Ruben Santana’s Data Visualization of a 2019 World Population Distribution: Urban (By Population) & Rural Pie Chart

When identifying either a personal cultural influence or an art historical reference, my original idea was to make a three dimensional object through this cool modeling program known as Tinkercad. Maxwell Shepherd, a smart and bright classmate I have come to known over time, came over to the Data Visualization class one time to show off what he specializes in. While reflecting on this type of artistic form and context, I never really paid much attention to the complexities and beneficiaries that three dimensional modeling can shape an artist’s imagination to another level. There are some neat features that this technological tool offers and I researched both a personal cultural influence and art historical reference that was going to support the object I designed. I wanted to display a treasure box that had found objects collected on my own or personal accessories that had a backstory to them. Considering time management, I came across strong documentation of Mexican folk art plus Mexican muralism. I chose these two artistic movements because of my cultural heritage (I’m Mexican American) and to recognize my ancestors who have passed away before/during my lifetime. I asked Maxwell if I had to pay a fee to get my proposed treasure box three dimensionally printed through the campus library and he had told me at the time that students/individuals in general must ask permission from either the president of the university or one of the high ranking employees underneath the campus hierarchy such as the dean of a college discipline. Whether what Maxwell had told me based on what he had heard is true or not, I could’ve asked Professor Lucy HG Solomon how should I go about working in this direction and if proper permission was needed to get my object printed. Due to four other classes I had been taking this semester, my mind was focused on those priorities over this Data Visualization class at certain times.

Nevertheless, I switched my original plan to a backup sketch that I had illustrated in my sketchbook. I wrote down a memory I had experienced with my high school art teacher in which he taught me these attractive repetitive patterns called zentangles. Zentangles are abstract user generated patterns that form a structure and give this impression of a decorative mosaic typically customized in glass material found all over the world. I had remembered he told me patterns like sea shells and diagonal lines (straws) were common starting points. From then on, I practiced different versions in my sketchbook of what my intended output was going to look like. The two reoccurring symbols that I felt expressing was the first letter of my first name along with a portrait of me. However, I chose to stick with representing myself via a cartoon character. Cartoon characters are sometimes portrayed radically different and similar oftentimes to the realistic counterparts of human beings. I carefully examined an animal and the animal that I felt strongly resemblance/relatability to was Speedy Gonzales, who is apart of the Looney Tunes universe. Looney Tunes was something I watched on television a lot during my childhood years, which helped me fuel the selective process in choosing someone from that realm. I learned through research that Speedy is personified as the fastest mouse in all of Mexico and speaks Spanish. I speak some Spanish and the way Speedy runs in the cartoons mirrors my work ethic in producing quality, efficient artistic pieces in a quick, timely manner. Afterwards, I started analyzing color theory and dimension size to figure out what colors I wanted to experiment with as well as how big I wanted this physical creation to be. Due to this brainstorming, I needed to find potential materials that would be reasonable, simplified, and practical. I ended up utilizing paper pad bought from the arts and crafts store: Michaels tied to colored pencils/construction paper/index cards/scissors/tape/ruler all located in my house. Glancing at the unit system of mathematics, I measured white construction paper in one fourth inches to compose a four quadrant square appearance. Then, I printed out a body reference of Speedy Gonzales off the Internet and began free drawing him onto the center of the composition. When I finished that aspect, I drew the zentangles that were associated with not only him, but myself as well. Two of the zentagles were sea shells and diagonal lines (just used these two because these are the two most common ones that people draw/design), but the last two were lightning bolts and tacos (incorporated these ones because I love agility and versatility and tacos are my favorite food). I played with complimentary colors, analogous colors, monochromatic colors, warm colors, and cool colors. As far as the data statistic, I have always been interested in world population in urban versus rural areas. I tried my best in finding a relevant and recent pie chart that would be a vital cornerstone to my drawing. On the back of the composition layout, I glued paper pad with their respective colors based off the zentangle colors I chose. One of my favorite personal cultural influences intermixed with my favorite art historical references I found relatively easy to compare my final project drawing to was pop art that occurred in 1950s America. The pinnacle figure who transcended not just that era, but also modern day and the future was Andy Warhol. Warhol created different vivid colorful renditions of the famous actress in world cinema history known as Marilyn Monroe. He painted and silk printed a head only point of view of her. I studied the series of Marilyn Monroes Warhol spawned through silk printing. Conclusively, I wrote down the percentage numbers from the pie chart I found to give clarity to the pressing issue of globalization.


Cox, Wendell. “Demographia World Urban Areas: 2019: Population, Land Area & Urban Densities.” Newgeography.Com, Published 11 April 2019, Accessed 03 Dec. 2019.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Speedy Gonzales.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Published 22 Nov. 2019, Accessed 03 Dec. 2019.

Warhol, Andy. “Marilyn Monroe.” The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, Published 2015, Accessed 03 Dec. 2019.

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