18/04/18 – 3 weeks to go!

I’ve pretty much been editing a basic edit of the final product, I have about 4 minutes done now so only 1 minute to go! I’ve not really solved the “filling the gaps” situation yet, I’m finding it difficult to come up with things but I’m completing it in sections so it should pretty much sort itself out as I go along. I’m struggling to get my whole narrative across,  I haven’t added enough of the “stripper turns to drugs” element in yet. For parts of this project I’m researching some really weird things, I’m managing to word things in weird ways so I find what I’m looking for in search engines without having it come up with some dodgy porn. Things like “Vintage Burlesque Dancers”, “Pole Dancers” or “Girls Dancing”. However, I can’t seem to come up with ways of finding out about drugs on the internet. It really shows how little I know if I can’t think of other terms to use…

I was aware the breakdown was quite heavy on the found footage, but I’m happy to say I’m pretty much animating the rest of the video thus far (I’ve added one tiny small clip somewhere in the second chorus I think). It was something that was commented on during today’s final review with Hugh and David. Another point to fix was using the less obvious imagery and be a bit more metaphoric. Particularly at the end of the breakdown where the character is watching the TV and it tells you about satanism/satanic symbols. My argument was that I wanted to focus on the way in some cultures that the female body is considered satanic. Funnily enough, my boyfriends dad met a woman last week who told him she used to be a witch and then was taken over by the devil and then got exorcised! It’s mad, but it’s a true problem. Though, despite my argument, I was planning on changing that bit anyway as I find it’s a bit of a mood kill more then anything. It just slows down the energy of the footage shortly before. I’m wanting to layer up more once I have the base of it down. I had a tutorial with David last week and he said about adding more on top of the found footage. There was too much differentiation between the animated footage and the video. Even if it’s just simple textures or shapes,  I’ve started to work on this now within the intro. I’m so used to the hectic look of my collages so mentally a bit of this looks a bit blank for me anyway. I’m excited to see it progress!

Finally, I’ve realised as this project had progressed I’ve lost my inspiration and moved away from the visuals of Ruffmercy. I looked back on some of his videos yesterday to inspire me – I managed to take a 4 day break and an accidental 5th as my laptop stopped working. I just wanted ideas on how to add more to my work quickly, which is great because he uses a lot of shapes and symbols in order to create more impact on his work. I’ve started working on this too.

Below is a selection of progress clips, including new clips I’ve done and new edits.

As I was editing this together, I was thinking if I made it easier by each verse having a predominant theme based on the narrative. So the first verse is sort of an introduction, explaining she’s in love and that she can’t handle it because of her job. Then maybe the second is about her drug abuse. Finally the breakdown is when she turns to satanism.

26/03/18 – Intros Actual Final Edit, and End Edit Begins…


I’m so proud of this!
Differences include:
* Our actual logo instead of our name handwritten, under suggestion by the boys. They wanted it to me more visual and think it’d look more professional this way.
* Coloured in the dripped song name, just so it’s easier to see by the human eye. I wanted it to be easier to see, although the original was cool but it’s the intro so It need to be “BAM! look at this”. Also coloured in a little bit more green, so it’s the colour of cash.
Fun Fact: the song is named after a lipstick of mine.

Image result for dirty money jeffree star

(not my photo)

I think as I continue, I’ve decided I want to focus on the main parts of the song where I want more impact, so I’m going to animate them all first and then fill in the gaps. I’m scared I’ll get so far and just rush endings and stuff, so I’d rather half arse the actual bits that can get away with it? If that makes sense. I want to focus on the ending next. It’ll be a bit like a portfolio, cool clips at the beginning and end, so all the stuff you’ll never remember is in the middle.

The black at the beginning is intentional! Do not be scared!
With my new structure idea, I’ve decided to complete the ending next. This wasn’t going to be hard, as it’s the only structured bit with a narrative I thought about the whole project.
This was done with a collection of rotoscopes and boils. I think the narrative is there, just I think the editing needs a bit of tweaking as it’s a bit jolty – not that that’s a major problem (adds to effect which I quite like) just it occasionally effects way the video looks along with the music.

06/03/18 – Test Animation

Not a lot to report so far, I’ve just been sketching as much as possible and trying to create imagery to get ready for animation in the near future. Below is a test animation I did using Ae and PP, you can see a short journey from my first test to my last, trying to figure out how to scale and not have it blur.

It’s going well so far so I’ve been given some hope! I’m looking forward to animating more in the near future. I can’t wait to start playing with layers and colour some more too.

I did this quite messily but I can’t decide whether I’m going to use it within my final piece still or not, I like the miss matched layered one a lot. I don’t think I’ll have to zoom in so much on everything else so hopefully the rest wont be so blurry? I could always just layer this on top of something else maybe. Next I want to go back over using the 3D camera to create a scene with a pan, with a bit more depth. We touched on this shortly last year and I think my clips would benefit from it. Next I also want to either just make some more assets and animate a bit more, and then maybe figure out once I’ve animated what order they’re going to go in and do a little story board. It might be easier that way once I have everything collected?

