ART is…



I mentioned yesterday that I was excited about a marketing campaign that I helped develop for my internship– and boy, I’ve only gotten more excited about it. The campaign has exploded into billboards,bumper stickers, t-shirts, a blog, and so much more!

So what is this campaign? From the blog:

What started as a way to brand our membership campaign at the Mansfield Art Center has become a simple, but transformative way to explore the very heart of what we do, and what is at the core of the lives of many.

We created this simple “fill in the blank” Art is ___________. The idea being that the personal relationship with the arts is just that, personal. We all love and appreciate art for different reasons. That is why people come to our cultural institutions, visit our towns, become members, pursue careers, and choose philanthropy. Art is meaningful, but the meaning varies.

To say I’m excited about this would be the biggest understatement in the world. Today, someone actually recognized me the campaign– to hear “Oh! You’re the girl from the campaign! I love it!” was an amazing feeling. I mean, I have multiple BILLBOARDS that I can drive past and say, “I designed that!”


Plus, I just think it’s an awesome cause and an awesome IDEA– what IS art to YOU?

Want to participate yourself? AWESOME. I want to take this nationwide. International! Global! Head over to our blog to print off the sign, fill it out, and take a picture of YOU telling the world what ART is to you! Blog about it! Facebook it! Post it on instagram or twitter! Send it in and share it on OUR blog! All I ask is that if you do share it, send me a link (allie AT mansfieldartcenter DOT org), use the hashtag #artisfillintheblank, or tag me (@abandy on twitter and instagram) so I can share it with my co-workers and potentially on our blog!


Loving lately…


It’s been way too long since I’ve blogged! So much has been going on in my life– it’s been crazy busy!

For now, I’ll share some links to some things that I’ve been loving lately. I hope you enjoy!
What have you been loving lately? I’d love links!

"Life begins at seventeen"– a peak inside my "smash" book

The other day, my mom looked at me and exclaimed, “Allie! I just got an e-mail from one of my stores about these new… “books” that you put clippings in, etc.”
I got super excited and asked, “You mean SMASH books? How cool are they?!?”
She looked at me, shocked, and said, “They are just EXACTLY what you have been doing for YEARS!”
And she is right.
Although I haven’t been keeping up with my own “Smash” books for the past year/year and a half (graduating and getting married tends to put a damper on my time 😉 ) throughout high school, I would buy loads of composition notebooks when they were on sale and completely stuff them full of clippings, drawings, lists– whatever I wanted! The composition book I have pictured is my favorite one– I just found it the other day in a pile of things that my parents sent over. I love the xanga (yes, xanga!!) entry from Ben’s xanga when we first started dating that I printed out; I love the colored pencil lists that I made–things that made me happy, things I love… all of it. I found pages where my notebook had been passed around in Chemistry and Calculus and my friends and I joked around together–like one really long passed note between us all. It gives such a perfect “snapshot” of what my life was like when I was a senior in high school. I don’t know how I forgot about this.
I encourage you–if you’ve been drooling over the “Smash” books like I have– remember that it’s not the “casing” or book that important– it’s the snapshot of your life that you put in it that’s important. I’m sure there are still some composition notebooks on sale in the big box stores– go grab a few, grab some old magazines, clippings and your colored pencils. Get to work making a snapshot of who you are in this moment. I promise you won’t regret it.

Do you have “Smash” books from high school or college? Do you have a “Smash Book” of your own? What is your favorite part of it?

Coffee Cup describing ALLIE

Coffee Cup
Coffee Cup Hearts

A few weeks ago, my boss gave me the challenge to make something for him that “described” me. This is what I came up with. Caffeine, bright colors, yellow, doodles, and a quote about creativity. Word.

Photoshop tutorials: Comic book effect

For an assignment in my Digital photograhpy class, we had to do tutorials in front of the class on how to do a few effects in Photoshop–we had to literally teach the rest of the class how to do the effects.  I promised that I would share the tutorials here, so here is the first one! These instructions are for Photoshop.

(Just a note: Since I did this on a projector in front of the entire class, I don’t have photos of the process. If you get confused and would like screen shots added, PLEASE tell me, and I would love to add them if it helps you! Also, if would would like high-res versions of these photographs, please let me know.)

I will be showing you how to make a comic book effect on a photograph!  You can take a photo like this:

to a comic book effect like this:

First start with your original file (My photo was from Stock Exchange— my favorite site for free stock photos– you need an account, but it’s free and oh so useful!)

Next, double click on the “Background” layer to convert it to “Layer 0,” which also unlocks the layer. This will make it easier to edit this layer.

Next, start messing with the levels and curves a bit first in some adjustment layers. We want a bit more contrast than we have right now.

Next, we are going to give the photo an illustrated look with some graininess to give the illusion of an old and bad quality paper. It is not a realistic effect, it is just some distortion to the image to help us achieve the final look. Go to FILTERS > ARTISTIC > FILM GRAIN. In this case we are going to use: GRAIN: 4, HIGHLIGHT AREA: 0, INTENSITY: 10. Try different settings for different photos.

Now duplicate that layer.

Next,  we are going apply a halftone pattern to the image to give the final old comic book printing effect. Go to FILTER > PIXELATE > COLOR HALFTONE. Set MAX RADIUS: 4 and leave the rest with the default values. Press OK and then go to the LAYERS PALETTE and set the BLENDING MODE to DARKEN.

Now comes the fun parts!

Create another new layer. Using the RECTANGLE TOOL make a rectangle around the entire picture. Then go to EDIT and then STROKE. Adjust accordingly

Create “text boxes” from shape and colors in the top left and bottom right corners. Add captions in a “comic book” font.

There you are! Comic book style! Please let me know if you have any questions!