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An Alternate Life

What would Danny Keys do in an alternate life? You might have asked him when playing the game “Do These, Danny Keys,” but if you didn’t, he’ll tell you here. This was made based on this assignment, worth 3 stars.


That’s a tough one, honestly. I like myself pretty well. Although… if there was one chance I could change my life, I might have liked to have been born here, out West. I had a good family in New York, but I like to think I would be more satisfied with my life if I had started here. I would be established in a town like the people out here are. I would have friends who knew me and who I knew just as completely. Maybe I would even have a family by now! Oh, if only.

If I were born in the West, I wouldn’t be classically trained in piano, but I’d be better for it. I’d have some freedoms in playing piano, which certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing. I would be in a saloon all my life, playing a dusty old set of keys, a cigarette lit up and the room hazy. I’d learn to read, of course, but my ears would be all I needed to play. No sheet music to worry about, no memorizing sonatas and concertos. I would be where I belonged.

I would grow up with people I’d known all my life, have close friends who knew everything about everything. The world would be a small place, and I would have my own little corner of it. I’d find the love of my life before I even realized it, and we would be together for the rest of our days. I wouldn’t be a stranger in that town, and even if we left, we’d have each other and a home to come back to.

That’s the ideal, anyway. I know as well as anyone else out here that it doesn’t always happen like that. And I’ve gotten used to blending in, so maybe one day I can settle in like I never was anywhere else. I believe it could happen.

Tombstones and Trains: Week 9 Daily Creates

This week’s daily creates were very visual. I found a face in a plank of wood, made a tombstone for something I wish would go away, and made and captioned a GIF from a famous movie!

Designing the West

While researching designs, I compiled a few examples of what seemed to be common themes in western art. The colors, compositions, and subjects of western-themed designs run along similar veins. They stick to warm colors and try to capture as much of its subject as possible, not necessarily focusing on any minute details within an image. And, most importantly, the main subjects are the landscapes of the West.

Design Adams

Ansel Adams had taken this photo with a beautiful composition that leads the viewer’s eye from the top of the cliff down the river and into the vanishing point to the right. The photo itself doesn’t follow the warm color ideal simply because it is black and white, but the composition consists of trees, cliffsides, distant mountains, water, and skies. Everything within the photo is important and necessary to see in order to understand its full design.

Design Big Country
This movie title starts similarly with a vast landscape, although this one is significantly less busy. The dominant color is a warm brown with darker shades within it and highlights against the dusty ground. The main focus is the road that runs through the center, just above the title, with horses running across it. While there is not a whole lot of visuals to take in, the picture still captures a large composition.

Design Ride Lonesome

This title screen shows a mix between the first and second designs: predominantly brown color with mountains, a valley, and a sky. The words here are at the center of the screen and demonstrate a warm yellow to blend in with the image upon which it sits. Again, there is a lot to look at within this image.

Design Rio Grande

Once again, this landscape is in black and white, but continues to capture a vast area of land with some sky, plateaus, shrubs, and rocks. A color version of this image would presumably be brown in a dominant sense. The words are also carefully placed so as to not override the busier parts of the image, such as the tops of the plateaus or the shrubs. They only lay over areas to which the eye would not normally be attracted.

Design OKeeffe2

This painting, “Back of Marie’s No. 4”, by Georgia O’Keeffe shows another warm landscape, once again with layers of ground and sky and vegetation. The visual design of this painting has the eye view the image in distinct layers of color and depth. From the yellow-green vegetation to the pale snow and up the mountainside into the little clouds of the blue sky, the viewer sees the West as O’Keeffe saw it.

Each of these examples effectively reflect the principles which Vignelli outlined in design. With the color balance and the tracing of the eyes from the capturing point to the main focus, be it words or a vanishing point, the designers of these images knew well how they wanted their work to be seen. They applied depth and space to ensure that these pictures could be visually appealing for those who would see them.