Thursday, 25 May 2017

Group Crit Feedback & Reflection 2 - BAIL103

Since last weeks group crit, I had developed my project a bit more. I've continued my image gathering research, and looked into the book cover artist: Jason Booher. I also sourced loads of images of glitches, in both art and typography, which allowed me to see different ways of creating the effect I was after.

I then brainstormed the different subject matters that I could manipulate and 'glitch', I decided to focus on streets and houses as I felt that this would hold the most symbolism. It was the world that Seth lived in that was digital, and a 'glitch' in the system is what led him into waking up in the real world.

We discussed the composition of my book cover, and all came to the agreement of the singular street running across the two sides was the strongest. I think I can easily run into the trap of overcomplicating my design by wanting to represent too much in such a small amount of space. 

We also discussed colour and materials and came to the conclusion that I should experiment with contrasting colours in order to highlight the 'glitch' elements. Also this contrast would mirror the contrast between the two worlds that Seth experienced. In terms of materials that I should use, I said that the houses have to be quite 'tight' and precise in the way that it is rendered, so that when I go to manipulate and distort the image, it withstands these changes. 

Moving forward, I need to draw my 'street', which might have to be patch-worked together using images from Google Maps. After I need to render my typography and manipulate both the text and image in order to create the 'glitched' appearance. Then I think I will try out different colour combinations, and to resize and reposition the elements on the page in order to create the most effective outcome.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Book Cover Inspiration - BAIL103

A) I love the texture in this design, as it stops the image from looking too flat. It also adds interest and atmosphere to the design.
B) I like how the illustrator has allowed for the typography and image to interact with each other, which allows the two to exist as one, rather than two separate objects on the page.
C) A great example of how physical objects can be used to create typography in a way that it also creates the image that represents the book.
D) I love how simplistic and beautiful this book cover is. The simple ink/watercolour textures work really well at creating an interesting yet simple background design.
E) This cover demonstrates how a key symbol of the book can be used as a silhouette, in which a more detailed image is shown behind. I also love the clever placement of the sun, which serves two purposes.
F) Although quite simplistic, the design gives the impression of loneliness and the sense of space. This shows how negative space can be used to create an impact.
G) This book cover highlights how text and image can link together to create a really effective image. Also the use of light and dark contrasts show how you can lead the eye to a particular feature.
H) This cover demonstrates the effectiveness of juxtaposition, which really fills the image with meaning and symbolism.
I) I love how simple this cover is, and how the text itself becomes the object (the shark). The careful placement and consideration of shape and colour add emphasis to the focal point of the book.

Here is a link to my Pinterest board which has helped me with my research and ideas development - *click here*

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Group Crit Feedback & Reflection - BAIL103

After presenting my initial ideas and thought paths for my project, I have now a more focused plan on what I want to pursue further.

My peers liked the direction that I was taking things, i.e combining/contrasting electrical and digital imagery with natural and organic forms. Some suggested to look at instruction manuals or medical illustration to see how they lay objects out on the page - this may give my design a more futuristic or electronic feel. Also with the element of contrast that I'm trying to achieve, people suggested combining and mixing different styles, which perhaps would give the effect of the two worlds 'colliding'.

The main discussion of the group tutorial was that I should develop the idea of 'glitch art' further, as I could create loads of exciting imagery from it. I could also try to create depth in my image making by experimenting with layers and different textures, which should make my images stand out. During this process I should also try to develop some typography which would compliment my images on the page.

The designs that I get from these processes should then be placed on the book template, ready for next week's group session.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Book Cover Artists - BAIL103

Shelley Revill

I really love how Revill has used the text to create the iconic form of the whale. This technique is not only very effective and clever, but it is also an excellent way of saving space by combing both text and image together.

Jason Booher

This is a great example showing that sometimes the cover doesn't have to be perfect in order to be legible. The way that the text has been written and organised has been chosen to reflect the tone and themes of the book.

Peter Strain

Strains combination of strong silhouettes with text background is particularly effective. Normally the silhouettes are a key icon of the story, which makes each cover instantly captivating and also gives you an indication to the themes of the novel.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

More Than This Blurb - BAIL103

What happens after death? Where do you go? Is there actually anything there at all?

Patrick Ness explores this idea of an afterlife, where a boy drowns and dies, but then wakes up... alive. He struggles to work out what is real and what is fake, while exploring this weird yet oddly familiar world that he finds himself in... Is this hell? Can he ever escape?

