My 23rd Birthday Week

Yep, this past week (Wednesday) was my 23rd birthday. Though it was fun, I'm glad it is over. It was a definite lack-of-sleep week. I had so much to get done (which I actually did finish everything!) and needed some time to have fun. One of my friends from undergrad that lives in the suburbs and took me out without me know where we were going. We ended up going to Duffy's and after I was done with work for the day and ate and then others people that I met a few weeks ago showed up too. There was this deal that Amanda had that we could all drink beer for free for the first two hours and then only pay a dollar each after that. I think we all took pretty good advantage of that deal. There was also an 80s cover band later that was awesome that we had a lot of fun dancing to. I was feeling good that night and it was awesome to not worry about schoolwork for one night. Work all day the next day was a different story.... VERY TIRED, but I made it. Seriously, Thursdays have to change, I can't die at work every week.

Well this weekend was the beginning of public transportation issues once again. I knew that it was coming! Friday after I was done with work, I went to the BVIS computer lab since I had to work on this hemostat 3D Studio Max assignment since I was going to Milwaukee for the weekend. I accomplished quite a bit from the last time, but still was unable to finish. Anyway, at 11 PM, UIC has this opprotunity to take a free taxi service to our apartment. I have used it before and was pleased, but this was different. There was a guy receptionist (or whatever you want to call him) and he was the most rude individual I never want to meet. He seriously hung up on me and then when I called back he said that there was one cab so it could be awhile and then I asked how many stops the cab already had to take. He had no idea....HOW CAN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHEN YOU ARE THE ONE ASSIGNING THE CABBIE TO PICK PEOPLE UP?! I was a little bit appalled, obviously, and then he said, and I quote. "so do you want it or not?" Yeah! I wouldn't be calling if I didn't. I don't quite want to walk around later at night with my most expensive investment in a bag on my back. Well after waiting, we ended up calling a cab and right when the taxi showed up, we see the UIC bus go by.....AAARRGG!

When we got out of the cab from our 4 minute ride, we heard loud thumping music. Being tired from running on "E" for about a week, I just had to say "COME ON!" The boys upstairs were having another party with the door wide open with stupid girls with high heels on the tile floor upstairs. Usually I can handle it, but I was just incredibly annoyed with the whole situation and I was exhausted and wanted to get some sleep for once. After going up there after an hour, they shut up and I was able to sleep after packing for the next day. Note to self: pick an apartment where there is no one above you.

Phew, this is a lot to write about! Continued tomorrow!



Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 a: a judicial decision settling and ending a controversy b: the resolving of a question by argument or reasoning
archaic : termination
3 a
: the act of deciding definitely and firmly ; also : the result of such an act of decision b: firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end determination>
4: a fixing or finding of the position, magnitude, value, or character of something: as a: the act, process, or result of an accurate measurement b: an identification of the taxonomic position of a plant or animal
5 a: the definition of a concept in logic by its essential constituents b: the addition of a differentia to a concept to limit its denotation
: direction or tendency to a certain end : impulsion

: the fixation of the destiny of undifferentiated embryonic tissue
From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

The last definition is actually surprising; I didn't know that. Determination: that is what this week has been based on. I have had so much to do: 2 typography projects for Graphic Design, 2 tutorials (and another one by Friday) for Computer Visualization, a traditional inking and digital inking assignment as well as preliminary sketches for Illustration Techniques, and reading for Buisiness Practices. I am almost finished with everything which is good, but I have been working my little tail off to get it all done and done well. I'm assuming this is how it will be for the rest of the semester, but I don't mind being busy too much. Plus I'm going to Milwaukee this weekend to meet in the middle to see my family, so that will be nice, but I won't be doing much school work. This is just how grad school is, but I am learning so much, I love it!

So today we were working in 3D Studio Max and we had to do tutorials for making red blood cells and a syringe. I finished them yesterday, but did some tweaking to make them transparent and more pretty. I think they turned out pretty good, since just before this I made my poor, pitiful rocket. I may have to put the software on my computer though, I think I would do so much more playing and getting to know the program instead of going to the lab all the time. We will see.

