Week 5 Activity: Kickstarter Pitch

Objective: Discover Kickstarter projects and find the good and bad pitch videos from two categories of my liking.

Kickstarter Category: Technology

I stumbled across two projects in the technology category that were hoping to further develop 3D-Printing technology. This kind of stuff catches my eye because I am obsessed with 3D-Printers and the new possibilities that they bring to the consumer world. A disclaimer: I did not find a project idea that was absurdly bad in the technology category. Almost all technological pieces start out with a good idea: the real issue is with how the production was executed. Without a tangible item for me to observe, it is difficult to determine which projects will “flop”. Instead, I will be pointing out negatives/positives from each pitch video, as neither one is without flaws.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1094677795/rhino-industrial-grade-3d-printer/widget/video.html

The first project: Rhino Industrial Grade 3D Printer. The Pros: this pitch video will probably only appeal to those who are genuinely interested with the build quality of the said product. The creator of the product makes an introduction and gets straight into the technical aspect of the 3D Printer. He goes into detail about the materials being made and his reasoning behind using a specific material. He also mentions how the print area’s temperature will be regulated as well as the durability of certain components. At the end of the pitch, he gives a sample of a 3D-Printed object using the printer. Overall, I found his video straight to the point about his objective: to provide the end user with an industrial grade printer that was not astronomically expensive. It seems that he has succeeded in this.

The only issue (small one) with the pitch video is that the quality of the video production is to be honest, quite poor. This is quite forgivable but falls behind when compared to the other pitch videos given by competing 3D printer projects, as I will show. Also, the narrator of the pitch video has a monotone voice that could easily put people to sleep if the video went on for too long.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gp3d/gp3d-root-full-metal-body-3d-printer/widget/video.html

Here we have the Root GP3D printer. The pitch video is quite good: we are introduced to the project leader, and he clearly shows passion and drive for the project at hand. He goes over the work and effort that was previously put into making his product come to life. We also hear input from other project members, which gives the impression that there are numerous people working diligently on the development and distribution of the printer.

However, in doing this the pitch video strayed a bit too far from the product they were trying to introduce. I barely saw the final product that was being envisioned and did not even get to see its capabilities. This pitch video is quite a polar opposite when compared to the previous pitch video. Blending the good characteristics from both of these project videos would have made the perfect pitch.

Kickstarter Category: Fashion (Wallets) 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mijlo/wheres-wallet-the-smart-wallet-youll-never-lose/widget/video.html

I really, really liked this particular pitch video. First of all it was short: they only showed what we wanted to show: the product and what it does. In essence, they like the product speak for itself, which implies confidence. People with a short attention span should have no problem with this pitch video. Overall the whole pitch video demonstrated the capability and functionality of the smart wallet in a good production value video. Can’t complain about this one.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/simplewallet/simple-wallet-a-better-wallet/widget/video.html

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Minimalist Wallets. This one is called “Simple Wallet- The Super Slim Wallet”.

I’ll be honest: before this activity week, I frequented the kickstarter website for a WALLET. I’ve been spending YEARS trying to replace my wallet: I need something that holds a lot, but is comfortable and sleek-looking. My belief is that finding this perfect wallet(for me) is like finding the perfect partner. You can date MILLIONS of people and not still find the “right person”. I’ve been looking at wallets and found nothing that pleases me enough to keep using it.

Anyways, kickstarter is full of these damn Minimalist Wallets. Nothing against minimalist people, but WOW, the pitch videos for minimalist wallets are usually crap. 99 percent of kickstarter projects involving minimalist wallets are DOING IT WRONG. Specifically, they are advertising the product in the most pathetic way possible.

First of all, let’s talk about the product itself: you’ll laugh when you see some of these minimalist wallets on Kickstarter. Most of them are literally a single piece of leather/metal with a single strap across it. WHY in the hell is this crap even on Kickstarter? I could build my own wallet at home and achieve the same level of innovation and usability!

Second pet peeve: these pitch videos advertise their wallets to be “slimmer” than the conventional wallets by a wide margin. I’m just sitting here like “WTF man…of course your wallet will be slimmer…you made a wallet so tiny that I won’t be able to fit sh*t inside it”. No real man would want to severely limit what he can put into his wallet. A real baller needs plenty of space for his huge wad of cash. For the minimalist wallet makers out there: you’re actually making wallets for people who carry next to NOTHING and wouldn’t need a wallet in the first place…NOT to replace a conventional wallet.

