Category Archives: My Designs

Rock on, Austin… a city of fun, love, and music

I really can’t shut up about Austin.

I do love to brag. But really it’s that I want to share with everyone what a wonderful place it is.

Austin is one of those places I’ve been dying to go to for the last 8 years (jeez, now I sound old). Honestly, I don’t know what took me so long. My time there gave me flashbacks at a point in college when I insisted I wanted to be a hippie nomad who just did art and wandered the world. Clearly, that didn’t happened but it was fun to be free-spirited for five days and just lay in the grass and listen to music.

This trip happened at an interesting point in my life. I’m going through some personal stuff and my heart hurts. The music was truly healing, as was being with my friends. I also randomly met a fella who is in a related field (advertising) and he was a wealth of knowledge about the industry and gave great recommendations about design schools. I can’t help but believe it was fate.

While I was there I took pictures incessantly on my iPhone. I felt inspired and clearly I found a nice photography groove… Enjoy

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Miami, I love you

Just looking at these pictures MAKES ME HAPPY. Especially with this won’t-quit-rain in DC. Enough already, weather gods.

This was a much deserved and welcomed girls trip. And, Miami is the kind of place where I can be guaranteed to feel completely immersed and stimulated in my environment by new and exciting experiences. There’s no looking back or ahead, there’s just this exact moment in time.

Seeing as its FASHION WEEK — this also makes me giddy with happiness — I wrote a post on my friend Carrie’s blog about some Miami fashion finds. Check it out, if ya know what’s good for you.

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Making the world more beautiful one Instagram pic at a time

In the last 72hours, approximately, I have become wildly addicted to Instagram.

It’s a blissful obsession.

I never thought a pic app could be so powerful and produce such wonderful, professional quality images. Besides the filter options, I love that there is a social component to the app, so you can easily share and view pictures by others.

It reminds me of the Forbes article “Why Fashion Bloggers Are Flocking to Instagram” I read earlier this year. I know completely understand why this tool is so sought after.

I’ve been snapping/filtering away, and I want to share some of my favs with you. Scroll over each to see the name of my mini masterpieces.

If you like what you see and know what’s good for ya, find me on Instagram — my username is AnneMarieDC!

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Signature Theatre posters for Sunset Boulevard

Here’s another project to share with ya’ll. The assignment was to design poster ads for three performances for the current season at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. Among the performances, the first I chose was Sunset Boulevard, the classic 1950s romantic tragedy about the price of frame in old Hollywood. The heroine is Norma Desmond, the delusional former silent movie queen.

My research involved watching the movie (for the first time), which I thoroughly enjoyed. Something about black and white flicks makes them feel particularly special. And, its always an accomplishment when I can successfully sit throw a movie without talking the ear off of my company, falling asleep, or getting bored. One of my favorite quotes is “It’s not me, it’s the movies that got small.”

My visual interpretation of Sunset Boulevard involved Norma Desmond’s distinct features… her wild mane, her crazy eyes, and her creepy hands adorned with an old fashioned cigarette holder made into a ring. After all, I decided to focus on her distinct facial features.

I came up with three poster versions, and will begin with the one I like best and go from there… I love this one because the layout speaks to how Norma unravels by the end of the play. Interestingly, it was the last one I designed…its great when those last minute creative instincts kick in. Enjoy…

Colorful CD cover design for French house dj

Check it out! Or should I say, Ici c’est. Another design from yours truly…moi. This design was really fun and came together pretty well if I say so myself. I’m proud, and I must say it feels nice to show off a little.

So, the background deets….this project involved finding a musical artist on a free music site called Jamendo. After looking around a bit, I landed on DJ BertyCox, a French house/electronic DJ. The album I picked, the Signal, is really energetic and makes you want to dance like your in a Miami night club or even better Europe. Through my design I tried to evoke this energetic feeling by saturating it with color and shape…pure, beautiful madness. And, as you can see there is barely any white space left. I just kept building upon the design; the more the better was the motto here.

All of the designs and type treatments are original illustrations that were inspired by Keith Harring, a CD cover for David Guetta, a dress pattern by DVF, and sketchnote artists I follow. The inside booklet did not consist of anything other than art because, well, there are no lyrics in DJ BeryCox’s music.