Or perhaps there is more to life?

"It's possible to die before you die" - Patrick Ness

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Critical Evaluation - BAIS300

  • Combining animals task
  • Screen printing
  • Adobe Photoshop collage
  • Book binding
  • Lightbox layers
  • Indie comics
  • Laser cutter
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Interior design
  • Repeat patterns
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Colour separation (ready for printing processes)
  • Ceramics
The most unusual workshop that I took part in would be ceramics, as the discipline isn’t commonly associated with the practice of illustration. It is easy to link the majority of my other workshop experiences in some way to illustration, ceramics however has to be the most unusual. Despite this, it is arguably one of the most enjoyable workshops that I took part in, as it allowed me to work with materials that I would have not been likely to use back in the studio. Furthermore, the experience enabled me to demonstrate how the practice of illustration can be stretched to other artistic disciplines, allowing the subject to expand and open up new opportunities for upcoming aspiring illustrators. 

The time I spent working in the ceramics studio also pushed me to take advantage of the facilities at the college. It is so easy to work your way through your degree without pushing yourself to experiment in all of the different areas of the building, and to use all of the varying materials, techniques and machines. Right from the beginning I had the ambition to have a go at ceramics, and when given the opportunity to work in 3D crafts for an interdisciplinary workshop, I made sure that I would get the most out of the experience. Although after the 3 weeks I wasn't very happy with the result of my ceramic plate, I took it upon myself to go back in my spare time to make improvements which was worthwhile. In addition to this, I chose to use ceramics as my primary medium for my final outcome for the 'Monster's Ball'. Although I knew that I wanted to work in 3D, I could have used air-dry or polymer clay. However, I chose to head back down to the studio in order to build on my ceramic skills even further. Not only this, but by forcing myself to work in a different environment independently, it enabled me to make valuable relationships with ceramic students and tutors, which is crucial if I plan to use the facilities in the future. 

Arguably the most useful workshop that I participated in would be creating the zine on Adobe InDesign. Although I had some previous experience with using this programme, I had not used it to its full potential. By learning how to make a zine using InDesign, it demonstrated how easy it was to create a professional looking book, without the headache of working out the order of the pages. I think that the experience will be very helpful for the future, as the whole process was so easy and effective - definitely something that I am sure to revisit again.

Another workshop that was really useful was the 'lightbox layers' task using Adobe Photoshop. This process enabled me to quickly learn the ways of how to utilise the different tools in Photoshop, which allowed me to experiment and produce large qualities of outcomes in a short space of time. Furthermore, it is a great way to render your ideas in an efficient and effective way, and I used it as my primary source of rendering for one of my other project outcomes (BAIL102). This way of working is something that I can find challenging, as I normally tend to spend a long time on a single piece of work. This process however, enabled me to work at a faster pace, but with still keeping a high quality of work.

In addition, the repeat pattern workshop was also very useful, as the possibilities created by the process are extensive. Perhaps the process is something that you are likely to use less than the ‘lightbox layers’ due to the fact that it is less versatile, nevertheless the skills that I leant from the workshop were invaluable. It’s one of those set of skills that once you learn the basics, it enables you to really experiment and push the boundaries of what you can create with it, and so it could be something that I build upon further later on in my degree. 

The thing that I have learnt from myself is how well I adapt to working with new people. Although the thought of going to new subject areas by myself seemed daunting, it wasn’t until I looked back and reflected, that I realised how well I coped and enjoyed meeting new people. I have also learnt that we all have the creative freedom to make what we want, and that it is down to us to push ourselves to learn new skills outside of our illustrative discipline - very often the best outcomes come as a result of working outside of our comfort zones. Therefore not only have I discovered that I can adapt well to working independently, and within a group of new people, I have also gained the confidence and resilience to pursue other interests and ambitions outside of timetabled lessons, working on new projects as well as developing and improving past work - learning more skills as I go. 