Anyways, the “Simple Wallet” kickstarter pitch video above has some fatal flaws: one of them being that he used some dumbass animation during most of his pitch. It’s cool, but pointless and doesn’t actually show me the product and how the materials look. In fact, (here is the next flaw) it seems like he was hiding the wallet from us in the pitch video. I know absolutely nothing about how the wallet functions on top of not really knowing how it looks like, or how it fits in the hands/pockets.

Minimalist wallet makers….TRY HARDER.

Week 5 Conversations(Artist + Classmate)

Artist: Work Hardened

Introduction(given on the art 110 website): The Metals group show features a variety of student work utilizing copper, brass, silver, steel and found objects.

I was quite relieved to find a unique art form available for viewing on this particular week. Although paintings is a visually pleasing medium form of art, I’d be much more excited seeing craftsmanship from a different and creative standpoint. I was also drawn to the idea that the works would be made out of metals, as I assume that there are a number of complications in forming works of art using metal.

I arrived to the Gatov east with notebook in paw, ready to take in as much information as I could. However, found that I was very observant of details- much more than usual. I also found out why this particular exhibit didn’t have a specific name attached to it on the website: it was more like a group showcase, so there were different artists involved with different pieces. The works varied from large pieces to small but astonishingly detailed pieces.

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There were some very interesting items such as miniature t.vs and water towers, and I am sure the detail put into those pieces were painstakingly difficult. However, my most favorite piece of all was the chess piece (see thumbnail/featured image). The bronze and aluminum chess pieces were well done but I was most fascinated by the actual “board”. Closer examination will show you that the board is made of sand…white and black sand, to be specific. I felt that this had to be in a pain in the ass to finish so perfectly but it is worth the effort because the end result is a fascinating piece of art that brought up many questions about its creation.

Classmate Conversation: Khoi Nguyen (https://sktfaker.wordpress.com/)

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(*Yes, I failed to get a proper picture of Mr. Khoi Nguyen as my phone died Thursday. I will update this post promptly when I am capable of fixing it).

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Khoi Nguyen, a fellow Viet. He presents himself as a “generic” Asian, but I found him to be very funny and easy to talk to. He is a first year student here at CSULB, and is studying the field of civil Engineering. I commend him on such an effort because I also have some sort of a desire to do engineering. Anyways, I asked him where he is from and he responded with Westminster, much to my amusement. (There are so many Vietnamese people from Westminster that I have a habit of asking other Viets if they come from there). Khoi is also a gamer, and enjoys “League of Legends” the most. I found it interesting that he also wants to become a PRO-gamer, and was quick to tell me that professional gamers can actually be ballers and make lots of money. I bid him good luck on this endeavor…maybe he’ll have the hard decision of choosing between playing games late or studying late? During his free time, Khoi hangs out with friends and takes naps. He has many tastes when it comes to his favorite music: he likes dupstep, edm, jazz, and classical music. Finally, he also has a passion for art. He seems to have great love for drawing, stating that he often likes to paint or use scratch boards. Khoi was easy to approach and I was immediately able to joke around with him shortly after meeting him. I wish him good luck with the rest of his time at CSULB.

Week 4 Activity: Show thingy

How I went about this activity, my thoughts (as of Sunday):

Finding the definition of performance art: an art form that combines visual art with dramatic performance. 

So I perceived this week’s activity as one where I needed to find my own expression of performance art in picture form.

Here was my first plan(would have been the best plan):

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I live a few blocks from a small park which was basically integrated into a large neighborhood but was parallel to a major public street. I was hoping to climb ONTO the Paul Revere statue above (sitting like a passenger on the horse)…and in essence be able to share in the awesomeness that is the midnight ride of Paul Revere… this would have been a great shot. I’m so far hesitant in this endeavor as there is literally the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station adjacent from this location…getting detained by law enforcement because of art 110 class is not enough street cred for me.

*I will, however, end up updating this portion of the post if it turns out I can easily get away with it.

Here is how I spent the rest of the week, however:

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This is the result of a *very* minor lowside crash (if you could even call it that) on my quest to start canyon carving. I took out my Kawasaki Ninja 250cc on Friday and paid the price for sucking. I only had crappy GoPro Hero2 footage at the time…I’ll consider this performance art as it is plenty artistic and plenty dramatic. The only thing that hurt was my pride and most of the side fairings on the bike…replacing those don’t come cheap so my wallet isn’t happy either.

