Vegi Patch is a compost of thoughts on graphic design, life and knitting from an american graphic design teacher in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I've enabled comments for everyone or you can Email me kate at kcarlyle dot com.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Woof. This one took forever. I gave my students an assignment to create a bottle and box using the 3D plug-in in Illustrator. When I got the Illo-Friday topic I figured why not? My first try was a la 101 Dalmatians. The result was a spotted bottle with a stupid label. This was going to be harder than I thought...

I researched Dalmatians for most of the morning and came to the conclusion they have been done an injustice, and decided to do a tribute to Carriage Dogs. Click for the full size version (yes all illustrator.)

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Saturday, April 08, 2006


The Illustration Friday challenge this week is speed. The fastest thing in the desert is a Bedouin on an Arabian horse.

This weekend the photography club made a trip into the desert 4 hours north of Medina, 8 students and 6 assorted teachers, mothers and other chaperones. I'll write more about the trip in the next post.

One of the amazing things that happened on our expedition was a trip to a stable with Arabian horses. Our guide and the driver of the bus where locals - Bedouins to be accurate. Our guides name was Badr, which means full moon.

On the second day of the trip we drove out into the desert to look at the pass where a famous story from Islam occurred. The she-camel of Prophet Salih was a miraculous animal, which Allah brought forth from a rock.

“When Allah sent Salih (peace be upon him) to the people of Thamud, his people asked him to prove he was a Prophet of Allah, by asking his Lord to bring a living, female camel out of a boulder. Salih (peace be upon him) duly prayed and Allah immediately granted his wish. Some of those who saw this miracle at once believed, but the rest continued to disbelieve, despite the proof they had demanded. Although the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) asked his people not to touch the camel, and to allow her to graze freely, they hamstrung and killed her. After this the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) and his followers left his people to the wrath of Allah, Who destroyed them. (The Majestic Qur’an: An English rendition of its Meanings [The Nawawi Foundation (Chicago) & The Ibn Khaldun Foundation (London), 2000], p. 159, fn. 342)”

The pass where the she-camel was killed has inscriptions in Arabic in a very ancient form inscribed in the stone, and some not so ancient Arabic – proving once again that graffiti is universal and timeless.

A little further away are some very interesting rock formations – one of which looks a lot like an elephant… Bedouins are great storytellers with excellent imaginations – more importantly they are amazing trackers and our guide knew every inch of the desert he showed us.

So we are out in the middle of nowhere by our city standards and Badr and the driver spot two men trying to push their station wagon out of the sand while a woman and small girl watched patiently. The two of them walked over to help, along with the other American teacher (who used to work for the park service). OK, I felt guilty – I was thinking if they weren’t out in 5 minutes I would pitch in. Thankfully for everyone they rocked loose in less then ten minutes. This resulted in an invitation to come see the stables where they worked and an open invitation to ride the horses.

When we got there they put the stallion through his paces – but nobody tried to ride him. Badr it turns out, is an amazing horseman even for a Bedouin.

The manipulated photo at the top is Badr riding one of the horses at full tilt, barefoot, and a couple more here.

Sulafa (one of the students) had some riding experience and got up after Badr. She did an outstanding job of staying on, but found herself sitting in the sand with one shoe after about ten minutes.

The horses where beautiful and spirited. The mares where friendly; the stallion kept charging across the yard and pulling up just before he rammed the metal fence.

This is a photo of Margaret, the wagon pusher and horse whisperer, with a new friend.



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Monday, April 03, 2006


Spring is here and it's college fair week at the college, with packs of high school students cruising for the best department. Every department competing for the student’s attention with mugs, tee shirts, pens, pencils, note pads, bags and promises of exciting career oportunities…

Graphic Design got a late start but finished strong; the "give always" showed up from the printers 15 minutes before the first group of students hit our booth. All the tee shirts are medium to extra large (all of the girls are tiny to medium small), one of the boxes of mugs was minus graphic, and the brochure arrived as the second group stormed the booth. Faculty was folding on the fly. The students loved all of it, milled around excitedly looking at the student work, snapping up all the gifts, they don’t know what a zoo the whole thing was. All in all, a typical convention style episode.

I spent most of the day hiding at the administrative assistants desk folding brochures. She had been the person in charge of dealing with the printer, who turned the whole job (4-color brochure, embroidered polo’s, printed tees, note pads, highlighters, mugs and 6 foot banners) in 4 days. She was also the person pulling her hair out at 9 am when there was nothing in our booth but smiling faculty. I was allowed to keep my distance because my part of this job was to flip the logo design, brochure content and layout, and the graphic files for all of the “stuff” with 2 weeks lead-time. Ouch. Just like the real world.

My Illustration for Illustration Friday is a digitized version of Sandro Filipepi’s (Botticelli) Primavera, 1500 something. I gave an assignment to my Foundations of Color class to grid out a painting from the color contrast plates in “The Art of Color” by Johannes Itten, isolate the dominate color in each grid square and repaint the painting square by square, losing most of the detail and retaining the color composition. And they asked for an example.

So in the midst of the college fair excitement, I decided to cheat and happily destroyed a masterwork in Illustrator and Photoshop for several hours last night and finished up this afternoon for class tomorrow. The image I’m posting here is massively deconstructed and is not the one I’ll be showing in class. Theirs is posted below.

Cheers, kate.

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