Design A Day, Influences, motivation, New work

A Design a Day – Day 156

As we are reaching the half-way point in the 201o Winter Olympics taking place in Vancouver, I thought I should get off my proverbial “arse” and contribute something here in honor of the event.  The Olympics have been my savior of sorts this past week.  In the midst of a heavy musical week at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and several pressing business deadlines (one pair of earrings went out in the mail Friday, a pair of custom-designed cuff links went to their new owner the previous Tuesday, and I’ve now remade the challenging pendant I complained about yesterday), sitting down with my dinner to watch the sports of the day from Vancouver has provided me with much needed enforced relaxation.

As I’ve watched, cheered, and wiped away a tear or two, I’ve also been feeling a little critical of the new Olympic medal design.  I keep getting the sense that I’m seeing it backwards…surely it must not look like a warped Frisbee front side up?  Some of the medal’s detractors have compared it to a Lays’ potato chip; others say it looks like something that was run over by a train.  So today I decided to learn a little more about the new Olympic medal design and challenge myself to come up with something that I would like to see adorning the athletes.

Here is what I came up with:

Watercolor and Gouache "Olympic" medal rendering by Joana Miranda

My design was initially inspired by Nike, the Greek goddess of victory and success.  Her wings frame the outermost portion of the medal.  They are suggestive, too, of evergreen boughs – fitting for the forested landscape of the mountains of Vancouver.  More subtle, I combined a feminine goddess form at the center of the medal with the suggestion of the flames of the Olympic torch.  I like the open work in these flames because they lighten the overall look of the medal and give it balance.  The finish would be bead-blasted for the recessed mountain areas (high polish for the mountain peaks), and high polish everywhere else.

I realize that I am behind the “8 ball” with this design.  I just learned that back in December, the VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games) announced that it was accepting official proposals from artists and companies interested in designing the Olympic and Paralympic medals.  That deadline closed on January 30th, 201o.

I can always dream, though, and like the Olympic athletes planning ahead, 2014 Sochi, Russia is just around the corner for me!

4 Comments

  1. la mamma says

    well, that is a much better Olympic medal than the one the poor athletes are saddled with.

    I love it! You must send it to Russia!

    • Hi Holly,

      Thanks for your nice comment and for following my blog! I think one concept behind the 2010 medals is neat – each one is individual and contains an image (etched, I think) taken from part of a larger painting by a Canadian artist named Corrine Hunt. However, that detail is lost to the viewers at the distances that we are seeing the medals on TV. And, then there is the wavy issue…

      All best wishes,
      Joana

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