30/10/16 – Struggling (also Adobe is not my buddy)

I really enjoyed last Monday because we got to be in the student panel for the new Year 1 tutor interviews. It was great to meet the candidates as well as see how they’ve all worked within their own practises. I used it as a opportunity to ask questions in relevance to my developing your practise unit. For example one of the candidates worked freelance whilst as a student so I asked her how she managed her time between uni work and work work and what she had to prioritise. It was an interesting, VIP opportunity to get an idea of what life is like after university.

Not a lot else has gone on this week, I came up with the idea to do an animation with the collages I had created. I wanted to use quotes and have the collage appear to the corresponding quote. I actually came up with the idea after finding a robotic voice simulator, which you can type your own words into and then lets you download what it says onto an mp3. I thought it’d be quite cool as well as eerie to have Wishful Drinking read by a robot, as if Carrie was a re-casting of C3PO or something! I also downloaded Carrie performing Wishful Drinking so I could add some of that in there too but I’m not sure it’ll entirely fit with the robotic theme, as well as the whole chunk about Star Wars is performed but I can’t find a recording of her talking about her family or childhood. I was planning on taking maybe some words from interviews but it doesn’t have the same comic effect because she’s either under some kind of drug, is in a mood or is candid. I planned to do this in After Effects, however Adobe is royally screwing me over right now. Drastically slowing down my laptop and freezing because the PSD is too big and blah blah. I even cleaned my whole laptop, defrag a Will (who is an angel btw helping me out) suggested I convert the file bit the image just doesn’t seem to show up on the screen. I have one last idea now, creating new PSD’s from the larger one just so its in sections and not too awkward for Ae to handle. Pray for me, I hope it works! Or I might have a go on a uni computer but Macs aren’t always as reliable either. If this doesn’t work out I’m thinking about maybe projecting my images, making posters or maybe even a zine/newspaper. But I really just want to get this animation done because I feel it’ll be super fun and way more interesting then anything else I’ve come up with!

We had presentations on Thursday and they went well I think, I was pretty miffed that morning though because of Adobe so I felt a tad erratic. It was nice to talk about my work anyway and see what everyone else was interested in.

At the moment I’m having a bit of fun with the potentials of developing my practise. I’ve decided my ultimate dream is to do art for my favourite band the 1975. I’ve seen them once and I’m going to again in December! (yes it will be a part of my research, I’m big on buying merchandise at gigs and seeing what they have to offer in terms of t-shirts and posters and things) They have a very 80’s/floral/feminine/neon aesthetic right now which I’m loving because its similar to my kind of aesthetic which is mermaid/unicorn/pastel/shiny stuff. My plan right now is to totally pester them through Instagram, doing collages of them and tagging them in them. My idea is to either get me in with the fan base first and then become so popular with them that they point me in the 1975’s direction or pester them enough they want to give me a law suit but fall in love with my work. I’m not sure if it’s unprofessional but its work I’m interested in (also it looks completely different to Manson, and Aylith’s Flag and even Carrie Fisher, which is a bonus.) and what else do I really have to lose? Below are the two pieces I’ve submitted to Instagram already:

Also whilst posting them through Instagram I managed to play around with the filters, sometimes they give my pieces a totally new look which is really nice to see!

I’m sure there’s a way of replicating the filters on Photoshop right? Because some look super beautiful and make the images pop, sometimes it looks super cool dulled down too!

I have just about 8 days until hand in! I hope things start to work out. I feel like because things have been so… jumbled, for example we worked with Grayson and then we’ve had a presentation every other week to prepare for almost – that we haven’t actually been involved with this project as much as I’d hoped. Also the problem with it being almost self initiated during the summer is you 1. may not have much of a flow being away from uni, and 2. not finding yourself a sturdy subject to work with. Also it’d been a 5  week project so maybe I’m being too hard on myself?

I really want to do this animation tho.


20/10/16 – Wait, wtf am I doing part 2.

Presentation’s went well Wednesday! I’m just looking forward to moving on with it. I have a few ideas on what I’d like to do to start off, but right now I’m having to focus on my current unit.

A few days last week I was working on the single artwork for my bands new song Peculiar Affliction. I’ve created this unitized look for the band now which I think is super ace, I wanted this cover to vary slightly from the others just because the song sounds different to our others. I hand drew most of it whereas I usually collage – a little bit of texture collage was used though! Ive realised how hard long it does take me to create these for us though, and have to be careful in the future when meeting deadlines – if its getting work done for my band or for uni, I’m going to have to start prioritising. Its good for my portfolio though and I’m looking forward to putting one together so I can get the interest of other bands. Here’s what I’ve created for us so far!

