MFA Journey: 2011-2014

Last month I finally finished my MFA Thesis Book. It’s been uploaded to Blurb.com and can be previewed by the following link:MFA Journey 2011-2014 by Gladys Chow

MFA Journey: 2011-2014 MFA Thesis Exhibition + Written Component

MFA Journey: 2011-2014
MFA Thesis Exhibition + Written Component
(Cover Design)

MFA Journey: 2011-2014 can also be viewed on the ISSUU website.

The book discusses the experiences, projects, activities, and design processes while obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Texas at Arlington. It went through several revisions throughout the last semester, and it was definitely challenging putting it all together. Thank you to my professors, colleagues, friends, and family for their input, guidance and help during this process. The past three years have gone by so quickly and the book is only a short summary of this rewarding experience of obtaining an MFA.

Also wishing a Happy Canada Day to friends and family back home!

MFA thesis book: Part 01

Continuing to work on the layout and design of my MFA thesis book. I’ve been going back and forth on the color palette and experimenting with some of the typographic headers. Some process shots below:

the book begins with some questions

the book begins with some questions

thought. process. concept describes part of my design methodology

thought. process. concept describes part of my design methodology

experimenting with enlarging the Chinese characters (who am I)

experimenting with enlarging the Chinese characters (who am I)

initial draft of section page spread for year 1 in the MFA program

initial draft of section page spread for year 1 in the MFA program

experimenting with transparency effects for the header

experimenting with transparency effects for the header

still drawn to the blue color palette

still drawn to the blue color palette

rearranging the order of the colors to see the effect

rearranging the order of the colors to see the effect

no transparency effects applied

experimenting with slight shifts in the letterforms

almost a dimensional look to the type

almost a dimensional look to the type

linking the type anatomy of the words to display their order and reliance on each other

linking the type anatomy of the words to display their order and reliance on each other

applying the color palette used throughout the book to describe the continual cycle of developing an idea

applying the color palette used throughout the book to describe the continual cycle of developing an idea

MFA Oral Defense Presentation

Yesterday I completed my MFA oral defense presentation. I was really nervous and anticipated the difficult questions. I think my MFA committee members were generous with the questions, there were difficult and thought-provoking questions, I think somehow I may have managed to answer the questions the best that I could. I gave about a 25 minute talk  in front of my exhibition display, and then back to the grad studio for a brief presentation on the projects I’ve completed during the program. Then the question period seemed to last for about 40 minutes and then I was told to leave the room as the committee discussed whether I passed or not. I’m really glad I passed! I still need to work on the MFA thesis written documentation, a draft was submitted to the committee, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

MFA Committee Meeting - MFA Oral Defense

MFA Committee Meeting – MFA Oral Defense

discussed the process and research involved with Missing Mooncakes

discussed the process and research involved with Missing Mooncakes

agenda for the mfa oral defense presentation

agenda for the mfa oral defense presentation

Dallas Love Field Art Program

From the help of follow UTA MFA graduates, there was the opportunity to display some of our work at the Dallas Love Field airport, as part of the Dallas Love Field Art Program. The exhibition ran from March 15-April 05, 2014. Thanks to Seth, Morgan, and other UTA MFA graduates that were there to install the work. Below are some images of the illustration series in the exhibition:

seasons is a series of illustrations that involves specific Chinese symbols representing different seasons of the year; illustrations by Gladys Chow

Seasons Triptych is a series of illustrations that involves specific Chinese symbols representing different seasons of the year; illustrations by Gladys Chow

illustrations by Gladys Chow

Seasons Triptych illustrations by Gladys Chow

illustrations by Gladys Chow

Seasons Triptych 03; illustrations by Gladys Chow

illustrations by Gladys Chow

Seasons Triptych 01;  illustrations by Gladys Chow

illustrations by Gladys Chow

Seasons Triptych02; illustrations by Gladys Chow

MFA Thesis Exhibition Setup

Setting up the MFA exhibition was a challenging task–designing for a dimensional environment, there were a lot of factors to consider. I wanted to create an environment that is similar to being at the Mid-Autumn Festival. I received a lot of feedback from my MFA committee and vc colleagues to think about the setup of the space. I reviewed publications and online resources. Below are a few images of the process for setting the components for the exhibition.

was able to use the corrugated cardboard cutting machine at the school facilities to cut out the characters life size

was able to use the corrugated cardboard cutting machine at the school facilities to cut out the characters life size

part of a poster series to be placed on the wall; my colleague Maryam helping to trim the posters to edge

part of a poster series to be placed on the wall; my colleague Maryam helping to trim the posters to edge

the print was cut around the cardboard, then the print was spray mounted on the cardboard; turned out larger than I thought

the print was cut around the cardboard, then the print was spray mounted on the cardboard; turned out larger than I thought

process of ironing on a mooncake design to a pillowcase

process of ironing on a mooncake design to a pillowcase

seeing the components of the exhibition put together

seeing the components of the exhibition put together

tried to line up the iPads and tables to be placed n the center and in front of the posters

tried to line up the iPads and tables to be placed n the center and in front of the posters

lantern display with characters; originally I had about half of the lanterns shown here, but it felt that there was still some negative space that showed too much of the cord, so adding more lanterns to fill and brighten the space

lantern display with characters; originally I had about half of the lanterns shown here, but it felt that there was still some negative space that showed too much of the cord, so adding more lanterns to fill and brighten the space

some viewers at the MFA exhibition reception

some viewers at the MFA exhibition reception

close-up of lanterns

close-up of lanterns

the lanterns at the bottom are bulbs connected to a electric cord; for Sophie's lantern on her hat, there are two battery operated LED lights (still doesn't seem bright enough though)

the lanterns at the bottom are bulbs connected to a electric cord; for Sophie’s lantern on her hat, there are two battery operated LED lights (still doesn’t seem bright enough though)

