End of In Contexts: A Review of Practice.

This particular module has been extremely beneficial to me as an Illustrator, as I have been able to experience what working under commission conditions would be like (Through Assignment 2, The Day is for the Living and Swallowed by the Sea Editorial) and I have also been to explore my own creativity and experiment with different forms of illustration, such as how I created a Animatic for my first project (A Blank White Page) and created an interactive book for my final project (Re-Inventing the Past).

The work I am most proud of comes from my final project, as I pushed myself to break the boundaries of illustration and combine multiple forms within one book.

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These in particular are my favourite outcomes of that project. As even though I am happy with the outcome and proud to display it within my end of year show, I know that I am capable of doing even more, which makes me excited for future projects to see what I am able to produce.

I also enjoyed creating my animatic for a Blank White Page, as it was something that I had never done before, and was happy as my aim was to make it suitable for a child audience, and I believe I managed to do that; Although, I would have liked to animate the final piece more, to give it more liveliness.

I encountered an issue when handing in my portfolio to be marked, this is that I had lost the memory stick which had the final outcome on it as a back up, and the original footage had corrupted, which meant that I was only able to submit my mock footage. To avoid this in the future I will ensure to back up my work on another storage device and have a particular area within my work space where I keep memory sticks, and will have it clearly labelled so I am aware of what storage device holds what.

I also found myself being a lot more open to constructive to constructive criticism within this module, as I appreciated any suggestions on how to further improve my work, where as before I was scared to present my work to fellow students and my tutors in fear of being told negative comments, or having the fear that none of my work is good enough. Now I am more open and understand that it is best to get continuous constructive criticism so that if something goes wrong, you have more time to fix the error.

If I could re-do this module, I would focus on my time management as I found that I struggled with that most. To do this I will write schedules for myself and write to do lists to ensure that all work is completed within the deadline and that it is done to my best standard.

To summarise, this module helped me realise that I do in fact have the potential to be an illustrator.

Re-Inventing the Past: Final Outcome

My final piece that I managed to create was a mock up book, which had all the working functions of my ideal interactive finished book that I wished to create, as well as images of what the book would look like when finished which was made using Photoshop.

For my end of year show I decided to show my mock book as my final piece, as I believe its the piece that I’ve put the most work into and I’m most proud of, although I didn’t manage to get it to the finished standard that I wished for.

 

I also managed to get the HP Reveal app to work with each book. I created hybrid images combining both the descriptive ink illustrations with the abstract marker illustrations and used the images formed for the overlay whilst the music created for the particular building would play through the app.

Example song: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hhdMWZ7RIAFz6MLQcS-9wj-Gk2wXKeZz

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I am happy with the outcome of these images as I believe these also work quite well as their own illustrations.

Overall I found this project to be exciting and intriguing as I experimented with different ways to illustrate a story or a time or a place, through image, video, music, and interaction.

I also did a large amount of observational drawings, experimenting with different materials and thoroughly enjoyed the research within Saint Fagans itself.

I am happy with my final outcome, although if I had the chance to do it again, I would do work more often than focusing mainly on development, once I have decided on my final style, instead of creating multiple roughs to ensure that it works, I would create one piece can be used, so that if it is successful, I can make the final product straight away.

Re-Inventing the Past: Illustrating Architecture

I decided to make my architectural illustrations a lot more descriptive than narrative to contrast the abstract art I was creating for the music, offering a contrast in pieces throughout my final piece.

I have always had an interest in John Piper’s art, the simplicity of colours and detail, yet the power his art shows is striking.

John Piper was an English painter (13th December 1903- 28th June 1992). His work usually focused on British landscapes and monuments.

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This piece of Piper’s shows sparing use of colour and not too much detail within the building.

As my abstract piece involved a lot of block colour, I have decided that I want my architectural illustrations to be in black and white tone to again contrast that of each buildings pairing abstract piece.

I started off by illustrating Cilewent Farmhouse.

Sadly, whilst going through my photos I realised that I was not able to capture the whole building due to the length of the building itself not being able to fit in the frame of the photo. To resolve this issue I used the photos that I had as a guide and drew the remainder of the building from memory and experimented with perspectives.

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I then went on to create two versions of the farmhouse, one done with marker, the other done with ink and pen.image2-1.jpeg

 

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I appreciated the ink illustration more than the marker illustration as it showed a strong contrast between light and dark. I found incorporating John Piper’s style within these illustrations to be difficult due to the difference in style of buildings, so I compromised by using certain characteristics of Piper’s work, such as only lining certain parts of the building and as Piper is sparing with colour I was sparing with shading.

I liked the contrast the architectural piece had to my abstract piece, so have decided to stick to this style throughout the course of creating my pieces.

