Wk 15 – Artist Conversation – Nancy Young


Exhibition Information

Artist: Nancy Young
Exhibition: As the Crow Flies
Media: Ink, Paper, Metal, Wood, Silkscreen, Stencils,
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: Artist has no Instagram at this time.

About the Artist

Nancy Young is a graduating CSULB student who will receive a BFA in Printmaking this semester. After leaving school when she was younger due to mental health issues, Nancy returned to school to pursue her passion. Although she does not plan to make art her career, she believes that everyone can benefit in significant ways from an art education. Nancy currently works as a data programmer in Orange County. Her art is inspired by her personal experiences, particularly those in which she experienced sadness and struggle.

Formal Analysis

Nancy’s exhibit As the Crow Flies features pieces that integrate a variety of formal elements. Perhaps most notable about her pieces is their sense of rhythm. Her illustrations of landscapes and birds integrate a variety of textures, shapes, and lines that converge to create a sense of movement. The use of both jagged and sinuous lines to create images of crows create beautiful cadence. Nancy’s tendency to completely fill in the backgrounds of her illustrations also creates rhythm in the pieces, as such backgrounds are often textured, involve sinuous patterns, and ultimately complete the piece as a whole. Nancy’s etchings provide vivid texture to her illustrations that contribute to their depth and dimensional appearance. The neutral, muted tones featured in her pieces prominently provide them with a melancholy or peaceful feel.

Content Analysis

The use of crows as the theme of Nancy’s exhibit is derivative of her personal association with crows. Nancy expressed that her turbulent journey through life, in which she has faced a multitude of experiences, has led her to identify her life with that of crows’, as they, too, fly from place to place. Nancy feels that she is like a crow in that she journeys to and from her life experiences. She noted that she feels especially akin to crows as she prepares to graduate, and leave CSULB for her next life experience. In addition, Nancy uses the crow to represent departure in the form of death. Her experiences of sadness and grief, especially that in which she lost her husband, inspired this symbolism. Ultimately, the crow serves as the perfect symbol for Nancy’s journey through life, and for her personal feelings of grief.

Synthesis / My Experience

I truly appreciate Nancy’s art and the immense amount of thought and emotions she evidently put into creating it. Like Nancy, I also feel that humans are a bit like birds in that they journey from place to place. I find it so brilliant how Nancy utilized the crow as a symbol for both her own life and for the concept of death. I also really love the variety of materials and techniques Nancy used to bring her ideas to life. I feel that her pieces have a beautiful sense of rhythm, and I really loved seeing her etchings integrated into her prints. Overall, I feel Nancy’s art was beautiful and serene. Despite her many tribulations, I believe her pieces showcase the peace that she has found within herself.


Wk 15 – Classmate Conversation – Ramtin Yousefi

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know Ramtin Yousefi. Ramtin is a senior Civil Engineering major. He chose this major because he has always been good at math and he enjoys building things. After graduation, he hopes to gain experience in his field through internships and jobs, before returning to school for a Master’s degree. Ramtin is originally from Iran, and moved to California five years ago. He has done extensive traveling throughout the world. Some places he has been to include Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and Dubai.  Ramtin describes himself as an outgoing person who loves to go out. However, he also very much enjoys staying in to watch soccer. His favorite movies are The Godfather series, and his favorite TV shows are House of Cards and Breaking Bad. His favorite art experiences this semester have been “Turning Pages” with Marta Troya, and “Graffiti Writing”. I very much enjoyed getting to know Ramtin, as he is very friendly and has many interesting stories to share.

Ramtin’s website is https://ryart2016.wordpress.com.


