29.01.16- my brains fallen back to normal speed/conclusions

I’m not sure if I have a lot to say about this week, I was away in London Saturday through to Tuesday visiting my boyfriend and seeing my best friend who is from Belgium as she was on a trip with her mum. It was nice to have a break, it sort of clears your head a bit which I think now that I probably needed it after the fast paced brain activity. Though it’s almost a curse in a way because I needed to disconnect but now I feel /too/ disconnected. Especially coming back Wednesday and being one of the two students in that showed up and stayed all day. There wasn’t enough flow for me there without tutors/students but I was happy to just catch up on what I’d missed and start on my sketchbook.

I spoke to Leah about what I was doing and what my project was based on. My plan at the moment is to create artifacts based on a fake high school shooting I made up and make it look like it is a real event in history, inspired by Mirielle’s work from last week. She referenced an artist called Jamie Shovelin who did near enough the same thing about a girl who “went missing” – Saatchi brought his work to later find out it was all a joke, the characters in the story were anagrams of Shovelin’s own name. After this I tried to think of artefacts but hit a stump almost because what could I make that included some sort of printmaking? (Not everything has to be made of print now which I’m relieved about because I felt like that would have limited me as well as taking up so much time!) A while ago I found a diy silkscreen tutorial on Pinterest and saved it for this project. I thought instead of wasting the print technicians time as well as my own waiting for them to make the screens I’d have a go myself. You’d need a frame of some sort, tights or mesh-y fabric, modgepodge and your image. The idea was to paint the modge podge where you don’t want the paint to go through. My design looked like this, it was inspired by the beginning days of Manson’s career which I’d read about in the Rolling Stone article (I think) on Manson’s most outrageous moments as well as his autobiography. His actions seemed very visual to me when reading them and I think that’s why I chose to use him this project because I felt it was easy to make work out of. This particular piece was inspired by the woman they’d convinced to come on stage, with a pillow up her dress as if she were pregnant, they got her to iron a nazi flag and then “perform and abortion” (which is why I gave Maz a coat hanger because it was never specified what with):

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I actually really love it! I limited my pallet again (like with War Horse) because all the band artworks I had looked at prior to this unit seemed to have 3/4 colours involved. Here are some examples of an artist called Rhys Cooper:

I’ve always been into the really graphic-y alternative band artwork, it’s always appeared on T-shirts and posters and is common within the culture I’m in. Nothings more special then having a piece of art that relates to the experience you have when you’re at a gig or whatever – I think maybe as something I could potentially do as a job, it might be my calling. My Manson one maybe a little simplistic in comparison to my references but the thing with the 90’s a lot of the posters and such were simple. Looking at the posters Manson had in his book proves that maybe advertising wasn’t as much of an issue for a band as it is maybe today? A lot of them were hand drawn scribbles or collages of black and white images; bands such as Nirvana and Hole, Pearl Jam, all did the same. I dont think I’ll keep the images as shades of pink though, I just did this to avoid pre-colouring before I actually used it as a silk screen. The colours I assosicate with Manson are neon greens and halloweeen-y purples – much like the cover for his album “Smells Like Children”

The silk screening process was actually quite stressful and also didn’t entirely work. I was so thrilled to find a fabric (just a mesh-y curtain) that the paint seeped through and didn’t go all blotchy or anything; but the modgepodge didn’t set properly and I stupidly placed the image underneath without any thing to cover it and it stuck. So I (also stupidly) took the time to cut the image out with a scalpel and use that as a stencil – sort of like a silk screen stencil hybrid method of print. Oddly, I was speaking to a friend who does the graphics level 3 class next door at Canterbury College and he said they silk screen with stencils like this – he was baffled to the fact we used the light sensitive stuff. Anyway, methods of silk screen aside, I finally got it all ready and went on and just printed. I used Yellow and Light green to give the trippy “Smells Like Children” effect which came out okay. Only problem was the image was so intricate and small that I just had to roll with the bigger shapes – if im honest at this point I just wanted to show it’d work. The paper ended up sticking to the screen and bled a bit, but I was happy to have tried. Overall I’d rate this experience a 3/10 because it was time consuming (which is what I was trying to avoid), used up two whole tubes of paint and didn’t come out like I’d wanted at all. Maybe I could use the modgepodge method for something less complicated because I tried it again and it does block the paint just about. I was thinking I could make fake high school mascot t-shirts for evidence of this “school shooting” – who knows? I was thinking this image of Manson could have been a poster in my shooters room (Her name is Megan). Next im planning on making wikipedia pages and journal entries – problem is a lot of this will be digitalised. I still need to think of print! Hopefully it’ll come to me within the next few days.

I think through this I’ve realised why I enjoy working digitally so much because I can easily make it turnout to how I want/imagined, as well as adding and subtracting things to my desire. The strongest work I’ve created has been on Photoshop, I shouldn’t forget that.