 

 

Re-Inventing the Past: Creating my Musical Illustrations

To create my musical illustration, I first started off by drawing immediately what came to my mind whilst simultaneously listening to the music I had created for Cilewent Farmhouse. The first results I was unhappy with as I believed they didn’t give a strong enough representation of my song. These were the initial results: The first image was done with coloured pencils, the second with coloured inks.

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I found that I was beginning to overthink the colours and shapes used, and ended up getting carried away in the process, so I revisited my artist research and focused on Kandinsky’s work.

After doing this I decided to create some concepts for a possible solution to this illustration.
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I also worked out what colours to use by linking it to what I pictured within my own imagination whilst listening to my musical composition. Brown, white and black as standard muted colours, and green (to represent grass around the farmhouse), red (to represent a log fire, and impending danger as life around these ages were unsafe due to diseases, crime and insufficient health and safety measures) and yellow (to show sun, fire, and happiness)

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This was a coloured compositional sketch I came up with, although I thought this design was still quite bare, so I revisited Kandinsky’s work one last time and found how he would fill the whole page with lines, shapes, curves and colours. I then did the same with whichever way the pen in my hand wished to go whilst listening to the music.

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This was the result of the above method. I ended up using markers. pencil and ink to get smooth colour (with markers) and pencil to colour in smaller areas and to add texture.

I am happy with this result and will be taking it aboard whilst creating my other illustrations.

Re-Inventing the Past: Artist Research: Re-Inventing Music through Art

In order to gain a better grasp of how I would like to illustrate notation to the music I create for my book I have found artists whom have done this in the past.

I found 3 artists who have created art in this style.

Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky (December 16th 1866 – December 13th 1944) was a Russian painter and art theorist.

It has been described that Kandinsky uses the combination of colours to give a visual representation of chords, he once said “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul”.

He named pieces with high involvement of musical influence with musical terms, such as composition, improvisation or impression.

Although Kandinsky’s work is very abstract, it is clear to see what the creation represents, through the placement of lines and colours. for example I can see lines representing strings within this particular piece (Composition 6).

Also when looking at the colour of this piece, I would assume that the majority of this musical piece Kandinsky based this painting off was in the minor key, due to the amount of blue and dark muted tones used, although the occasional reds and yellows suggest perhaps some exciting moments, either through staccato or through key changes within its composition.

I also believe that I can see a ship in a stormy sea getting knocked by the waves, with debris falling around it. Could this musical piece be a pirate/ sailor tune? Or perhaps it is a generally dramatic piece and Kandinsky just happened to envision this whilst listening to the particular song at hand.

I would like to involve these characteristics in my creation, the lines with different colours that merge together forming visual chords, as well as making the abstract painting resemble something that I happen to envision whilst listening to the particular song.

Rainer Wehinger

Rainer Wehinger was, or is a graphic designer. There is not any available biography or information regarding who Wehinger actually is or his origin stories, but his work is odd and visually captivating. His most known piece being an audio score created of György Ligeti’s musical piece named “Artikulation”. The piece is named artikulation as it is said to be a conversation through music without words… question and answer if you will.

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Although this looks complicated to decryption what this score shows, it is still nonetheless interesting to look at due to its originality, and it appears as though a lot of information has been stored onto this piece, leaving the viewer wanting to uncover what this piece is code for, or its sound.

This piece initiates a discussion amongst viewers: debates of what the sound is that the sheet’s trying to depict, what the purpose of the music notation in this style is, how the idea may have come… thus giving the piece an audience.

I would like my piece to open a discussion in the way that this piece does, as I believe the way I illustrate the architecture would be fairly descriptive in design, so to contrast that I would like a fairly abstract design to the music notation, as it would also allow for difference in opinions from different people viewing the image.

John Cage

Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American Composer, Theoretician and Writer.

Cage is known for re-inventing modern music through his art and composition skills, with the use of unconventional instruments in pieces and through his artistic representation.

It was said that Cage used Asian philosophies to create his music, such as harmony in nature, also elements of chance.

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Cage’s art is actually pretty similar to that of Kandinsky’s. With its abstract style and colours also displaying somewhat of a visual chord, although this is a little less abstract when compared to the piece I talked about by Kandinsky as in this painting you can see a keyboard, strings, and shapes curves that correlate to that of a violin or guitar, you can also see what appears to be a figure within the image.. perhaps its him? or it could be someone in mind when composing the song that this piece is based off.

To summarise, Cage’s art is similar to Kandinsky’s, yet the ‘clues’ are slightly more obvious, making the investigation conducted by the viewers a lot more inviting as it still invites for the viewer to try and uncover the meaning to this painting, and also allows an easier search than that of Kandinsky’s paintings.

