25.10.15 – Sorry, I forgot this was meant to be updated Friday

It was nice to go through our task proposals Monday, its good to have a one on one chat with a tutor about how far you are in the project. Leah gave me some topics to look at like Dark Tourism and Contemporary Shrines to look at in prep for the thematic tasks which we went through on Wednesday. Its so nice to have new information from people who just kind of get your work and what you’re into. I’ve never really been able to or had the change to translate who I am into my art and I think so far within the degree I’ve been free enough to do that and it feels lovely. Wednesday we began our plans for our “Mapping” pieces for the thematic tasks, I decided to do mine based on the Canterbury Tales and put a story of Chaucer’s I was interested in to a place on the map of the original pilgrimage people took to Canterbury. I’ve literally only JUST finished my mock of the knights tale, its here:


I’m quite happy with it despite having to start over halfway through as I was told the wrong info about the story’s end. I’m still debating whether the watercolour wash is necessary, too bold or disconnected to the rest of the piece. I guess if I had time I’d test out other brushes or effects to see if I could make the images kinda seep into the background a bit more. The way it looks is inspired by my “modern” way of translating history, like I did with Thomas Beckett inspired by Lady Gaga in my journal. Here I was more inspired by Baz Thurmans (?) 96 film of Romeo and Juliet, the way they dress and originally I planned to have Chaucer’s words involved with the overall text like they speak in Shakespearean language; but his poems are just so long and I didn’t have the time to pick out the important info that way (plus its confusing??). I like that I got to incorporate my interest in the 90’s and 90’s fashion into this piece too – the Hawaiian-y type shirt was a lot of fun! Because it’s modern I also switched out the horses for motorbikes too! The page is meant to be a part of a concertina book, a series of illustrations and characters until the end where I just leave it unfinished – just like Chaucer’s tales (he died before completion).

Friday we had a print workshop, I’ve done a lot of this before and didn’t feel like it suited me right now and my work. However I got to play aroung with the photocopy transfer which I hadn’t done since this time last year when in the Vis Com class in the Carousel. My images work quite well together. I will stick them in my journal.

Now time for the narrative thematic task! I think this one is going to be the easiest because as an illustrator that’s what we do… we narrate and stuff. Thought its finding a story to focus on and how to tell it. I’m also looking forward on feedback on my knights tale page, I really want to know how to fix whatever is off with it – its really bugging me.

14/10/15 – stuff and thangs

Back again, this week was a lot more productive then the past god knows how many. I had the weekend from hell at work too so I’m glad this week has been more exciting and I feel a ton better for getting some work done.

Monday was a bit crazy, I think everyone realised how little time we had had to do the accordion sketchbooks. Its understandable the fact not a lot of us are nowhere near finished, we’re one of the two degrees on our campus to be in for at least something everyday and on top of that we need to juggle things like work (as in Jobs) and other things as well as having down time too. Though within our group tutorials over our said sketchbooks there was no pressure to be close to finishing – which was really nice. Everyone had great things to say about eachother’s work and it highlighted what was strong which we could possibly move forward into the thematic tasks for next week. Though this it became evident that it didn’t really matter that I hadn’t done a lot of the little “themes” that were on the brief; which is what I was concerned about last entry. I think my sketchbook just proves that maybe I highlight people, and I may have done a bit of the other themes without realizing, but its my way I like to work and its what I prefer to focus on. I forget that degree is so much less structured then GCSE/Diploma because we’re developed enough as artists to know now what we enjoy and don’t enjoy. Of course be adventurous and experiment but I know when im not inspired. The review on Monday probably shows that my theme for the thematic tasks is going to be people/saints/religion etc and my place is clearly Canterbury. Im excited to move on.. after I finish my book.

Yesterday after the lecture I sat and just created an Art Nouveau inspired mural for Canterbury based author/illustrator Mary Tourtel who wrote Rupert Bear. I wouldn’t really say the series was a huge part of my childhood but it was my brothers, the famous frog song was released the year he was born. I remember going on a trip to the Rupert Bear exhibit in primary school when it first opened at the Canterbury Museum. I guess its always been there, somehow


I created this using Photoshop and my drawing tablet. I found a few stock photos as references but near enough everything is edited to be mine apart from Rupert. I drew this out in my usual style when working digitally, just Rupert didn’t really fit into that. I tried to create a watercolour wash effect behind him using my newly found love of making new brush presets, its not entirely there but it’s still fun. I did this mainly to play around with art style. I think Tourtel was the perfect person to use as Rupert usually plays in some kind of nature based area in the countryside and Art Nouveau is inspired by nature and people.

