Play to Make

Fall 2021



Scaling is used a lot in monster movies, and movies where a large effect needs to happen on large objects, and where audiences are forced to realize the magnitudes of objects. The two instances that I can think of is the movie Independence Day which features physical scaling for special effects, and Godzilla: King of Monsters, where Godzilla and King Ghidorah where they show the two monsters side by side. In Independence Day, when New York City was being destroyed, a great wall of fire comes rushing at the audience and pushing Boomer (the dog) into a tunnel with his owner. This effect was made by making a small scale model of New York City, turning it sideways, and then blasting fire onto the model. This made the effect look much more devastating and realistic.

In Godzilla: King of Monsters, there is one scene in particular that really shows how massive these creatures are, even compared to each other.

We see King Ghidorah to the left and Godzilla to the right, and in the middle, there is a very very small speck which is an entire hovercraft, filled with people. In this photo King Ghidorah towers over Godzilla. The size difference between the two is massive. I think that is really what makes this scene so jarring. The audience is thinking, the “good guy” is so much smaller than the bad, and then look at the puny humans in between that do not stand a chance.

I wanted to mention both types of scaling, because they both can play a big role in film making, but are used very differently.


“r/Shittymoviedetails – The Producers of the Classic 1996 Film Independence Day Actually Destroyed Multiple Cities to Make the Mother Ship Scenes Seem More Realistic. They Determined That It Would Be Cheaper than Using CGI.” Reddit, 2019,

Fandango. “Godzilla vs King GhidorahThat’s HEAVYWEIGHT Battle” Twitter, Twitter, 10 Dec. 2018,


Class Wrap Up

I am going to be very honest. I am an engineering major. I have never taken an art class in my life. The closest I ever got to art was my freshman year of high school I took a serious choir class. Easy to tell that these two classes are very different. I like science and math because (for the most part) they are provable. There are right and wrong answers, and your work defends itself. This class was the total opposite. There were no right and wrong answers, and every piece of your project you had to defend to a roomful of your peers. I think that illuminated a lot off problems I thought I had with the class, but I really just had myself.

I realized that I have a few perfectionism issues. I can see in my head how I want this project to look, but when my abilities fall short I give up. A semesters worth of my abilities falling short has left me with the mindset “If I can not do this perfectly, what is the point of struggling now.” I recognize that this is a problem, and has gotten to the point where I can not fall asleep at night thinking about eventually having to finish the work, but I still can not work on it. On top of this I never had a definitive answer on how I was doing in the class. I might have an A right now, and have produced decent work, or I might have a D and have ruined my GPA.

It also has shown me that I have attention issues. During the 40 minutes I have been writing just this blog post, I have been distracted by one intrusive thought which has led to two more since.

Even after all of that I didn’t hate this course. I like doing art projects, but I don’t think I ever want to be graded on it again. This course taught me a lot about myself, and I am grateful for that, but if I ever have to show someone else something that I hate and call it “art,” it will be too soon.

Thank you, Professor Sullivan, for teaching us to go on a walk and enjoy light, and truly experience what is going on around us. I appreciate it.


“How Arts Benefits Us All, as Humans.” Continuing Studies at UVic, 7 Aug. 2019,



Symmetry (or the lack of) can be seen everywhere. I am not kidding. Thinking about how to start this post I looked up at the shelf in my room (praying that the right words come falling into my brain cells, (they never do)), and saw that the top shelf poses a type of symmetry. A red object, then a black metal one, followed by another black metal object, then a red object. Yes, I know that is a long stretch, but my brain made that connection, and enjoyed it.

But what about deliberate symmetry. Symmetry in film, art, houses. Not only linear, but radial symmetry. The funny thing about using symmetry is if done right, it can be visually stunning, but the slightest imperfection is glaring.

I see symmetry used in long shots fairly often. Two lovers fatefully meeting in a meadow. Although the background is not perfectly symmetrical, the colors blend together as you fixate on the two people equal distances away from the frame. But in a complete 180, symmetry can also be seen in Bridgerton in a duel for a lady’s honor. Linear symmetry can easily signify two lovers who can not rush into each others arms fast enough, and two foes who are eager to kill each other.

An easily identifiable form of radial symmetry in art are mandalas. The classic mandala is perfectly radially symmetrical, and pleasant to color in.


I took the first picture…

Roth, Julia. “BRIDGERTON Recap: (S01E04) An Affair of Honor.” Geek Girl Authority, 25 Dec. 2020,

Fancyart. “Leaf And Petal Floral Radial Mandala Stock Vector – Illustration of Floral, Indian: 125740632.” Dreamstime,


Comic Book Eras

Comic books have been around for over 100 years now. They have gone through bloody wars, a depression, a cold war, McCarthyism, two civil rights movements, a LGBTQ+ movement, and a pandemic with a body count that is still rising. With many great shifts of ideology, technology, and media presence, comic books have changed too.

There are four main comic book eras that most comics fall into, and it is really simple to keep track of: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Eras.