I’m going to take these characteristics and attempt to use them in my own style of musical art, as I believe this will make my pieces successful and allows me to go in with a strong idea of what I would like to achieve.

Editorial Adventures: My Final Outcome

After experimenting with roughs and colour schemes, I managed to come up with my final piece (my featured image above)

In this piece I tried to show how those in Bangladesh are suffering, even though they are the ones providing for us, by producing so much pollution, we’re damaging their economy, health and lifestyles. I attempted to illustrate this by showing fumes coming out from the car exhaust, which inputs a substantial amount of pollution into the atmosphere. I also showed a farmer protecting a plant from the toxic rain, showing that the plant is important to him, whether it be because of money, or if its’shis child that he’s trying to guard from the toxic rain. Finally I created a circle border to show that the viewer is squinting, or looking through a peep hole to view the reality of what we are doing as we don’t tend to think about what we are doing to the environment whilst driving into work for the day, or driving home for the summer holidays. By our act of selfishness of using a car instead of using public transport, or vehicles which don’t pollute such as a bicycle, we are making those less fortunate suffer; hence why the number plate on the car says NA17 EUS, which looks like “Naive us” as we’re not aware of what damage we are truly causing.

Overall, I found this project exciting as I experimented with many methods of coming up with multiple concepts and improving my own drawing skills of everyday objects, which will help me continuously throughout the future, and I will continue to do throughout my life as an illustration student/ future illustrator.

If I could redo the image, I would add more depth in colour to grasp more attention.

 

Editorial Adventures: Illustrators with Impact.

In order to further expand my knowledge of illustration and techniques, I have found multiple Illustrators who’s work stands out to me and makes me even more enthusiastic with this project at hand.

WENQING YAN

Wenqing Yan is a young Chinese Illustrator, currently living in California. Wenqing stated that when growing up in China, the parents would “compete or show off their child like some sort of hobby”, and Wenqing was made to focus on art for this competitive focus.

According to Wenqing Yan, Deviant Art helped her tremendously to grow as an artist as she was able to view fellow artists works and view tutorials.

Wenqing Yan’s work stood out to me as she has quite a few pieces relating to my chosen subject to base my project on. Climate Change.

The following is some of my favourite works that she creates relating to climate change, more specifically, the causes of climate change:

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I find these pieces to be powerful as both images illustrate to one major factor to the occurance of climate change: Pollution.

The first image “Guilty” is striking as at first glance it could appear to be something beautiful, for example I saw a mermaid admiring a friendly jelly fish at first glance, but the more you look at the image the more disturbing it becomes.  It’s similar to a ‘Where’s Wally?’ game yet instead of finding a funny dressed character, you find more disturbing shocking sections showing the sad reality of what the world is coming to.

The same goes for her second image “Black Black Heart”. Although it is clear that the world doesn’t look the same way as Wenqing Yan depicts it within this image, it makes you ask questions.. such as “Is this what the sea life in polluted waters think the world is really like?” or “Will the world really look like this?” or “Why are we letting the world get to this point?”, all these questions opens the viewers mind into thinking about what could be done to stop these horrific events from happening.

IGOR MORSKI

Igor Morski is a Polish graphic designer, illustrator and set designer.

Morski has produced many semi realism and realistic works involving nature which provokes viewers into thinking if his realistic pieces are infact realistic representations of what is happening, or will happen.

The following Morski piece grasped my attention the most out of his other creations:

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This Illustration depicts how humanity is effecting the Earth in a grasping, exaggerated manner.

Although the image is metaphorical within the action of the people literally setting fire to the world, it shows the literal meaning of humans making the world warmer through pollution and mistreatment.

I find this piece to be effective as the contrast between light and dark grasps the attention of the viewers and also makes his stance of climate change obvious, also as it is so grasping it grabs the attention of viewers, and sheds light to the reality which is climate change/ global warming.

 

Editorial Adventure: The Initial Roughs.

In this brief we have been told to read an article written on the opinions section within The New York Time Pages, and create an illustrative response to our chosen article, and to of course be experimental and broad with investigation.

To begin this editorial brief, I first chose which article to read. I decided that I would like to do a written response to the opinion article named “Swallowed By The Sea”, which is an article discussing the reality of climate change and how it is not only effecting our lands but also innocent lives. To explain in further details, it informs the readers how the gradual development of climate change is greatly effecting the island of Kutubdia, Bangladesh. The article elaborates on this by saying how climate change is making the sea water rise and the water is swallowing up the land of Kutubdia, destroying un-fortunate villagers farms and crops, rendering them pennyless. This in turn effects their children as the parents are put out of business by their farms being destroyed, and have no choice but to marry off their young daughters to older wealthier men to ensure that they have a better chance of a healthy future.

