17.02.16 – Hmmn.

Its been 3 days into the week and I have literally no recognition of what happened Monday. But I’m leaving it here because I’m done!

I believe we had 1 to 1 tutorials with Leah Monday? I told her about my idea of the Lunchbox and we decided on a way of attaching the quotes to my work. I’ve now made a booklet that acts as if my work is archival – I was inspired mainly by art show catalogs and things  but it’s quite hard decide what info to include. In the end I went with the chapter, page number and the quote. I did think about what year he said it but it’s not entirely clear exactly what year he was talking about. Either way my work is inspired by a mans life and I’m documenting him through what seems like “photographic” evidence. All I know is it was between 89 – 94. However I’ve now decided to discard the lunchbox idea, purely because I couldn’t find a box in time and I didn’t want it to be rushed and look half arsed. My idea was to stick the lunchbox prints onto mount card and then stick them to either side of a smaller box but when thinking about it it wasn’t the quality I wanted for my work. If i were to continue I would definatley take the time out to make it authentic or even get a generic lunchbox to alter – although, I’m happy with my prints and how they turned out, they still look like photographs to me. I think it was more important to take the time to make the booklet as well because that explained a lot more then what the overall presentation of the work. (That looks a bit scruffy though because I made it through InDesign, then when you convert that to a PDF it gives it a border and doesn’t print out to the right scale.)

However, yesterday proved quite an issue, proof life has its way of telling you its here and its going to get in the way. A family member of mine was given hours to live in the afternoon and it stopped my flow of work. Its horrible news, and on top of everything else going on at home with my mother being ill things like this really alter my mood and I cease to work, especially with the shock. My plan was to make more images and have bigger range of prints but luckily I think I’ve done a fair amount anyway. It feels like I’ve left the unit at a unfinished point but I spent most of today getting everything ready for hand in Friday (eg My Portfolio, notebooks etc) so I could spend the next few days with my family. I just have a few prints I need to remove the paper from and I’m all set!

I’ve really enjoyed this unit, probably because it’s based on something I love anyway. I decided that I was going to choose music because I was wondering what it would be like to do artwork for bands/musicians as a career for a while now. I think it’s something to consider at least! I know I work really well to aesthetic/genre as well as pay attention to detail when it comes to text. I also take time to research references and make them a part of my work. I don’t feel bad where I’ve left this because I think I’ve grown in style and my work ethic in general within this unit and I’ve used it to the purpose I wanted it for and more. It also allowed me to look into subjects that I knew about before but not a lot, such as Charlie Manson and “The Family” (sounds so happy doesn’t it?) and Columbine. I’m happy my mind has been changed about print making too, I did enjoy using methods of printing such as Lino and hope to use them in the future. It was sort of inevitable for me to revert back to something digital though because that’s my way of working to begin with, as well as us being a generation of digital artists now because sometimes it’s what required. The debate on whether to leave it behind because it’s not new to me or use it because it looks good and im happy with the quality was a strong one. In a way the work was new to me because through this and War Horse I used digital collage, and that sort of shone through last unit too. Collage was something I never considered to be what was”my” way of working but I think really enjoy using existing images to create new ones! Maybe this is my niche? I remember Mirielle talking to us about the one project that kind of plants the seed in you and develops you into the artist/designer/creator you are – I really hope and think this was it for me! I’m really proud of all of this ranging from War Horse to The Long Hard Road out of Hell. I think maybe I’m also really into creating work based on text – I think I suffered a lot during my FMP last year when making up my own brief because I was going off on random things. Whereas if I have a source to look at I interpret it a lot better, this counts for both parts of this project. Also I’m quite happy to have not (entirely) made my work based on shrines or some sort of religion. It could have been so easy for me to pick a religious conflict for this unit and I’m glad I stayed well away from that, even when a lot of the things Manson wrote about were Religion as well as a lot of the lyrics I had looked at to begin with were too. I don’t really know what I’d change about this unit, maybe be more decisive about a topic and roll with it instead of leaving it quite late. I could have made more of an effort with print processes too but it’s not like I’m not sort of converted.







