About Me

My photo
All I know to be is doing what I love, and what I love to do is art. From graphic design to photography to fine art, I love to do it all. My experiences as a student has taught me many ways to create better design as well as more expressive art. From learning the intricacies of Adobe Creative Suite to the delicacies of letterpress and silk screen printing, I find myself to be a more well-rounded, ambitious, and creative individual. With all of this at my disposal, there is no limit to what I can create.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Silkscreen Posters of My Siblings

This was the final project I did for my Silkscreen 1 class. Each is an interpretation of what my brother and sisters looked like at the time.

A Couple More Silkscreen Posters

"I'm gonna carry you in my head, in my heart, in my soul."

"Evil Triumphs when good men do nothing."

These are just a couple more posters I made while in my Silkscreen 1 class. They are rough and in need of improvement, but that's because I was still getting the hang of the proper techniques when it comes registering layers of the image. I still do, however, enjoy the concepts of each.

Selina's So Cool Silkscreened Poster

Initial Poster Design
Final Poster
Detail 1
Detail 2

One of the projects I did during my Silkscreen 1 class. My younger sister is the subject of the poster because just like most sister rivalries, I wanted to poke a little fun at her and how awesome she thought she was. Using King Kong in the design is more of an inside joke between me and her, but the penguins are there because they are her favorite animal. Overall, there are about 13-14 runs to get the image completed. Detail 2 was printed using the CMYK technique, where I took the pictures in Photoshop and broke up the image into screens of a low resolution of each of the four colors that make up the image; cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. I then printed each screen on top of one another to get such an effect as seen in Detail 2. King Kong at the top is printed using a gradient, or two different colored inks in the same run to achieve a certain gradient.

Letterpress Printed Personal Business Card

"Faasiu mo se mea silisili  mo le atua"

Linoleum Block Carving

This project was so fun for me and I used it as an opportunity to express who I am and where I come from. Being half Samoan and half Caucasian, I wanted a simple business card that captured who I am. I researched various aspects of the Samoan culture and used many of the things I had seen as inspiration for the design carved on the linoleum block. What I did was I carved a 4inch by 6inch block into one solid design then printed it onto an organic tan paper with brown ink. I then cut each 4"x6" rectangle into 3 equally sized business cards, and on the other side printed my information. So the resulting business cards all had similar, but never the same background because I cut one bigger pattern into 3 smaller ones. The passage in Samoan on the front of the card translates roughly into "I was designed to be great". 

Heaven. Or the Closest Thing To It.

Front Cover

Sample Spread
Sample Story Page
Sample Recipe Page
Film Negatives and Resulting Polymer Plates

This is my final Letterpress Printing project. The project was to create a book using multiple printing techniques. I decided to make a recipe book, but not just any regular old recipe book, but a decadent chocolate recipe book that had a story to accompany the recipes. I wrote a story about love and decadence, and as you read the story you come across various chocolate recipes and at first, you have no idea who the subject of love for the narrator is until the end when it is revealed that her love affair has been with chocolate. The story side of each spread is handwritten, but I used polymer plates to reproduce the story the same in each copy of the book as well as create a diary-like feeling. The recipes (there are about 10) are handset in lead type. The background image is created using a pressure printing technique. The front and back covers and ribbons are chosen carefully so at first glance, the book looks as if it was a chocolate gift box.

Lupe Fiasco Letterpress Printed Broadside

 "If you die, tell them that you played my game, I hope your bullet holes become mouths that say my name." -Lupe Fiasco

Linoleum Carving
Negative and Polymer Plates

This was my midterm project for my Letterpress Printing class. The project was to create a broadside using any technique we had learned thus far in class. The subject and dimensions and content was all up to us. I took a lyric from one of Lupe Fiasco's songs called "Put You on Game". And I created this image to match the ferocity and attitude of the whole song and used an Exacto knife on a piece of film to scratch the letters of the lyric to help emphasize what the song was about. I created a polymer plate with my  film and carved the image out of linoleum and used the letterpress printer to create the final broadside.

LOST Letterpress Printed Ticket

This was the first project I did for my Letterpress Printing class. The instructor gave us a fixed dimension and template; the template was in the shape of a ticket. I used the ticket concept to create a backstage, all-access pass for the set of the television show Lost (one of my most favorite shows ever!). It was the first time I ever carved a linoleum block and I found it so fun and enjoyable. I cared the Dharma logo out of linoleum and hand-set lead type for all of the typography.

