20/11/16 – Authorial Narrative

So much has happened in such a short space of time!

At the end of last week, my boyfriend James (He’s also guitarist in our band!) and I were on the guest list (yeah, for real) for a record label launch in Camden. The label is called Roulette Media Records, and there were several bands on during the night. My idea was to print off some business cards for the event just in case I got talking to some people about my work. However, during hand in the day before the printers decided to entirely collapse on many of us and I couldn’t do it. Which is a shame! mainly because I had to hand in some of my work digitally, but also because of the event. However, whilst we were there we were sort of there pretty much for music matters, so maybe there was no place for it. Part of me wishes it had worked, but I know I’m also not that outgoing so maybe I just wouldn’t have mentioned it anyway. I know it’s going to have to be something I develop later on in my career. John introduced us to artist Kate Moross during the last unit, who has the career I’m pretty much dreaming of! She did work for artist as well as for MTV, and got her career by just talking to people on nights out and who she was near in lines at gigs. I admire her, because I’m stupidly shy and a little socially awkward. Below are my current business card ideas:

Last week was busy and also not, we started our new unit Authorial Narrative. The basic jist is illustrate or animate a story which we have written, whether it be imagined or just a re-telling of something, to a professional level.

On Tuesday we were briefed as well as starting a small 3 day project called “re-think”. We were all given a topic at random, some people were getting really intellectual theories, some people were getting scientists and philosophers. Me? I got “Torture”. Which, yeah could be pretty interesting – my idea of torture is like medieval chambers or dunking witches in lakes. However, we then received information about what our topics were. My small bit of information said something about Nazi’s and Isis. I’m D O N E with this Isis stuff, it’s depressing and not really a topic I want to look into too heavily. Trying to absorb the briefing I sort of just ignored the rest of the info as well, which makes me dismissive I know but I just wanted to work on what my perception of Torture was. I think sometimes when you’re given a tough brief, or fake brief in our case, its good to kind of roll with what you have in your head because then it keeps you interested as well as allowing you to explore a bit more and come up with new leads. I did quite like what I was doing towards the end, but I’ll go into that in a sec.  Later that day we were all given a huge sheet of paper and were told to sort of mind map what we had further researched. Here’s my mind map: 15036669_1222884851081785_1128254423664779748_n

The next part of the project was to create an A1 image or 10 second animation based on our topic. Whilst doing the mind map I had confessed to John I didn’t really enjoy looking at this topic (He did offer to have me change, but 1. I wasn’t too interested in them either and 2. I’d already gotten into some sort of flow with Torture) and he said to me that sometimes you just have to churn something out, or you have the right to refuse the job if you like. He put it into the perspective of “If the Torture Museum had hired you to make posters for them what would you do?”. I thought what would be so nice is to create a series of short motion posters as advertisement using AfterEffects … HOWEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED. You’re right, it failed on me. Remind me, what did I say last week? I’m never going to use Ae again and I tried and I remembered I’m an idiot. All the files were right though and everything but this time it refused to let me animate more then 2 fames? Also all the files messed up and came up as the same file? I’m not sure if I just over wrote one of them or whatever but I was just losing my mind. I gave in and just printed my images out onto A3 paper. I quite like them actually! I feel so much more comfortable when in Photoshop. I also thought it was weird how I’d kept the same colour scheme as my mind map – sort of anyway with the oranges and yellows. The first one was sort of a replication of my mind map in collage. The second was my take on what Torture was, focusing on Witch Trials. and the third was more of a general idea of torture and showing different examples. They look pretty cool! I’ve had comments saying they’re some of the most striking images I’ve done:

On Wednesday, whilst completing these pieces I was speaking to Phil about what I was thinking of doing for this unit. I’d really like to do something based on a personality, icon or celebrity. Something autobiographical and something I’m good at working with and know I’ll enjoy. Preferably I want to work with a female, because I enjoy drawing women more as well as I find it a lot easier to modify/stylise women (eg. like on the sims I found it way more fun to make women sims because their clothes were a lot more interesting then the men’s) OR I’d enjoy working with a male who is creative or eccentric – much like Manson, because he has an artistic flare/aesthetic which I enjoy working with too. I’m not going to limit myself to a celebrity, but ideally I’d want it to be based on a musician or band,  but I’d also be into models, artists or directors maybe? Oddly I’d like the person or person’s I’m looking at to be dead, not to sound grim but then the story already has a conclusion. I’d also accept bands who have either stopped touring or have split up because that’s kind of a conclusion. Some people I’ve thought about are: Oasis/Liam and Noel Gallaher (It’s for personal reasons tho), Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy, John Lennon/The Beatles etc. Phil said it’d be super cool to make the Gallaher’s into a biblical thing sort of like Cain and Able because they fight all the time. Already I’m inspired by Dave McKean again, mainly because I brought a copy of Arkham Asylum and I really enjoy the textured comic book look. I’d just like to experiment with a comic but make it a bit unconventional and different like I feel he does. Some other idea’s I’ve come up with are to work with a time period or event in history, I could fabricate the story – much like I would if I were to work with a celebrity. I’d like to do some sort of re-telling of a well known story and make it alternative. Or I’d like to make a story inspired by song lyrics or a poem.

On Thursday morning we had our first lecture for this unit, where we looked at the methods of story telling in like everything that ever existed. For example, how to grip the reader to your story using dramatic irony or a dangling cause. We watched parts of Toy Story to see these methods in action. We also watched this really cool extra where they explained the first demo of Toy Story was terrible and Woody was a complete arsehole. I quite liked it, maybe because I’m a total monster but also because it was different to what we already knew. Still kind of rolling with the Strange and Familiar themes here aha!

Finally, on Friday I was waiting around for James in town and I came across this book about Nirvana – who are one of my favourite bands of all time and Kurt Cobain is my hero. The book is called Treasures  of Nirvana by Gillian G Gaar. I grew up drawing Kurt and Courtney so I don’t think I’d like to work on a re-telling of the existence of the two, or the bands, or anything like that because I’ve done it before; also their whole lives are set out for them within common media as well and I just think everyone and their mother knows what happened to Kurt Cobain. The book contains the story of Nirvana as well as these little pouches with replicas of tickets and tour posters/memorabilia. It reminded me of Marille Fuchon again, in where it uses objects and memorabilia to illustrate or further explain something. Which I thought would be a pretty neat way of telling a story. I also thought it would be so beneficial for the DYP unit because its an example of legit tickets and posters around in a specific time period. From here I came up with the idea that I could try and make up a band, sort of like the Gorillaz, and make a whole life for them and everything – but have it be inspired by stories that have already existed in other bands. I thought it’d be nice to take iconic imagery, eg Abbey Road, and turn it into my own non-existant band. I think for this I’d have to work to a time period maybe, because although I’m making something up from scratch It might be hard for me to not turn it into my own band. What’s great about being the bassist for Aylith’s is it makes the art easy for me because I understand our motives and cores as well was what we’re interested in. This band wont exist so 1. I’m not in the band, even though I’ve made it up I don’t know what my characters like or are as a unit. 2. It’ll be hard to not transfer it into Aylith’s with the colour schemes and Aesthetic. I’ve already sort of thought about doing an 80’s techno band but I think maybe that may be too similar with the ideas of neon. However I don’t know a lot about the 80’s and what was around music wise in the 80’s so maybe neon is just a stereotype?

bc1

For now I’m just working on stuff for Aylith’s, getting together some business cards, demo CD’s and whatever all ready for our gig on December 2nd! Yesterday James and I went out and gave posters to people to put in shops in Whitstable (Sorry for the awful quality I’ll try and get some others later): 15134539_1226581844045419_4289427039439859894_n

John’s away in Amsterdam next week with the Foundation students but he’s given us a small brief. The idea is to create another A1 image based on our ideas we’re having, as well as create a 4 Panel comic strip (I can’t remember off the top of my head but it needs to be done a certain way, like the style of the image. Mono… something? or something else??) for our ideas available for discussion next week.

04/11/16 – Part 2

Sorted!