Finally, last Friday night I’d come to some conclusion on the reason (what I personally think) lead Eric and Dylan to kill. I’d sort of had this explosion where I wrote down all the things I was thinking in my notebook – these people seemed to be fighting fire with fire. Its a combination of a lack of education/help on how to deal with negative emotions as well as being shown that fighting negativity with negativity is the way forward. Example; Aileen Wuornos (I love her and her story, don’t condone what she did but she’s one of those killers you kind of fall for because through documentaries you see this vulnerable lady who was kind of screwed over by the system and had to stare death right in the face for years until they did finally inject her. She was also a victim of her story being sold to the media and they used her to gain cash whilst she was rotting in prison – it was very bizarre) was abused by her father and sexually by her brother, nothing was expected of her and she was thrown out of the family home (I think she may have got pregnant? there was a reason why they threw her out on the streets. Either that or her reputation of sleeping around). Later to stay afloat she became, in her words, a “professional call girl” – in which she was also abused. She then killed 6 (possibly 7) men whilst she was “at work”. I think there was some sort of trigger, she thought back with what she had known through her childhood as abuse. There was also common factors between some killers – drugs. People like Charlie Manson, Wuornos, Eric Harris and Mark David Chapman all had an experience with drugs at some point. A lot of these people were lonely and had little friends – Harris, Klebold, Wuornos, Chapman. The idea of “God Complex” turns up a lot too – Manson, Harris, Kelbold, Chapman. I think Dylan and Eric’s motive was very much what Colubine 1999 said (the blog from last week) they wanted to be something, and wrong those who hurt them – by hurting! There’s no definitive answer but it surely is a combination.

Last night I watched a documentary called “Manson” – which was about (you guessed it) Charles Manson – on Netflix. Things like this facinate me anyway, and although I was into the whole killer documentaries before this unit I didn’t know a lot about Manson and “The Family”. Although, what stood out to me was the term “Helter Skelter” – which I believe is the title of a Beatles song? A woman named Gypsy, who was a part of “The Family” but didn’t take part in the killings, said Manson was obsessed with the idea that the black man would take control of the white man it was some sort of apocalypse to him. Whilst listening to Helter Skelter – Manson heard some kind of subliminal message that the Beatles were actually agreeing with him, being it the illusion of drugs or insanity or whatever. His plan to kill as many people as possible entitled Helter Skelter was born. How powerful is that? How is it possible to make so much conflict out of music? How bad is it that such things can be taken out of context? I think maybe he’s my next point of focus.

 

… I’m aware I said I didn’t have a lot to say. I think I use this blog as a way of writing everything down I could forget.

 

21.01.16 – My Brain is at 100 Miles Per Hour Right Now…

Friday I had the excitement of finding out Uni had put my entry forward for the Folio Society competition. I was in complete shock, I still kind of am.

I was pretty prepared last week so I had a lot of time to start my research for the next part of the unit. I ended up writing loads and loads of notes on the things the lyrics referred to and then tangents that came from that info and so on. Already my subject matter has sped up and zoomed into a different position already. I began looking at articles, written mainly by the media on the effect of music and who they blamed for certain things. It was something that kind of gravitated towards me and has done for a long time. Being 11/12 at the time the My Chem “Emo Sucicides” scandal happened, and just becoming aware that the music you listen to has a stigma, it becomes a part of your life like you’re trying to justify who you  are constantly. Of course I myself know what it’s like to be bullied for being different (Its stopped obviously as I got older, but its a common thing between teens) and enjoying things out of the ordinary.

On Monday we were asked to make a small booklet what proposed loosely what we wanted to focus on for this unit. The article that stood out to me the most was written by Marilyn Manson in retaliation to the accusations that his music influenced Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to take part in the Columbine School Shootings in 99. His words were so absorbing and full of confidence and knowledge, and I think he became a big focus because he aesthetically is SO BEAUTIFUL. I thought visually he would be great to work with (and I love the 90’s, I think I’ve said). Monday lead to generalised Wikipedia reading about the basics of Columbine, as then (this is looking back on it a couple of days later) I didn’t know much about it.

Tuesday lead to me beginning my readings on Manson’s autobiography “The Long Hard Road out of Hell”. With the topic I’m looking at It’s very hard to think of primary sources and this was my attempt, I brought the book off amazon soon after. Its not just for this project I just love listening (well reading) to this mans words and have been a fan of him for years.