Week 4 Conversations(Artist+Classmate)

Artist: Makaila Palmer

For week 4 of CSULB Art 110, I chose to interview a Makaila Palmer for the artist portion. Her brief description on the art 110 main site is as follows: “paintings utilize colors from European currency to explore the idea of language and communication between diverse people and regions”. The reason I found this to be of a great degree of interest right off the bat was because I do have an infatuation with money: (not to be mixed with monetary value) and how it is integrated in modern economic systems and societies, which coincides with the ECON and PHIL classes I am currently taking. Off to the Gatov-West, then.

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Anyhow, the paintings are very visually appealing. The use of colors DOES in fact seem to be true to the description (previously given) and feature the colors from what is seen to be European currencies. The first thing I noticed is that the colors used in each painting do vary overall. Palmer’s explanation for this was that each painting represented a different location. And since different countries use different currencies as a medium, this allowed for each painting to have a unique theme of color. She also mentioned that the colors are strictly from the currencies, which imposed a pretty difficult challenge. I can see what she meant by this as she had to make a very aesthetic background with a severe limitation. A fun fact is that her paintings all share a few subtle features in common. Upon closer examinations, you will notice that a number of faint stars and bridges are all portrayed within the paintings- small symbolism that refers to currency.

Her main inspiration for making these works of art is attributed heavily to her travels. She found that going to new places gave her valuable memories, and she definitely recommends that everyone find their own travel experiences. Most of her trips were study abroad sessions- which of course, were for art studies. For her, every new city and new country that she visited offered her a completely new experience. Even these art pieces were a new endeavor for her, as she did not have any prior experience in painting landscapes before she starting traveling around. Her favorite place of all was visiting Ireland.

I personally found the colors used in the paintings to be both unique and pleasing to look at. Although I have limited familiarity with European currencies, I found it easy enough to make the association and appreciate the hard work that was outputted.

Classmate Conversation: Joseph Awadallah

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This week I had the great pleasure of having a chat with Joseph Awadallah. Joseph has Palestinian parents as well as family residing in Palestine. His parents are Catholic which is a reminder of the cultural diversity that exists in Palestine. This is Joseph’s first year at CSULB and he is currently an undeclared major. He lives in Cypress, which is not too far from CSULB so he is able to commute to school. Joseph also has a great interest in sports, with soccer and basketball being his favorite hobbies in general. He enjoys spending much of his free time working out at the gym, listening to music, or watching sports such as soccer/basketball/football. When inquired about a favorite food Joseph will quickly answer with something called “Upside Down”. He explained it as a mix of rice and chicken but swore that it was way more appetizing than it seems. I have never heard of the dish before so I actually had to google it…Turns out it is formally called “Maqloobeh” and it is a Palestinian dish…and it definitely is mouth-watering.

He is currently busy with a job at Papa John’s as a pizza delivery guy as well.

I enjoyed talking to Joseph Awadallah and found him to be an extremely cool dude. I wish him the best of luck at CSULB and his future endeavors outside of that.

Week 3: Activity (Instagram)

My Overall impressions of the Instagram Activity/Project thing

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Situation of week 3: My task was to post pictures of where-ever I am throughout the 24 hour day. I had to then add the hashtag(#) art110s15 on these photos. Afterwards, I would have to look at the class’s “group portrait” and make an assessment.

My Assessment:

I was quite interesting looking through the other posts that my classmates had made for this particular project. I’m not too big on selfies, so I was disconnected to those kinds of people in some sense. However, there were plenty of other people that had very similar posts in comparison to my own. The first kind of common picture are food pictures. I had Pho in particular (the best), but it was very interesting seeing what other foods people were into. It seems that food has a strong cultural connection, and you can tell a lot about a person’s background by what food they have from time to time.

Another common type of photo were the car-driving posts. I’m pretty big on cars: nothing much changed that symbolized my transition to adulthood, except for my CAR. Not having a car in the modern era is the same thing is being handicapped and crippled. I used to walk EVERYWHERE during my pre-college years, so I treat my car the same way I would treat a new born. It’s pretty much why I chose to post a picture of my CSULB commute. We all know that person that posts a million baby pictures a day..I’m the same way..just with cars.