MFA grad posters (designed by A+AH department designers)

MFA grad posters (designed by A+AH department designers)

although I didn't have this illustration in the exhibition, it still conveys the concept of some of my work--experimenting with cross-cultural designs

although I didn’t have this illustration in the exhibition, it still conveys the concept of some of my work–experimenting with cross-cultural designs

the MFA reception poster (designed by A+AH department designers)

the MFA reception poster (designed by A+AH department designers)

MFA Thesis Exhibition Poster Drafts

The past weeks have been eventful, and the upcoming MFA Thesis Exhibition has been challenging in gathering and creating all the materials I would like to include. Thinking about adding some large posters, about 20″x60″ with the Missing Mooncakes promotional items.

poster draft layout 01

poster draft layout 01

poster draft layout 02

poster draft layout 02

poster draft layout 03 - lay out scenes from the story

poster draft layout 03 – lay out scenes from the story

poster draft layout 04

poster draft layout 04

poster draft layout 05

poster draft layout 05

poster draft layout 05: adding in the main mooncake designs from the story

poster draft layout 05: adding in the main mooncake designs from the story

poster draft layout 05: adding in other mooncake designs

poster draft layout 05: adding in other mooncake designs

assembling the lanterns

assembling the lanterns

testing out a 60watt bulb

testing out a 60watt bulb, lantern got warm

testing out a 40watt bulb

testing out a 40watt bulb, lantern still warm… need to find alternative lighting solutions

ACES 2014 Presentation

I had another valuable experience to present at the UT Arlington Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES). In 2012, I did a poster presentation on Creating cultural awareness in Canadian-born Chinese, and this year I had the opportunity to present for 20 minutes. Although I ran out of time at the end for questions, I felt that it was an important opportunity to discuss my current research–and talk about how Missing Mooncakes interactive eBook could be a potential tool to learn language, culture, and create a bonding experience between generational audiences.

Presentation title: Using digital media to foster cultural interaction of Canadian-Born Chinese

Presentation title: Using digital media to foster cultural interaction of Canadian-Born Chinese

one of the presentation slides

one of the presentation slides

short description of the methodology of gathering research

short description of the methodology of gathering research

summary of some findings and research data

summary of some findings and research data

mfa thesis written: draft01

Started out with a few draft layouts for my MFA Thesis Written publication.

gridlines and column lines to organize the blog entries and resources

gridlines and column lines to organize the blog entries and resources

perhaps the page spread looks too crowded

perhaps the page spread looks too crowded

perhaps changing 'design brief' to the title of the project would be better

perhaps changing ‘design brief’ to the title of the project would be better

started to add some own graphics and work to the section divider pages

started to add some own graphics and work to the section divider pages

a sound project photo in the background

a sound project photo in the background

having some of the visuals interact with the type

having some of the visuals interact with the type

design portfolio website

Last weekend I visited my Behance member page again and found that Behance is now linked to Behance ProSite, where your projects from Behance can be linked to the ProSite web templates. I uploaded my projects on the Behance site, then edited what projects to be shown on the Behance ProSite. I found the Behance ProSite easy to use and understand, and it’s also customizable. After previewing the site, I redirected the URL to the domain name I purchased and revised a few settings. A start of my design portfolio site: gladyschow.com.

gchow_website

MFA Thesis Exhibition: Sketches

Started thinking about the layout of my MFA Thesis Exhibition. My original sketches seemed suggested that there wasn’t enough time to complete the components, so my professor suggested simplifying the layout. The purpose of my MFA thesis exhibition is to create an educational, interactive, and fun environment to promote the eBook iPad story Missing Mooncakes. Some initial sketches below:

projection of the storybook app on the wall; seating area on the floor

projection of the storybook app on the wall; seating area on the floor

perhaps a vinyl cut of the moon on the wall as the background for the projection, and Sophie and Sam cardboard cutouts on a small table

perhaps a vinyl cut of the moon on the wall as the background for the projection, and Sophie and Sam cardboard cutouts on a small table

large cardboard cutouts of the family against the background of clouds, seating area switched to the other wall

large cardboard cutouts of the family against the background of clouds, seating area switched to the other wall

putting shelves against the wall for the audience to try different activities (eg. puzzles, writing, matching vocabulary and imagery)

putting shelves against the wall for the audience to try different activities (eg. puzzles, writing, matching vocabulary and imagery)

the Chinese characters represent 'family' and are enlarged for potential photo opportunity for visitors; lanterns printed on transparency would hang from the top

the Chinese characters represent ‘family’ and are enlarged for potential photo opportunity for visitors; lanterns printed on transparency would hang from the top

a long shelf to elevate the characters and area for promotional items such as trinkets, t-shirts, books

a long shelf to elevate the characters and area for promotional items such as trinkets, t-shirts, books

simplifying the color theme by changing the animal lanterns to solid shapes

simplifying the color theme by changing the animal lanterns to solid shapes; the lanterns hanging from the top try to simulate a small part of the environment of visiting Mid-Autumn Festival festivities

seeing how the shelf may look if other items from Missing Mooncakes are displayed--perhaps a moon cake box?

seeing how the shelf may look if other items from Missing Mooncakes are displayed–perhaps a moon cake box?