I can finally carry reading the autobiography, damn.

11.02.16 – !!!!

I know its only been a day.

Im pretty chuffed if I’m honest, I found a pack of balsa wood in the art shop in town for just under £20 with planks of it thin enough to cut with a scalpel and at different widths. I was worried that because balsa wood is something I consider to be quite “feathery” that it’d kind of turn to mulch with the impact of water. Here’s how it went:

At first the wood split when I was getting used to cutting it. I cut each piece either 10 by 10 cm or 15 by 10. I was sort of annoyed by the broken bits at first but then I thought that they looked like old pieces of paper that had been bent by misplacement and sitting in a box forever being untouched, kind of like vintage photos. Also would Maz have cared? probably not. My first test I left overnight before removing the paper, I accidentally had some prints not to scale s so I just used those. I applied a thick coat of modge podge like I had with the shrine and it bubbled, left grooved edges and lumps. However I was happy to see that the podge transferred as well as the wood being sort of resistant to water – it did curve slightly but im not fussed on that.

I was really excited to put my pride and joy miracle baby onto transfer and it totally let me down! For some reason each time it just kind of shed from the wood. This could have been a number of things – I applied a thin layer of podge this time to help it be smooth as well as dry quicker. Not sure if it was too little. Maybe because a lot of it’s white I’m not seeing much so I’m rubbing harder and removing more? Maybe coloured transfer just isn’t as strong as black? Also I’d left it minutes to dry… its a.. what do you call it? trial and error process. I decided to do two versions of this piece – one with the image on the front and text on the back and one with both on one side. This is because my idea was to maybe have the text on the back so it doesn’t take away from the image and we still have a way of knowing what the image illustrates. I think it just depends on if the image works well with its text, for example the one of Nancy on the sofa. I didn’t want the text to take away from the image for this one – not that it worked either way anyway. I’ve noticed text is still coming through better??? What is this? the anti illustration club?


Others came out better then others with minimal ripping, sometimes it looked quite cool. However I was then troubled with the fact it has a sort of mask on it of paper that appears when the image has dried. Making it look grainy and fuzzy.


This can be fixed however if you scrub to the point where it looks clear and then you put podge over the top to varnish it. It sort of stops it from coming back.


I then thought maybe I could paint some of the wood white, not completely. A little bit washy and distressed – the wood is really light anyway so it didn’t show up properly. My piece let me down again though by ripping! I think if I were to do it again I’d get more paint and cover the wood so the white is visible. I’ll try that later.

Finally, I left the last two on the “white paint” to dry for a few hours. The one above I left a few minutes. They definatley came out a lot clearer and stronger – I haven’t varnished them yet so they’re fuzzy still.

Now I need to get my type to place on the back of them and the other images i’ve done too to transfer. I chose the typewriter font because its just something I’d imagine Maz’s voice to be spoken in, as if he were locked in a spooky room drinking vodka writing his book on a typewriter he brought at auction because it’s “fun”.

10.02.16 – Fastest Lino Cutter of the Year Award Goes to…

Monday introduced us to a mini project where we had two studio days to create a “chapbook”, which is to my understanding a cheap publication about a subject usually made of print or kind of crafty process’. I spent most of the day cutting lino! I began with making a lino of the monkey from Manson’s song “My Monkey” (which I believe, from what he says in the book anyway, he stole from a Charles Manson song.) which you’ll see in my chapbook soon. It took me forever but it’s quite interesting – I did it in a cartoon-y style to match with my cartoon like drawings of Manson thinking they’d look good together. Cutting lino is almost soothing too. I also cut out a large Lunchbox with the title of the book on it – I wanted to use that as my front cover.

