5376: Conceptualizing the Rushton Project

Honestly, I was at first pretty resistant and reluctant to take on this second design project–the artist homepage. Perhaps this had more to do with an overall lack of time to get business taken care of; perhaps it had to do with my less-than-wonderful time-management skills; perhaps I’m just lazy–any option could be true! Regardless, after thinking specifically about Lynn Rushton’s site for a few days, I’m much less resistant to the idea; as a matter of fact, I think I’ve had a few early design epiphanies that’ll get me quite started. (It helps that the secret little part of myself that always wanted to be a painter or sculptor has been drawn out a lot over the last few weeks.)

Here are some of the ideas that I’ve got so far. I must give much credit to Carie, by the way, who actually took these pictures of Rushton’s studio and thus provided quite a bit of inspiration. Two pictures to start with:

From PhD.umpingGround


From PhD.umpingGround

The first image is an assortment of “nonobjective directions in formatting surfaces” (as the text at the top says). I’m not sure exactly how, yet, but I’d like to use this as the splash page for the site (with some javascript mouseovers, probably–more on that later). Each “nonobjective” perspective would link to different sections of the site, different elements of Rushton’s portfolio, etcetera. I may include some element of this for navigation as well, but haven’t worked that out yet–I’ve still got lots of meta-work to do with how the site will be organized, obviously. This will also provide a basis for colors–I like the notion of working with cadmium reds and turquoises (both mentioned in class the other night), but haven’t yet found a backdrop. This could be it.

The second image is a nice shot of paintbrushes and the like. Again, while I’m not 100% sure how it’ll work, but this will be part of the metaphor for the site. This brings me to that–I’d like to have some sort of “studio” sensibility to the site; a look and feel that’s not quite as “clean” as a gallery, something with personality in every element, but something where the work and the perspective of the work is very much at the center of the narrative. I think the great thing about working with art here is that it already has its own perspective (one way or another). I’ve just got to frame that perspective in a manner appropriate for not only the site, but also for the artist’s purposes.

Another concept (that came up in class actually) that’ll be important is the Golden Ratio. Here’s a Fibonacci Spiral/Golden Ratio that I’ll be starting with. (I’ve got a big pile printed up, I’ll scan in some of my design ideas as they firm up!)

From PhD.umpingGround

I’ve still got a lot of playing around to do here as well, but I’m envisioning art on the left in the largest section, and narrative/navigational elements to the right and inward, all proportioned beatifully. By the way, if you’re interested in the numbers behind your Golden Design, there’s a great calculator here that’ll convert lengths down by the appropriate ratio. Pretty cool.

At this point, I’m probably going to put more time and energy into learning JavaScript than Flash. This is mostly an economic decision–with a 4/4 teachign load and a 10-month old in the house, there is NO way that I can afford the time (much less the bankroll) to learn Adobe Flash. Instead, I’ll see what can be done with JavaScript and other open-source options. There’s also the possibility of Silverlight, which I have access to through Microsoft Expression (but again, there’s the similar learning curve/time problems).


One thought on “5376: Conceptualizing the Rushton Project

  1. Chris, Don’t be jealous. My epiphanies were short lived. I was inspired about 5 minutes before I blogged by a telephone call that my custom bookshelves are coming Monday afternoon. But I have since learned that my bookshelf project is on hold, so the chaos of my study is now infecting my mind.I loved seeing you using my photographs on your page. I must admit that the page with the brushes was one that inspired me, and I thought the storyboard would give us all a good idea of the process of Lynn’s art.I am struggling with not knowing Flash, but I have a 13yo daughter who took web tech last year and learned how to use web tech. So she and I are going to work together some this week, and I hope she can help me learn Flash quickly! (She thinks I’m cool because I use Flash.)The Golden Mean idea fascinates me, and I’m struggling to integrate that into my page also…but I’m failing. :-)On a lighter side, I showed your website to my father tonight. He has a BA in English and Art from UT-Austin and a MA in Public Affairs (back when PA was design, communication, writing, art, marketing, speech, etc.) from American University. He is a Renaissance man, which I love. (Of course, that creates some conflict on my extra-credit design because he knows what he wants….) He was most impressed with your hot spots and your creative approach on your page.I like how you moved your name to become part of the photo. I miss the line, “You won’t know….” 🙂

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