Plus, I don't know if any of you actually have noticed (you'll know if you go back a bit), but not much has been going wrong lately other than being overwhelmed with stuff a couple of days ago..... hopefully it stays that way. The only thing that really annoys and frustrates me is when people butt into conversations where they are not involved and finish my sentences when I am fully capable of answering a question presented to ME, not you. Well now that I got that out, nothing else is wrong. :D

RBCs and Syringe in 3D Studio Max. Lindsey Pionek


Tiredness and Typography

I knew it was going to be difficult balancing an internship and classes in grad school, but I didn't think it would be this hard this fast! I usually work better under stress, but I need to transition into it. During winter break I just vegged out for the most part and enjoyed being a bum since I haven't actually had a break without a job for years. Now, assignments are already meeting their deadlines and my internship is definitely giving me enough experience! I'm only going into my 3rd week and overwhelmed. Friday was interesting; listen to this:

Friday morning I went into work at 8:30 AM since Illustration Techniques was canceled to get a few more hours in. I was already tired and was almost late because I could not sleep on Thursday night for some reason even though I was exhausted from the night and day before. I was at work until noon when I had to go to my Computer Visualization class. I had lunch during class and then at 2:30 class ended and I was off to catch the bus AGAIN to take me back to work. Got there at 3 and was expecting to stay until around 6...... it was actually more like 9! ON A FRIDAY! I definitely obtained more than 20 hours this week! Then it was off to a SAMA meeting/party (actually entirely party) in Ukranian Village. I was starving, cold, and tired when I got there, but it was a good time. We left "early" though, but it still took about 45 minutes to get home on public transportation. Phew! See what I mean? Just about every day is now like that for me, even the weekends since I have to play catch-up. I have to keep telling myself that this will pay off. :D

I worked on my assignment for my Graphic Design class and it is all about type as a compositional element. So, in honor making art out of type, I have an interesting t-shirt design with everyone's favorite font - Comic Sans. Yep, that is a heart made entirely out of letters. That had to have taken some time to create; it took me long enough to work on my own little assignment for class and I didn't create any figures out of my type! The shirt is only $22 from Veer, it may be another one worth purchasing!

Well off to attempt going to bed.....the boys are having another party upstairs so we will see how it goes... I don't think I'm supposed to take the time to sleep, it just never works out. And they are singing to Dave Matthews (hate, hate, HATE DAVE!) Grrrrr....zzzzz

Photo courtesy from veer.com Comic Sans Love t shirt.


What a Fantastic Few Days!

I have to tell you, I have been busy doing things other than homework for the past 3 days and it has been awesome. My boyfriend came down on Sunday night and left this morning after dropping me off at my internship. It was so good to see him and he just makes me feel so comfortable. We can seriously do nothing and still have a blast doing it. We met some new people, seen some new places, and ate and drank some good food and drink in the Chicago area. Our relationship has had a total turn-around and though we do have some stupid little spats (mostly about his Blackberry obsession and clumsiness [he loves to dump red wine]), we make up and appreciate what we do for each other. I'm in love, that's all I have to say. He left to go back home and I didn't want him to even though school work is creeping up on me again. Meh, I did a lot before he came up so now I just have to get back on track, it's do-able. I also have a lack of sleep from staying out too late last night and then having to wake up early and work all day... it was so worth it though.

Talking about the internship.... I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! One of our deadlines was moved up a month so instead of a month and two weeks to change things over, it has to be done in two weeks! Talk about pressure on top of school! Oh well, this too is a good experience since life as a graphic designer and illustrator is all about deadlines. Just hopefully we will make it as well as all of the other deadlines.

Since me and the boyfriend used a lot of public transportation in the past 3 days (not too many issues though for once), I wanted to find some anatomically-inspired art pertaining to the bus and train lines. Success! I found this "Follow It - Metropolitan Cardiac Authority" t-shirt on Threadless, a website that is based around t-shirt designs created and rated by the public. I love the creativity of the design as well as the wording. Too bad the designer doesn't have any description about his or herself, I would love to know more about them and their background. I'm so purchasing this shirt; it is only $15. Maybe I should submit some of my work on that site too!

Photo courtesy from Threadless.com. "Follow It" t-shirt design by j.p.


I Made a Rocket Today

Yes, yes, there it is. My first project in 3D Max. Needless to say, I had some issues at first, but being thrown into the assignment before formal technique instruction, I think it's okay. I know it is not medical-based at the moment, but probably the rest of the projects I will be doing will be. Plus they will be more complex!

I have to admit, at first I could not stand working on this. I did not know how to use it and even though I watched the tutorials provided, I just could not get anything to work. Thank goodness someone came into the lab and showed me a bit because I was so upset, irritated, and anxious on getting nowhere for 2 hours. After getting the hang of it and hearing "Rocket Man" by Elton John in my head over and over again, it was actually enjoyable. Hopefully it will stay that way.

I'm going to start scouring through basic tutorials for 3D Max as well. Here are a couple sites:
  • http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorials/3DS-MAX/Basics/1
  • http://www.3dstudiomaxtutorials.com/
  • http://www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials/tutorialsmax.asp
  • http://tutorialoutpost.com/tutorials/3d-studio-max (this one has a tutorial to model a dolphin! My favorite!)
Today I also worked out hardcore.... been doing pretty good at keeping a schedule for working out and eating right! I do feel a lot better and I feel like I am more productive..... that in itself is enough reason for me to continue!


Longest Friday Ever

Well I survived my first week of second semester! Friday definitely tested me though. I had class from 9:30 to 2ish (an addition of a class that I wasn't expecting on Fridays) dashed to work for 3 hours, and then dashed back to UIC so Heidi and I could work on our ear molds. It was so cold outside I thought I was going to turn into a popsicle. There was a group still working on their ears, so we just waited and got to work on ours. I have to say, anaplastology is interesting. I shouldn't say it is not my forte, since it is my first time, but it was interesting. I was totally out of my element. However, it worked out for the most part; I think so at least, we will have to see what Rosie has to say. It took some time though, we didn't get back to our apartment until 11:30 that night. So yeah, long day. Also, kinda scared to start working with 3D Max, I didn't quite get it when we were in class today since all I was thinking about was "I'm so late for work" for the most part. Hopefully some tutorials and videos will help. Some pretty amazing art can be made using this software. I will let you know how I'm progressing!

These funky pill and blood bags were made for fun using 3D Studio Max, Illustrator, and Photoshop by an interactive agency based in Konstanz, Germany called Tojio Lab. To check out some more impressive design from them, go here.

Photo courtesy of Tojio Lab. Pills and Blood Bags


MS and Art

Yay for Thursday! On Thursdays I have no class scheduled and yesterday my morning class was canceled because of the bitter cold. I wish I could have stayed in instead of freezing my tush off (negative temperatures...brr!), but it just gave me a few more hours at my internship. They kept me busy too, let me tell you. One of the projects I'm responsible for is my first brochure for the National MS Society dealing with volunteering. I'm a big fan of giving back to the community, so this project is something to look forward to! It is my first real project other than editing materials others have done, so they trust me and are giving me more responsibility. I was dying today though; coffee was not working. For some reason I couldn't fall asleep last night....so I tossed and turned in bed until 2ish. I was up this morning at 6:30. Ugh, I hope I'm not stressing myself out already!

While I was at work and tooling around National's website, up popped some medical-inspired art of the homepage! I was taken back because I wasn't expecting it. Of course, I clicked on the link and took a little break to read about Elizabeth Jameson and her art.

Elizabeth J. Jameson is a lawyer-turned-artist that started painting more frequently during her rehabilitation sessions for her progressive multiple sclerosis symptoms. Her first subjects were floral still-lifes, but eventually she wanted to paint subjects that would reflect her civil rights advocacy background. The idea of illustrating her disease came to her. The symbol of MS to her, and probably many others living with MS, is the MRI scan.

Jameson used her own MRI scans, lesions and all, to show the world what people living with MS see and go through when they are at the doctor's office. The process that she uses to transfer her own brain scans by silk or etching. Her use of color makes the MRI print stand out front-and-center. Her intention is to spur conversation by creating beautiful peices of artwork from something so menacing.

“It’s scary, it’s awful, it’s ugly — and beautiful, and intellectually fascinating, and aesthetically fascinating,” Jameson said.

To find out more about Elizabeth Jameson, go to her page on the National MS Society website, or to her portfolio website.

Photo courtesy of www.jamesonfineart.com. Jameson, Elizatbeth. Mind on Fire and Backbone


Illustration Techniques and Graphic Design

Day 2 of my second semester at UIC for my masters in Biomedical Visualization. Another full day, but great. In the morning we had John Daugherty's Illustration Techniques and he showed us all his portfolio through his career as a medical illustrator. His work and style is quite impressive! He even talked about some good approaches pertaining to rights of your artwork that you create. It was a very nice first day with him and it was entertaining hearing about his experiences throughout his years as an artist.

Next was Donna Hughes with our Graphic Design class. She is another successful and career-driven professor that we have. Not one just does teaching; it is incredible how they can balance all that they do. Donna has her own graphic design company and through tooling around on her site, I was quite impressed. She also designed Daugherty's portfolio site!

Though our professors ask quite a bit from us, I know it will benefit us all if we put the time and effort into it. I will have to keep telling myself that throughout my time here, though I love being here and learning the most that I can. I will come back to the specialties of my professors later!

Photo courtesy of Highlight Studios. Daugherty, John. Head and Neck Arteries


Better Listen, It's Back to School Time!

Well first day back and I am already overwhelmed! My theory didn't work in the manner that classes wouldn't be that involved today, we jumped right in! My first class of second semester was 3D Model Design with Rosie Seelaus, an anaplastologist that works here at the UIC Medical Center. Her work is very impressive as it helps people that have facial defects have more normal lives. Though the whole 3D art isn't my specialty, I think her job is special in the way that she creates functional art for people that are so appreciative of what she does for them... most of them at least. It must be so rewarding.

Anyway, we have to create an ear, yes an ear, and make it match our partner's other ear. She showed us the process already and we have to do it ourselves sometime this week. Should be interesting. We will see how it goes.

I was just googling ear art to see if there were any interesting images of anaplastology of the ear, but instead, I found some awesome body art. A skull on the antehelix of the ear! I wonder if she would like if I added a tattoo like this one! (courtesy of http://www.foundshit.com/skull-ear-tattoo/)

Later today we had our first class of computer visualization as well. I just found out that we have class on Friday for that.... oh no, I have an obligation to my internship on Fridays....crap. We worked it out though. I will talk more about this class on Friday!


Break is Over

Well, it's the eve of going back to classes and I feel like I'm prepared. I'm going to be a busy girl I know that and I don't know what to expect from some of the classes. It will work out though, I wouldn't get myself into situations that I know I couldn't handle. I think it will be hard this first week since I did absolutely nothing really during break, but I have to stay on task since 20 hours of my time will be taken by my internship. Mondays and Tuesdays are my longest class days, but they shouldn't be so bad this first week, I mean we don't have our supplies or know what we are doing, so how far can they actually go, right? We will see if my hypothesis works. Also, I need to start working out again for obvious reasons.

I have a bunch to get done to get prepared for tomorrow and work on other things just so I don't have to worry about it when classes are on top of it. Get ready for some interesting subjects for me to write about! I'll write tomorrow!

The "Go Back to School" and skull designs used today are from JP 33, a design and development studio that has done work for Sullen clothing, Juicy Couture, and Neiman Marcus to name a few. I like the busy and intricate details that all the designs possess. Well that's all for now, lots to do!


My First Internship

Sorry I have been slacking a bit, but I have been quite busy this past week. I am back in Chicago, THANK GOODNESS! I love my family and my hometown, but I can only take so much of the middle of nowhere. I started my internship this week at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society - Greater Illinois Chapter as a Web and Graphics Intern downtown.

NMSS Public Service Announcement

Though I am only in my first week, I enjoy the people I work with and love working for something that means something to me, though the experience is quite the perk too! I have my own little cubicle as well; it's neat to actually see what I will be able to participate in when I finish my graduate degree. I don't know what I was expecting on my first day, but we had a meeting and I was tossed into an assignment right away working towards transition of their web site and doing revisions of certain pages. They have been keeping me busy, but I love it! I would rather be busy at work and applying my skills than running around and getting coffee and lunch for co-workers.

It's been great so far, can't complain at all! Hopefully I will be able to balance work and classes. I have done it before in undergrad with 20 credits and 2 jobs at the same time, so it looks bright ahead! Stay posted!


Adam Brandejs

Adam Brandejs is a recent graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design and is already an award winning artist. Brandejs does everything from traditional and animated sculpture to graphics who works in multiple fields and media including physical and virtual sculpture, web development, and electronics design. At just 26, that is incredibly impressive. Most of his artwork has some medical basis around it from his GenPets installation, animatronic flesh shoe, to his special effects and prosthetics (one of them in a music video here). Adam has his own website which is different in the way that he explains his process. It is a fresh look and idea that makes him feel more approachable and real. Take a look!

A Fantastic Start to the New Year

Hello 2009! Looking forward to a new year with more life to enjoy and so far, it has been good. I spent the night with my boyfriend, Dan, and I couldn't have asked for more. This was the second New Years we have spent together, but this one topped the last. Though we did have our tough times, it has been good since we have started dating again a little more than a month ago. Prior to our break-up, we dated for almost a year. Nonetheless, we started where we left off but stronger than before.

Though he did hurt me previously, I am able to look past that and see the good person that he truly is and will (hopefully) continue to be. However, sometimes others cannot see that. It may just take some time, but I am willing to work for that and I hope he is too. I'm looking forward to being with him for some time...... though we may irritate the heck out of each other occasionally! We have been hanging out quite a bit during break, so it may be difficult at first to get used to not seeing each other as much, it will work out though!

Photo courtesy of Colorcubic, a worth-seeing design company blog http://colorcubic.com/blog/category/illustrations/