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rissa

born: 1987
I am an aspiring graphic designer. My hobbies are writing, painting, drawing, listening to music, and traveling to different countries. I am also fluent in Spanish and would love to learn another language at some point.... [more]

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posted on 11.02.09

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Maxwell


Recently, I attended Maxwell’s Concert. It was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. Not only was his performance phenomenal, but it was also apparent that there was a lot of thought behind the “atmosphere” in the arena. The feeling was very ephemeral, which is similar to the sound of Maxwell’s music. Although most of the songs were slow, the audience was enthralled. Not only did Maxwell give a great performance but other great artists, Chrisette Michele, Common, and Bilal, graced the stage as well.  Stay on top of the latest news on Maxwell by visiting his official site at http://www.musze.com/


Kara Walker


Kara Walker is an African American artist who was born in 1969. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Much of Walker’s work revolves around the themes of desire and shame, exchanges of power, racial representations, fact versus fiction, and humor. Her work is so influential because it is eye catching due to the child like qualities of the work, yet horrifying once it becomes apparent  what the story is that is being told . To learn more about this artist, her work, and upcoming exhibits definitely visit  http://learn.walkerart.org/karawalker .


Leona Lewis


The British singer, of Guyanese and Welsh Descent, was discovered on the show “The X-Factor” in 2006. Her newest album “Echo”, will be released in stores November 17th. At the young age of 24, Leona Lewis has achieved worldwide fame and deemed one of the most popular singers on the global music scene. In February 2008, Lewis’ song “Bleeding Love” became number one on the Billboard Hot 100, a feat which no other British female singer had accomplished since 1987. Check out her page at http://www.leonalewismusic.co.uk/us_splash/ .


 

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posted on 11.02.09

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This past summer, I went to visit the Smithsonian in DC. I haven't been there since I was about 15 or 16 years old. Now that I'm a bit older, I can really appreciate the cultural value of the museum, whereas when I was younger my class would take field trips there in the winter, and all I could think about was why it was so freezing outside and how I'd rather be snuggled up in bed. This time I was especially excited because I was viewing works along with my sister and close friend, and was able to use some of my art history knowledge that I thought I would never have reason to impart upon anyone else. I walked into the Hirsshorn Museum (or at least I tried, but was momentarily trapped in the revolving doors thanks to my sister) and watched as my little sister's eyes lit up when she saw works by Chuck Close, Philip Guston, and the huge installation of the Man sitting in the corner (If you haven't been, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about when you see it or should I say him). The other museum I love to visit, that is part of the Smithsonian Institution, is the National Portrait Gallery.


I have always been fascinated by painting the human figure and developing creative compositions for portraits. We also went to the National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of the American Indian. The National Museum of African Art is definitely still as interesting to me now as it was when I was younger, but now it is for different reasons. As I walked through the museum with my sister and friend, all I noticed was how beautiful and intricate the designs were, whereas when I was younger I was excited by the fact that everything in the museum was so different from what I had ever seen before and that there were certain areas where I could interact with some of the objects. Then we went to the National Museum of the American Indian, my sister and I saw an exhibit detailing the culture and history of the Indian’s from the island on which our father grew up, who are also our ancestors.


We have only been able to visit our father’s island twice when we were much younger, so it was very educational, insightful, and exciting to learn about our origins. I love going to the Smithsonian because it most definitely unites art and culture. Also, the museum is free of charge. The museums I mentioned above are only a handful of the museums that are part of the Smithsonian. There is also the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and several others.

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Books


For anybody who   loves mystery books, I would definitely recommend reading “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. Other books I would recommend are “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “A Tale of Two Cities”. Toni Morrison is also due to be giving a reading at the National Gallery of Art in DC on Nov. 1st. She will be reading “The Fisherwoman” from Robert Bergman’s ‘A Kind of Rapture’.


Movies


Usually, I don’t cry when I watch movies, but “The Butterfly Effect”, “The Notebook”, and “The Pursuit of Happiness” made me breakdown like a baby. One of the movies with the best acting that I have ever seen in my life was “Batman: The Dark Knight”. Although Batman was supposed to be the main focus, I definitely think Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker stole the show. Other movies that really interested me , that  fall under the genre of romantic comedies but  have a twist, are “The Break Up” and “500 Days of Summer”. Also, I must say that I am a huge fan of Michael Cera, so any comedy he is in is likely to be hilarious.


New Stuff I’ve Tried


Lately, I have been becoming more and more interested in the genre of music that I refer to as ‘Jazz-rap’. Artists such as “Bert Matej” and “Loren Middleton and the Fifth King” are excellent examples of this genre. Many of these rappers are known as underground artists because of their sounds and often all too real lyrics, which discuss problems in the music industry, the rap industry, or in society. Often times these artists are not mainstream because their art is not about making the most money, or the catchiest beat for people to dance to in a club, but it is about creating the highest quality music.


On another note, not too long ago I was on vacation in Rhode Island.  I had the opportunity to try some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. I went to several restaurants in Newport and every single one I went to had very fresh seafood, not to mention beautiful views of the water.


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           Lately, my sister has been receiving lots of letters from various colleges trying to persuade her to apply to their school. My sister barely pays attention to them, but ever since starting my design program, I can’t help but notice what wonderful designs and layouts many of them have.  It’s almost as though the beautiful packaging says, “You may not have visited our campus, but look how awesome we are”.  Okay, maybe it’s just me. 


  Speaking of “maybe it’s just me”, on my way home I always love listening to the radio. Lately when the slow jamz start playing, the Dream’s “Sweat It Out” always comes on.  I hope it’s not just me, but whenever I hear this song it makes me giggle. Yes giggle. I think the Dream has a good voice but if you listen to some of the lyrics: “sweat it out/for the birthday cake/sweat it out/look at you look like a milkshake” (http://www.elyricsworld.com/sweat_it_out_lyrics_the_dream.html ).      Giggle.


I must admit that lately I have been missing 90s music. Maybe I’m just getting too “old” to appreciate the “younger” generation’s music any more(I hope I’m not the only 80s baby that feels this way).It  all started the other day when  I was listening to satellite radio, and just turned to the 90s station because I wasn’t sure what else I should put on.. TLC’s “Creep” came on and all of a sudden I could remember myself being six years old, hearing the song for the first time and riding with my teenaged cousin, thinking about how cool it would be to have my own car and blast my radio like she was doing. Songs I hadn’t heard in years started playing and brought back a variety of memories from my childhood and adolescence. I deeply miss all the boy bands that rose to fame such as Nsync, BoyzIIMen, and the Backstreet Boys.


 As well as being a lover of good music, I’m also strongly interested in design. I keep seeing advertisements in various magazines for drinks such as Crystal Light. In one ad it is being poured from the side of the page into a pitcher and springs out of the pitcher as if it is a flower (that is liquid). I am very curious as to how someone would execute such a feat in Photoshop, and make the lighting appear so real as if it were natural that liquid flowers could spring out of pitchers. As someone that has tried learning Photoshop, and had a bit of difficulty, I can really appreciate the designer’s work on the image. Here’s a slightly different example from what I have been talking about above.


 



image from ehow.com


 

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posted on 10.28.09

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The following images are from my trip to Mexico two summers ago.  That year I also studied Mexican Art and painters such as Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo, so it was wonderful to see some of the works I had studied in class, up-close.


 


 



 



Works of Diego Rivera




 


Ancient Art


 



More Famous Works by Diego



 


Beautiful Architecture of a Catholic Church



 


Ancient Architecture




 


 



Aztec Calendar



Ruins in Mexico City



 

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