Category Archives: M.A. Research

Group Project
“The Light Theater”

A collaborative project with Laura Osteen and Julie Woodburn nicknamed “The Light Theater” (title still pending) will include scene projections on a 3-Dimensional backdrop or stage. The three parts of the project include:

  • Component 1 – Papercraft Set. Our set will be designed in illustrator, converted to cut lines, and lazer-cut out of a sturdy material and built up in paper-craft form. (example, Fig. 1 – 3) These set pieces may include elements of transparency or painted matte white, depending on the desired effect given the concept chosen.


  • Component 2 – Scene Animation. Our storyboard, either set on one Papercraft Set or several (based on which concept we choose) will then be brought to life with illustration and After Effects animation. Each collaborator will choose a scene, using the vector masks of the set pieces as our guides, and tell the story in whatever style we so choose individually. (example storyboards, Fig. 4 – 7)


  • Component 3 – Interactive Installation.  The animated scenes will be exported into separate video clips, which will be playable with a physical user interface.  In concept, with use of the Makey Makey technology the user can approach the animation and change the scene with the buttons.  (Fig. 8)


Type Design: 3D Print Letterpress (Part 3)

After aforementioned trials and tribulations due to the overuse of the Makerbot 3D printer, I sought out another resource to make my letter prints. Bob Oglesby, owner of Host Engineering in Jonesborough, Tennessee was kind enough to print them via his modeling machine. To save on materials cost, I extruded the models to .25in instead of type-height which would be .918in. I was very pleased with the resolution of the print quality(fig. 1.)


fig. 1

During the printing process there were several challenges. I had at first planned to also print my furniture in order to set my typeface onto the block like traditional letterpress. Due to time constraints, strips of mat board were cut and used as leading between lines and also along side the lines of type as rails (fig. 2.) The tracking of the typeface I meticulously built into the models so the letters were set flush to one another (fig. 3). Since only one copy of each letter form was printed, words and phrases with multiples had to go through the press several times. For example, the word “HONEY” (fig. 4) went through the press 2 times.

The letters themselves were slippery so the ink had to be thick and sticky. A glossy, red, rubber-based ink (fig. 5) adhered to the faces of the type well (fig. 6 & 7), it also made a wonderful “shick” sound when rolled on. (fig. 8)

The accompanying artwork are vintage woodcut illustrations which I digitally collaged and printed on Strathmore off white drawing paper. The lyrics used are from my original song “Free Running Soul.” 5 prints in total were produced, 4 illustrative posters and one specimen sheet. (fig. 9 & 10)


fig. 9


fig. 10

This poster series was displayed in the graduate show “New Media Collective” in the Digital Media center on East Tennessee State University campus on Friday, December 11th, 2015.

Type Design: 3D Print Letterpress (Part 1)

In my New Media Studio classes I have been exploring the combination of digital and traditional art forms. The idea? 3D print a hand drawn type design for use in a traditional letterpress. So the medium goes from traditional (drawn) to digtial (vector and 3D extrusion) to physical (3D print) and back to traditional (Inked and printed.)

1) Draw a typeface design
2) Trace the letterforms in illustrator
3) Extrude the letterforms in Maya
4) Export and 3D print the letters.
5) Compose, ink and run the letters through a traditional press.

To begin, I researched traditional letterpress lettering and payed a visit to Asheville Bookworks to get a feel for the components of a letterpress letter.  I gathered up graphs and diagrams from online resources and studied type specimen (fig. 1 -3.)  I began experimenting with letterforms, drawing my inspiration from the vintage type sets.


fig. 1

fig. 2 & 3

fig. 2 & 3

fig. 4 & 5

fig. 4 & 5

Once I had selected a favorite from my sketches,  I began scanning and drawing the letters in illustrator. Testing with phrases and names, I developed a unified alphabet, preserving as much of the hand-drawn character as possible, with the use of Wacom Cintiq (fig. 6-9)


fig. 6


fig. 7 & 8


fig. 9 (Final Character Set)

Once I had a final set, I decided on now many vowels and consonants I would need in order to create the desired words and phrases for my poster prints. I also made some fun catch word such as “and” and “the” and also two ampersands. Since the letterforms contained too many paths to be uploaded into Maya all at once, I broke up the letters into 4 printable sheets, and imported them separately  into 3D Space.  (fig. 10 – 12)


fig. 10-12 (3D Extruded Letters)

NMS Innovators 3

This is a series of slideshows with examples from some of my favorite New Media innovators done as research in my New Media Studio M.A. program. In each of these there is: 1) A New Media Artist 2) A Group or Agency and 3) A New Technology.

Exercise 3


NMS Innovators 1 & 2

This is a series of slideshows with examples from some of my favorite New Media innovators done as research in my New Media Studio M.A. program. In each of these there is: 1) A New Media Artist 2) A Group or Agency and 3) A New Technology.

Exercise 1 & 2

The first is Jim Tierney – known primarily for his beautiful book cover illustration. The Pennsylvanian native now works for Penguin books and his illustrations have a flat, iconic, limited-color palate look that echo 1960s advertising.

PSYOP, a visual effects firm out of Los Angles best known for their Coca-Cola “Fantasy Factory” commercial spot. Their focus on brand story and use of playful characters in fanciful concepts are truly inspired examples of advertising.

“Paper” is an app by 53 that operates on a cloud-based system built for multiple devices, but with a focus on tablet note-taking and sketching capability. Interacting with their hardware “Pencil,” the system allows the user to group content into different “books” which, in a recent collaboration with molskeine, can be printed as fold-out paper books.

Lauren Hom, founder of “Hom Sweet Hom” is a hand-letterer and illustrator in Brooklin, NYC. Her commercial and personal work echo a distinct typographic style with playful letterforms and cheerful colors. She interacts with the local food industry (and indulges her love of snacking) through her blog “will letter for lunch” on which she offers to do chalk menus in trade for food.

ILoveDust is an agency based out of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. They are known for their edgy, loud, urban style. In their own words, they are “Collaborating with a diverse range of brands, from these shores and afar, and delivering world class illustration and graphic design…”