The Harley one at the bottom we didn’t end up using! some of the members said that she was too overused right now with the release of Squad. It upset me a little but the Mary one was a bit more outrageous so I was down for that.

Last Thursday I managed to have a chat with John about how I wanted to change my project to focus more on Carrie Fisher and look more at her autobiography. I felt like she still runs along the same lines as light hearted Star Wars based fun, just like my out of context Star Wars stories, because he herself uses her life to make people laugh in her stand up show. As I mentioned before there’s a huge difference between her and her character Leia, she is pretty much plagued by fame and this has become a trigger point for her struggles with addiction and her bi-polar disorder. I realised that being Leia is all she is known for, unless you’re an avid SW fan or are interested in celebrity you wouldn’t necessarily know that Carrie Fisher is this outrageous character; I’m trying to separate the two through imagery and illustrating the story of her life. I have gone back to photographic collage, with some elements of drawings (on paper and digitally) and textures within Photoshop. I’m a lot more comfortable with this and because I’m enjoying it I’ve noticed I’m making a lot of work!

Above are some of the images that don’t necessarily relate too much to the book, however I can use them in other imagery as well and keep adding to them, so they might eventually. That’s what’s so interesting with this way of working because you can keep creating as well as not everything has to be literal, things can imply things, shapes can create illusions. Some of the images above are also just elements I have kept separate so maybe I can use them in other pieces if needed, or I’m experimenting with colours and aesthetic.

Here are some that I think do relate to the book or I like more then others. From left to right:

  1. With the repetition of the drawing of Carrie in her worldly know over sexualised bikini is a (unconscious) representation of the many many dolls, particularly sex dolls that are made of Carrie. From reading the book I’m not sure if she resents being a sex icon or she finds it humerous.
  2. I purposely chose a gorgeous picture of Carrie (not a lot of the ones of her now are actually nice in comparison) because again I’m looking at her sex appeal and how others in the Star Wars fandom perceive her. Particularly the shop assistant who admitted he “thought about her 4 times a day” to her once.
  3. This one doesn’t necessarily mean much in terms of story but I really love this image. Hopefully I’ll get to use it as part of something else or I can add to it.
  4. The final image is in relation to her upbringing, being a child of two Hollywood Stars seems to be a constant thing brought up in her book. Again with the nature of her writing I’m not sure if he hates it or rates it. Even so I’m sure if her mother Debbie didn’t force her to become a show girl she wouldn’t have been put in for the role of Leia.

The other day (Tuesday) John had a one to one with me and taught me how to use more stuff in Photoshop. Particularly masks and applying hand made textures to images. He showed me how to make the main images transparent using Adobe Fireworks, however Fireworks doesn’t exist anymore (to download off the cloud) so I just had to roll with my photoshop knowledge and create masks in whatever way I can. We also discussed things like subtlety in imagery and using negative space – John referenced Tim Marrs and how he uses negative space as an example. I’m down for both simpler images and really heavy full on images like Darrel Rees who does eccentric collages which is great for this method of working because all the images turn out different in how busy they are. John also suggested I use fabrics and items from SW as textures, I tried this (Image above on the right) but it didn’t flow as nicely as using Ps brushes for example (something I’m addicted to right now! I love using new brushes). We also discussed how imagery can connote certain things that relate to SW – for example John made a load of spatters of ink on paper which looked like shooting stars or scuffs from rebel fights or something. Ive noticed a lot of the hand made textures make better masks then the photoshop brushes, but the brushes are nice for background-y stuff.

What’s working really well is all the work looks like it’s done by the same person even though some are done differently or are more busy in terms of composition. All of this will be great to add into my portfolio! especially for the developing my practise unit! I also really love the colour scheme, It was more a subconscious decision but I think I chose it because it’s feminine as well as being quite intergalactic? it sounds bizarre but I see it in fashion quite a lot, pastels and holograms are on trend and especially with festival fashion quite a lot of girls are wanting to look like aliens or super humans or something.


To continue with this I’m going to try and add type, and try creating my own type (something I did try and do with the term “Galaxy Snatch” in the huge image above) in various ways. Using words that just connect loosely with Carrie. I also need to find some more textures or create more. I just need to keep making collages and not worry about time frame, as I said i’m working pretty quickly and next I’ll be selecting which ones I want created into my final piece.





11/10/2016 – Wait, wtf am I doing?

