Shelby Rivers


Since coming to Montserrat in 2012, my work has changed completely. I have learned to pay much closer attention to craft in my designs, how to incorporate concepts into my work, and learned what “concept” even means. I found inspiring artists, such as Nancy Skolos, Ellen Lupton, James Turrell, and many others that work with type, shadows, 3D objects, layers, mixed mediums, etc. In the past 2 years, I have discovered so much about myself and my interests, that it made me think about wether or not art was “my thing”. I came to the conclusion that I have hundreds of interests and hobbies. I want to learn. I am eager to learn everything I can, about everything out there. I never want to stop learning. And with art, I can make sense of everything I learn, and maybe even relay some information to others via info-graphics, posters, books – art. It gives me a way of outputting information that I learn, and giving it an order. Kind of like taking notes, just much more creatively.

Currently, I am working on a cookbook that I started at the beginning of this semester. I got the idea to make it in Design Factory, and have really expanded the possibilities for it after having it on my mind a lot and talking with the class. I am still at the very beginning stages of it, putting information down so I can spice it up along the way and get creative with it. I enjoy thinking of different processes I can incorporate in it, such as juicing fruits to use as paint to illustrate in it, and scanning dirty, gross napkins to use as backgrounds, adding funnier recipes like “2am Cup of Coffee” because it caters to the “college lifestyle”, and much more. I plan on still adding to it frequently, doing lots over break, and into next semester. It helps a lot when I’m having doubts about my career choice, and take a break from assignments and client work for a minute to work on something I love and also passionate about, and remind myself why I came to art school.

I have learned so much in every course at Montserrat. I learned how to create and bind books, fill an art piece with content, use more than just a computer to design with, how to “let lose” a little and be creative. In Seminar, I plan on researching and practicing the art of quilling. Quilling is decorative craftwork in which a material such as glass, fabric, or paper is formed into small bands or rolls that form the basis of a design. I learned about it’s existence last year, I briefly researched it’s history, and used it in a book project back in Bookbinding I, and I loved it. I love the delicacy of the thin strips of paper, I love the shadows created by the 3D aspects, I love the decorative qualities of it, and especially the mathematics in the free-form of each and every spiral, that when released creates the Fibonacci code. With my skills in quilling and my loving of math and science, I want to use quilling to make designs, posters perhaps, charts and graphs relating quilling to formulas, and incorporate educational elements. I think the juxtaposition of the education in my designs about quilling, combined with the history of quilling, where women who were not allowed education or to leave the house are some of the people whom quilled the most for decoration, not knowing anything about the math behind it. I hope to create pieces that are informative to people, so they learn something when they see my art.

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