Wk 14 – Art Experience – Sketching in the Garden

This week I had an incredible art experience of visiting the Japanese Gardens to take photographs and sketch. I love visiting the Gardens, as I think it is very easy to see art everywhere in them. I absolutely love being able to immerse myself in living art. Although I found capturing the Gardens’ beauty in photographs to be simple, I found that I very much struggled to capture such beauty in my own drawings. I am much less critical of my ability to take photographs than I am of my ability to draw. Despite my love for drawing, I often feel that I have very little ability to draw. However, although sketching various aspects of the Gardens was difficult, it was also very enjoyable and relaxing for me. Although there is seemingly more pressure to be accurate when sketching in a realistic manner, I felt much more at ease while sketching in this way. I loved following the images with my eyes and moving my pencil to capture details and edges. I found sketching without using an eraser to be incredibly difficult. However, surprisingly, I feel that the lack of an eraser made sketching a much less stressful activity, as I knew that my sketches would not be perfect. Therefore, I was not worrying about drawing perfectly. I did get a bit frustrated when I would mess up lines, but I would simply go over them with more bold lines. I tried blending to create shadows in my sketches. I tried creating dimension, but found it very difficult. Also, although I do not love my sketches, I very much prefer my representational sketches to my abstract ones. Drawing in an abstract manner was much more difficult for me in the sense that I felt very uncreative and lacking in ability. Although realistic sketches are often technically more difficult to create, abstract sketches require a unique sense of creativity that I could not find within myself. I was a bit stumped on how to make a sketch ‘abstract’. I ended up sketching the photographs as I saw them, whilst adding my own details and patterns, and changing various lines in the images. I still unsure as to whether my sketches are abstract, but I definitely put my own unique details into them. Perhaps that is all an abstract image is. Surprisingly, I do very much like how all the abstract images look together. Viewing them collectively, on the same page makes me like them much more, as I feel they fit together to make a unique scene. I think they look more abstract together, than they do when they are apart. I think this is so neat, that although I did not intentionally create these images with the purpose of putting them together, they somehow fit together quite beautifully, I think. Overall I really enjoyed this drawing experience.

My representational sketches and photographs:

My abstract sketches and photographs:


I like how my abstract images look together, like they make up one unique abstract garden. 🙂

Wk 13 – Art Experience – Art Care Package (ACP)


This week I had so much fun creating an art care package for a classmate. I really love sending and receiving mail but, given the technology-based status of our society, rarely get to do so. Upon deciding what to put in my art care package, I almost immediately knew that I wanted to include fun items. As I put together the package, I realized that I was subconsciously including items that reminded me of my childhood, such as silly string, stickers (including scratch-n-sniff!), MASH games, and a coloring book page. Thus, one could say that the theme of my package is nostalgia. However, I aimed to make it a package of happy nostalgia, rather than sad. I hope the items in my art care package makes the recipient as happy as they have made me, and gives her similar feelings. I also included a cultural item, a magazine, in my package that reflects societal trends of our time. The childhood items I included evidently reflect me, and the drawing of giraffe I included from my notes reflects the recipient, who I found out loves giraffes.

Sending someone an ACP is surprisingly similar to sending someone a virtually-communicated snapchat. Both an ACP and a snapchat are forms of communication, and could be ephemeral in nature. However, they are also very different in that ACPs could potentially last forever, are tangible, and likely have more meaning to the sender and the recipient in that they are personally put together and require a good deal of effort. Snapchats, on the other hand, are virtual and made to last only for a few seconds, unless the recipient takes a screenshot.

I feel that ephemera is extremely precious. Although many people may call me a pack-rat for keeping mementos from so many of my life experiences, I think of myself as somewhat of a historian of my own life. Memories are so precious to me, no matter how small or seemingly trivial. I also definitely feel that ephemera gains value over time, as it allows us to gain access to old memories that we might otherwise forget. Ephemera from my relatives is very precious to me, as it serves as tangible proof of their experiences, as well as visuals for their stories. I hope my grandkids cherish my ephemera as pieces from my life that I want to share with them.

I don’t think there is much of a difference between art that is seen by many and art that is seen by few. I feel that, as long as there is great meaning behind art, it is valuable, and its value is not measured by how many people see it or appreciate it. I feel that art is anything that holds meaning for somebody. Whether somebody means millions of people, or just the artist, is irrelevant.