Some experiences however weren’t as successful, for example the interior design workshop. I went into the sessions expecting to learn all about the practice, however left quite disappointed as although we were given freedom to photograph what we wanted, I found this perhaps too open ended. Despite our group having decided to keep to interiors, rather than choosing another subject area, I found that we weren’t given enough guidance or advice, and were left to our own past experience - rather than being taught new techniques or processes. This I think was what made the whole workshop seem less successful and fulfilling, as I left with the feeling that I hadn’t learnt or gained much new knowledge about interior design. Upon reflection however, even though I didn’t learn much about the subject area, I did build on my people skills as I was working with a group of people who I had never met before. As I have mentioned previously, I surprised myself at how resilient I was at adapting to unfamiliar situations, and in this instance I was the only one from illustration who was participating in this workshop, but I was still able to work well with the people around me regardless of this. Therefore this has demonstrated to me that every experience that you undertake is valuable, even if the outcome of the work itself doesn’t go to plan, the social and psychological skills that you build upon during it, are equally as important and vital for equipping you for the future. 

Furthermore when looking at the approaches to learning that I prefer, I like to have creative freedom, but I like this to be narrowed down in some sense e.g subject matter or themes. In the interior design workshop, I found the brief too open ended to the point where you could photograph anything. However, workshops that narrow down the options e.g in ceramics we had to create a table setting that was ‘dysfunctional’, then we had the ability to experiment as much as we wanted, but keeping within that specification. In addition, although I work well in groups, when it comes to producing an outcome for a project, I do prefer to work independently, as I find that in a group sometimes the success of the outcome is limited as each individual has had to settle for a compromise, rather than being able to pursue their own interpretation of the brief. I also think that looking at how other people have responded to a task at the end, is also very useful, it forces you to approach future projects differently as you try to take on other people’s mindsets and approaches to finding a solution. 

I have personally responded to the theme of a ‘Monster’s Ball’, by creating a 3D setting of a group of monsters throwing a party in their natural habitat: the woods. Instead of placing the monsters in a ‘human world’, I decided to approach the theme by thinking of how the monsters that I created might throw a ball/party. Therefore I have created a scene whereby a big tree has been decorated and illuminated, and a small gathering of monsters are socialising. I also tried to make each of my monsters different, by giving them different emotions/actions, which gave the whole piece a narrative and sense of storytelling; there’s one asleep, one showing off, one drinking, one bored, and one dancing. 

The creation of the monsters were inspired by a variety of different ceramists:
  • Sophie Woodrow inspired me to keep my ceramics one colour, and to allow the detail to come from the engraved detail that the light and shadows enhance. 
  • Crystal Morey’s work helped me to focus on adding emotion to my monsters, which was mainly conveyed through the eyes.
  • Katherine Morale’s ceramics motivated me to add a humorous tone to the entire piece. I did this by anthropomorphising the monsters and making them relatable to the viewer.
  • Nathalie Choux inspired me to push the element of storytelling in my ceramics that definitely makes any piece more effective and captivating to the viewer. I did this by creating a scene, rather than just having my monsters lined up on a stand.
My final piece brings together a selection of different skills and processes that I have learnt over the year:
  • Ceramics (the primary medium used to create my monsters)
  • Combining animals task (I used the same monster that I developed during the workshop, but rendered it in 3D)
  • Repeat pattern (I used the pattern created in the workshop to create bunting to decorate the tree)
  • Paper dioramas (the narrative element and the process of setting up a scene from BAIL102 came into practice when creating my monster’s ball landscape)
  • Previous art skills, e.g painting and working with wire.
If I were to develop my final outcome further, I would perhaps want to utilise more of my skills learnt from my experiences, for example I could have printed my repeat pattern smaller onto fabric (rather than paper), to make more realistic bunting. I could have also used the laser cutter to produce a selection of wooden trees that could have replaced the real branches that I used instead. In addition to this, I could have produced a series of photographic outcomes like I created for my paper dioramas, which would have helped to demonstrate more skills and techniques in my final piece. 

In addition, I would have liked to have more time to experiment with the different glazes and oxides in in order to create the most effective finish for my monsters. Furthermore the opportunity to experiment with scale would have been interesting too, but with the time constraints of firing and glazing the ceramics, I was only able to create the one variation of my monster.

In conclusion I think that I was able to create a very effective and successful response to the theme of a ‘Monster’s Ball’. My piece takes an unusual approach to illustration, by stretching the boundaries and demonstrating the opportunities that aspiring illustrators can take by working in unconventional and unexpected materials.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Monster's Ball Outcome - BAIS300

Here are some final images of my outcome that I created in response to the theme of a 'Monster's Ball':