Ras Amam's Wiki


"When art is your living"

Statement of Interest
Mind Map
Target Audience
Use Cases
Site Map


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Works is a series of motion graphics set into a Flash microsite dedicated to investigating how artists support the
production of and sell their work. The site will showcase a series of interview
videos that will give viewers a clearer understanding of the contemporary artists
market. These videos will focus on artists of differing mediums, and will each be
accompanied by Motion Graphic intros and break bumpers. The site will become
an ongoing reference for aspiring artists and will include updatable directories of
agents, galleries, and museum contacts.

Statement of Interest

As a student I often have wondered about the statistics of students who go on from
the Academy of Art to work in the field: 80%. So it is of wonder to me what
happens to the other 20%? They graduate as trained artists true but what are their
options outside of company employment? As I believe that commercial art for a firm
is a newer phenomenon of the 20th century and that many artists support themselves in
other ways, it interests me to find out what are the ways in which artists can support
their art and survive.

Growing up, I was encouraged to do art as an extracurricular activity but to be
more pragmatic about earning a living. I believe that many people are steered
away from the arts at an early age because it may seem particularly difficult to
earn a living as an artist. I believe that my project can shed light on this

Also I am a Federal Student Loan recipient and as the tide turns on my student
loans I am also seeking to find out how art is sold so that I might learn how to
sell. I believe that this project will be a valuable resource helping to answer the
question of how to sell for many aspiring artists.

The subject matter of the piece will be the work necessary on the part of the artist
to succeed both creatively and economically. I think that this is extremely
relevant in this day and age of economic crisis. Aspiring artists need to see small
self proprietor companies with innovative products and individual artisans in the
same light as large multinational design agencies. All fill needs and voids in the
world economy and all have the opportunity for success. The small company or
individual needs to simply look as good for its market. That makes the aspiring
artist realize that there are some necessary steps to take to be successful but
that success is attainable even in todays economic climate. If everyone could
control their own economic fortune through their own works, maybe our global
economic problems wouldnt be so great.



Works will be mainly a project in incorporating motion graphics and video into
Flash animation. Each artist in the series of videos will be supplied with an
individualized motion graphic intro and break bumper used during scene
transitions which will encapsulate my impressions of the artists works visually. I
will create a Flash microsite video player interface to display a series of , initially,
five to seven (5-7) video podcasts about present day artists. The intent of Works
is to be a source of inspiration to aspiring artists and can be seen as more
indepth than the average self help presentation.

The interface will be a full screen theatre format Flash presentation. Cue points
will be active through out the video presentations to link users to artists external
sites and internal functions such as “view artist details”. Each artist will have a
details page and there will be an updatable listing of contacts for galleries, agents
and museums

I currently plan on showcasing the work of individual artists and the owners of
self proprietor design companies that I have come to meet here in the Bay Area
as well as those promoting themselves through catalogs, collectives, galleries
and museums. What Works has to offer is that it levels the field for a new
perspective of the artist in the role of money earner. Here the “little guy” and his
opportunities become interesting enough for a person to stop, take notice and
consider the possibilities.



The project will consist of three major components:

1. The video podcasts

I will produce film and edit an initial five to seven (5 - 7) three minute podcasts featuring interviews and “at work” footage. I will also write and perform the voiceover narrative.

The theme will be enconomic. I will film all interviews as tripod shots with foreground and background lighting. The intent is give an air of seriousness. The topic of economics is more of a sit down conversation such as PBS “Now” rather than a handheld tour such as MTV’s “Cribs”. I will ask the artists about a minimum of three topics:
a. about themselves and their educational background
b. about how they achieved the position they have as a professional, where they assess themselves, and how much someone could expect to make in a similar professional tract
c. about where they expect to draw new or continued clients in the current global economic conditions

All podcasts will include cue points for video indexing of links to external documents and sites. Onscreen prompts will be triggered at set times during video playback.

2. Motion Graphic intros and bumpers

For each podcast I will design a 45 second Motion Graphic intro and a 10 second bumber used during scene transitions. The intent is to give a separate personalized look and feel branding to each of the artists rather than to the Works series.

All motion graphics will be created from art rendered using Photoshop and Illustrator and inculding still photography taken on the day of filming or excerpts from unused portions of the video footage. Some will be gometric shapes, some composite images, some special effects, some camera movement. I will vary them according to the personality of the artist and her works but also to use a variety of techniques. Color schemes will also be changed as appropriate for each artist.

