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This past semester I was in a 2D Design class. It's been a long time since I last took an actual art class, so while we didn't do anything particularly difficult in this class it was still somewhat of a challenge for me.
Our weekly projects for most of the class were done in sumi ink on illustration board, each 10x10 inches. Each project was based on a certain design element (for example, balance, grid systems, radiation, etc) and for most of them we could only use basic shapes. That was really hard for me, to think non-objectively, and come up with something unique. Pictured are the first five projects, though we ended up with ten overall. My favorite was radiation, which is the bottom right in the photo. My technique itself wasn't the best but I really like the design I came up with.
Then we had two "final" projects, a book cover design and a flip book. For the most part I like how my book cover came out. There are some things that I could have changed and it is a bit simple but for something I'd never really done before I'm pleased with it. Although at first it seemed like the flip book would be difficult, I actually really enjoyed myself while making it and am very pleased with the end product. It could have been longer, but I ran out of time. This, like all of the other projects, was something I hadn't done before.
One thing in particular this class taught me was that thumbnail sketches are actually helpful (I know, imagine that!). I always hated them in high school and even at AIP I tried to avoid doing them as often as I could.. and while I still don't exactly love doing them they definitely help in the end. There were a lot of projects were I just drew pages of thumbnails before I came up with a design or layout I really liked. It's kind of weird.. but also refreshing to feel that I actually learned something from a college art class.