I found this article to be emotionally empowering as it made me want to do something to help bring awareness to the reality of what climate change is and how it’s effecting those less fortunate than the ones contributing to global warming.

To begin working on my responses I decided to record myself reading the article so that I could draw responses whilst the audio of what I was responding to was playing in the background. I found that this way I was able to draw whilst simultaneously coming up with other ideas which I could use as my response to the article.

These are just a few of the sketches that I achieved using this method:

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In order to further my project I am going to carry out some artist research to discover what Illustrators have created content linking to this theme or a similar one and see how they achieved powerful, effective images and see to see if there is any technique which stands out to me, or gives me inspiration to try something different to my initial roughs.

Project 2 Assignment 1: The Day is For the Living

Within this project we were given the task of listening to a podcast of our choice and coming up with a final image depicting what our impression is of the podcast/ what the podcast is about/ what it achieves/ or to advertise to podcast.

As this was a fast pace one week project I decided to stick with the first podcast which we happened to listen to as an example in our briefing; the podcast was called “The Day is For the Living” By Hilary Mantel.

I took notes of all the rules and requests made by the ‘Commissioner’ and went on to make roughs/ fast pace drawings of what appeared in my imagination whilst listening to it the first time around. These are what I achieved in my first time listening to the podcast.

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After making these images I sat through a workshop held by one of my lecturers, Chris Glynn, in which we learned new techniques of how to make quick concept sketches in order to achieve as much experimentation as possible within a short time scale, which I have talked about in an earlier post.

I then decided to bring these techniques to this podcast and listen to it again, in which achieved the following results:

 

When doing the roughs on the image on the left hand side above, I had a sudden realisation that I was doing was Mantel would have been doing within her work, which was creating a map of what she was looking at, what she was going to look at next, and her discoveries.

Because of this, I decided to include this in my final outcome as it would give the viewer an insight into how it is to work as Hilary Mantel.

Whilst conducting my research, I also discovered that Mantel has an interest in collecting stationary, so decided to leave a hint of that within my final piece also.

Scattered throughout the layout of my final piece are either topics which Mantel had discussed within her lecture, or parts of her lifestyle which I uncovered whilst researching her.

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I decided to have the piece in different medias to represent how Mantel would use different resources when searching for information about history, also to attempt to create an odd contrast within the image which I did to aim to catch the eye of the viewer on whichever platform this image would be displayed on.

Although, when I have the time, I would like to use a different style of digital work to be able to fit within the style of the other components which make up the image.

Displayed below are the various traditional pieces I created to make up the final piece:

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I found this project highly insightful in to how work would be as an illustrator and the pressures I would have to face within my practice.

I highly enjoyed working with different materials and being more rough with my work, as I find that I like to put a lot of detail into my work which leaves for not much time for experimentation, yet this project has allowed me to have more fun with my production of work. Due to this I will be taking this method forward to my future assignments and projects.

 

‘Roughs’

In a workshop hosted by one of my lecturers, Chris Glynn, we explored how ‘rough’ concept sketches can be.

We did this by experimenting with lines, scribbles, materials and creativity.

In this we experimented with random lines to create interesting shapes. Here are my creations:

 

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We then went on to draw multiple random ‘scribbles’ and used our creativity to attempt to turn those scribbles into drawings of birds.

Here were my results:

 

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Finally we had to listen to some text and illustrate using controlled lines what we imagined. Sadly I was not able to attend the workshop at that time due to illness, so I decided to find audio of a poem being narrated and illustrated that instead with ‘roughs’. The Poem was called “She Walks in Beauty” By George Gordon, Lord Byron.

 

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I then decided to combine what I had learned in the workshop into one single image to put into perspective what I had learned from the techniques taught by Chris Glynn.

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This piece took about 5 minutes to create.

I also decided to do a more finalised version of one of my roughs made whilst listening to my chosen poem.

I decided to use marker in this piece as I intended just to lay colour down in experimentation quickly as I didn’t believe it would be so effective, yet I was intrigued by how the final product looked so decided to use marker in finer detail to make the colour of the piece fairly realistic but not too over detailed as the point of this workshop was how to create work in a fast time scale in order to supply the commissioner with concept art/ draft finals.

I was happy with the outcome of this piece as I found it powerful in the way the words almost counteracted the image, as the image itself, if you were to look at each section separately looks fairly normal, but the way that each part of the image is tied together almost makes it quite grotesque to observe.

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From this workshop I now understand how to make quick sketches of concept pieces from my imagination without putting too much detail in and without having to think too much about the presentation of the image.

I will be taking these techniques forwards with me to help create my final piece for this project.