April Greiman

“Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together. “? Vincent Van Gogh April Greiman is by far one of the most influential female artists in the history of Design. She was born in New York in 1948 and was raised in a very family oriented environment, her creativity was greatly influenced by her mother, father and aunt who shared a passion for art, music and encouraged her to be an independent, curious, adventurous woman.
After acknowledging her great interest in art, she applied to several art schools and was accepted into the Kansas City Art Institute where she received a BFA in Graphic Design. Later on, with the influence of the principles of Modernism and exploration of technology, she continued her education by enrolling in a graduate program at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland. The experience and skills she gained from her educational background allowed her to explore the aesthetics of a computerized world, the art of digital design and visual communication.
Around the mid-1970s, Greiman decided to explore a different environment from New York and moved to Los Angeles, California where she started her own design business known as “Made in Space, Inc. ”. Greiman is recognized as a pioneer in computerized design, her style is based on the exploration of words, images and the usage of color in space by combining art with modern technology. She was highly inspired by the landscape of the Death Valley; A landscape that continues to inspire her work and change the way she analyzes dimensions, objects and color.

Her style is often seen as American Postmodernism with an influence of Swiss design coming from her educational background. Because of her work and style, April Greiman has been recognized for her potential in utilizing computers as an innovative medium to transform the art world. Around 1980s, Greiman took a risk and decided to support and explore the initiative proposed by Macintosh of using computer design. This new genre in art quickly confirmed Greiman’s position as the pioneer of visual communication and design.
Her eagerness to learn and explore this new medium is what has gotten her the respect and appreciation for her work. Her ability to engage the audience and embrace spaces by providing a floating effect to her work, combining architecture and typographic forms allowed her to become one of the most prominent icons in the design world. In 1982, April Greiman was selected head of the design department at the California Institute of the Arts. Throughout her time in CalArts, she focused on her role as an educator and the importance of transforming design.
Greiman was able to take advantage of the state of the art equipment that was provided by the institution and began to combine video and media images in her work. Her input in this field and her accomplishments successfully gave her the opportunity to make this department more focused in a variety of ideas other than design renaming this field as visual communication. The popularity and recognition April Greiman gained over the years is mostly because of of her creativity, experience working with graphics and implementation of visual communication with the use of technological devices.
As an Artist and educator, she has been able to work in a number of posters and websites for her clientele, she is the author of several design books including Hybrid Imagery: The Fusion of Technology and Graphic Design and Something from Nothing. She is such a great inspiration for young artists and designers that her work has been exhibited in important institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, the School of Visual Arts, the Pasadena Museum of California Art,among others.
In addition, Greiman has been awarded numerous honors that include: the American Institute of Graphic Arts’Gold Medal, a Chrysler Design Award and also Hallmark Corporation’s Hall Chair Fellowship. Greiman is well known for her work Does it make sense? a piece accepted by the Design Quarterly magazine from which she became the guest artist. This piece became a 3×6 poster that unfolded and was specifically done only in computer design. This piece contained the image of her nude self-portrait, containing various typographic effects and symbols throughout. This work completely pushed boundaries and forced artists to ethink the capacity for computers to make an impact in the art world and communication. In this sense, her work completely challenged the original and traditional notions of the magazine and of art by combining text with image, and expanding a new world of imagination and creativity for the upcoming generations following her steps. Hand holding a bowl of rice is an important addition to her work, it is a public art commission located in korea town, Los Angeles, CA. This piece was done in two walls of a building, the image is the screen shot of a video footage shot by Greiman, the image was later translated into oil paint.
This piece clearly encompasses her style in dimension, usage of color and placement of objects. The art work was made to honor rice as an important symbol of abundance in the Asian culture. “I see everything as an object in space…when web design came into the realm of possibilities…I was already looking at it as spatial media” -AG In addition to the public art and other installations, Greiman is also known by her work with photography and her exhibition of Drive by Shooting strictly digital photography. This exhibition is made up of images that Greiman began to take over the years while driving her car.
The exploration of this aspect of photography sparked the importance of nature and detail, the interaction of the lens with the moving environment, the experimentation of light, form, texture, and the ability to manipulate and create a spatial astonishing experience through digital work. April Greiman’s work continues to expand with her collaboration with architects in the design of spaces. Miracle Manor a well known spa located in California, is the perfect representation of her creativity and exploration of the design principles.
After a long and successful career under her belt, Greiman continues her great vision of design with the interaction in a diversity of environments. As an important and well known designer, Greiman has the experience of working for important institutions such as the US Postal service, Aol/Time Warner in addition to Microsoft. The support and respect from such important companies and her development as a successful and more knowledgeable artist is what keeps her passion for design strong and strengthens her position as a pioneer in the graphic design world.

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