Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving Time!

This blog has been dormant for the better part of a year, but I've been busy setting up a new home for my random thoughts and design wackiness. I found it easier to consolidate everything using the Wordpress platform.

My design website can be found at Melek Design
My personal blog has moved to Robert W. Williams - Thoughts & Musings

I've moved most of the content to the new locations, and this blog is staying put as an archive.  Please update your subscriptions and saved links to the new locations and stop by to say hello!

Also, if you want to display any content from this blog on your own site, email me for permission before doing so.

See you soon!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Word Live Commissions #6

A bit of news and the next round of commissions for Word Live.  It's been awhile since I've posted to any of my blogs due to a few projects I'm just now wrapping up.  I've been blessed to work with Allon Ministries on some materials for print and I'll try to post the results here soon.

This first piece was featured on the Word Live site on November 18, based on this brief:
Image of food or other product warnings with an additional ‘not-suitable for Christians’ – based on the idea that when the people turned to Jesus they stopped ‘buying’ the idols made and destroyed the local business.
As I considered this concept, I kept thinking about silly warning labels on products and how that applied to idols and Christianity--it's pretty absurd to think that they could go hand in hand.  The result was a list of No-Brainers

Armor of God appeared on the Word Live site on November 19.  I have to confess that I took the easy way out with this one.  I always wanted to illustrate the armor of God from the Tanakh (Old Testament) that Shaul (Paul) was referencing, rather than the Roman armor that everyone assumes he was referring to.  I tried to add some interesting details to the overall illustration to make up for that fact.  The overall idea was to correlate the parts of the scene to the verse that it corresponds with.

Keep in Step was featured on the Word Live site on November 26 and was based on the theme of keeping in step with God's love from the book of Jude.  I stuck pretty close to the brief on this one.

Overall, not my most interesting month of commissions, but I was satisfied in how they turned out.  Stay tuned for more updates soon!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update & Word Live Commissions #5

My past few weeks have been really hectic, with a wedding, a funeral, and our Sukkot celebration getting sidetracked by both events plus some really nasty weather.  I'm making more progress with the Design 613 project, so venture over if you're in the mind for some study of God's Law.  I hope those who read it enjoy it as much as I do in preparing it.

I recently ran across this (non-scientific) explanation of the difference between a sunrise and a sunset.  Although I haven't verified it, it sounds like a valid explanation and inspired the piece below the quote.
The difference in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere causes a sunrise to appear more blue and purple hued while a sunset appears more red and orange.

Here is the round of commissions I did for Word Live for October, with a little explanation as to my creative process for each:

[Note: While I don't usually mind if someone displays the work on my blogs on their own websites (with my permission), I ask that you do not repost these commissioned pieces elsewhere. These were financed by a third party and it wouldn't exactly be fair to display them on other websites than was intended. Thanks for your respect and cooperation.]

 Inside-Out appeared on the Word Live site on October 6.  The creative brief called for "a split-screen image of someone looking good on the outside, but not on the inside based on Luke 16:15" 
The end result called for a lot of stitching together of photos.  It seemed like I could find the body poses I was after, and the facial expressions, but not in the same stock photos.  The figures holding the frames were more of a framing technique than anything else.  I wasn't completely satisfied with how it turned out overall, but it met the requirements of the brief and the focus (inside the frames) came together like I wanted.

Roadmap to Messiah appeared on the Word Live site on October 17.  The creative brief called for "an infographic based on the numbers in Acts 13:13-25."

Once I started working on it, this one came together a lot easier than I anticipated. At first glance, I thought there were a bunch of numbers, but once I started the project, I realized that there were only four: 40 years in the wilderness, 7 nations of Canaan defeated, Israel under judges for 450 years, Saul reigning for 40 years.
The entire message (Sha'ul) Paul preached was leading up to Messiah, so I conveyed it as the "roadmap to Messiah" and made the words for a cross in the negative space with a map of Israel as the background.

Phew! appeared on the Word Live site on October 25. This was probably the first example where the creative brief didn't quite line up with my personal beliefs on the subject.  I did my best to walk the fine line of giving them a piece that would complement that day's study without compromising how I understand it.

The brief was pretty simple: "A list of requirements for Gentiles in Acts 15:19-21 with circumcision crossed out." In an effort to keep this post succinct, I've written about my view on circumcision and the "four necessary things for Gentiles" here, if you care to know.