Random Book Arts Project 2

This is just one of the many books I created during my time in my Book Arts class. It is hand -sewed and bound, then wrapped in book cloth and I also made a custom slipcase to match.

Random Book Arts Project

This was just another project from Book Arts that required us to use the structures learned to create our own book. With this book, I was operating with the dichotomy of plastic packing peanuts and nature. I used the packing peanuts as my brush to create every image shown in this book. I wanted to show something as natural and beautiful as trees using something so man-made and ugly such as the packing peanut.

True Blue Midterm Book Arts Project

True Blue
by Natasha Mao

The crashing waves bring with them a true blue feeling that I am unable to create or describe, yet feel so prominently.
True blue. I will try.
Heaps of blue hearts piled high atop a flat hope that sinks beneath an unwavering falsehood.
Aches and pains streaming across blank plains of fading life.
Whimpers and pleas go unheard in this universe of misplaced fortune.
Rivers flowing with the weakest current to place not worth a word. A true blue place.
Swirling lost dreams within a block hole of doubt and dissatisfaction.
Lying in a pasture that reeks of a  rotting love as the stench of betrayal pervades the soul.
Clouded by a mysterious gas of brokenness that unleashes my fears and breathes into them horrific life.
Forgotten in a place that stifle thought and suffocates speech.
A place to be but never to leave.
True blue.

True Blue Front Cover
Spread 1
Detail: Spread 1
Spread 2
Detail: Spread 2
Spread 2

Detail: Spread 2
Final Spread

When mid-terms came around in my Book Arts class, we had learned several book structures, and our project was to create a conceptual book based on any of the structures we learned. I took the basic accordion fold to make my book. My project was based on a poem I wroteabove called "True Blue". The images and color scheme were chosen based on the words and imagery I had used.

Feit Electric Lightbulb Packaging Project

Feit Electric EcoBulb New Packaging

New Feit Electric Logo

This project required that I create a unique and innovative packaging concept for lightbulbs. I chose to use EcoBulbs from Feit Electric because I felt it was a good opportunity to combine practical and resourceful to meet parameters of the project. Using environmentally friendly aspect, I projected that all materials used for this package would be 100% recycled paper and plastic. The interior structure is inspired from baby bottle packaging design and structure. I adjusted the dimensions so that it housed each lightbulb without tipping forward or leaning back. This structure also utilizes less cardboard and paper to produce. The plastic enclosure would be created from recycled materials and it, along with the cardboard insert would be recyclable just as the Ecobulb is recylable. The graphics used reflect the environment and remind the consumer that use of this bulb will help keep the environment safe and clean. The Feit Logo is one that I developed using this same information. Softer, rounder edges echo the organic nature of the environment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Imported Egyptian Honey Packaging Project

For my Package Design 1 class, I was to create an overall package design for honey. The honey producing company could either be an existing company or one that I made up. After researching honey, its history, and various uses, I decided to create my own honey company that originates in Egypt and produces its own organic and exotic brand of honey. I named my company Nesw-bit Apiaries. Nesw-bit is an English transcription of an Egyptian heiroglyph that translates into 'he of the bee', one of the many names of the pharoah. The company logo was created by using the heiroglyph of the bee as a starting point, but further developed to be more approachable and less aggressive than the original heiroglyph.
The lotus and acacia flowers are indigenous to Egypt and grow wild near the Nile. I used deep colors and golden yellow as well as Egyptian ornament to reflect the richness of Egyptian culture. Because of the unique shape and contour of the jars I chose to use, I had to create a hanging tag for the nutrition information. The jars are wrapped in cloth a decorative cloth to further enhance the Egyptian feel.

Personal Identity

Stationery System

Detail: Business Card Alternative 1
Detail: Business Card Alternative 2
Detail: Business Card Alternative 3
Detail: Business Card Alternative 4

For my Identity 1 class, one of our first projects was to create a personal identity. I had to create a mind map of all of the things that make up who I am, then select 3 key words from that map and use them as concepts to develop an identity. One of the 3 words was Batman. This may seem unusual, but Batman and I have a lot in common. First of all, he has no super powers and what makes him great is his innovation, resourcefulness, and creativity. Not only is he all that, he is completely awesome too. Thinking about the action scenes in the old Batman series, I used a clever way to use my last name, Mao, the way they used the word "Pow!" in a jagged cloud. It's also convenient that my last name rhymes with pow. This logo represents my versatility and dynamic as well as my light-hearted and fun-loving attitude.