Thursday, 24 October 2013

Research development - Self Directed Project

Since I last posted about my initial thoughts for the Self Directed project I have been busy researching and collating ideas into a sense of place book.  The below photographs show a few pages of my sketchbook, and the types of things I have been looking at such as bones, biology diagrams and Jan Svankmajer.

In addition I have also been looking for objects that I can use within my project and have been sourcing some intense music to fit within the context, in particular Beethoven!.  Another area of interest has been within the world of plastic surgery and how it is portrayed in Brazil, which was very surprising as surgeons are regarded as gods.

Below is a link to the article I read, It's a really fascinating article by the New York Times and a gritty subject context for my project:

'A Philosophy' of Plastic Surgery in Brazil.

Sketchbook exploration

Bohemian Deer!

I just fancied a little break from surgeons and psychoanalysis!, So I escaped by creating a colourful Bohemian Deer! - I have missed making work and not having to thinking about what I am doing, so this felt natural for me.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Prop House Placement

It has already been four weeks since I started my placement with a Manchester based Prop House and I am still loving every minute!. I am constantly learning about new props and objects, what they were used for and  the context/history associated with them.  I am also beginning to gain a better understanding of arranging objects/props in a way that reflects the era/time.  Today's task was to completely re arrange all the bottles, jars, barrels, wooden utensils and kitchen props into a way that is easy on the eye, catching and logical in terms of colour, style and also to engage people when they are selecting their props. 

Due to the nature and feel of the objects I was working with, I aimed for a farmhouse kitchen feel and used false food to display in some of the props to show how it would appear on set.  I also got wine racks suspended from the walls to display some of the beautiful vintage wine bottles.

Below are some pictures, I didn't manage to get a before shot!, hopefully I shall remember next time.  It's been a great day, and a great feeling when you see the props come to life.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Self Directed Project: Inside a surgeon's mind

I decided to choose the 'Self Directed' project as I am really keen to pursue the 'Moral Consequences' brief further as I feel it's a natural progression and also I felt as though I had only touched on the subject matter and I want to delve further.  Whilst making the surgeon character and scenery previously I started to really think about what his private life, interests, obsessions looked like, what was he fascinated with?, did he live two lives? was he real? - With all these things whirling around in my mind I just couldn't resist exploring this further.

I am at initial stages of research, and want to look at a few things/keywords, such as;

  • Personalities/traits of a surgeon
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Absurdity/Extreme
  • Obsessional behaviour
  • Blurred reality
  • Persona's/hidden secrets in human behaviours
  • Biology/Skeletal diagrams
  • Connection of objects/History
I always like to start a project this way and I hope to gather as much research to start thinking how I will approach this project.  So far I am drawn to the idea of a persona based project that connects to objects and belongings.  As I am currently writing my journal for my final year I feel the themes/connections in this projects are things I am really concerned with in my own work and practise and feel they will enrich my writing.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Practice makes perfect!

This is my very first attempt at displaying my work in a considered way, I was worried about at first that I wouldn't get it right, it turned out okay.  In a way I am glad that I have had the chance to practice and learn from any mistakes, as when it comes to the Final Degree Show next year I will feel much more confident in presenting my work in a eye catching and professional way.

I really started to look at my work in a different way which was interesting, and as I seem to struggle with bringing my work together - This was a great excersise!.  I have already started getting ideas for next year!.  Below are a few snaps...

Varoom Article & Stephanie Glaros Interview

I have recently read an article in Varoom Magazine on Art Direction (Aesthetics of a relationship) in preparation for a discussion group at University.  It really interesting to read about the industry from a Art Director's perspective, which I found very useful for the future.  There was quite a few very interesting and valuable points covered in the article, below I have listed my take on the article:

-Art Directors can be heavily pressured which an urgent demand to fill magazine/publishing spaces which I can imagine takes away the creativity and enjoyment from carefully selecting illustrations, there has been a current shift towards Internet use due to technology development over the years.

-Craig Mackie who is an Art Director at New Scientist Magazine explained that he feels it very important to have strong communication between the Art Director & Illustrator and also clarity on what is needed, another really nice point was that as an Art Director he will try to see it from the Illustrators perspective, as he himself as been at the other end of the spectrum, which I think is a great tool to be able to understand challenges faced, he also stated that the Illustrator needs to be informed what and why in relation to the subject matter/context.

