Welcome to TomNeilly.com

Digital Artwork - Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

This page is to showcase my art projects from my Digital Graphic Design class from the Fall Semester of 2014. These projects were created through the use of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator. At the start of the semester, I had never used any of these programs so this was an excellent experience that I had the opportunity to learn from. I hope my work demonstrates my consistent understanding, improvement, and complexity of digital graphic design and the tools to create these works throughout the Digital Graphic Design course. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Artist Statement

Tom Neilly (°1985, Mesa, Arizona) is an artist who mainly works with media art. By replaying the work for each exhibition and pushing the evocative power of the work a little further, Neilly tries to focus on the activity of presenting. The character, shape or content of the presented artwork is secondary. The essential things are the momentary and the intention of presenting.

His media artworks directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. In a search for new methods to ‘read the city’, he focuses on the idea of ‘public space’ and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment: the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting.

His works are presented with the aim not to provide an idealistic view but to identify where light and the environment are important. The energy of a place and its emotional and spiritual vibrations are always important. With a conceptual approach, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.

His works are often about contact with architecture and basic living elements. Energy (heat, light, water), space and landscape are examined in less obvious ways and sometimes developed in absurd ways. Tom Neilly currently lives and works in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Political Poster - "Skyline" - 9/23/2014

This is my first ever project using Adobe Photoshop. Our goal was to create a political poster, and I chose to do mine on China and their smog crisis, due largely to the lack of regulations on the pollution caused from manufacturing and production. The poster is simple, but I believe it says a lot about the unfortunate living conditions of Chinese citizens in places like downtown Beijing, where visibility is often limited to one hundred yards due to acrid smog. I chose to use dark, drab colors to bolster the effect of the ongoing steel and concrete landscape of the city as it is being smothered in fumes. This poster was in no intention to be offensive, but instead offers my sympathies to the people that have no control over what they're forced to breathe in on a daily basis.

Business Card - "TomNeilly.com" - 10/7/2014

This was our second project in Digital Graphic Design - my first business card. This project required a photograph of ourselves, and after playing around with some of the filters and effects in Photoshop, I came to really like this black and white, animated effect on myself. This steered me to continue a black and white theme, which I like; however, in retrospect I wish I would have added at least one more color to break it up. Being a Computer Information Systems and Technology major, I wanted to make a business card that could apply to what I will be doing in the future. The small lettering in the background of the reverse side of the card is actual HTML code from my website. I enjoy web programming and wanted to combine the business card with my real-world programming skills. I think it really reinforces what I am advertising as it provides a glimpse of my work.

25 Designs - "Sassy Marmot" - 10/14/14

For our third project, we used a combination of Photoshop and another Adobe tool called InDesign. I used Photoshop to modify this beautiful picture, which I dubbed "The Sassy Marmot", in 25 different ways and used InDesign to lay them out. Marmots are one of the coolest animals, and after stumbling across this photograph, I felt that I had no choice but to manipulate this furry guy in 25 different ways. I tried to organize the different designs by color theme as best as I could match up. I used several different effects, filters, cropping, and colors to achieve different styles of Sassy Marmot.

Life and Death - "Catastrophic Creation" - 10/28/14

The theme of this project was "Life and Death". My goal was to recreate the big bang theory, as it displays the birth, life, and death of a planet. I did this project from scratch using Photoshop for the design and used InDesign for the layout. I did not use any images - everything in this project was created using brushes, shapes, the pen tool, filters, and effects. I put a good amount of time into this project, and although I wanted it to look more visually stunning than it turned out, I was pretty happy with the result. More importantly, I learned a lot more about Photoshop and InDesign in general. Laying out the photo took many attempts as I used about fifteen different layers in InDesign to try to perfectly balance out the images.

The Black Box Problem - "Identity Crisis" - 11/13/14

The "Black Square Problem" was assigned to us with the intention of honing our InDesign skills as well as expanding our experience with Illustrator. For this project, we were assigned six words - "Fear", "Stability", "Dominant", "Tension", "Redundant", and "Manic". The goal was to create six images to express each of the six words using only different variations of black boxes. Using the boxes to form words, figures, or images was forbidden. This seemed simple at first but quickly became more challenging as I went on as I struggled to come up with ideas. I drew inspiration from my personal experiences as well as photographs of people in different situations. Calculating an even layout within InDesign was another difficult part of the project which helped me become more familiar with using the grids, guidelines, and rulers.

Letter Illustration - "The Tree" - 11/18/2014

The purpose of this project was to utilize both Illustrator and InDesign skills to represent a letter of our choice with any type of object. We also had to incorporate a poem written by one of several poets provided to us by Professor Lemnitzer. After reading several poems, I found an interesting one titled "The Tree", written by Ezra Pound. I found a beautiful forest background and lightened it up with Photoshop. I then found a free image of tree that matched the forest and transformed it into a vector, sharpened it up, and placed it into the image. I found some tree-like fonts from www.dafont.com and incorporated them into my project. Once the individual layers were complete, I used InDesign to lay them out and insert the text. The poem is beautiful and I think the image goes with it very well. The poet imagines himself as just another tree in the forest which is why I created a black vector for the individual tree, to distinguish how I interpreted the poet was feeling.

Closed-Eyes Vector - "Toxic Martini" - 11/20/14

This was the first (and thankfully only!) project that required us to physically draw something. When Professor Lemnitzer began explaining what she wanted us to do for this project, I started to get really uncomfortable because I am quite awful at drawing. Fortunately, we were instructed to draw with our eyes closed, which I figured I could handle. When my eyes opened, I was staring at a nonsensical drawing that vaguely resembled a martini glass. We then took a photo of the drawing and imported it into InDesign, where we transformed it into a vector graphic. I pulled the lines around some, resized and shaped some things and came up with what I call "The Toxic Martini". This project turned out to be a lot of fun and I'm quite fond of the color scheme I used, which ironically are all colors I normally would not consider. It was supposed to be a bit more abstract, I'm not sure how well I achieved that aspect, but either way I was pretty proud of the transformation. This project was created using a pen and paper, the webcam from the lab's iMac, and Adobe Illustrator.

Selfie Vector - "My Own Worst Enemy" - 11/24/2014

This was a continuation of the previous project, which we had done mainly in class. Rather than convert a hand-drawn picture into a vector graphic, we had to transform a portrait of ourselves using Adobe Illustrator. I thought it would be much more exciting to use a picture with some action to it rather than a still photograph of myself, which then gave me the idea to take two different pictures of myself - one on each end of a physical altercation. I used a couple of special effects built into Illustrator to give the illusion of the blood spatter as my head is snapping back and the design at the top. I titled this "My Own Worst Enemy" for obvious reasons.

Not entirely sure this would be considered "art".

I taught myself enough Flash to make this short featuring my beloved Professor, Steve Ellison, who thankfully has a great sense of humor.