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Painting Souls and Angels

Cristóbal Almanza | SoulPainter
Notes from IA Summit 2017

Notes from IA Summit 2017

Last month, I traveled to Vancouver, BC, Canada to speak at the Information Architects Summit, and it was a truly blessed experienced. I met hundreds of new people that all brought wonderful insight, conversations, and ideas. I will share the video ones it goes live.

Presenting at IA Summit 2017

 

This is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote for my work.


Humanity is the center of design.

“Design for humans” sounds like an obvious statement, but there’s plenty to unpack there. Because design is only as “good” as it is functional. Otherwise, it’s not design; it’s art.

When it comes to designing products—e.g., websites—for an increasingly digitized world, designers often lose sight of the end purpose. Many designs are aesthetically pleasing but don’t consider how they are going to be used by actual humans. Design is most successful when it serves humanity.

Taxonomy is important.

Taxonomy is the process of categorizing data and content—of structuring stuff in a way that makes sense, is helpful, and which serves the overall goals of the organization providing the content.

And I admit, information architects are sometimes guilty of underestimating the importance of taxonomy.

Taxonomy is the foundation that guides the architecture, which, in turn, guides the rest of the design. Taxonomy is definitely not glamorous. Done well, it’s barely even noticed. But it’s critical to the success of the user experience. Taxonomy provides the invisible links that make or break a website.

Continue reading at TMM >

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Austin DCYC 2017 – SANCTUS

Austin DCYC 2017 – SANCTUS

The Diocese of Austin holds a yearly event known as the Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference for teens, and I was contracted to create the visual marketing materials for the theme of SANCTUS (meaning “Holy” in Latin).

The Logo

The main theme of the logo I created is based on a dove as the symbol of the Holy Spirit with the highlight of a flame, another common symbol for the third person of the Trinity. The yellow and orange are a bright, vibrant shades that give the feeling of fire, and the dark green compliments it while representing life.

I also chose to use Roman-style lettering with the Latin name, this is why the “U” is replaced with a “V.” It was a way to bring a balance of the ancient traditions and the contemporary setting.

 

The Shirt Design

The shirt was limited to one side and two colors for the print. I brought in the familiar colors from the logo and added vector shapes that recall the imagery of the Monstrance, a liturgical tool used to display the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist for adoration. This is the pivotal moment that happens on Saturday night of the event.

DCYC Shirt Design

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Sanctus Mural Panels [Painting and Explanation]
Sanctus Mural

Sanctus Mural Panels [Painting and Explanation]

In January 2016, I debuted a large 48×48 painting that was enlarged to 16×16′ for the Mass setting of the Austin DCYC (Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference) held in Waco, Texas with almost 3,000 people in attendance.

Official Image from Austin DCYC

This December, I also spent time finishing the 12×48″ side panels to be enlarged for the side panels of the stage. This process was much less intensive in nature because much of the theme and characters were already set. This extension was part of the original plan, but my schedule didn’t allow me to finish it in time for the 2016 Conference. This panel was entirely focused on expanding the city visuals, the flowing fountain of blood and water with the choirs of angels.

Sanctus Mural

Sanctus 3 Panel Mural

The collective visual can be somewhat overwhelming at first, and this is intentional. My hope is that it shows the grandeur of the spiritual realities occurring in the Holy Mass. I hope that it inspires feelings of wonder at the sanctity of the Sacraments.

The panels have more symmetry than the central piece with a mirrored approach to the top and bottom. This helps direct more of the attention to the center at the sacrifice of Christ. You can see the original layout sketches repeat various angels. One of the other elements borrowed from the Beuronese style is the priestly vestments used by the angels.

This key helps explain the various characters and elements happening in the 3 panels of the mural. For more background on the planning of the mural, see my posts from last year about the Sanctus Mural.

SANCTUS Mural and panels detail key

The following images are from the official DCYC event January 27-29 in Waco, TX.

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Drink Like a Catholic Professional

Drink Like a Catholic Professional

Austin is a cosmopolitan city where it’s common to mix drinks with work. read more

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