Tuesday we had a great lecture on Expressionism, it made me think about artists styles and then how that reflects in more contemporary work. I guess we all subconsciously are a part of someone elses art, just all of the elements we select from them become us. After I came home I decided to change all the cartoon like illustrations into collages like Nancy last week. It was a more sophisticated way of creating imagery, but it also becomes something a part of the time of the story where all the band posters in existence were some sort of collage. I also thought Maz would like my work, It’s comical in a sense that it’s all misshapen and his stories have a sense of comedy to them (Or maybe they just seem so unreal its hilarious) as well as being inspired by Joel Peter-Witkin. I also read a few more bits I had selected and just created digital collage to what I had imagined.

Today we completed our chapbooks and I also did a bit experimentation – I had never worked so much in one day!

First I began by printing my lino, I brought some neon green paint to go with my acid colour scheme. It’s a thin paint so it came out washy – however I knew at this point I probably wouldn’t keep the monkey because he wasn’t sophisticated enough:


I also tested doing a little devil on a collage I did for Manson “exorcising the demons” from the lunchbox he took onstage. I did one digitally with the common goat type Satan but I wasn’t sure about it and thought it’d be interesting to use lino on top of it:

The first image is the digitalised version, the second is the test and the third is how the digitalised one came out within the chapbook. I think it looked a lot better like this then how it did on the computer, it wasn’t so bold and the devil actually looked a part of the image instead of being too bright. I love the collage of Maz too, he looks insane – just how I imagined his shows to be in the beginning of his career.

Next I tried to transfer a swirly/60s/trippy looking pattern using shaving foam, the neon green paint and some water colours. I don’t really know what I was expecting when I thought adding water to the foam but I totally didn’t realise It’d melt. It didn’t turn out how I’d hoped. I covered Maz in news print, cutting out the eyes and mouth and leaving the background to be marked. I wanted it to look like he had totally been possessed by acid and that it was taking over his mind. It just came out green – maybe I had added too much paint or something?

I also had a go at printing the lunchbox lino! I did it on top of green and purple paper (these seem to be the most frequent colours I associate with Maz, reffering back to ‘Smells Like Children’ and his video for Dope Hat – one of my favourite videos) The first time was with Acrylic Paint – which went really sloppy! I continued with Printing Ink from then on.

I liked the green more, unfortunately I couldn’t find a proper neon green paper so I covered this in the neon paint – its not like I didn’t have enough anyway! I used the purple one as the front cover of the chap book, saving the decent green ones for my final outcome.

The rest of the chapbook went smoothly! However I hate how photocopy transfer is just unreliable in the sense nothing ever comes out bold enough. The collage above looks more tonal in the digital version but not as a transfer. I was thinking “Ah its okay I can just change the background colour!” at first but I realised if I were to transfer this with modge podge then it would give all the tones and be a lot sharper/bolder.

Here are the other pages to the book! To see which part of the book they’re from you can click on them and read the caption. What I found odd was that photocopy transfer will make type a lot bolder then imagery – which is something I need to think about when adding text to my final outcome, I’ll explain my ideas and all that in a minute. Below are the original images. I did play around with type on both images (They’ll be in my portfolio) but in some cases it just doesn’t work. The door didn’t look as grand with text near it. Whereas Nancy looks super evil, even though shes waiting for him seductively. That piece is actually a two-parter but I haven’t made the other piece yet. Good thing about these collages is that they’re pretty quick to make and when it comes to my final piece it’s just a matter of what I’ve made that can go into it. The Monroe one didn’t have much thought into it though, I just stamped my swastika lino from last wednesday onto her head in green neon.

Now for my pride and joy of the week:

I didn’t know transfer would melt acrylic paint as well as making it really sticky – which was a pain when it came to the monkey. Here however I feel absolutely in love with how it just removed his eyes, and the way the markings of the neon just made it so… Manson, expressive even. My GCSE art teacher Ms Fenton went on about “happy accidents” all the time and I sort of thought she was mad. Even when I had them I never really appreciated them or liked them. When this happened and I finally digitalised it, edited it and made it more vibrant I was overwhelmed with how great it was. I really thought she’d be proud of this, as I was too, and I almost shed a tear in memory of my time with her. Almost though, after I put it all over the internet and stuff showing it off. I knew 100% this was going into the final piece even if it was the only thing I did.

