Posts tagged art
Episode 05: How to Take Inspiration From Art - Featured Viz by Guney Soykan
Guney Soykan. Image via his  website .

Guney Soykan. Image via his website.


Welcome to episode 5 of Data Viz Today. How can you use art to inspire your data visualizations? I share Guney Soykan's data viz where he visualized the tenure of world leaders through composite portraits. Learn how you can take inspiration from art like Guney's and apply it to your data viz!

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Google PodcastsStitcher, SoundCloud & Spotify.

"Face of a Nation." by Guney Soykan. Image via his  website .

"Face of a Nation." by Guney Soykan. Image via his website.

  • Welcome! I'm Alli Torban.

  • 00:55 - Featured Viz called "Face of a Nation" by Guney Soykan

  • 01:25 - How can we take inspiration from art?

  • 01:45 - What can we learn from a country by looking at the faces of its leaders?

  • 02:25 - First found this project on Andy Kirk's blog post.

  • 02:45 - He began sketching North Korea's portrait to test his idea.

  • 03:40 - He found official portraits of leaders using various search engines and then spliced them up to form one face.

  • 03:50 - See more pictures of his exhibit here.

  • 05:00 - Main takeaway is that a simple idea can be really powerful.

  • 05:20 - Guney says that being an artist can be frustrating because you can become attached to your ideas, but it's your job to shoot all your ideas into the trash and only take out the good ones.

  • 06:08 - I'm most creative when I give myself parameters and ask myself questions.

  • 06:25 - I pulled questions out of the journalist Frank Sesno's book Ask More as inspiration.

  • 06:55 - Here's my list of questions to ask myself in order to pull inspiration from art:

    • First, find an inspiring piece of art. Then think about a topic or dataset for which you want to create a data viz.

    • What's the first thing you notice about the art piece?

    • What do you think the artist is trying to say?

    • What small element, if taken away, would change the artist's point?

    • How can you take that small element and apply it to your dataset?

  • 08:00 - I went through this exercise with Guney's art and the topic of world health.

  • 08:50 - Decided on using one glass and showing it spliced up to show water quality in different countries using this dataset.

  • 09:40 - How to crop/splice a GIF in powerpoint.

  • 10:10 - I created GIFs and then spliced them together to create this project, using Guney's art as inspiration:

"% of a Country's Population Without Basic Drinking-Water Services (2015)" by Alli Torban

"% of a Country's Population Without Basic Drinking-Water Services (2015)" by Alli Torban

You can help provide clean water to families and children in need by donating to UNICEF's program!

  • 11:40 - Follow Guney Soykan's work on his website!
  • 12:10 - Subscribe to the show so you never miss an episode :)

New episodes are released every Tuesday at 6 AM EST.