-Kevin Wilson, Head of Design at the Financial Times stressed that there is definitely still a demand for Illustrators, but more so in a visual media landscape - this is an interesting point as ipads, smart phones and newspapers are progressing online, but I think this will mean that as Illustrators we will need to up our skill set and start to think more about how are illustrations will work with movement/technology such as a Giff that moves, I also think that Illustrators are beginning to animate their designs more and that the term 'illustrator' is no longer restricted, and more experimental.

I also listened to the podcast Interview with Stephanie Glaros, Art Director for Uttney Magazine, USA. This was also a really knowledgeable listening experience, Some of the key things I noted:

-Stephanie mentioned that she felt there was no real support of training for Art Directors as such, and that she would of liked to see more Art Director Communities around and also for Illustrators/Art Directors to come together more often and communicate to one another.

-She uses a lot of Conceptual Illustrators who are like conceptual thinkers and she also uses a lot of Narrative Illustration with a more literal approach

-She builds a collection of fresh talent that she may go back to in the future if a suitable brief comes up that will fit their style.

-Turn around times for briefs can be as little as 3-4 days from ideas to print

-Stephanie Glaros also mentioned that she is really involved throughout the full editorial process, which I feel must be supportive to the Illustrator as a working relationship can be developed better if you have more contact with the Art Director, which in turn avoids consulting a 'middle man' and avoiding communication errors, which may affect the finished work.

-She also mentioned she keeps a contact list - Which reinforced that idea that email addresses, websites and blogs must be all up to date at all times as the Art Director may think you are not available/not producing work if there is a problem contacting the Illustrator.

Links to the above discussed are below:

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Photographing Characters/Set

I am still in the process of deciding how to capture the meaning of the horrors of cosmetic surgery.  I have made a basic background and kept it simple as there is a lot going on with the characters and props.  I spent last Friday in the photography room experimenting with lighting to create shadows on the set, it really added to the feel and look of the characters, I also tried to get the lead character (Surgeon) to interact with the props and I also want to portray his character of being creepy and dark, so I played around with photography, below are some photographs I took.

The next stage is to decided on a narrative and consider how I will show this.



Drawing from making in 3D

I have now made my characters for my current project about the horrors of cosmetic surgery which I am happy about how ever, like with all my previous projects, I seem to just hit a brick wall as I always see the 3D characters as the final point in the creative process, which in some ways it is but I am trying to push myself further beyond making and seeing as the finish line, so I have started experimenting drawing from what I make, I think this will be a really interesting take on the 3D stuff that I make.

So I have started with my Surgeon.

3D Model 'Surgeon'

Observational drawing the Surgeon using acrylic in
Drawing Surgeon from memory with eyes closed using acrylic ink and pen

I really like the last one and the lines and the distorted look, I found this exercise really useful for developing ideas further rather than just stopping after the point of making.  I aim to continue with this process and would then like to make from the drawings to continue the cycle.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A day in a Prop House!

I spent all of Monday working in a Prop House with one of the other students on my course, what a way to spend a Monday!.  After meeting with my Guru the other week, I was very lucky to be given a contact for a Manchester based Prop House that has turned out to be a great opportunity.  The Prop House was amazing, full of every type of prop, oddity, mask, skull and furniture from every era!.  It was such a great feeling to be surrounded by a lot of things that made me think creatively all day!

Are task was to archive and organise different sections of the department, to enable buyers and art department assistants to be able to access what they were looking for and also to interact/engage with the style of prop they need, this was done by visually merchandising some of the props such as wooden Victorian book shelves and displaying vintage/old books on them to show how they would appear on set.  Despite being covered in black dust by the end of the day, it really was a valuable experience.

I will be doing this role once a week on a Monday which I think will be really stimulating for ideas/journal writing!, hopefully we can get a little more involved with helping making props that can't be sourced!.

Project Update

Since I last posted on here I have been busy making my Surgeon's cupboard and desk, and attaching limbs (fake) and oddities in to place to create a gruesome, chaotic and dark scene that reflects the Surgeon and his personality, it also relates to the subject matter 'the horrors of cosmetic surgery'!.

Below are some pictures...

I still have a few more things to make and I have been focusing on creating the background today, I aim to have this done by Friday so that I can begin thinking about photographing/animation and how this will be done in the best way to capture the mood.