I feel that the effort that goes into creating an art care package, as opposed to something virtual like a snapchat, greatly affects its value. The fact that sending a package requires one to put in a great deal of effort to collect items that the recipient will enjoy, as well as to assemble and send out the package, conveys how much the sender cares about the recipient. I do not think the time it takes for a message to reach someone has meaning, as long as effort is put into creating the message.

I definitely feel that mail conveys a deeper sense of caring and love between senders and recipients. The time and effort that it takes to assemble and send out mail serve as indicators that the recipient is very much worth the sender’s time and effort. Typically, I will be much more excited and touched to receive mail than to receive virtual messages. Ultimately, I think mail will always be the most effective way to communicate messages of love or caring with someone.


Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Nick Bamford


Exhibition Information

Artist: Nick Bamford
Exhibition: Untitled
Media: Mixed media – Ceramics, Wood, Plaster, Found objects, Cement, Foam, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: nickbamf4d

About the Artist

Nick Bamford is a fourth year CSULB undergraduate earning his BFA in the Ceramics program. He is very passionate about art, as evidenced by his difficulty to pinpoint any of his interests that are unrelated to art. Although he has always enjoyed creating art, Nick first came to the realization that he wanted to keep making art in his high school ceramics class. Nick enjoys building and creating things. In his art, Nick enjoys exploring with various forms. Accordingly, his favorite artist is Pablo Picasso, a pioneer in Cubism. Nick says that Picasso has inspired him to combine various forms, especially figurative forms.

Formal Analysis

Nick’s pieces are beautiful and jumbled integrations of various lines, colors, and other formal elements. The integration of various objects in the pieces allow them to convey a multitude of forms. All of Nick’s pieces prominently showcase sharp, straight line in their heavy integration of light sticks that jut out from the sculptures. Many of his pieces also integrate sinuous line, especially in their integration of circular shaped objects, such as a fan, skull, and wheels. Bright, neon colors are especially integral to the mood of the pieces, as they vividly highlight the various random objects of the sculptures. Overall, these various elements of the pieces contribute to their jumbled yet organized feel.

Content Analysis

Although the artist asserted that he does not have a specific message he is trying to convey in his pieces, he emphasized the significance of the objects used in his pieces. In creating his sculptures, Nick used found objects that hold special meaning to him and to his life. He explored taking various items from various contexts and creating new forms. Nick also emphasized the importance of challenging himself and his abilities. In crafting his sculptures, he aimed to challenge himself by creating smaller-scale pieces, and by bringing new artistic meaning to black lights, in which he featured his pieces. Ultimately, Nick’s pieces were fueled by his desire to challenge himself as an artist.

Synthesis / My Experience

I really enjoyed Nick’s sculptures. I thought they were so unique and truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I love that he utilized unconventional media, such as random objects and black lights, and gave them new artistic meaning and life. Although Nick’s motivation behind creating his sculptures seems very personal, I found my own meaning in his pieces. I feel that the random objects and the jumbled nature of the pieces were very symbolic of life. I also felt that the vibrant colors that lit up the pieces were symbolic of the beauty that is found in random objects and, ultimately, in life. I love the idea that the objects in Nick’s pieces are so personal to him, and have meaning that is not revealed to viewers. Overall, I really loved Nick’s art and I feel that his creativity and desire to challenge himself is greatly expressed in his pieces.


Wk 13 – Classmate Conversation – Tiffany Tran

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany Tran. Tiffany is a first year psychology student. She is from Westminster and commutes to school, which are both things we have in common. Tiffany currently works at Paris Baguette in Garden Grove. Her favorite things to do include watching movies, and hanging out with friends. Tiffany’s favorite type of music is K-pop. Her favorite movie is The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and her favorite TV show is Friends. Tiffany has one pet, a mixed breed chihuahua named Kiki. I think that is an insanely adorable name for a dog! It was such a pleasure getting to know Tiffany.