Yesterday was honestly wonderful, we had a guest lecturer. Her name is Mireille Fauchon, and she calls herself a “Illustrator, Graphic Designer Hybrid” – which I think I can relate to myself. My heart was fully invested in what she had to say, a lot of the things I can’t put into words anymore. A lot of the topics she works with seemed to connect to her almost spiritually and even had connections way back into her childhood. I think we all have a bit of that really, As far as I know my interest in People, Religion, Music and Fashion has always just been there. Mireille also illustrated a book for the company Four Corners, forgotten what the books called now but it had been one she loved since she was little. Her pitch was to turn the fictional place in the book into something the readers believed was real. This lead to her making little artifacts and things from this place out of objects she found or what she had lying about. I really liked this as a creative expression, it was something I’d not seen anyone do before and find it so intriguing. Its like creating your own little world and I’ve always enjoyed having that within my work or anything I do creatively. My imagination is strong, just like Mireille’s, and my work doesn’t reflect that enough purely because I didn’t think others would see it as vaild because its not fact. Mireille said that sometimes the work you make is what you make of the subject matter and sometimes you have to build a wall up at your research because knowing the truth could change your view. A lot of the lecture was about research too, and where to find it and how you used it. Hearing her stories of research made me feel a bit out of place, afterall my best bet on primary research at this point in time was an autobiography that Manson probably would change if he could now well into his 40s – maybe he’s even 50?!? After lunch we did a 2 hour workshop that required 3 images, one of place, one of an object and one of a person. Here are mine:

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I kind of wanted to keep my options open with other topics then just Manson, so I chose several topics and picked 3 for each one. However I’d sort of ignored the whole people/place/object thing. I think this was because 1. I found it hard to visualise it all without photoshop and 2.What fascinates me the most about all these tragedies was the people. Who it effected, who committed and who was the victim. I think the topic of tradgedy is quite prominent within my work too, death is almost a common factor because I love shrines. For there to be a shrine someone would more then likely have had to have died. It provokes a lot of emotion, and although it wasn’t exactly to the brief I really felt like it was what I wanted to focus on at this point in the project.

Last night I came home, thinking a lot about Columbine and if there really was any reason Kelbold and Harris did what they did. Usually when I want to chill but my brain is still falling about in my skull over a project I go to tumblr to re-blog things about my topic. It was like a gold mine! The tumblr community (otherwise known as “columbiners”) are obsessed with the case! Most blogs are very respectful, are informative and full of data. These people had been studying the situation for years and knew all the outside things that weren’t mentioned within the news. Other blogs were downright creepy, girls were swooning over Harris and Klebold like they were stars in a tv show. Every single one of them states they don’t condone what the boys did but view them as people too lost their lives too as well as their victims. Which in a way I agree with too, they made a horrible decision and did horrible things but they were still someone’s little boy or brother, cousin. I decided to tackle the primary source issue and message a few of these blogs and ask what they felt lead to the massacre. I’ve had a couple of replies:

and one is pending:

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I didn’t think it would work really, I thought they’d all find me annoying and just ignore me. I’m so grateful, its nice to know what others who are inside on the info think about the two. I’m almost becoming obsessed with it myself too. The thing that worries me now is the fact that its such a heavy subject, and its disturbing. The first images you can find of Klebold and Harris are their dead bodies on the library floor in a google search (thanks google) It sounds grim but it’s the truth, and maybe telling the truth the way it is will stop things like this from happening in the future. From the blogs I saw last night a lot of them were raving about the “Zero Hours” episode that was focused on Columbine. I watched this last night,  visually it helps imagine the sceanario. Though it filled me with fear, I can’t imagine being in this situation myself. Its so different looking at this as an English kid where guns aren’t really a thing. Next it is my duty to look through the journals, maybe then i’ll get it.

 

14.01.16 -Last week of War Horse

I’ve enjoyed this week so much and here’s why:

Monday I had my progress assessment (if that’s its proper name I don’t know?) for the last unit and how I was getting on with this current unit. Leah helped me realise what were my strongest points, and there were a lot in comparison to what we both thought I could improve. I felt like I hadn’t experimented a lot but Leah pointed out I’d created an outcome that was the solution to a problem of topic as well as it being 3D which I had never done before. For a last minute decision we thought I’d done really well. I noted that I enjoyed doing the visual journal as well as enjoying the topic of the project. We thought I could improve on writing on here more, because before Christmas I had clearly ran out of ideas. Leah told me to remember everything I’d done such as trips and workshops that I could mention, everything is valid (maybe making notes would be useful?). After this we had a class meeting (all 7 of us IA students in that day) with our tutors and discussed what we felt the course could improve. We mentioned improving our studio space (which has been completed already) and the confusion in things such as timetables and hand in dates. I think we all realised our problems were to be solved in this next unit as we’d have class and tutor tuition, instead of 60+ graphics students and less tutors to handle us all and cater to our  specific needs.