Today was awesome! we created pieces inspired by sound recordings we did – I taped myself leaving home. It evolved a few ideas and eventually it became something out of a Walking Dead comic. I’m pretty proud I created what I consider to be a decent quality of work within such a short space of time. I really wanted to work with just black, white and grey particularly as it creates an atmosphere I felt was appropriate as well as the comics my work was inspired by are just black and white. I’ve noticed this week I’m improving my proportions as well as probably not caring about them too much, it used to be a huge struggle for me. (the piece is the featured image)

Now all I need to do is work on my sketchbook, I’m so close now! I also need to subliminally think about the thematic tasks, but I’m not too concerned about that.

07.10.15 – Entry One

I would have written sooner but I felt like not much had really happened until this week, with it being the first few weeks of term and all. Still getting used to the routine (as I’m an IPS student I’ve been off since May, it was too long to exist without anything) and trying to juggle Uni as well as my job, social and family life and work at home too. It should improve soon though!

On Monday (the 5th), me and my friend Lilly did our first ever animation! We used charcoal like the artist/animator William Kentridge, who believes charcoal is perfect for animation as its easy to manipulate. I have a phobia of charcoal so I couldn’t disagree more; yeah maybe its easy to alter but i’d rather have stuck with a trusty, less messy and nicer to touch massive marker pen. Though it was nice to see the whole thing altogether and how it changed, I will admit the charcoal gave off a great look (I just dont like the feel of it in my hands eww) Our animation was focused on the theme “navigation” – we took a map of Canterbury and used the cross in the middle as a starting point. We’re both doing projects on the Cathedral so we made the map into a crucifix, and animated melting candles beside them, we then extended the map out to as many frames as out 60 shot limit gave us. We then tried to export it in after effects, which was pretty great to play around with and as both Lilly and I know Photoshop reasonably well it wasn’t too difficult…

… Until Lilly lost all of our files and in exportation the film went funny and we didn’t have a final outcome. I don’t blame Lilly, neither of us knew how to use a mac and we’d never done anything like this before. The lesson learnt is ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK. Or if you think you have DOUBLE CHECK. Our first animation will be the thing we talk about in interviews and dwell on fondly as something no one will ever know the greatness of.

Lectures are going okay, we’ve had 3 so far. At first it was quite hard to understand, words like “semiotics” and “metonym” weren’t in the vocabulary of the awful school I went too. Now I’m just looking forward to actually doing something literature based, when I chose to come to UCA instead of stay on at school I didn’t realise how much I’d miss English and writing.

Today we saw everyone else’s animations and it’s really interesting to see other people’s takes on the little miniature themes we have for this project (eg. Micro and Macro, People, Navigation etc) I love how as long as it relates anything goes which I didn’t really have in previous years. I like how degree treats our decisions as something that’s actually valid and a conscious choice instead of being so specific to grade boundaries and authority. Later on we managed to finish our riso printed postcards!! Finally!! The problem I’m finding right now is that because our group is reasonably big you have to accept you may not be getting long processes like riso print completed at the same time as everyone else because there really isnt enough time in the day for 50+ students. I just need to be prepared to have something to do within the time the can’t be filled with that.

My main concerns at the moment are getting my work done on time, I’ve done a ton of research but not had the chance to put it into my sketchbook. I hope I can start to plan my time better soon! I’m also struggling on where to go with my sketchbook, I feel like creating work based on my research is the next step but I also need to think about the themes we have and how to apply my work to them. I’m too influenced by people at the moment, I love saints and shrines and the little religion freak in my just really wants to feed the need to create this glamorous, romantic, empowering work I feel comes from religious art. It doesn’t help that all I’ve been looking at is Canterbury’s history and the people that helped it come to life. I’m trying to move on, but I keep coming up with developments. Should I let it go and move on? or stick with it because its the only lead I have? Its almost a choice between doing what the brief says and doing what you think is best to help you continue even if it doesn’t exactly apply to the brief.