The Golden Comic Book Era was mostly populated by simple designs, and politically charged messages. Superman was one of the first popular comic books and superheros. During this era of comic books, the main hero did not suffer too much. He was almost always able to defeat the bad guy and save the day. When war time came, comic books, cartoons, and other forms of media where used as propaganda to convince young men to join the war effort or support it.

The Silver Era of Comics is marked by the interjection of aliens into the fray. Some of these comics have more detail, and heavier tones/content, but are still acceptable for children to read. Since some superheros have already been flushed out, now they form teams and organizations like the Justice League, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Teen Titans. It isn’t until the Bronze Era there is a bigger shift in comics.

The Bronze Era was completely different from the previous. Instead of focusing on grandiose villains, Iron Man had an alcohol addiction. Heroes now had flaws, and other more close to home issues to deal with rather than just saving the day. Antiheroes, like Spawn and Venom, became very popular. The Joker who was once a laughable character became a mass murder, similar to the one portrayed the one in the Dark Night movie series. These comics were intended for adult audiences, and now carried more weight behind them. On the other hand, women and other minority groups gained a lot more representation in comic books during this time.

Finally, the Modern Era which we are living through right now. It is definitely safe to say that a lot of the audience who would have previously gotten into comics have been hoked on things like anime or cartoons instead. The abilities the drawn world can give are vast, but these days, anime is able to provide a more in depth experience than comic books. However, we can see comic books live on through movies and further adaptations into animated series.


“Action Comics 1.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation,

“Captain America Comics (1941 Golden Age) 44 Coverless 0.3.” Comic Books: Buy, Sell, Trade, Consign, Collect, Mycomicshop,

“Marvel Silver Age Reading Order Part 1.” Marvel Guides,

Haney, Bob. “Silver Age Teen Titans Archives.” Amazon, DC Comics,

“1970’s Comics: The Bronze Age.” Comic Books,

“Venom (Comic Book).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation,


Furniture as Art and Aesthetics

Houses are spaces that if given enough time, money, and know how, can be made into exactly what any person wants in terms of comfort and aesthetics. Doing a simple google search of “different types of home aesthetics” I am met with a long scroll bar of vastly different design philosophies. One of the main aspects of a home that makes it unique to its owner is the furniture inside of it.

I will be looking at what makes three types of aesthetics: Rustic, Industrial, and Art Nouveau.

Rustic homes are known for their exposed beams, and worn wood and stone look. The main colors in this style are browns, yellows, greys, and blacks. The dark wooden look is often paired with plenty of large windows to let in natural light, and exposed Edison bulbs and yellow light bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

Industrial looking homes have both modern and vintage styles to them depending on how each person wants to decorate their homes, but one thing that they have in common is the stark cleanliness and sanitary fashion of this style. This aesthetic features a lot of metal, tile and glass in its design. Its main colors are whites, blacks, and greys with either cool or warm tones to supplement. Homes that look like this do not necessarily offer a “homely” comfort, but a relaxation from chaos instead. Most of these homes will be well lit, and have lots of windows, and have key parts of its build exposed like structural columns, ventilation ducts, and wiring.

As I was looking for Art Nouveau styles I was shocked at how many times Art Deco came up instead. This actually is very understandable, since most people grew up learning about Art Deco in relation to the 1920s. Art Deco is flashy and stunning. It uses bold lines and colors and leaves a sense of unyielding. While it is gorgeous, I do not believe I have the confidence to implement such a style into a home of my own. Art Nouveau styled furniture, on the other hand, can be made into a statement piece in a much subtler way. This style takes after nature in many ways. It uses curves as decoration as apposed to Art Deco which uses straight lines and angles. Art Nouveau features stained glass, earth tones, golds, blues, and just about any color you could find in nature. I particularly like this style because it is reminiscent of elvish fantasy and cottagecore aesthetics. Modern day implications of this style will most like the first picture, with a center piece being the attraction. Without major architectural work, achieving this style can be very hard and costly.



The rustic examples all came from this page:

“10 Rustic Home Ideas with Very Amazing Design Aesthetic.” Talkdecor, 16 Feb. 2019, 

The industrial examples come from this page: (Although I could not find who to give credit to for the photos, Dmitry Sheleg designed the space)

“An Industrial Home With Warm Hues.” Home Designing, June 2016,

The Art Nouveau pictures come from these sites:
Schenker, Marc. “Art Nouveau Design 101: Everything You Need to Know.” Creative Market, 19 Mar. 2018,

Valeris, Monique. “Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Art Nouveau Design.” ELLE Decor, 28 Mar. 2019,

Ferris, Bill. “Ultimate List of Interior Design Styles, Definitions & Photos.” Interior Design Guides, Trends & Tips, Decor Interiors, 28 Feb. 2020,

Holland, Charles. “At Home with Victor Horta, the Master of Art Nouveau.” Apollo Magazine, 8 June 2019,


Differences in paint

Everyone knows about three different types of paint. Usually people think of Acrylic, Oil, and Watercolor, but there are two other types of art paint which are Gouache and Encaustic paints. These 5 paints make up the most important paints for art purposes.

I have the most experience using Acrylic paint, and it is one of the easier paints to get a hold of. Acrylic can be used on just about any surface, but has a medium color coverage. Acrylic can dry fairly fast, so time is against the painter.