I overheard Leah speaking to a member of the group saying we didn’t have to make a book for our final outcome. It got me thinking, with the way I was working with this like selective process of picking a bit of the book I liked and then just making a collage of it, editing it if I needed and transferring them because It’s sort of the only way I can keep them the way I like them through print – I didn’t need to make a book, I just needed to make a selection of prints. At this point I was printing my lunchbox and had an idea!


This Lunchbox was the bane of everything, it stopped interviews, it got unwanted attention, it was set on fire and obviously going back was a big influence on Manson because metal lunchboxes were banned when he was at catholic school for being a weapon in the playground. I think I always wanted my art to be more of an experience then something we just look at on a wall. Some of my favourite exhibitions such as Disobedient Objects and Michael Landy’s Saints Alive are interactive exhibitions and I think in my head I’ve always wanted to get everyone else into my mind and get them to see what I see. Much like my shrine for the last unit I want my final piece something within something else. My idea for my final piece is to present my prints in a “Lunchbox” and have my work as the photographs inside much like Twiggy (Beautiful baby on the right in the images above) presents here. You can see him give the presenter a photograph from his lunchbox and I think in a way its just a kooky and interesting way of presenting things. Its pretty creepy come to think of it, no idea what the photos he has are! I think a lot of the way Maz explains things in his autobiography is meant to creep the reader out. The feeling of being uneasy about subject matter had kind of been a big thing throughout this unit from the idea of school shootings to having sex with the devil. Imagine just entering a room and seeing a metal lunchbox on the table and opening it to find the thoughts of this super weird and crazy guy Marilyn Manson. You probably wouldn’t recover if you weren’t open minded at least! My idea is to put the green lunchbox prints onto mount board again and cut them out, I’m planning on sticking them to just gift box I’ll probably cover or paint and just have it as keepsake kind of thing. What I’d like is for my images to be transferred by modge podge glue – something I used for transferring the image of Hugh onto the back of my shrine box last unit – onto wood the size of photographs or Polaroids. I’ve chosen this method because as I mentioned before it’s a lot bolder and presents tone, as well as keeping my images as they are, but they need to specifically be on wood because it’s the only material durable enough to keep the overall outcome stable. What you do is you take your modge podge and spread it evenly over your surface, place your image face down and wait for it to dry. Once dried you rub at the image with water and the paper peels, leaving the image in the modge podge. This also works with paint and PVA glue on paper, however the paper wrinkles and becomes warped. This is how it turned out on the shrine, notice the difference in image quality between this and photocopy transfer:


Sometimes you get bubbles or rips in the image but it can have a decent effect.

Sorry that was ridiculously long! For the next few days I’m going to find some wood and test out my images on them. Another blog post to come after this about that!



04.02.16 – I know it’s not the end of the week yet but…

I hadn’t felt like I’d done a lot so far this week but now looking back on it I have?

Monday saw group reviews for us – I love them actually. I think without the last group review we had I wouldn’t have done as well as I did with War Horse. I like to know what everyone else thinks is strong about my work and what I could change. I sort of felt a bit on edge about it because I felt like I’d left an array of possibilities open because for once I really didn’t want to limit myself. I have a habit of thinking of an outcome so early on with projects I get bored and don’t really want to do it anymore. I didn’t intend for that to happen this unit, It just sort of did. The options I left open were:

  • Art inspired by lyrics on revolution, particularly by bands bashed on by the media as a sort of campaign on why they should be listened too.
  • School shootings/Serial Killers that relate to music (you’ll be surprised the amount that relate its really weird) or the school shooting I’d made up that I wanted to convince everyone was real through artifacts.
  • Focusing on one individual in particular and doing work based on them

