CSUEB Electronic Art Seniors share their thoughts!

Archive for the month “November, 2016”

Artist Inspiration | Khyzyl Saleem

An artist that I have been following and a big inspiration to me is Khyzyl Saleem. He is a concept artist at Electronic Arts, Ghost Games, a leading publisher of games on console, PC and mobile. Most of his concept art are based off of cars, a recent video game he has worked on is Need For Speed 2015, which I have played never realized he has worked on it. His work is an inspiration to me because that I’m a huge car fanatic and I love playing video games and his work just conveys my two interests together.


Most of his work is done through photoshop and my understanding of the way he creates his concept work is that he takes a part of a car of other photos and combined into one composite images. Some details in his work are photoshopped and made up just to create the parts on the car seamless. (The video below shows a time lapse video of how he creates his pieces.)



Jonathan Can’s Artist Inspiration

Hey I’m Jonathan Can and for my senior project, I chose to create a series of skateboard deck graphics for a company I made up called Arcade Skateboards. I wanted to create high quality graphics that include the aesthetic of arcade culture while representing the essence and spirit of skateboarding.

A major influence of mine is the artist Evan Hecox who does all the designs for the company Chocolate skateboards. He has instantly engaging graphics that are both simple and detailed, playful and poignant. He usually creates a series of decks that have correlating graphics that sometimes combine with each other. The use of color and negative space really make all his images pop and evokes such emotion and feeling. His work is extremely inspiring to me and has a lot of influence on my work and approach to skateboard graphics.

Evan Hecox’s website:

Artistic Inspiration

I have always been passionate about health, art, nature, and my Indian background. About 7 months ago, my parents visited to India and went to a naturopathy camp that got me thinking about the natural medicine and spices we use traditionally, such as drinking hot turmeric milk for colds or taking triphala for indigestion. There is so much history behind natural medicine; I decided to research ayurveda and found that it is a lot more detailed than I thought.

Ayurveda is a system of medicine that uses certain practices and therapies that contribute to overall wellbeing, specifically catered to your dosha, which is the natural balance of energies in the body. Certain foods, habits, or activities can create an unbalance, which can be restored with meditation, healthy food, and natural supplements.

For my senior project, I chose packaging design for ayurvedic products, because packaging was one of my favorite projects in the CSUEB program. Also, I am starting to realize that not a lot of people are familiar with natural medicine or ayurveda. This project is a great way to show people alternatives to over-the-counter medicine that can help with both physical and mental wellness.

I believe that packaging is one of the most important parts of selling a product. The typography shows character, the graphics or lack of them create a story, and the colors further connect feelings.

Here are a few examples of packaging designs that inspired my own:

“Honey Made by Bees” – Designer: Maksi Marbuzov
It is minimal, sends a clear message through its shape and transparency, and is stackable.

Leaf – Art Director: Iva Jankov
The product is integrated nicely and the fonts give an elegant feminine feel. I especially like the texture created by the ripples that lead your eye to the product.

This floral box (not sure who designed it because the site is not in English)
The cut out design looks great and adds nice contrast. It is both elegant and modern, and has an organic/earthy feel.


Style Inspiration

For my senior project I decided to do a motion graphic on the history and evolution of competitive swimming, and so as someone who loves to work with motion graphics I am inspired by simple vector art.

While doing research for my senior project I found that I was drawn and inspired to many similar styles of vector art but one specifically caught my attention. The artwork coming from artists Verónica, Ricardo and Mikel of Hey studios in Barcelona. Their work has a sense of simplicity but at the same time there is still enough information to tell a story. I was inspired by their use shapes and color palette to create something more. 

After viewing all of their work I decided that I wanted to focus on the idea of simple shapes and reduced color palette for the illustrations of my characters and supporting designs in my senior project.


Image Source:

Makila Schuck

Stylistic Inspiration

Hey artchatter! I’m Sabbath Riojas. I’m working on creating a fictitious cartoon series, this will include: A ‘commercial’, posters promoting the series, and a DVD box set of the series (and THAT includes a box design, dvd case designs, and dvd disc designs). A lot of my inspiration for this project comes from Japanese culture: anime style cartoons, J-fashion, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and the supernatural.

This specific project draws inspiration from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music video “Fashion Monster”. The video is about a girl who wants the freedom to wear what she wants without being judged by society. While she sings, she is surrounded by other “fashion monsters” in a haunted house.


While I had created monster characters before, characters that were born on binder paper and came to be on twitter, I felt this was the time to utilize them in something bigger. I thought it would be interesting to focus on monster designs with their own theme of fashion. My main characters are based on decora and lolita. Decora in based on bright colors and, well, “decorations”.



While Lolita is the revolutionary style that let Japanese girls wear feminine clothes without being sexualized. [That is until the book Lolita came around and started drama, but that’s a subject for a whole other post].


Artist Inspiration: Carson Ellis

I find a lot of inspiration in books, both in their stories as well as in their art and design. Children’s book are especially creative and full of beautiful imagery. I have a collection of such books that I like to flip through when I’m looking to get inspired.

