Design Philosophy & Aesthetic
My aesthetic can be defined as natural, soft, and almost dreamy. Since I deal primarily in visual design, photography, and illustration I focus on learning techniques to produce the different effects I prefer. I like to capture colors occurring in nature, especially the bright and lively variety. I like to explore the impact of different light sources, how they soften subjects or bring them into sharp focus through contrast. Some of the less formal aspects of my aesthetic have to do with how the designs or photos are produced. I value spontaneity and authenticity. With photography, I’ll pull out my camera whenever something catches my eye. I like portraiture, but capturing what I see from moment to moment can be more rewarding even if the end result is not technically great. Aspects of visual design I try to incorporate purposefully into my work are balance, texture, color, and harmony. I like my designs to feel real—like you could hold the 2-D image as a 3-D object in your hands. I add in texture from photographs and overlay it with digital elements to achieve this effect. I make all of the small details that you might find in the genuine article. For example, I created a cross between a passport and scrapbook the newspaper centerfold about study abroad at St. Mary’s. It’s a photo of an open book on which I’ve imposed a watermark to make it seem like a passport, among other small details. Conversely, my illustrations are stylized but do incorporate texture and soft, natural colors. Every illustration or drawing is a chance to experiment with something new because the medium is so diverse in its capabilities. I prefer a painterly effect but will also try for a caricature-like style or simple line-art.
I’m always open to trying new and different techniques or styles. The desire to learn has always and will always drive my design process. Most of my work now has been created in an educational capacity and I would continue in the same spirit of curiosity and perseverance. The purpose of the designs, photographs, illustrations—everything I make—is to sharpen my technical skills and to challenge my perception of what it means to create. All of these are just modes through which I access myself. To me, it’s an outlet and an inlet. Like writing, it’s a channel I use to synthesize my thoughts and ideas—to organize my brain clutter or let it run wild. My design philosophy, put simply, is to create, learn, and change constantly—and to challenge myself to do the hardest thing which is to believe that I can do all of those things I listed and succeed.