CSUEB Electronic Art Seniors share their thoughts!

My Inspiration, Aaron Draplin

1443470888405Some of my earliest memories are of sketching and drawing. I had posters of Diego Rivera’s painting on my wall in my bedroom, and I was even named after him. I grew up being encouraged to pursue my passions. This has helped me to try my best in the things I do and give it my all. I played a lot of sports growing up, but I was not the best athlete. I would watch sports on television, but what would happen is that I would draw during the timeouts and commercials. I would draw my favorite athletes and the team’s logos. I would create fictional sports teams and create jerseys and logos for them. I did not realize it at the time, but I was create brand identities.

Today, my biggest passion is still branding and logos. We see them everywhere, and they help communicate a visual language. Sometimes when I see a bad logo, it makes me cringe and I wish I could fix it and do a rebrand for that company. Someone whose branding I really admire is Aaron Draplin. He is a no frills designer, who doesn’t take himself or his work too seriously. No lines are wasted, his brand work is direct, clear and effective. His work stands out against other brands because of its boldness and strength. There is a confidence and skill in being able to edit good design down to its most necessary elements. I think he has mastered this skill and it is something that I have tried to work on now. So, when I am working on a project I ask myself is this element necessary? Does it add or distract from the message of this design?

Here is a interview with How Design that I found really interesting.




At a very young age, I loved Graffiti art. Being raised in an area where it was prominent everywhere you went, I naturally grew a fondness and admiration for it. It wasn’t until later in my teenage years, where I started practicing graffiti. I went out to different spots with my illustrated stickers and would place them everywhere I passed by. Bus stops, abandoned buildings, the back of street signs etc. etc. were usual targets for me to brand myself as a prominent artist. It was in a way, guerilla marketing tactics.

deansunshine_landofsunshine_melbourne_street_art_graffiti_obey-6Around this time I started really looking at the works of Shepard Fairey, who would form what would be known around the world as OBEY. The iconic Andre The Giant face, created by Fairey and plastered anywhere and everywhere, captured my imagination. I would ask myself, how’d he do that? The minimalist design of the face caught my eye because of its simple aesthetic. The simplicity of this poster and sticker were far more effective than any other overly complicated poster with a ton of stuff incorporated in it. It was one of the first times I ever really began to think about the world of Graphic Design. It was also the first time I began to find the connections between the world of graffiti and the world of Graphic Design, that would eventually inspire me to pursue my career in it.



“Story is King”

Inspired by Animation |

“I have always been inspired by the world of animation because of the complexity of creation that defines the process of making an animated film. The process challenges the preconceived notions of what creativity is because it’s a world that combines: science, technology, literature, art, the human experience, and everything else that exists in the world around us.

There exists an incredible variance across the history of animation, and across dominant mediums of animation like: traditional cel animation, stop-motion animation, and computer animation. (Of course there is incredible variance amongst those categories including: 2-D computer animation, pixelation, claymation, etc.) But each process includes incredible innovation of technology, art, and story-telling. All of these come together to create powerful and moving stories.

Film is incredibly powerful, and it’s well understood that people are influenced by the media they consume. Animated films have the ability to transcend reality and capture very real stories and emotions that are integral to the human experience. Animation functions in a medium of storytelling that appeals to our visual and auditory senses and is able to handle abstract concepts that may not translate as clearly in other mediums of film and visual art. I am inspired by the creation of animated films, the stories behind them, and the stories of the people who create them. This affinity inspired the ePublication “exploranimation” for my senior project, and ultimately inspired my career path into production management in animation.”

– Shiann Hallinan

Three films that inspire me:

+ “Ratatouille” (Computer animated film, 2007)

I find the story of this film beautiful because its’ emotional core goes beyond cliche paradigms. The main character isn’t caught up in a romantic relationship, the goal of the main character isn’t to “win”, and the story doesn’t boast the traditional “happily-ever-after”. *SPOILER ALERT* In the end, Gusteau’s restaurant is shut down, and Ego (the food critic), who believed in the talent of Remy (the rat/main character) lost his job and all credibility. But, the beauty in the story is that the characters continued to do what they loved and their definition of success didn’t hinge on running “the finest restaurant in Paris“ or being a “well-respected critic“.