A few years back Colin Meloy, the singer of the band The Decemberists, wrote a series of children’s books. Being a fan of his music I ordered his first novel, Wildwood. I loved the cover art. I researched the artist to find that it was done by his wife, Carson Ellis. I learned that she had also designed many of the bands CD art, promotional posters, and merchandise.  She quickly became one of my favorite artists and I’ve found great inspiration in her technique, style, and ability to tell stories through her images.




Her illustrations are imaginative, often involving animals and nature. I really enjoy her muted color palette and beautiful flourishes. I’ve read interviews where she has stated that she has limited knowledge of computer programs and prefers to do her work the old-fashioned way, by hand. This gives her work an organic and genuine feel. In addition to illustrating the Wildwood series she illustrated The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snickets and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, among others.  

In 2015 she wrote and illustrated her own book called Home, featuring outstanding painted images of the various types of homes in which people live.  



img source:


She has a great collection of her work on her website which you can view here.



Doraemon, A Part of The Childhood


I never knew being a graphic designer would be my career in the future, but I always loved and enjoyed reading manga when I was a kid. My very first manga that I read was Doraemon. The manga was about a robot called Doraemon built in a human form from the future that went back in time to help his owner, Nobita. Doraemon was not a normal robot, he had a magic pouch that kept all the technology equipment from future within it. Nobita would be a genius engineer in the future, he invented a lot of machines and tools which went over human’s imagination, such as, time machine, flying bamboo stick, and a door that goes through space. However, in the past, he was a normal kid that got picked on by his friends and had the lowest grade in his class. With all the technology tools, Doraemon helped Nobita to conquer his struggling and to be a better person. The drawing in this manga is very simple, all the characters were easily to hand draw copy. I had tried to copy the drawing style and started to draw all the characters from different scene that I liked from the manga book. After that manga, I started passion for drawing and all the different kind arts. I loved to draw every characters that was liked in the manga I have read. That gave me an idea that I wanted to become an artist for my future career. That is reason why I pick graphic designer as my major. My style tends to be Japanese cuteness and simplistic hand drawing because manga, especially Doraemon, has inspired me to challenge my artwork in this field and forming my own style.


Artist Inspiration |Kuvshinov Ilya

While going into school to study design, most of my work generally geared towards vector art. Seeing that design and art could be so broad, I always branch out for other ideas and work that I find interesting. Seeing that animation is another form of art I’m interested into, I stumbled into one artist that recently caught my attention this past year is a Freelance Illustrator and Comic book artist by the named of Kuvshinov Ilya. Though he doesn’t do animation, his art pieces is up to par to the similar style manga japan has. Ilya is from Russia based designer but moved to Yokohoma Japan. A lot of his artwork has Japanese manga influence but has a Russian style comic.


I really like his use of color and his way of rendering realism but has the characteristics of a manga of a comic book. Some are very vibrant and some have more of a darker pallet. One study he does that I find very inspiring is he sketches individuals are train stations in japan. He always brings his sketch book because everyone he draws is different and always a challenge. I took this practice with me and made it a habit.


His illustration might be really great but what got me super interested in him is his way he can illustrate landscape behind his subjects. It was the main reason why I really respected his work and the amount of detail he can input with different digital art brushes.


He also plays with different eye movement and focal points with his art pieces. Some of them illustrate motion and have a blurred background. It really keeps your eye moving from the subject to the background.

He also offer tutorials of step-by-step moves for his work on his Patreon website for people who likes his style of illustration.

Artist Inspiration

An artist that I was inspired by was Kelly Smith. Being given an assignment to create a mood board, I noticed that most of the posts that I saved were beauty and flowers. Always having a passion for illustration, I know that I was fond of drawing plants and flowers.

So while I was in the process of designing and researching what I can contribute to my Senior Project, which is the Beauty Alphabet Book…I had found images of many different artists that contributed beauty tools and women with flowers surrounding them. I grew fond of the idea of illustrating images for my book with a similar style.

Most of Kelly Smiths work consists of pencil drawings with paintings of flowers surrounding the main object or character. I love that she keeps the image very minimal with color but adds in the bold and bright colors in the flowers.


Marina Matsushita

Inspiration : Miguel Covarrubias



Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957)

One of the many artists that has had a huge inspiration on my creative work is Miguel Covarrubias, an early 19th century painter, illustrator and caricature artist, who is most well-known for his work in print publications of the time, including covers for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

Covarrubias’ caricatures of pop culture and political figures were widely acclaimed for their appeal by the public-at-large; they even influenced a young Al Hirschfeld, who would become one of the most, if not the most, popular caricature artist of modern times.



I find inspiration in Covarrubias’ work because of his ability to use very simple shapes that are capable of communicating a lot to information the viewer; he avoided going overboard with superficial details. While conjuring baseless imagery out of thin air has never really been a problem for me, capturing a likeness of someone has always been a huge challenge; Covarrubias’ command of his skill allows him to capture a likeness almost effortlessly. However, it should be mentioned that one should not be fooled by his seemingly simple solutions, as they come from his comfortability with distilling down the very complex nature of the form to clear shapes. This only comes with hours of repetitive practice and keen observation.

Whenever I’m creating something and overthinking the piece (usually overworking it as well) I always come back to Covarrubias. His work reminds me that simplicity can get the point across; details can be added later. Communicate clearly first by concentrating on the major forms / shapes, then pig out on the details!



Kaseem Greene (kh2936)

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