I still don’t have a title for this project. I don’t feel like I can call it something like “Galaxy Snatch” because of the nature of the topics involved (although probably my favourite two words together right now!) or title it “Carrie Fisher is a Character” because that’s already a YouTube video – stole it as a title for my “essay”, but I still don’t really like it. I’ve left it for now but I can change it if I come up with something.

I find it super interesting how sounds such a light sabre can be a metaphor for the male private parts, but that’s the nature of the book I guess ? I was trying to add a comical edge – I’ve also been told its too loud and it’s given people heart palpitations but it’ll do. I’ve always wanted my work to effect people 🙂 It sounds a lot better not within Apple ear buds too, I love that it does truly sound intergalactic. I also am quite happy with my, maybe, hidden nod to Simon and Garfunkel at the end when she starts talking about Paul Simon. I used a piano version of The Sound of Silence, not that it’s the song Paul wrote about her but it’s their most famous song. Its more of a nod to the fact I didn’t know Paul Simon was literally Simon of Simon and Garfunkel until about a week ago – how that flew over my head I don’t know! The ending was abrupt mainly because the robotic voice converter I used only lets you download a certain amount to your IP address. The Paul Simon bit was the bit I got up to, but I think maybe if I had done more I might not have finished! Also I just enjoyed the drama of the end, and how it just stops – it leaves you wondering. Carrie’s story isn’t finished and I think its a perfect way of describing that. Although I could have done more with the backgrounds I am happy with just the reduction. I could continue but I feel like I want to stop (please, let me stop) as well as I need to get some more bits done for the end of the unit.

I’m a lot happier with it then I thought though. That’s something anyway!

03/11/16 – And so we get it to work and then it stops working again.

 

Finally! we figured out why Adobe was being awful!

… I was animating a 5 metre (yes 5 metres) size document, the amount of pixels were what was slowing my laptop right down and not converting it into After Effects. Will scaled it back down to size for me and then it started to work perfectly. Most of Monday I was playing with sounds, editing my robot voiced sound clips together and seeing how long they were in order to get a rough idea of time scale within Ae. I went home about 3-ish and began working on animating to the sounds. I based the plot on what my images were about and then decided to show them in order (eg. showing her with her parents, then the collage about the affair with Elizabeth, getting the job on SW etc) I got to halfway through the animation before I went to bed (just at the Star Wars part, where I intended to swap from the robot voice to Carrie’s in Wishful Drinking). I hadn’t storyboarded this out, mainly because I felt like I had a storyboard within the book already, as well feeling it wasn’t really being important to have too much of a plot because I’m just presenting someone’s life. I just wanted to present the general jist of a person, show her as something slightly more then sex symbol Princess Leia in an empathetic way.

Then, Tuesday was 100% the worst day ever. I came into uni, and to such horror my whole animation had gone! I’d even saved it to my hard drive, my computer etc and I still to this day have no idea where it is. I’m assuming it might not have saved properly, despite quick saving all the time, because my laptop is the ultimate traitor. Instead of completely losing my head though I decided the best option would be to start over. I then had a tutorial with John, showing him what I had done and explaining what had happened. He showed me an animation called Polemia – by illustrator/animator Steven Smith, who works under the name Neasden Control Centre. It’s implied the Polemia is about something scientific, showing things such as periodic tables and body parts etc. Although I don’t entirely understand the plot, it’s obviously about something. John got this jist from my animation I showed him too, however he wanted to show me this as something stylistic. He suggested I do something more lose and more collaged just like this. It involves some signalised images with others appearing over the top -I was just revealing layers to a story. This was a lot more playful and allowed me to add and subtract to how I wished. Thus, I started animation number 3 BUT I was a lot happier because, as someone who considers them a one hit wonder, I don’t like repeating myself. On my feedback sheet here it says: “Design of the frame?” I don’t entirely remember what this means now, I’m assuming its working to a frame but not necessarily allowing the images to meet it. Which I think I sort of have done, but in the conclusion of the video all the images create one image. but separately they don’t meet the frame… if that makes sense?

