Picture This - Jessica MeekA transfer student and children’s book illustration major from Hawaii, I’m also an intern at the outstanding Mazza Museum of International Art from Children’s Books. I get to do everything from cutting paper to carrying crocodiles. Every day is its own adventure!

Such Sweet Sorrow

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4th May

Commencement is imminent.

This transfer student is about to transfer out into not-student life. Was my college education worth it? Very much so. Here are ten things I have learned at Findlay:

1. Go to things and talk to people
I was worried that I would come to Findlay and never make any friends. Interaction is hard and scary for me. However, by attending events and joining smaller groups with Campus Ministry, I found a more personal setting that was comfortable. It still takes longer than average for me to befriend someone, but after two years of effort I have far too many friends to say goodbye to.

2. Oil painting is fun
I thought oil paints were for Leonardo da Vinci and other master painters. Because of all the specific equipment and chemicals required, I never had the resources to try it. I was … Read More »

Showing Off

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13th April

When I started Findlay’s illustration program, I had no idea that part of graduating meant being in a senior art exhibition. In other words, I was going to be in an art show! Two of my fellow seniors and I were grouped together and tasked with filling the walls of the Lea Gallery. From the beginning to the end of this endeavor, it was an exciting adventure.

The whole process got rolling during the fall semester, when we had to make a poster for our show. We sorted through years of archived examples, looking for a creative way to fill an 11 x 17 inch poster. After much deliberation, we settled on a photo booth theme. In an ultimate expression of creativity, we cut that standard poster size in half lengthwise, making a long, thin, 5.5 x 17 inch poster that … Read More »

Crazy Eights

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23rd March

I have not been spending all my time inventing aquatic baggage and playing with skeletons.

Another class I’m taking this semester, Conceptual Illustration, focuses on… well, illustrating concepts. These course titles don’t fool around. For over a month, my entire class was in the middle of a frantic art-mad-lib sort of project, appropriately titled “Crazy Eights.” Over the course of this project, we are all to produce eight, 8″ x 8″ illustrations. At the beginning of the assignment, we all pulled slips of paper from two groups: occupation and object. Kindergarten teacher+hat, cowboy+pet, and scientist+transportation are three of my eight matches. Each illustration must be done in a different medium; the point of this project is to expose students to different art-making techniques, so that they may find what is comfortable. With two illustrations due every week, it has been a … Read More »

My Friend, the Skeleton

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27th February

Findlay’s drawing classes are attended by a real human skeleton. Well, technically, everyone who goes to class brings their own skeleton with them. However, a skeleton without a body’s accompanying organs is a little more unusual.

“Phyllis,” as she has been named, was the subject of my first big project in drawing class. Unlike the first drawing class I took, this one is blessedly free of still lifes and representational accuracy. The focus is on abstraction. I went through several phases of drawing this skeleton: gesture, value studies, purposeful distortion, and finally, a large, semi abstract drawing.

Gesture drawing involves capturing the gist of an object with big, sweeping strokes, avoiding detail. It’s a good way to begin translating an object of reference into a 2-d drawing state. Value studies, however, involve getting closer and more personal with different areas and bones. … Read More »

Satchel Synthesis

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7th February

My final semester in Findlay’s children’s book illustration program woke up and roared as soon as classes began. With work, exercise, Bible studies, and additional activities, I feel like I’ve been running all over the place all the time. Oddly, my schedule echoes my very first semester at Findlay. I have another drawing class and another art history class, with the same teachers, at the same time, as well as a lengthy night class on Thursdays, with the same professor as my last Thursday night class. To keep the parallel going, I once again feel like I have a ton of work to do.

I seem to have both more and less free time than before. Excruciatingly long Tuesdays and Thursdays (9:30 a.m. to about 10:30 p.m.) leave me with no classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. However, my Professional Practices … Read More »

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