I discussed with everyone what I should do and a lot of people felt Manson was probably “The One” (I agree, I think I’m borderline in love with him – maybe not now though, in the 90s he was beautiful though!) to focus on. I kind of wanted to test out other artists such as John Lennon – I thought visuals for him would have been great too – but it would make sense considering I’d probably focused on Maz a lot more then I’d realised. I’ve now decided that my final booklet is be based on his autobiography. The time span from the late 80’s to early 90’s was filled with a lot of drama for him! He tried acid for the first time, had an affair (as well as his girlfriend having an affair with his mistresses man), the insane stage shows that contained acts that were so close to being illegal, kicking his bassist out for being hooked on heroin, getting almost tricked into sleeping with a 15 year old, as well as just the beginning of his career in general. Its enough to visually imagine and interpret which is what I’m loving about it at the moment. I seemed to be good with that in the carousel last year – I chose to illustrate the characters from a book about the Walking Dead and make an art book for it. I think the main story line I’m going to focus on though is the affair with his “stage prop” Nancy – purely because I’m convinced (through Manson’s vivid storytelling) he thought she was the devil, and that in an art point of view just amazes me. I think it’d the right choice to use this as my inspiration because I think i’d come to that “mental conclusion” Mirielle spoke about in her lecture and became disinterested in school shootings and the reasons why. Thats why I haven’t produced the fake shooting artifacts now. Plus I was having too much fun making work based on music and that probably showed in my works quality, convincing people that I should be making work based on Manson and nothing else. Collage seems to be a thing I’m doing at the moment and a lot of people were interested in that. I didn’t realise how many ways you could put collage into print so that helps me a lot; I can do things digitally and then make them into print.

Monday night through to Tuesday I just drew. I wanted to visualize the things I had been reading in order to help me figure out how to make them in print. Here’s a few of them (The ones based on the book will have the quote attached too, some others are just doodles):

I’m pretty chuffed with all of them. They seemed quite Burton-esque which wasn’t intentional but I suppose you’d put he and Manson together one way or another. I felt it was important to give him a comic/visual/caricature style because then I wasn’t pressured to make the prints look photo realistic (which would have stressed me out to no end) but still has something recognizable. I made sure to look at images of the band at the time and make everything as exact as I could. The only issue was Nancy, as she was a part of the early band when video wasn’t a thing there’s very little footage of her. The only thing I had to go off was the brief description Manson gave on her arrival to the story as well as this one video I found of her in a cage, but even so the lighting is awful:


I was really proud of making her look alien-y and goopy but then I noticed the words “Like a Peter Joel-Witkin photograph” – then I entered a whole new world of opportunities. I could see where Manson has all his visuals from for his music videos now! In a nutshell Witkin takes photos of severed dead bodies, but its elegant and not all that weird if you get past the fact its a real human. Some of them are quite beautiful.

I was really inspired by this and decided to re-create Nancy once again through an interpretive digital collage inspired by Witkin:

nancy col 2

I definatley prefer this a whole lot more then the first! I think my chosen colour scheme for this is mainly black and white but with acid/neon colours like Manson’s album covers/videos at the time. I left the navy in on Nancy’s shirt though because I felt it was relevant. A lot of her body parts were taken from cult icons/models of the 1990’s.

I figured once I created the images I could easily just take them into print after, next week we’ll see what I come up with.

Wednesday we had a super cool workshop with Tom where we did a flipbook made out of print! I was nervous because 1. I’d never properly animated before and 2. I hate print. However I didn’t realise how easy it was to just knock up some Lino or do a quick mono print – I totally underestimated it. I did this really interesting lino print of a swastika for a few frames (Im starting to sound crazy now) and I really liked how lino doesn’t always cut away so it makes an interesting texture. Im planing on using it for another one of the pieces from the book. My starting point was photocopy transfer and that messed up as I had printed the text the wrong way so it came out backwards. However I was just happy to make a moving image so I wrote over the top the correct way. Made interesting animation!

I think for the next few days I’m just goint to keep drawing on my tab from the book, then on Monday I’m going to see where I can go with Printmaking them.