Wednesday saw a class crit of our War Horse submissions and for many of us hand in. All of my class did superb work and it was really strong! When it came to comments about mine the others really liked my colour scheme. I felt it was important to work by one because of the specifics to the front cover from the folio society. It was only meant to be 3 colours and although (if my work is to be submitted) they may not want to use my cover, assigning  a scheme helped me generate a feel. All of my illustrations look part of a set too along with the cover. Here they are:

Leah also stopped me that afternoon to say well done, and that she though my work was sophisticated as well as being complicated in a technical sense. It was really nice to randomly just have a discussion about my work because I haven’t felt engaged or like I enjoyed this mini project that much. I feel almost like a cheated because I churned these three out within hours last week but they came out so well, and once in the swing of things I did managed to feel like I’d achieved something.

Even though I was in the studio only 2 days this week and half days today and Tuesday. I felt like I had grown already as someone who was a part of the group. I felt like I could speak out more and have an opinion.

Now im really looking forward to the next part of the unit. I’ve decided to look into music that is based on conflict. My favourite band The Used are an alternative band who have recently began writing about the government status in the USA. I’ve related that to other bands such as Rage Against the Machine and Green Day. However when I looked into people such as Marilyn Manson I decided to look into articles on the war against alternative music or “the war on emo” as it’s something I had to sort of witness in my teens. Its given me a lot to work with. I’ve printed off so many song lyrics and analysed them. I felt it was a good starting point because the music The Used writes brings up things such as 9/11 or president Bush. I wanted to use is as an educational point so I could learn about these things and become educated in whats going on in the rest of the world. I also felt it was important for me to create work based on music because I’m considering doing this as a job (like promotional and album covers etc). My only concern is having to work with print, I don’t enjoy it as a process because to me its restrictive. A lot of them take time as well as a lot of preparation; not only that but they all give off a specific look and that doesn’t always work with your topic. I think to fix this solution im going to have a look into print making processes and different techniques.

I actually can’t wait until next week. Im so lame.

10.01.16 – I’ve not had much to say

Currently my class and I are in our last weeks of doing out War Horse projects. I haven’t mentioned it before because I hadn’t much to say about it really. With the way the units have been planned and such I subconsciously decided to avoid doing any work over Christmas. Due to life at home I didn’t get Christmas last year with my own family so I felt it was important to take my time out and spend time with those I didn’t last year. However before I took my break I’d sort of mentally prepared myself enough for the task and was actually pretty on point for the competition. We came back Monday to group tutorials, everyone seemed optimistic over the work I’d already done, which looked like this:

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The two above photos aren’t mine, left is artist ‘Boomartwork’ and right is artist Tim Marrs. They are the two artists I focused on for this small project. I had a sort of mid life crisis before Christmas wondering what the hell I was really doing with my life and uni, through all its negativities in a way, helped me think about that. These two were the artists I found through my idea of wanting to discover fashion illustration or music illustration/promotion. My first image was the one on the bottom left, a test of Boomartwork’ style. I chose a khaki army coloured scheme for this because that’s what’s most associated with War and everyone preferred that compared to my full on rainbow colour scheme which was the bottom middle. The others felt like they were eye-catching and out of the ordinary to other War Illustrations. Hugh also felt that it was good that I’d thought about what perspective I was illustrating the story from but thought that the way I had drawn the image (bottom middle) took away facial expressions and emotions. I then worked on creating a piece inspired by Marrs and I felt that this method of working was so much easier. I re-made my army colour scheme and applied it to this, thinking it would help when choosing a front cover scheme which was only allowed to be 3 colours. I thought the way I had drawn the last image (bottom middle again) was my preferred way of drawing so I thought Marrs way of using digital collage was useful. Having a pre-set face/base in general made it almost easier because I had to think of way of changing it. I drew all the small details in like the German soldiers messy uniform and the soldiers white flags. I then thought that comic books used symbols like exclamation marks or lightning bolts to explain feelings like urgency or tension so I played with that. I was a lot happier with these so I created the rest of my Illustrations based on this.
That’s near enough all I did this week, it’s been quite relaxing really. I’m looking forward to the next part of the unit now, talking about conflict in other sources. I think I’m going to focus on music and song lyrics based on War, politics and revolution. My favourite band The Used are a prime example of bands using their music to change their countries view on society. Other bands include Rage Against the Machine and Green Day. My back up plan is maybe something like Star Wars or Game of Thrones, both show conflict as well as being visually rich and a lot to work with. Either I chose this and use it to stylise my work or I go with the music idea and learn about real things and events that are happening right now.
Tomorrow I get my unit feedback for the last unit, as well as having a meeting with my tutors to talk about the course and how we feel. I’m sort of nervous, I know a lot of the things that are the problem aren’t entirely our tutors fault and I don’t want the bombardment of all of these students complaining all at once to effect things. However it’s better to air it out now and improve it for everyone and anyone who might take part in the future. However I do forget what I was angry about…