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New A-N “Art by Design” blog launched

March 14, 2014

To document some new projects I’m going to be working on over the next several months, I decided to start an A-N (Artist’s Newsletter) blog, titled “Art by Design”.  Rather than simply publish images of my work once it’s completed or in a gallery, I thought it would be a good experiment to show everything in-process (mistakes & all).  I’ve been meaning to blog for a while, but now seems a good time as I’ve started a new series of artworks that involve both analogue and digital techniques.   Please  follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you’re interested to hear about new posts!

Please click here to visit the actual post on A-N, or read below:

I recently read an article by Robin Sloan ( called “Dancing the Flip-Flop” which describes the practice of creating artworks, images or videos that were formed by an exchange between analogue and digital mediums.  An example of a flip-flop would be:

1. Making a drawing

2. Taking a photo of it

3. Opening the photo in Photoshop and modifying it

4. Printing the modified image and physically drawing on it with pen & ink

5. Scanning the new artwork & posting it online.

While this act of moving back and forth between analogue and digital is something I (and many other artists and graphic designers) do in their everyday practice, reading the article made me more aware of the process & how it impacts my work.  I realize that I ‘flip flop’ all of the time…but with an increasingly strong bias towards the digital.  Whereas I previously used the computer as a small part of the process of creating hand-made sculptural pieces, I now use the computer almost exclusively – only using hand-sketches in a preparatory way…then finally at the very end I return again to the analogue world when I print and assemble my artworks.  In other words, my practice has become almost completely computer-based.

This transition happened during a Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant I won in 2012.  The project specifically involved an exploration of digital tools, in order to experiment with links between packaging design and contemporary art.  There were clear reasons to work digitally: scale is flexible, changes can be made quickly – and images can be repeated, distorted, and adjusted much quicker than creating them by hand.

However, the move to digital began to estrange me from the manual aspects of my work – and it began to worry me that I might never again be able to interject hand-craft back into my work.  I missed the physical act of creating art – the mess, the success of making a perfect mark, the unpredictability of materials like inks and paints.

So…I’m going to take a half-step back into the ‘analogue’ world again and create a new series of artworks that use the best of both realms…and see what happens.  This blog will be a chronicle of my experiments and inevitable failures – as well my thoughts regarding intersections between contemporary art and design practice.  Please stay tuned…

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