Monday, September 8, 2008

Opinion Piece: The Death Penalty

When it comes to the death penalty, I have to admit that I have a harder time with this debate, as I don’t see it as much in daily life, nor have I dealt with an experience relating to it. I’ve thought both sides have some valid points, but I tend to lean towards being against it. With the “eye for an eye” response given often by the pro side, I often see that as being on the same level as a murderer.
Life without parole seems like a justifiable option, in that perhaps living that way for years on end could be a valid punishment. The issue is brought up with money, and in reality it usually costs more to execute a criminal than it would to keep them alive in jail (Montaldo). A study in Kansas indicated that a capital trial costs $116,700 more than an ordinary murder trial. In California, capital trials are six times more costly than other murder trials. Complex pre-trial motions, lengthy jury selections, and expenses for expert witnesses tend to add to the costs in death penalty cases (Dieter).
It also often looks like the justice system runs into problems of whether or not the prisoners are actually guilty. In 1993 in North Carolina, Levon Jones was wrongfully convicted of a murder in 1987. Despite being innocent, he spent 16 years on death row. In North Carolina, three innocent men have been released since December, and there have been a total of 129 innocent people released since 1973 (ACLU). With a corrupt judicial system, how can we be absolutely sure that those on death row are absolutely guilty? The death penalty is permanent for those who are innocent.
Another issue that the death penalty hits is mental illness. Recently, in Nashville, a severely mentally ill man named Richard Taylor spent 18 years on death row for a 1981 murder. Despite already known to have a mental illness, prison officials had stopped giving Taylor his anti-psychotic medication two months before his attack (ACLU). Mental illness cases often can be difficult, in that they might not always be legitimate. With cases like these though, severe mental illnesses can’t be seen in the same light as those who are mentally capable, especially if the mental illness has been apparent for some time.
As I mentioned before, the death penalty just comes across as merciless to me, and it creates another murderer in its own way. It seems that there just isn’t enough focus on evidence or a sound judicial system, and often bias, apathy, or hate create the corruption within it. It obviously can’t be perfect, but life without parole isn’t a permanent solution, and more could be done towards evidence.

ACLU. “Innocent North Carolina Man Exonerated After 14 Years on Death Row.”
August 25, 2008.
ACLU. “Mentally Ill Man Receives Life Sentence After 18 Years on Tennessee Death Row.”
August 25, 2008.
Dieter, Richard. “What Politicians Don't Say About
the High Costs of the Death Penalty.” The Death Penalty Information Center.
September 05, 2008.
Montaldo, Charles. “Death Penalty: The Only Justice for Killers?” August 25, 2008.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lettering Studies- Exercise 1

Form 1: Bread
For this form, we had to spell out our name and the words, "bread" and "dough" with bread.

Form 2: Blind Contour
This form involved creating blind contours that imitated a page given to us of various words and fonts.

Form 3: Negative Space
This form used the previous words, only the negative space of the words was the focus.

Form 4: Sticks
For this form, we used brushes attached to long sticks in which we wrote the words, "Sticks," "Distance," and "Scribble."

Form 5: Bugs
For this form, we had to create a word with bug images: I used the word "Thorax."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Illustrator Research #45- Liz Grace

After attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where she earned her BFA from Tufts University, Liz Grace began doing editorial work for a number of newspapers and magazines. In 1985 she studied printmaking in Valdotavo, Italy with Luis Camnitzer through Pratt University. Upon returning to the United States she relocated to New York City and broadened her client. Liz has done product illustrations for Lancome, as well as product design illustrations for Avon and Stemlit Orchards. After almost ten years in New York, Liz moved to Connecticut where she continues to draw and practice.

Some of her clients include Lancome, East West Journal, The Hartford Courant, Avon, Parenting Magazine, Scholastic Inc., The Chicago Tribune, Elle, Baby Talk Magazine, Ladie's Home Journal, Mademoiselle, Lawrence Teacher Books, Rodale Press, Stemlit Orchards, and Clarkson Potter.

Her working method involves creating digital work overall.

I like the whimsical movement of her work, as she can create a full figure with only a few lines. Her coloring style also adds to the dynamics of her pieces, as they usually are soft and mix into the linework.

Illustrator Research #44- Ken Perkins

Ken Perkins grew up in Alaska and later received an art degree from Colorado Institute of Art in Denver. He specializes in Scratchboard and Pen & Ink Illustration, and has worked in the commercial art field as an Illustrator for more than 25 years. Ken's home and studio are located in Broomfield, Colorado.

Some of his clients have been American Express, Compaq, Gateway, Honda, Houston Opera, L.L. Bean, Maxwell House Coffee, Outback Steakhouse, Pizza Hut, Psychology Today Magazine, Sears, Shell Oil, Toyota, Union Pacific, and United Technologies.

His work focuses on pen and ink and scratchboard, and this also mixes in woodcuts and etching with these.

His work is very interesting through its style of markmaking; his coloring technique also creates soft colors among highly contrasting marks.

Illustrator Research #43- Chris Sharp

Chris Sharp is a New York City based illustrator specializing in images for advertising, design, publishing and editorial clients. He works in several different styles including animation. His work is featured in American Illustration and Lurzer's Archive.

His clients have included American Express, Ann Taylor, Bloomberg, Businessweek, CIO, Coca Cola, Esquire, Fast Company, Forbes, GQ, Harper's, Ink Magazine, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Newsweek, Norwegian Olympic Committee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Reader's Digest, Shape, Time, United Nations, The Washington Post, West Surfing.

His working method varies in his pieces, and he tends to create collages and work with gouache and watercolor, occasionally with woodcuts.

I enjoy his graphic work along with his concepts. His visual metaphors emphasize simple ideas, yet they seem to do it in a simple, yet complicated way.

Illustrator Research #42- Thodoris Tibilis

Thodoris Tibilis is a freelancer illustrator based in Athens Greece. He is specialized in cartoon and mascot design and he also creates funny, cute and humorous illustrations - mostly for kids and teenagers. He has worked in the cartoon animation field and has also created illustrations for magazines, fairytales, educational books, greeting cards, multimedia applications, posters, stickers, CD covers, T-shirts and merchandising for toys. He has won numerous awards for his work including Astrid, Ermis and EVGE awards.

His working techniques include mainly computer generated art bitmap and vector but also watercolors, pencils, acrylics, oils, pastels, and sculpture.

Some of his clients have been McCann Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Magnet, Leo Burnett, Coca Cola, WRC, Oxford University Press, Athens 2004 Olympic games, Friesland, McMillan, Glenfiddich, Heinz, and Popeye magazine.

I really enjoy the contrast he creates with his colors in his digital work. His style somewhat varies, but overall I like the digital work in his particular style.

Illustrator Research #41- Larry Jones

Larry Jones graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University. He returned to his hometown of Baltimore to begin his illustration career in 1987. His work has appeared in Print's Regional Design Annual and The Society of Illustrator's West.

Some of his clients include AMF Bowling, Baltimore Aquarium, Color Clings, Coca-Cola, Forbes, Harcourt Brace, Marie's Dressings and Dips, Marriott Hotels, MD Preakness Celebration, Metro Food Markets, Microprose, Newsday, Northrop Grumman, Precision Tune, Scholastic Books, Smilemakers, T. Rowe Price, Zurich Insurance, National Geographic World, e-bay, and Target.

His work method seems to consist mainly of digital work, although he also has created a few paintings.

His style seems to vary a bit, and I really enjoy his retro style; it seems to me he works the best with this style with the way he uses his colors and lineart.