED


I made an update with feathered edges to remove some of the blockiness of the layer mask and also increased the visibility of the white background.

Paper Mask: UPDATED


To give my mask a more aged and heavily used look, I scratched the dull edge of my cacti knife agains the surface of the paper to create a chipped/peeling look. I then added various cut outs and smaller cut marks along the surface of the mask; most noticeable in the lower jaw. I applied heavier damage to the lower jaw and cheeks to make it appear as though the mask had been hit repeatedly in these regions; from punches and other heavy force inducing acts.

Paper Mask


Originally for my paper mask project, I intended to build a characterized old man face. This included a movable jaw piece that would move with the users jaw, but after multiple attempts and tests, I could not get it to work. I then decided to build onto the main mask frame I had designed and make it into a warrior type mask with a paper chain link beard, a nose bridge piece, nose guard and spiked cheeks. I feel I could have done a bit more research on various warrior masks to get inspired on various features to include, but other than that I am happy with the way it came out.

Phenakistoscope Project





For my phenakistoscope project, I started by making a basic layout in Photoshop. This included the proper dimensions of the circle, the location and angles of various objects such as the viewing slots and other objects and lastly basic color. I then imported the image into Illustrator and traced the edges of every object to make a raster outline that the laser cutter could understand. Using color mapping on the cutter, I was able to completely cut through the material to cut out the outer edge and viewing slots. But for the items such as eyes, eyebrow, ground and ball, I assigned a different color to cut a different power level so that it would only burn the top layer. I then took the final cut and traced over all the etched parts with a fine sharpie pen. Next, I took a thicker sharpie and filled in the iris of the eyes and eyebrows. I then took water colors and filled the eye with red and ball with blue. For the eyes I mixed water on the color to give it a smooth texture on every other eye. When viewed at a certain speed, this gives the eyes another “animated” aspect. I then scanned the phenakistoscope into my computer and animated into the gif shown above.

The principles of animation I used for this piece were squash and stretch (the ball bouncing on the ground), anticipation (the ball squashing on the ground; ready to spring up again) and timing (fitting the bouncing action of the ball into the 12 “frames” on the disc but maintaining a realistic time/space look)

Overall I am very happy with the way my phenakistoscope turned out. I had thought about adding some various background colors but decided to go without. I would defiantly love to create another one of these, but on my own time so I can be more flexible with my deadline and get all of the details I want.