I am a Connecticut-based illustrator currently working towards my BFA in Communication Design at Pratt Institute. I have been involved in the creative field since my 2012 enrollment at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where I spent my first years of high school. While my focus of the past seven years has been digital illustration, I have experience across a variety of traditional mediums and enjoy experimentation. My work combines my interest in history, folktales and mysticism with inspiration taken from modern trends and aesthetics to create relevant imagery. I am passionate about the research that goes behind my projects and how they can be used to communicate ideas or problem-solve. In 2017 I received the CAS Outstanding Arts Award and by 2020 I will have been featured in five exhibitions.
As a couple weeks have passed I decided to change up the schedule a little bit. It’s been more productive for me to focus on pattern creation, so I now have 7 digital patterns. I plan on creating a few more with traditional methods. I’ve started on thumbnails for potential illustrations now that I have a better idea of what I’m working with & may find myself creating patterns to use in specific illustrations.
These are the six additional patterns I’ve made in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been playing around with patterns that are non-periodic (don’t actually repeat / top left) or repeat more seamlessly (top middle) as well at patterns that have a very obvious system of organization. I’ve also been really interested in patterns that use a scallop form and have been exploring organizing them manually (bottom left & middle) versus using the pattern tool on Illustrator (top right). I kind of like the imperfect lineup of the bottom left and how some white or overlap is visible.
As of right now some of the color and the backgrounds are not final. The background colors especially will be affected by the illustration these are used in- most are transparent right now (I don’t know why the preview for the bees put it on that grey color).
The movie industry tends to bring to mind scenery from sets in Hollywood Studios, the streets of New York or picturesque destinations. Maybe it’s just me, but I certainly don’t picture blizzard-prone Utica, New York. But Emily Sinnott Ramraz and her team saw something special in this small city when they chose it to be the setting for their film, Falling (2016). Directed by Ali Askari, Falling tells the story of a widower who, upon beginning a relationship with a free-spirited young woman, begins seeing his dead wife.
Emily Sinnott Ramraz, co-executive producer and costume designer, is actually a Utica native. “Utica has inspired me,” she told the Observer Dispatch. “We were embraced by the local community in a way that only Utica can.” If you visit the movie’s instagram page (@moviefalling) you may spot some familiar locations such as the Green Onion Pub, Utica Coffee Roasting Company, Utica Memorial Auditorium, and the sidewalks of Genessee Street. These locations, among many others, were used as sets during the filming process. Heather Delia, owner of Utica Coffee Roasting Company told the Observer Dispatch, “It’s very helpful that Emily not only showcases our beautiful city, but also that her and the film crew, support and source everything they can use locally.” The team even utilized local crews during the filming process. I think it’s inspiring for young creatives in the area to hear how the community was able to connect and collaborate to create a work of art, especially given the success the film has had in the film community.
Falling won Best Film in the 2018 Amsterdam International Film Festival, giving both Emily Sinnott Ramraz and Utica a reason to feel proud.
This week’s side hustle update is more of a mini one. I’ve been looking into some folk art imagery and wanted to test it out with relief printing. I used scrap wood and a friend’s extra ink for this test just to see. Unfortunately it was a rectangle so it doesn’t really line up when you rotate it & the design isn’t very polished, but I got an idea of how that process will work and what I need to develop.
I’m writing about Emily Sinnott Ramraz and the two movies she worked on filming in Utica. It took her a while to get back to me after initially reaching out to her on instagram about the interview, but she gave me her email and I am currently waiting back on her answers. I expect to have them by the end of the week. Until then my article draft is only partially written. One of my questions is where her favorite filming location was because I’d like the photo I include to be of that place.
In the meantime I’ve done my illustration which is inspired by movie entrances. The main center shape is inspired by the end of the Utica key. I may still rework some aspects of it. The illustration and article draft are both in the pdf linked below.
I’m working on my layouts at the moment and have two versions. The first version has three placeholders to the right where I could add in small photos of locations. The second version will be the first two pages if I end up needing to use two spreads, depending on how long the article ends up being.
My side hustle project will explore pattern creation. I’m researching various methods of pattern creation as well as their cultural history and contemporary use. I’m also researching various sources of inspiration such as historical themes and architecture styles. I will then incorporate the patterns into illustrations to be displayed alongside each other. I’ve attached my Week 4 Update & Creative Brief for more info.