HUGE DISCLAIMER: I never double-checked the French so pardon moi if lots some of the grammar and word choices are off. I will certainly fix this for my final portfolio.

Oh, and if you’re interested in hearing DJ BertyCox’s jams, go here. While we’re on the topic, some other house-y music I’m enjoying at the moment from Fool’s Gold Records. A wanna be club-kid at heart.

Enjoy…

Photoshop adventures: retouching, masking, filter effects

Right now we’re in Photoshop class, learning all the wonders of this veryyyyyy complex program (e.g. it feels like there’s 5 different ways to do anything!). It’s daunting but so great once you get the hang of it. The real trick is to constantly practice. You have to learn the language and techniques of the program. Equally important, as my professor Tash pointed out, is to study how images look in real life, like how the sun hits an object to make a shadow, the way water reflects images, proportion and scale of objects, people’s skin and hair, and so on. The more you train your eye, the better you get at making your Photoshop work look realistic.

During one of our exercises we were given an image of a woman probably in her fifties and tasked to get rid of her wrinkles. I took this challenge on to the max. Check out the BEFORE and AFTER.

Original image

After I got my hands on it she looks 20 years younger!

Then I played around some more and took things a little too far. Thinner neck, chiseled jawline, bigger lips and eyes, raised eye brows, more narrow nose, and even smaller earlobes. Ekkkkk, Hello Barbie! Or should I say cast member of Real Housewives? A word to the wise… a little Liquify (tool under Filter effects) goes a long way. But at the same time I kind of think she looks pretty — isn’t it sad that our culture and media makes us think this is the definition of beauty?

Christened my fab new camera with a mega dose of DC Pride

After giving it some major thought, I took the plunge and bought my first semi-professional camera – the Canon G9!! It’s my new baby, and it’s beautiful. (No ugly babies up in here)

I realized when I started taking pictures for school and this blog that although I know little about the medium, I love photography. So I marched on over to Pro Photo (highly recommend), explained to the salesman what I was looking for and – ah, VIOLA! I chose it based on a recommendation from a friend (“It’s the one National Geographic uses”) and the salesman’s reinforcement (“It was used to take this panoramic picture of Obama’s inauguration, look at the clarity”). Basically the Canon G9 is just a much fancier point-and-shoot digital camera, so it’s not quite as advanced as a single-lens reflex (SLR). The one I ended up buying is second-hand but in terrific condition, and it came with a retro leather case, memory card, and two additional lenses. Just my speed and perfect for me.

I christened my camera at DC’s pride parade yesterday, and what a christening it was. It was a fun, rowdy day filled with happy gays, flashy drag queens, straight peeps with major pride, lots of dancing, and even more glitter. The pictures turned out great and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

This was truly an amazing weekend on so many levels. It’s going to be a great summer!

Drum roll, please… my first design project

It’s time for me to show off my mad design skills, and put my work out there. I am proud of how well my first school project came together, and I learned MUCHO along the way both on the computer and by using my hand.

The assignment was to create a design that promotes black history month. My idea was to bring awareness to the power of music by looking at how it created social justice for blacks in America, ultimately influencing the civil rights movement. More specifically, this includes the music greats of the 1930s jazz scene who took the U street neighborhood by storm. Based on my research, I loved the concept that Duke Ellington and his counterparts were looked at and appreciated for their music…”music that crept into the hearts of black and whites alike.”

My fictitious campaign was sponsored by the DC Arts District (DCAD) which encompasses DC’s Shaw, Logan Circle, and U Street Corridor neighborhoods.  The idea started as a street lamp post banner and then I turned it into a T-shirt design. Ultimately, I want to apply my design to more elements throughout the city, such as buses, bus stops, and flyers posted on the walls of local businesses around town.

Aesthetically, I was inspired by the designer Saul Bass’s hand cut letters, as well as the bright jewel-toned colors found in one of his designs (below) and on fashion runways. The illustrations are originals and the header text is also done by hand (see below for process images.) As a final touch I included the DCAD log and tagline of “It’s more the than art.”

Enjoy and by all means make a comment!


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