08/02/18 – Beginning Of The End

So now that our dissertations are handed in, it’s time to start our final project. I can’t believe this is it, I’m gutted I’m leaving uni soon. I’ve had such a great time here!

For my major project, the last task I’ve assigned myself is to animate/film/create a music video for the band. I’ve selected my favourite track off of our EP – ‘Dirty Money’ – as the song I’m going to bring to life!

I felt like now was really the time to push the boat out, I have little time left of all my student privileges too so I want to make use of  having Adobe products. Creating music videos is something I want to incorporate into my professional practise once I leave, and I felt like now was the time to test it. I’ve set myself some personal goals for this project within my sketchbook, such as possibly incorporating film and hand drawn animation to my final piece.

‘Dirty Money’ is a song about a stripper, who knows she belongs in the world she’s put herself into. Out of all four of the tracks off ‘Holistic’ I felt like from the offset that DM was the most rich visually already because of this theme. My plan is to have an underlying influence from the sex industry and how sex workers are affected by their craft. Sounds silly but I’m also really interested the current story line in Coronation Street, where Bethany Platt has now become a lap dancer as a coping mechanism in order to recover from her ordeal in a sex ring. I like that she feels powerful doing that job, she owns it and although things are a lot more horrific in real life – girls are being forced into these situations and worse – sex work is a real thing in also not horrific cases too. I don’t really want this to be a project about sexism (There’s enough about), but it’s an interesting point that I’m hoping will influence my imagery, and give me a deeper understanding.

 Craig gets into a row with Bethany Platt, and his colleague turns up and reports her

We’ve just come back from Barcelona too, over the course of the trip I subconsciously managed to collect booklets, zines and memorabilia based on the themes of the occult and  religion. I’d like to incorporate these themes as well as I feel like the female sexuality is a strong thing, it’s demonic and sultry and I think all of these themes will match in some warped way in my head. Also, it creates a bit of diversity for me image making wise.

(not my artwork! found on tumblr @badasserywomen, it’s as a reference)

Now I’m researching, my next post will be all about some animations I’ve been looking at to inspire me so far. A lot of my research might be on here, purely because it’s digital and easier to link. I also have a list of documentaries on Netflix to watch and scribble from so I’m really excited to doing that too!

11/12/17 – AND WE’RE DONE.



Despite the palette smashing again in transit, I’m still really happy with how my final piece looks up in the pop up exhibition at Uni. I may not have as much as other people, I’m happy with how this looks as a collection.


I want to apologise now for how the inside looks, I needed to place the acetate in there to protect the make up from fingers and also my bag from shadows breaking in movement.

Tonight I managed to finish my creative CV too! As I want to work with music/bands, my CV is in the shape of a CD case. Thanks to Pinterest for being my number one inspiration on that one! I found the idea/base for it on there and just added my information after. I intended to include a CD with my portfolio on it as well, so it’s kind of an all in one sort of thing. My portfolio wouldn’t download to the CD via my old laptop so I’m hoping to sort that out in time for tomorrow! Here it is so far though:

I’m not sure “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” is an appropriate saying to have on my CV BUT it was my favoured collage from this last unit so I used it. I mean… I guess it shows passion and independence…? (I suppose if you’re a client and don’t know who Rage are I’m probably not the person for your job anyway.)

Finally, I forgot to put on my form for hand in that I have my own Instagram portfolio now!  It’s @katyaustinart – For too long I had been uploading my work to my personal account so it was about time I made a new one! Below are some posts of mine:




Weirdly, although an account for 2 weeks now, I’ve managed to get the attention of the amazing She Wants Revenge. Their song ‘Tear You Apart’ is one of the best things to feature in American Horror Story, especially in the context that Lady Gaga and Matt Boomer slaughter some randomers during a foursome.  They liked predominantly my Manson based posts so I’m quite chuffed at that one.


09/05/17 – Adios Spatial Practise

Click the post to see the videos and scroll through the photos!

19/04/17 – eh.

Its been the Easter break so I’m sort of struggling with working and feeling inspired.

The first weekend I had off I found this company in the spam in my inbox, called VIDA. I don’t entirely trust them but what they offer is the availability to turn your art into regular merchandise. Such as Cushions or Tote Bags. I had a go at making some items using old artworks.

Its nice to just see them in a 3D format I guess. Majority of the weekend I spent looking for a job still!

As I struggled to make it into the silk screening room that Friday, I ordered my T-shirt with my aunt who also makes t-shirts for a living, just as a back up in case I couldn’t make it into the room after Easter. That Monday I tried to get in again but there was no luck. I received it the other day, it’s pretty good! The design isn’t as big as I’d have hoped but I’m just happy to have something to show for this unit really. It’s a shame I haven’t had chance to silk screen it yet but maybe I will. The print isn’t as big as I’d have liked but its still cool to see your idea in the flesh really.

