Thursday, May 6, 2010

Interview with AFH Graphic Designer, Massiel Grullon

Grand Circle International is a travel agency and they are huge supporters of Artists For Humanity. They commissioned us to create artwork for their building walls that were specific to the countries they provide tours to. The theme of this project is Asian deities. The character in the center is Ganesh, the Hindu god worshipped as the remover of obstacles.

Massiel Grullon is the Assistant Mentor of the AFH Graphics studio.
She took the lead on designing and creating the original artwork for the wallpaper graphic. This fall, she will be attending Montserrat College of Art.

Q: Please describe your creative process.

MG: First, I did some research online about different Buddhist elements and started doing a sketch. I handed it to the client for approval and they gave me feedback about placing some of the objects in specific areas. They wanted Ganesh to be the center piece and the other Buddhist elements to be around the Ganesh. I made the adjustments and they approved my sketch.

Next, I started coloring it with colored pencils, watercolors and acrylic paint on paper. The types of colors I had to use were deep reds, greens, yellows—a lot of earthy colors. I did some research in this book called “Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet”—and they used earthy, warm colors—almost pastel. I tried to mimic the way they drew things. It took me about three weeks to complete the original piece, which was 29x21 inches on paper.

After that, Haidan (Photography mentor) took a picture of the original piece, put it on the computer, and then Damon (Assistant Artistic Director) rendered it in Photoshop. Then we printed it on adhesive vinyl on the Roland VP-540 printer.

Q: What were some challenges you faced with this project?

MG: I couldn’t use any black, and that was a challenge because I’m so used to painting with black. It’s a big part of my style. I learned that colors pop out more and black can be dull sometimes. It was a good challenge and I’m glad I succeeded.

Q: What was positive about this experience?

MG: Getting it done! Some of the process was tedious—like the deadline, it was a short deadline. I really had to be responsible with my work and try to be an artist in the business world.

Q: How did it feel to see the finished piece on the wall?

MG: The moment I saw it all done and on the wall, just seeing it on the wall, I’m like “Oh my god, it came from my brain and now it’s in reality!” It’s really a great feeling.

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