3. Flash video player interface

Finally I will design a flash video player created using Action Script 3 and having at least the following functionality:
a. can display a form to update video URLs and add them to existing playlist
b. creates an auto generated playlist
c. retrieves all playlist information from an My SQL database
d. is completely “skinnable” with all interface visuals called from the database.
e. can scale the current video up to full screen and remain at full screen when the video changes
f. allows user to add their contact or gallery information to gallery/agent listing

Although this video player will be skinnable I will develop an initial black interface with which to present it for final review. This player will serve as the “host” offering the opportunity to leave contact information.




KQED’s arts interview program has showcased Bay Area artisans and business owners. Their main focus is the artists’ current projects.
The Music Genome project has produced a wonderful Flash interface radio station. The site’s algorithm matches the users’ taste and auto generates a playlist.
The Yahoo “Launch” portal includes both incredible audio and video players. Yahoo also produces live performance videos which have a branded Motion Graphic intro.
Lomotion was a thesis project by academy student, Mont Watanasiriroch. It had a very lively graphic interface and a passive viewing experience.




This PBS show has featured 72 artists in its tenure. Video of the artists is available on the site.

Pros: As a PBS show it has great exposure and name recognition.

Cons: The website does not however feature a playlist video interface.
You tube is the most well known video sharing site and holds far larger an inventory of stories about artists.

Pros:YouTube has many features that make it perfect for web 2.0 sharing

Cons: It does not however offer a playlist video interface and users must therefore be willing to search for artist interviews to view.
RSS based web logs are probably the greatest competition for attention from internet surfers.

Pros:Blogs tend to give very specific information about a very narrow niche.

Cons: However most blogs do not have a concentration on video interviews of artists and may only pick up feeds about artist's entrepreneurship from time to time.




Target Audience Description

The typical user will tend to be males and females ages 14 to 40 who are aspiring artists although the piece is being designed to appeal to everyone for its entertainment value. The intention of my project Works is to be informative and visually stimulating such that a viewer would watch several if not all of the videos in one sitting. All viewers are expected to have some prior understanding of the web and typical video player interfaces. They are not expected to have the latest computer technology but would be willing to download the newest Flash player.
Target Audience Persona 1

Nate Payne

29 years old


Nate is a designer specializing in Illustrator.
On Friday & Saturday nights, Nate likes to go to the clubs with his wide network of friends. He also blasts party notifications across his myspace.com network. He is always working on a new design. He also likes to patronize events and is always on the lookout for a catchy exhibition online or in person.

Target Audience Persona 2



Jevon Brooks

34 years old

Hyattsville, MD

Jevon is an artist specializing in pencil sketches.

On Friday & Saturday nights, Jevon watches his daughters and has little time for online communication. He’s always on the lookout for something to do with his kids and is beginning to consider selling his work at markets and fairs. He’s always open to hearing how success is found.

Target Audience Persona 3


Stephanie Light
30 years old
Pine Ridge, SD

Stephanie is a vocalist and musician.
On Friday & Saturday nights, Stephanie goes to her own or a friends’ studio to record music. She is very entrepreneurially minded and constantly seeks ways to expand her network of fans and collaborators.

Use Cases




Use Case: Navigate by Artist Name

Description: User wants to navigate events by artist name.
Actors: User, System Database [computer].
Additional Use Cases Needed: Navigate by artist name inside
specific geographic region.
1. User is on the sites main Home page.
2. User clicks Artist Name dropdown.
3. System displays a list of artist names.
4. User selects artist name of choice.
5. System displays podcast.


Use Case: Add information to database

Description: User adds information to gallery database.
Actors: User, System Database [computer].
Additional Use Cases Needed: Log-in.
1. User arrives on the sites main Home page.
2. System displays interface.
3. User clicks on Galleries button.
4. System displays Galleries page.
5. User clicks Add Info button.
6. System displays Add Info form.
7. User types in information.
8. User clicks submit.
9. System adds information to database.
10. System displays Galleries page.


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Directed Study Plan

Fall ‘08
CANM614 (Flash)
CANM613 (Motion Graphics)
Special Topics (Flash AS3)

Spring ‘09
GS 610

Summer ‘09
CANM604 (Professional Practices)
Directed Study: Usability

Fall ‘09
CANM663 (Advanced Motion Graphics)
Directed Study: Motion Graphics I (After Effects/ Shake)
Directed Study: Typography

Spring ‘10
Directed Study: Motion Graphics II (After Effects/Final Cut)
Directed Study: Flash Animation (Martha Breen)
Directed Study: Flash AS3


Directed Study: Web Development (CMS usage)




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"Video Indexing is Key to the Future of the Web," Chief Adobe Strategist Mark Randall