In terms of technology, I am a huge fan of physics/simulation. The technical components of CG animation are intriguing, and I love the science of how Pixar’s research division has continually challenged the possibilities of computer rendered images.


+ “The Iron Giant” (2D animated film, 1999) 

The Iron Giant is a beautiful film because of the way it balances comedy, action, and emotional depth. It highlights the human condition of being pre-disposed to “fear of the unknown” (or fearing what you don’t understand). *SPOILER ALERT* The film has a heroic moment at the end, but ultimately the “hero” is presumed to have made the ultimate sacrifice, (until it is revealed later that it may not be the case). However, there is no moment of “reuniting joy”.


+ “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Stop-motion animated film, 1993)

This film is important to me because of the moral dilemma’s being presented, as well as the emotional appeal of feeling like you don’t belong or need to be someone else to be appreciated. The story additionally challenges the perception of “good” and “bad”.

Beyond the story, I have a particular soft-spot for practical effects, stop-motion, and shooting on film. Newer stop-motion films do not maintain the same integrity of utilizing practical effects and creating the film “in camera” (rather than in post production).


How We Tell Stories

I can’t think of things that inspired this project. I sort of drifted on the idea of creating a short story that took place a sort of dystopian society where two worlds separated by a huge wall of politics and indifferences which would soon come crumbling down. I had so many ideas for this project, but I can’t think of anything to truly pin point my inspiration for the story.


When thinking about how I’d go about designing the characters and the setting I tried to think back to every animation I’d ever fallen in love with. I found inspiration is many short films and episodic tales.  I felt drawn into the flat designs of Samurai Jack and the lively stop motion film, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Where story and image connect

A few years ago, I saw a few movies that changed how I looked at story. First, a 2012 film, “Wolf Children” directed by Mamoru Hosoda. This film was both stunning and heart breaking. Second, “The Girl who Leapt Through Time,” a story of time travel. Lastly, “Barefoot Gen” (need I say more). Although each film is vastly different, each on offers me a very different connection to how I feel stories are told.


In the end —without quite knowing it, I piece together stories that tell more about what I’ve been though and less about what I like or what inspires me. I am simply telling my own story through twisted lenses and scribbles on a paper. I find meaning of my film through the resiliency of my existence.




One awesome teacher was all it took

A long time ago, before I was a student at Cal State East Bay about to graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design, I was someone who liked creative things and had an eye for art. I had a high school computer class with a teacher named Mrs. Ayotte. She had us create menu designs for a made up restaurant and other fun projects, but what really made me get into graphic design was when she had us create a new Google header based on something, for example when an important inventor’s birthday comes up or its the 50th anniversary of something they have a design with the Google name on the main google search page. For my project I actually created a Flintstones version with all the characters and made them integrate with the Google which she had us enter into the alameda county fair with our designs and I actually received 3rd place in that category! This teacher not only allowed me the creative freedom and showed us that we could  use them and apply for contests, but she helped me outside of the classroom.

Being the first in my immediate family to go to college, I was not prepared on how to sign up for classes and apply for college. Being completely new at this I had mentioned it to my teacher because I also did not know what classes I wanted to sign up for. She advised me to sign up for art classes in graphic design and pursue what I have been working on in class. Which pushed me to become the artist I am today, but not only did she push me to sign up for graphic design classes, she took it upon herself to wake up early and sign me up for those classes at the community college I was going to go to. To this day I am so appreciative of my teacher Mrs. Jane Ayotte for showing me this world and pushing my creative mind to make the art that I love to do today and helping me with my educational journey.

Thank you a million times over for inspiring me, I do not think I would be in the exact place that I am now without you.

In graditude,

Stephanie Romano


i have the need to create and communicate

The creative process is where I start when it comes to any creative project, it is essential to the creation and breath of any graphic design I use to communicate, create or challenge myself. It doesn’t come in one form, it is not a formula, and when I am putting all of the ingredients together for a project I do not limit myself in terms of exposure to environments, space, imagination, art, poetry, dictionary, and sketches.  The process changes every single time, and  I try to be open, conscious and aware of what the point of the project is and what it is asking of me. It is the most challenging part of the project in some cases because its linked to time, material, alone time to reflect on mind mapping and sketches.