The resolution of the image is pretty small here, so here is what the list in the center says:

1. IDOLATRY: Don't bow down to or reverence idols! For that matter, don't even think about them favorably. It's okay to despise them because they are abominable to God.
II. CONDUCT: Abstain from the filthy practices of pagans. Keep yourself pure and holy before God!
III. DIET: God gave instructions for the preparation and eating of food--Follow them! They will help you live a healthy, happy life and save you a lot of problems in the long run.
IV. CIRCUMCISION: This is a MUST!  If you don’t do it, you can't possibly be saved!  IMPORTANT!!!
V. FAITHFULNESS: Attend Synagogue services every week to learn more about growing in God’s Grace.

The idea was that circumcision was marked off the list of requirements.  This was based on the account from the beginning of chapter 15, where certain believers were teaching that unless Gentiles were circumcised, they couldn't be saved.  And the gist of the project was that grown Gentile converts everywhere found much joy and relief at the fact that they weren't required to be circumcised to remain a follower of Jesus.  I tried to take it down a humorous, tongue-in-cheek route, while still giving an accurate representation.

Until next time--be blessed!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Woodstock & Sukkot

Both events have a lot in common. 

In August of 1969 (six years before I was born), some 500,000 progressive young people gathered at Max Yasgur's dairy farm for three days (which turned into four) of music, celebration and camping--or as the official event poster proclaimed, "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", which became an icon and cultrual touchstone for the "hippy generation" of the 1960's.

The festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) is an annual event where progressive people of all ages* gather in sukkot (plural of sukkah, or booths) for 8 days of music, celebration** and camping (as the official literature*** proclaims), which remains an standard and cultural touchstone for Yahveh's people since it was first divinely ordained several thousand years ago.

* progressive in that they believe God's commandments are just as relevant in today's culture(s) as they were when they were first instructed at Sinai.

** or as my Rabbi advised per his translation of the passage: "Spin in circles, dance, leap and shout for joy like a drunkard; have a barbeque."  What's not to love about that?

*** (Leviticus 23:33-36)  YHVH said to Moishe, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month YHVH’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present food offerings to YHVH, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to YHVH. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.  AND (Leviticus 23:39-43) "So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to YHVH for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before YHVH Eloheinu for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to YHVH for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am YHVH Eloheinu.”

Okay, actually the events don't really have much in common at all, but as I was doing some study on Sukkot leading up to the festival (which begins tonight at sundown and continues through 8 days), the original Woodstock poster got in my head and I couldn't get rid of it.  So as a result, I had to make this goofy post to explain how I arrived at these posters--or what it may have looked like if there were event posters for the celebration of Sukkot.

Read more about the Biblical instruction and traditions which have been added to Sukkot here.
Read more about the Four Species (a Sukkot tradition), which are featured in my posters here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Good Fight

It's been a few weeks since my last update. I had several freelance projects come up for October that have been keeping me pretty busy. I finally started making some progress over at Design 613 (I've made it through the first of 613 commandments, anyway) ;) I've got the art for the second mitzvot completed, I just need to check over my translation before posting it all on the site.

In the meantime, here is something based on an idea that was floating around in my head for awhile. I'm finally beginning to delve into Adobe Illustrator and hope to start using it more in my compositions. This is a PS/Illy collab based on one of my favorite movies, Nacho Libre.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Word Live Commisions 4b - September Animation

Here's another project I did for Word Live.  It was my first animation attempt.  I created it the old school way...frame by frame and set up the timing and sound effects with a video editor.  It was a lot more work than I would have thought, but I'm pretty satisfied with the end result.

Word Live Commissions 4 - September 2011

[Note: While I don't usually mind if someone displays the work on my blogs on their own websites (with my permission), I ask that you do not repost these commissioned pieces elsewhere. These were financed by a third party and it wouldn't exactly be fair to display them on other websites than was intended. Thanks for your respect and cooperation.]

Here is the next installment of commissioned work for Word Live with the usual commentary on my creative process.

Walk Humbly appeared on the Word Live site on September 3.  The creative brief outlined "a desktop wallpaper based on Micah 6:8."

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (NIV)
I was going for a textured, hand illustrated style with this one.  You can download the wallpaper by clicking on the date above.

Equals appeared on the Word Live site on September 24. The creative brief outlined a poster based on Galatians 3:27
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
The idea was to convey the terms of equality in the passage:

  • Jew = Gentile
  • Slave = son
  • Son = heir

I used a layout that I experimented with on my very first Word Live project (which didn't work out at the time).  I worked in the pertinent words and added the three equations as a pattern on the "children of God" text. I tried to convey the idea of equality being associated with being "baptized into Christ."

Stay tuned for more soon.  I've got a few projects on the burner, but haven't been able to get past the "simmer" stage on them.  Will post as soon as I'm happy with the result...and stay tuned for more Word Live next month!