I have recently been reading Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception’, written in 1954 by the English writer, ‘The Doors of Perception’ is a recollection of Huxley’s experience of the drug mescaline. I learned of this book after reading ‘The Doors’ autobiography. The lead singer Jim Morrison was influenced by Aldous Huxley’s writing and his experiences of the human subconciousness.
The thing that intrigues me about ‘The Doors of Perception’ is the idea of always pushing the boundaries in illustration and not to see the world around us in a literal context. Reading the book has made me more aware of how fascinating the mind really is. For example during the Cross Pathway Project we held a ‘Surreal Tea Party’ and did normal things in a different way like place the teacups upside down and experimented with placing mismatch props to experiment with surroundings. The book has definitely inspired me to play and think further outside the box.
Being a huge fan of Jim Henson and Labyrinth, it only seemed natural to watch ‘Mirror Mask’, the film is fairly recent (2006), and just blew me away with the content, mood and feel of the film and also the subject matter. The film is about a girl ‘Helena’ who feels trapped in the family circus and yearns to escape to another world far away, soon enough she find herself in a world created from her drawings. The film is captured beautifully and is filled with surreal masks, costumes and is very mixed media in its feel.
It urged me to look at the Art Director Dave McKean’s website, his work is great and he is a true testimony that if you have a strong visual direction you can apply your work to any medium and try new ways of working. I hope to explore more in level 6 with combining photography with animation and handmade characters.
Thinking about an article that I have recently read, the first thing that springs to mind with the most relevance is the article about the recession that was wrote for the Guardian newspaper, I read the article as part of research for the Discussion Forum I did with another student in my group about ‘Ambition’. We felt it relevant to discuss the recession and if we see it to have an effect on getting a job as an Illustrator. We did a little research and found that a degree has never in history guaranteed a job regardless of the financial climate or industry, we have always had to work hard to get into the desired career, or role that we want, nothing comes easy.
As with Lord Whitney who are a creative collaborative, they have succeeded by taking risks, undertaking lots of unpaid work, knowing their strengths and weaknesses and having the confidence to try new things and work on diverse projects. As a student who wants to break into the Illustration industry I will certainly follow Lord Whitney an example.