I’ve realised this unit has sort of influenced my dissertation a bit, I think what I’m trying to do is present information in an interesting way and that’s what I’m looking at for my essay. Its started off with the V&A exhibition ‘You Say You Want A Revolution’ – which has probably been one of the best shows I’ve ever been too. I’ve also noticed in recent years that shows/exhibitions and documentaries – two ways of presenting info, have totally upped their game! Its weird how separate parts of your life kind of co-inside with each other and influence each other too.

Last week I also had the chance to start on my animated wall decal thingy’s for the pop up. It was actually really easy to do and I’m quite impressed with the way it flows. I only finished it today. I added an instrumental of Manson’s Disposable Teens to it as well, just to see what impact it would have. I imagined there would be Manson songs playing overhead in the pop up but maybe when you approach one of these screens against a wall you just hear a specific song/instrumental underneath the overall sound? I’m not sure, it’s pretty interesting to play with anyway. Apologies for it being sideways – John said if I were to put it on the screens at uni and then turn them sideways I’d have to animate them so.

I’ve spent quite a lot of the week doing my sketchbooks, I’m becoming disheartened almost because it feels like I’ve done literally nothing. I like the 11 week project because it just feels so much more satisfying. When it’s like 5/6 weeks I’m not sure if I’m doing enough work or if I am because the unit is so short. I’ve sort of realised that this unit has been quite hard to do, I’ve had a lot of ideas but I struggle with this brief because it’s very Graphic Design based. But I also struggle with 3D items too? And I’ve felt like I’ve had so much going on inside my head I can’t process it properly to show you what I want for this pop up. In my head it’s glorious! I just wish I could illustrate or present it properly.

I got asked to create the Facebook banner for the create festival after party for the Attic last week. I quite enjoyed doing it because I was working with type placement again. I did a few more posters for them too! My band happens to be playing two events… aha!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to sort out my dissertation proposal presentation, I haven’t included a lot really because I feel like I don’t have a lot to say about it. I’m (maybe stupidly) waiting for the summer to get stuck in with that and properly get into it. Its just been thought about for me, a lot of thought mind you, once I think about one thing my brain goes off on another tangent.

The weekend in the middle of our break saw Aylith’s Flag take to 299 the Venue in London’s West End. It was an exciting experience, but led me to have one of my first extreme anxiety attack in a good few years – so when I came home and recovered it did hinder my work flow for the 2nd week. It’s horrible how it exhausts you but I clearly needed the rest. What also didn’t help is that my bass died out on the last song and I’ve had to get a new one in order to play a gig the following weekend. Sometimes the band is more stress then it should be, and extremely unpredictable!

Finally, I had this idea to come up with a display for rings in the pop up and brought a ring display from amazon. The idea was to draw Manson’s tattoos on it and have it look like his hand. Though I realised within that time frame he didn’t have any… so what personalizes it is the ‘black nail polish’ and the start of his spider web tattoo on his wrist. Though I’d still like to use it!




12/12/16 –

Last Monday I finally managed to sit down and do a few drawings of Romany People. I had a few backgrounds ready from when we did the painting workshop last week. I felt like it would be good for me to work on top of some grounds because I’m used to textures when I collage, and I just wanted to make myself enjoy drawing as much as possible… because I don’t.

On Tuesday we did a collaging workshop, traditional collage, like cutting out with paper and the sticky sticky and everything else. I actually found this extremely difficult?!?!? I went in that day feeling super optimistic because it was something that I know and enjoy working with but with it not being in Photoshop my mind was completely blown. Visually a lot of what I did just sucked to me, but I did do one collage based on colour schemes id picked up from my reference images which worked really well. I was also finding images of old paintings in magazines, mainly with farming/community old times with hay/groups from little country villages kind of themes. Even though they’re loosely relating to Romany Culture I’m kind of creating characters and overall stories.

The past couple of Wednesday’s I’ve been involved in storyboarding workshops. I found these really useful because I think I’m heading towards a more comic book based outcome right now, mainly because it’s something I really just want to create as I used too when I was younger. Just to see how I’ve developed in style and understanding since then would be ace. We’ve learnt about things such as the 180 rule and the rule of 3rds and 4ths, in order to make the frame more understandable and story clear. I can’t wait to put this into practise.

Thursday we were asked to present a teaser and synopsis for our stories, and show our current work.

My Teaser:

Mayor’s wife gets more then she bargains for when her husband buys out a creepy, abandoned, religious themed amusement park from the 60’s.

And Synopsis:

Holy Land USA, the abandoned theme park previously based on the faithful, was once a booming success in Waterbury, Connecticut, during the 60’s. When the land went up for sale in 2013, hesitant Mayor Neil O’Leary brought the land as a project for his religious wife, Darcy. Knowing the park was previously a crime scene in the Chloe Ottman murder in 2010, Darcy was desperate to renovate the park and open it to the public once more. During the re-build of the attractions famous chapel, a group of Romani Travellers charge through the gates and demand the new owners move off of their land. Confused at the threats, Darcy begins to research into the parks history. This reveals that the parks creator John Greco took the land off the traveller’s ancestors in the 50’s, forcing the previous inhabitants into slavery. