My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Color This

By the time I was in high school, I was legally blind.

Without glasses, all I saw was a mass of color. No shapes. No pattern. I could wear glasses to read and so on, but I was so near-sighted that the thickness of the lenses in the frame against my face pushed my glasses to the tip of my nose.

I don't have a big nose. I hated my glasses.

Anyways, thinking back about the artwork that I did around that time, when I was working as a portrait artist (and infrequent caricature artist) at Six Flags...capturing in pastel the happy faces of the amusement park of the comments I remember that my boss and creative manager said is how my pictures always looked so great from a distance when the colors somehow all came together to form the final finished portrait...yet how they were almost a mass of almost random color when seen up close. No, my work was definitely not of the quality of Impressionist artists. But, when I took Art History years later at University and studied that period, I found their studies of color and attempts to capture on canvas what they saw in a particular moment...color and light and subject and mood...and the different ways of creating that work of art...expressed some of what I was trying to do based on my "talent" and my experience with how I saw the world without my glasses.

It was an interesting time...becoming an artist. But, I chose to study veterinary medicine when I first went to University.

After I'd been at Texas A&M for a year or so, I happened to read an article in the Sunday newspaper about a new experimental eye surgery, called myopic keratotomy, that a team of surgeons was performing in Houston. The medical procedure had been stumbled on years ago when a person in the Soviet Union had been in an accident and glass had gotten in their eyes. The eyes weren't punctured, and all the glass was successfully removed. Amazingly, when the eyes finally healed, the patient had gained improved vision. This technique just happens to be one of the early versions of what has become lasik eye surgery today. Anyways, these doctors were part of a larger specialized medical team that were flying small teams of eye doctors to remote areas in South America, Africa and a few other places in the world where this eye surgery technique was bringing clearer vision to patients that were legally blind and had great need or were in desperate poverty.

Can't really say that I met any of those conditions, not since I was going to college, albeit on a full scholarship, and studying biomedical science for veterinary medicine, although I was practically blind as a bat. I did clip out the article though, and sent it to my mom as I thought it meant there might be a possiblity in the future that this type of surgery would be something I could get. Considering that my last prescription for glasses had cost close to $1000...and that was with insurance...and that I needed new glasses every can understand why I was very interested.

She and my aunt somehow managed to get me involved in the new eye surgery program down in Houston so that I could have the surgery. Took them almost two years from when I sent the article. But I had the surgery, my insurance paid for most of it, and for a brief time I could see almost 20/20.

It was horrible and wonderful. The surgery I had they call "barbaric" compared to today's processes for lasik. I don't think I could ever do it again even so. I can still see the ridges from the stitches I had in my eyes some twenty years ago.

Color at Work
Yesterday we reviewed the new style guides from Disney for our 2007 licensed products. Some were new, some were "classic". Each of them related as well to various design boards that the Disney retail team had developed to show us their recommended design themes and color trends for that particular set of style guides.

Since we also work with seasonal products in our toy lines, we have to keep in mind the color trends that the consumer market will be looking for. How do we do that? Well, one of the ways we can do that is by attending conferences or exhibits for fashion, clothing or interior design, as well as toy fairs...we can also learn from the style guides that we receive from various licensors like Disney for example. Their creative teams will also be keeping account of what the latest and potential up and coming trends are so that their collectors and new buyers will want to buy their licenses.

It's hard to see the future.

Color Me...Pink
It's called Hot Rod Red on the bottle.

I've been experimenting lately with color on my hair. Why not? I play with color and palettes all day in the concepts I create for our toys. It was an easy switch to play with the color of my hair. Being blonde for most of my life has been something I like. My sister is brunette. I appreciate the contrast. ha. So I felt like adding a bit of interesting contrast to my hair. I started out with getting low lights...adding a dark blonde tone to the back part of my hair.

It looked OK. I wanted more.

I started adding red. First it was just a touch. Then it wasn't enough. I tried a new temporary color called Copper Pulse. Oooh. I liked that, too. But it didn't last. Faded and got washed out after just over a week. I wanted more!

I decided to try a "demi permanent" option. It would eventually fade and wash out over a month or so. Depending on how light the original hair color is when the new color is applied. I did some research because this would last longer and since I wanted a more intense red, almost flame-like color, I wanted to be sure to pick the right product. I thought I found it with Hot Rod Red. Doesn't that sound just...mmmmm, yummy. LOL.

Well, all I can say is...the color is definitely intense. Bright even. We'll see what it looks like tomorrow after I wash it all for the first time. While the contrast to my blondeness is certainly there...and the candy cane striping that happens when I twist up my hair and pin it up is rather interesting.

But, PINK?!?

I'm thinking of trying Blue Mayhem next.


MidnightOwl728 said...

Thats neat. I think of my my art teacher taught at Texas A&M before he came to Oneonta that is sort of neat he said he started some of there computer art stuff there. I know that is sort of random but i am pretty blind as well. Did the lasik surgery hurt. People were telling me to think about it
Midnight Owl

tygriffin said...

I actually had an earlier form of the surgery which was much more drastic than the current lasik surgery. My sister and a couple of friends who have had the surgery in the last 5 years or so said that there was very little pain. More like an irritation?

For my own eye surgery...they did one eye at a time over a two month period. I was out entirely for the first eye surgery and was awake for the second because I'd had a bad reaction to the anesthesia. For both surgeries they gave me a rather painful nerve block by injection so I couldn't see out of that eye during the surgery (I still have a scar on each temple from that) and drops directly in the eye, much like when you get the glaucoma test so you don't feel the pressure against your eyeball. I also have a rather high pain tolerance...yes, it hurt a bit during the second eye surgery (I asked them for more drops, please) and afterwards for both eyes because of the stitches in my eyes but I had the option to take pain medication as needed during my three week recovery and after they removed the stitches from both eyes. Getting those pulled out was rather weird I tell you what.

I would say lasik is much better and easier and the results can be very excellent.

MidnightOwl728 said...

eek I should hope they have gotten better