Oils, on the other hand, can stay moist for a much longer time. Since oils are a thicker consistency than Acrylics they are easier to blend and have better coverage. This allows for the painter to take more time to create the perfect color and shapes on a canvas. Since the oils are able to stay wet for longer, the oil takes a long time to dry.

Watercolor and Gouache are similar in consistency when wet, but have different levels of pigmentation. Watercolor is less pigmented that Gouache. While watercolor seeps into paper, Gouache leaves a bit of a chalky feeling where it is applied. I am interested in comparing the two side by side to see first hand how they compare.

Encaustic paints are a wax paint. I had never heard of this type of paint. I think this paint might be the hardest to work with, but I think it would be very pleasing to touch a piece of artwork using this paint. I think the texture combined with the artwork would be very interesting to encounter.


Takahashi, Lisa. “Acrylic Paint Guide.” Jackson’s Art Blog, 24 Aug. 2020,

Barnes, Sara. “Top 8 Oil Painting Techniques All Beginners and Professionals Should Know.” My Modern Met, 4 Feb. 2019,

“r/Watercolor – Clouds – Comparing Watercolor, Gouache, and Acrylic.” Reddit, 2019,

McNee, Lori. “Easy Tips for Packing and Shipping Encaustic Art Safely.” Lori McNee – Fine Art & Tips, 29 Sept. 2016,


Erik Johansson – Surreal Photography

Erik Johansson is a Swedish photographer who specializes in creating surreal photos. Surrealism is making something that looks realistic, but obviously is not. This can be something as simple as making a long line of cars meet at a single point like in this photo, You First.

And can have others that are much more eerie like Up the Past

A large part of Surrealism is to create a feeling of inease, and I think Erik Johansson does a great job of that. I enjoyed scrolling through his website to looking at his work. His website is at You should check it out.


Johansson, Erik. You First. 2020.

Johansson, Erik. Up the Past. 2020.

featured image:

Johansson, Erik. Looking for Stars. 2019.


Glass blowing

There are two main types of glassblowing, Mold-blowing and Free-blowing. Mold blowing is where molten glass is blown into a pre-made mold. These molds can be made of plaster, wood, or metal. This type of glass blowing is used to create scientific and utility glass wear. Free-blowing takes a more artistic style to the form. By Free-blowing, one is able to carefully shape and bend the glass. I really love how much skill and care goes into glass blowing. The pieces can shatter instantly, and if not practices safely, can lead to severe burns and cuts. Glass blowing is quite beautiful to look at, however, I doubt I will be able to practice it anytime soon, as the processes can be time consuming.


“Glass-Blowing Workshops at Seattle Glassblowing Studio & Gallery (Up to 48% Off). Four Options Available.” Groupon,

“Intro to Glassblowing: Tumblers Glasses – Glass Blowing Classes New York: CourseHorse – Brooklyn Glass.” CourseHorse,


Drawing Technique

Stippling is where you add a truckload of very small dots to your drawing to add depth, shading, and texture to your drawing. This can be done to add a cloth like look to the drawing, but it can also help add fur or feathers. This technique is often done on pencil  and pen drawings, as it is easier to control the line weight of each dot. Often times lines are too defined for shading, and it is easy to see where lines start and end. Stippling is a much subtler way to add depth to a piece.


larson, sam. “Stippling 101 – Monday & Tuesday.” FCS ART BLOG, 19 Mar. 2017,

Hauss, Eugenia, et al. TheVirtualInstructor Blog, 27 June 2019,


The Importance of Motive in Design

In design, art, or any creative medium, it can become very easy to lose the purpose of your project when you focus hard on aesthetics or type of style. Something can look nice, but if it isn’t cohesive, then it can feel somewhat empty. Art is very much about strategy and planning. People say that they just go in and feel the music, or feel the animation, and that can be true, but it can lead to largely inconsistent results for beginners. So, I assert that in art, a plan is a necessary way to keep your project cohesive. I would like to cite Don Hertzfeldt’s EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY as an example of something that goes absolutely insane, but always comes back full circle to its original purpose.

In the short film, we follow a stick figure named Bill who explores his world as he falls into the depths of some fatal neurological disorder that is causing his mental functionality to fluctuate. It starts off relatively normal, with this strange but cute back and forth between Bill and the World. The things that he thinks are a little strange, but it’s fine… at first. Slowly, his thoughts become more disoriented and everything becomes much stranger. However, it’s still the same Bill. Things then take a turn for the worse around the climax, which can be view below:

(DISCLAIMER: Graphic Content and Kinda Scary)

As you can see, everything came crashing down and every single effect you could think of comes through. You think, what’s going to happen to Bill? Is he going to be okay? Bill will be okay. In fact that’s what the title entail: Bill may be dying, but he always comes back around to the same person. Bill is always going to be okay, nothing more, nothing less, his entire life is just okay, even on the brink of death.

It may not be that obvious, but the themes of nihilism and come back around and actually ties up those themes together into a conclusive ending. No focus is ever lost: it is a cohesive whole from start to finish.