Definitely the most memorable part of this project was looking through the #art110s15 posts and then finding out that someone else had the exact same car that I have. Same kind of picture too. It’s somewhere in the screen capture below:

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Week 3: Conversations (Artist + Classmate)

02/05/15

YIREN KWAK & MARYANNE GONZALES

Prior to the start of this week of Art 110, I made short preparations in order to write another fairly concise blog post about the work(s) of art being displayed in the galleries this time around. I found that the most potentially interesting exhibit (in my own opinion) for week three would be from Yiren Kwak and Maryanne Gonzales.

The Art 110 homepage stated that these artists would be displaying oil paintings and drawings that would be focused on the relationship between nature and architecture.

This statement caught my attention because I became very curious about the subject matter. The artists had chosen two very stark contrasts that they needed to represent through their work. Some people find that nature and the outdoors are pure and holds beauty that is unmatched by artificial creations.  A person like myself on the other hand, find that architecture and other man made systems are capable of carrying their own aesthetically pleasing features. After all, human accomplishments are some of the most amazing feats of ingenuity and determination.

This particular exhibit is located in the Gatov-West, and there was indeed a mix of art works by Yiren Kwak and Maryanne Gonzales. Here is an example of one of those paintings:

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I had an opportunity to listen to Yiren Kwak’s explanation behind the insipration(s) for her art work. However, I did not notice Maryanne Gonzales in the vicinity, so I did not hear any of her views on her works personally. I honestly did not find out whether she was or was not absent from the art galleries on Thursday.

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Anyhow, I believe she would have emulated much of what Mrs. Kwak had to say. Basically, the work of Yiren Kwak and Maryanne Gonzales dealt with tensions created by two very different landscapes: the urban, man-made environments and the natural world. Much of the oil paintings represented an environmental issue that faces us today. Some of them depicted droughts/water shortages, pollution, etc. The basic premise behind making all of these oil paintings was that “nature reacts accordingly to how humanity treats it”. They hoped to evoke many emotions from their viewers, like peace, joy, confusion, and frustration. Yiren Kwak stated that all/most of her works of art were inspired by where she lived. She also mentioned that she lives on a hilly area, which enables her to have a vast vantage point of the environment around her. If you noticed the painting she is standing in front of (featured image on front page),  that would have been a painting that imitated a gold course that she knows. Yiren Kwak also finds that oil painting (in comparison to acrylic painting) takes much more finesse and skill, which is clearly demonstrated in her works.

The real HIGHLIGHT during this art-viewing day was a particular work by Maryanne Gonzales. (I didn’t take a picture since my camera died…dumb move by me, I know. I’ll do my best to describe it.) It was titled, “Distraction Disruption”. Pretty catchy name, huh? The reason I was so interested in this particular art was because I felt that I made a connection with the art piece’s message immediately. Most of the painting was dark: displaying a gritty, colorless world. The background was something that looked like an interstate freeway. I almost want to say that it is directly influenced by the freeways running through Los Angeles county, with all the overpasses and wide lanes being the prominent features. Littered all over this highway were (if you could recognize it) rear view mirrors that come from cars. In the mirrors, you could see a reflection of the drivers, which probably represent human beings as a whole. Most of the faces depicted through the rear-view mirrors were blind-folded. The other mirrors showed the drivers being distracted due to multitasking. In one of the mirrors, I saw a person using their phone while driving. In another, I saw a person using make up.

The only colorful element of this painting came from a crack in the highway of the painting. It looked like a green root of some sort, but it was obvious that it represented nature. I believe that this painting is saying that the average person is so distant from nature that they are blind and distracted from what is actually alive and breathing. Quite interesting.

Classmate Conversation: Joseph Gamba

I had the honor of interviewing classmate Joseph Gamba this week:

I found that we had a number of similarities. First of all, we both took Art 110 purely out of wanting to get category C credit in order to complete the necessary general education requirements. Damn G.Es…

We also both commute to school, which is a good plus since the dorms are CSULB seem to barely give more comfort than a state prison. However, he is not a California native since he is originally from Illinois. Fortunately, he is finding California to be a great place as the weather has treated him well. He is a currently a business major like myself as well, so we both share a healthy distrust of the liberal arts.

He enjoys watching sports in his free time and is an outdoors man: he cannot stand being trapped indoors and needs to get out and do something. I also learned that Joseph is currently a senior (lucky) and should be graduating in the very near future. I wish him good luck on his future endeavors.

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