musings concept
A Painter's Musings

My Life Retold Through My Paintings

Grad Studio I / CMU / Fall 2011

We were posed with the challenge of creating a poster that explored categories of information relevant to our lives to create a self-portrait, essentially an information visualization challenge on how we revealed ourselves. By estracting the richness of information embedded in my paintings, I begin to explore the layers of emotions and colors embodied in each piece to reveal my narrative.


Sketching & Ideation
Information Design
Visual Design
Print Design

Individual Project


Dan Boyarski

Inspiration & Data Sets

As I thought about how much my life had changed within the past few years, I realized my paintings had evolved with me every step of the way and would serve as the appropriate data points for my self-portrait project.
musings data set


The color palette represented the basis of each painting; oftentimes, the colors were heavily linked to the emotions I was dealing with at the time I created the piece.
musings color palette


To consistently convey the emotional inputs of each piece, I turned to W. Parrott’s mapping of emotions and feelings as referenced in “Emotions in Social Psychology”, 2001.
musings emotions


As I revisited each piece, many of the conversations of my past began to resurface. These served as snapshots of significant moments in my past.


Music allows me to escape into my own thoughts and fuel expression onto the canvas. I pinpointed 15 soundtracks to embody the five paintings.
musings music

Concept Formulation

To bring together all this information, I began sketching out various concepts. It was clear that a very organic form began taking shape. After a few iterations of sketches and digital mock-ups, a floral pattern emerged as the final visualization. Each petal represents a painting and the significant emotional, conversational, and musical infuences of that time.
musings sketches

musings iterations

Final Concept

The final poster displayed floral representation, where each painting was represented by a petal of the flower. These larger petals are composed of several smaller petals that convey the colors and emotions that embody that piece. I used a leaf-like abstraction as a way to unite the conversations with the central visualization, and used rings and bulbs to show both the intensity and the significance of each soundtrack in relation to each piece.
musings detail