For the Love of Pixels

Gradients.  Colors.  Abstract Textures.  The world of graphic design includes so many varieties of elements that one can’t begin to count the ways on which to design.  The possibilities are endless, and that’s not just a cliché.  You can really get lost in the symphony of techniques that it takes to create a work of art, and while art is meant to be interpretive, it encapsulates you and invokes emotions in you that lie just below the surface.

What are those brilliant colors on the screen, and what do they mean?  How does it make you feel?  Tackling those questions in Art 101 really takes me back to the days where I discovered more than just color by numbers.  I discovered a world that existed centuries ago with brilliant artists, captivating creations, and brushstrokes so heavenly and surreal.  Names like Rembrandt, Monet, Seurat, and Picasso, to name a few, inspired me to go beyond what I see through their artwork.  To read between the colors and brushstrokes and see the representation of every pixel.

When you look at a picture, painting, or design, your mind takes a snapshot of what you see, and it ties your emotions into the moment – even but for a moment.  You get lost, and you envision something delicate and rare.  If you like it, you will always like it and if you hate it, you will always hate it but that’s what art does.  It brings out your honest critic and teaches you something about yourself.

Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor, and his work was controversial because he painted modern style nudes.  One of his most famous oil paintings, Jeanne Hébuterne with Hat and Necklace, is brilliant because of the way the woman’s expression is captured.  How the shadows around her eyes allow you to see through her soul.  You could imagine how she looks off the canvas and you begin to wonder why she is sad.

But look beyond and look deeper.  While simple and altruistic, the delicate colors play together, and you see pixels of a million colors shadowing and highlighting each other.  As the colors fade in and out, you imagine how remarkable it must have been for Modigliani to create this painting.  What his emotional state was, and what his intention was for you to feel something.

Even today as I sketch or draw, I wonder how my work will be interpreted one-hundred years from now.  Two-hundred years from now.  What my work will speak through its luscious visual content, how my delivery stirs emotions in someone else, and will my audience see the true raw talent of my work through the eyes of each pixel looking back at them. 

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