I can’t say I even know what I’ve been doing for the past week or so. Everything has been so busy and a little mad I don’t even know If I’ve been productive.

Last Tuesday we had a talk by Jivko Darakchiev, who is a filmmaker. We then did a workshop where we had to take an object and film it in a way to make it look strange to its familiar. I can see how the workshop may have worked for other people, but I felt like it was irrelevant to my own work and went home to work on my project. However, his workshop reminded me of the workshop we did with Mirelle Fuchon in the first year, where we had to take an item, person and place from our subject matter and make imagery using only one of those things. I sort of did this at home, I took a few things and people and made basic Star Wars collages I could use as reference for me to draw from, at the same time I was making random stories in my head. I looked at these as well as artwork by Chris (Simpsons Artist) to get the jist of how he draws so simplistically – mainly because I struggle with that style. I’m quite happy with some of them, the characters even look like who they’re meant to be but in silly ways. Its a start anyway.

The next day I had a tutorial with John where we discussed my presentation for the Developing Your Practise unit. I think I’ve decided that I really enjoy doing work based on music and would love to be an art director for bands. I am for my own band at the moment and by being part of “the scene” I’ve also got a foot in the door by meeting other musicians and having people to talk to. My presentations tomorrow – eep! I showed John my drawings as well and we discussed that maybe I’d put them into bigger images. We also discussed that it would be beneficial for our class to draw more as a workshop.

Friday was the Grayson Perry Private View! our work looked ridiculously cool surrounded by his lovely tapestries! Grayson wasn’t there though (:( ) but it was nice to talk to other people about our work as they were passing – one lady even gave me her business card!

Yesterday we were in London visiting the “You Say You Want a Revolution?” exhibition at the V&A which I was sooo excited for! I was going to do my summer project on the 60’s originally and I was going to go here for research, but its opening was so soon to when we came back to uni it was a tad risky. The exhibition is about how the music of the 60’s inspired a revolution against war. This seems to be something very frequent even now and it was interesting to see the triggers in popular culture and politics or world events. You had these sense headphones that played the audio to whatever you were standing next too, most of it was awesome music. I loved the fashion the most and I know my mother would have loved to see it all – she really liked it as an aesthetic. The best bit is all the Beatles memorabilia – My brother is a huge Beatles fan (my nephew is called Lennon – I feel like I’ve written this all before on my blog??) and was going to look into it for the conflict project so its just something I know about and am interested in by default. Unfortunatley it’s a no photo exhibition, however I think i’m going to go back in order to see it all again and absorb it properly as well as get a book for research. I reckon it will be so useful in terms of my own practise! (I stole a few photos I could find of it on the internet, just to fill the non visual gap)

(it all reminds me so much of the opening sequence of Watchmen and the storyline in general – its so interesting!)

After the exhibition we travelled to Forbidden Planet and we had a look around the whole bottom floor at comic books. I picked up a few Star Wars comic books in order to help me with the story telling aspect of this project – one comic I got is based on Darth Vader and his inner conflict with Anakin and how he loves/hates Obi Wan. I thought it went well with the “seeing things in a different way” element of this project. I also got a cheap issue of a classic SW comic – I think its the comic version of episode 4. I haven’t had a chance to read them yet but I’ll make official notes on them later on. I also brought this little pouch that has this SW micro comic of episode 5 – it came with this hella cool 3D poster, 3D glasses and a puzzle piece. I guess I’ve got to collect them all to complete the puzzle. I just think its a cute final piece idea, either a little micro comic or a 3D poster maybe? I also got a few comics that I’m going to use within my presentation tomorrow because I suddenly became inspired by comic book covers, and irritated by the fact none of the comics inside look as cool as the covers!

Today we did a drawing workshop with John and I created some really interesting ink and paint pen illustrations of Star Wars characters just as quick drawings. I really want to work back into them later on with other medias (or photocopy them and work on them I dunno) because I think they lack something – or I’m so used to layers and layers of texture I think they just look boring? I really enjoyed using the paint pen to draw close up of Characters faces in a comic book style – I think due to lack of space I quite like the incomplete faces because I can use them quite comically in out of context situations or make them into something else. Also whilst I was working on images of Leia, I thought about how much I adore drawing Carrie Fisher and how much she differs from Leia in personality. I thought it would cool to focus on just Leia and make her more like Carrie – or just sort of Blur the lines – a little bit like robot chicken or something (as an animation) with rude gestures and jokes. (also the front covere of Shock a Holic is a doll of Leia in RC style so maybe that’s where I’ve got it from)