Tiffany’s website is: https://tiffkyu.wordpress.com



Wk 12 – Artist Experience – Tiffany Le


Exhibition Information

Artist: Tiffany Le
Exhibition: Tàu
Media: Ink, Color Pencil, Charcoal, Watercolor, Clayboard, BFK Paper, Pastels, Watercolor Pencil, Acrylic, LED Lights, Sculpture, Canvas
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Website: http://letealeaf.prosite.com/174509/home
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letealeaf/

About the Artist

Tiffany Le is a third year CSULB graduate student. She is from Garden Grove, and has been creating art since the age of three. This May, Tiffany will receive her MFA in Illustration. After graduating, she hopes to continue her freelance work and seek studio jobs. Aside from art, Tiffany’s hobbies include Kendo, hiking, going to gallery shows, and taking care of her bunnies. Tiffany’s art explores her Vietnamese-American descent and conveys untold narratives of her family’s experiences during their immigration to America.

Formal Analysis

In accordance with the themes of chaos and turmoil of her family’s immigration conveyed in her pieces, Tiffany’s art integrates both sinuous and jagged lines. The many natural elements depicted in her pieces, including fire and, most dominantly, waves, are sinuous in nature. They curve and spiral, giving them an appearance of being all-encapsulating. Large animals featured in her pieces are also crafted from sinuous lines, giving them a similar powerful, consuming feel. Jagged lines are also featured in Tiffany’s pieces, offering stark contrasts to the sinuous lines. Most notable are the jagged lines featured in her illustrations of boats. The sharp lines that make up the boats are highlighted by the sinuous waves that serve as their backdrops. The integration of both sinuous and jagged lines creates a chaotic rhythm in many of the pieces. The dominant use of dark tones, such as red, black, and gray, convey a bleak, hopeless feel in many of the pieces. Even the occasional use of bright tones, such as the oranges and yellows of the fire, convey a terrifying and all-consuming feel. The use of acrylics allows the artist to create illusions, and beautiful integrations, of both crashing and gentle waves in her pieces.

Content Analysis

In creating her pieces, Tiffany Le sought to illustrate the untold stories of her Vietnamese-American family. The intense, yet often down-played trauma her family members experienced in their immigration from Vietnam to America is depicted in her pieces. Tiffany drew inspiration from her family’s experiences, such as that in which her father failed to escape on a boat nearly sixty-seven times, as well as that in which her cousin was thrown overboard and nearly drowned. In crafting visual narratives of immigration during the Vietnam War, Tiffany seeks to not only elucidate the immense struggles and endurance of her own family, but of all immigrants, as well. In creating art that depicts the journey of immigration, she hopes to portray the individuality and humanness of immigrants. In this way, she seeks to convey a message that emphasizes the error of perceiving immigrants as a collective group of foreigners that deserve to be shamed. Tiffany’s art ultimately serves as beautifully crafted visual narratives of the strength and perseverance of immigrants.

Synthesis / My Experience

To say that I love Tiffany’s art would be a major understatement. It was an absolute honor to see Tiffany’s craftsmanship in-person, and listen to her speak about the foundations of her art. As soon as I walked into the gallery, I saw the beautiful paper boats in the center of the exhibit. Even more breathtaking was when the lights went out and the boats shone brightly in the dark. My perception of this piece was that the boats’ lights shone as brightly in the dark as the hopes of immigrants traveling through darkness and despair. Tiffany’s other pieces were breathtaking, as well. Rich in color, integrating various lines, and showcasing powerful, naturalistic elements, Tiffany’s illustrations evoked feelings of sadness and hope in me simultaneously. I felt the sadness associated with the struggles of immigrants, the hope that they must feel upon entering a new land, and the pride that they must feel upon overcoming their struggles and establishing new lives for themselves. Tiffany’s feelings towards her family, and immigrants in general, are very clearly conveyed through her art. I am proud to say that I share her high regard towards people who have survived these immense struggles and come out on top. Tiffany’s art eloquently portrays why I have these strong feelings, and justifies them. I am so honored to have experienced her beautiful, brilliant art. I am confident that the countless immigrants who are so often mistreated and abused would be immensely grateful for Tiffany’s representation of their struggles and their essence.