Inspiration is everything when it comes to creating a project, and depending on what the subject is regarding the project I dive into, poetry, the dictionary, art, music, graphics, design, architecture that sheds light on simplicity, shapes, angles, color, and size. I give credit to Francesco Clemente because it was his art that inspired me to follow my curiosity. This is the first piece I saw in one of his books that pulled me in.


Juan Segura


francesco clemente 2007 mine


Some of my inspirations are artists like Beeple and Joey Camacho, that use 3d software to render incredibly detailed motion graphics:

Joey Camacho



These artists not only carry immense talent, but are incredibly devoted to their craft.  Beeple participates in an every day project where he creates one piece of art every day.  This is a great way to grow and strengthen your talents as an artist, as it allows you to practice.  The point isn’t to always create that masterpiece but to enjoy the path of self-discovery.   I do try to and participate in at least one creative activity a day, although I have been blessed to spend most of my time with that lately. I notice a gain when I do this everyday and plan to carry on.

PROJECT HYOU Inspiration

Hello again! I have returned to do my Graphic Design senior project, which are three separate, handmade books of postcards that you color before you send or simply a coloring book of postcards that I have named PROJECT HYOU (pronounced hue/h-yoo). The name stems from the (similar sounding/punny) words “hue” and “you”. In addition, the meaning I gave this word means “you color”, which connects back with the fact that the owner of the book has the creative freedom to color the postcards however they would like. Each book has 30 perforated postcards with its own theme (Line Doodles, Blind Contours, and Urban Sketching – San Francisco) ready to be colored and sent to whoever you choose.

The influence of this project comes from my small, but slowly growing collection of postcards, that I have obtained from going to museums or new places, and the recent growing trend of adult coloring books like Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults and The Mindfulness Colouring Book: Anti-stress art therapy for busy people.

The themes of Line Doodles, Blind Contours, and Urban Sketching stem from assignments that I have done in previous classes and also personal work.

If I were to connect this with an artist it would be Pablo Lobato, but solely based on color. I love how his color choices he uses for his portraits because they are both wacky, but fluid.

With all this influence, it just made the process of making this project exciting and rewarding. 

Chelsea Guerrero

Coding Inspiration

My final project is a website that is a magical journey through other worlds. To create the website I had to hand draw numerous drawings using colored pencil on paper, and digitally scan them to put them in to a website. The drawing itself took a long time and there were some learning experiences transferring them to the computer digitally, but the real work was in the coding.

I chose to code a website as my final project in order to challenge myself and also to (hope) to prove that I  could code such a thing. The code is fairly complicated as all of the drawings I made are animated with it.

To find help and inspiration I turned to a few different online sites and communities. A classic is w3schools which is an incredible resource for coding examples, and is especially great for animation code which I used the most in this project.

Another great source is Codepen, where coders can share coding snippets which they have come up with. This is very useful if what they are doing is similar to what you are looking for.

Stack Overflow is a community where coders can post their code with issues and others can come along and fix it. I have never posted my own code but just survive off of finding others’ mistakes that match my own. It’s a great resource for when you hit a wall.

Lastly, I have come to love CSS Animate beta because I can tell the “Drag” shape what I want my drawings to do and steal the code from what it comes up with. It took me a second to learn what this program wants me to do to get the correct results, but once I did it was fairly easy and a lot quicker than if I kept trying to tweak it myself.


All in all, it’s been a great project. I have been able to figure some things out, and am still working on others. Hopefully in the end, it all pulls together.


Throughout this journey for making my cartography cafe, I have to thank PearFleur for my inspirations. When I first saw her watercolor tutorials on YouTube, I was hooked on her style. As I browsed, I discovered a tutorial on a celestial painting, I knew this was my theme.


When I found more artworks of hers, I was immediately drawn to her choice of medium: watercolors. Through her, I gained the inspiration to paint more over summer break. I also want to practice more traditional art. As a graphic designer, I don’t get a chance to really explore traditional art on my own time. It is through her that I want to paint something big in the course of six months. She has multiple tutorials on different watercolor techniques as of this post (June 2017) and intend to make use to her tutorials an draw more.

Aside from her artwork and style, she was the first to draw bigger and draw smaller. Before seeing her artwork in full size, I have always drawn in smaller scales and just end up scraping the design all together. On camera, she is not shy to admit she made a mistake, but it how she fixes them on camera that inspires me to do the same.

Her Instagram: (x)

Her YouTube (x)

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