Below is what the final frame of my animation would have looked like if I had continued with the first. It looks drastically different to the one I have done now, but I like it as an overall image. I might use it in my zine as part of my assessment.

carrieanimation

So after slaving away all day yesterday and today animating, as well as editing, I think my final piece is almost complete (its rendering). I spent most of today adding the sound, I found it quite odd at first because there’s a limit as to what you can add. Mainly because you can make a jumbled/collaged image and it still be readable but with sound there’s a limit before it becomes confusing. I used both Carries voice and my robot voice and they work quite nicely together I think, I was worried they would differ too much but I like that it’s sort of random and a mess because I think it represents a messy life. Once adding as many quotes as I could I then began looking for fillers and ambient sounds. I found a few Star Wars based clips on a site called Soundbible, and from there I found some space based sounds and slowed them down in Audition to create some dramatic ambient background fillers. The way they drone and create quite stressful sounds reminds me of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (in the end where it gets all grimy and discord-y with the creepy violins):

I tried to reduce the gain as much as possible on them however (in attempt to be the complete opposite to DHMIS), so they were there for a bit of drama but also just filled in the blanks and merged the sound clips that abruptly stopped. I was really interested in adding sound to begin with because I wanted to highlight some of the images through sound. After a chat with John today I realised I also needed to adjust the repetitive background in order to give it more variety.

Today I also had a bit of a play around with some handwritten type, although the idea of me using the quotes in the animation was purely to avoid it. I don’t always know where to start, so I was just limbering up. Will pointed out that I just see words as words instead of imagery, and made me question what I was trying to get across with my words. So after a while I managed to get the hang of it, creating messy autographs for Carrie and glamourous fonts for Elizabeth Taylor. I still find it incredibly boring though, but at least I can have a go at adding them to my collages.

This project hasn’t been bad really, but I wouldn’t say 100% enjoyable; though I am going to include a lot of the work I’ve been creating in my portfolio. I think it’s been a complicated 5 weeks, we started off out of the loop when we were working on the Grayson Perry piece. Then I’m sure nearly every other week we’ve had a presentation to prepare for. Although we had a brief in the summer, it’s still quite hard to come up with a topic (especially when out of the routine of uni anyway) that can give you enough to work with or enough for you to be interested in. I’ve enjoyed creating the work based on Carrie a lot more then Star Wars as a whole mainly because its not so broad, I also just work better with people and stories that are already told. I think it’d something to consider and work with next unit when doing the authorial narrative project. I’m still really interested in collage, and am so happy I allowed myself to go back to it because I’m a lot happier with them then I would have been with what I started out doing for this project. My animation probably isn’t the best it could be, animation wise more so but sound wise I don’t know enough about Audition yet to improve on. I think I did well with using the skills I have anyway. I’m not sure I want to work on an animation any time again soon though because of the emotional pain and suffering Adobe has caused me (Id like to just stick with my buddy Photoshop). I’m not 100% sure how time management has gone, though I have managed to do some quick 1975 based collages and work for my band – usually I don’t like to focus on other things whilst I’m doing uni work so I’m quite proud of myself for doing other things (as part of my own practise) anyway. I just don’t know if this has effected my work, by judging how long its taken me to do somethings in comparison to the time I’ve spend on work for uni – although maybe not this project but presentations or Grayson or whatever – I have definitely spent more time on my uni work, I just hope it shows. If not then maybe I’ll have to figure out some routine or just give something up, or maybe even combine projects?  I have noticed however I’m not in the studio as much. It gets darker a lot quicker now and I like to be home sooner rather then later – also there’s a lack of plugs in the studio for me to charge my laptop. Unfortunately we’re in a time period where more then one person uses their laptop primarily as their tools, which is a hassle when there’s only one plug socket. I usually work until my laptop is nearly dead or is dead and then i’ll come home because it disrupts my flow and I can work to my hearts content plugged in for as long as I like! I was like this a lot beginning of last year though, maybe its an adjustment thing after the summer?

Now I just need to clean up the last minute bits in order to hand in on Wednesday! it’s going to be a busy week!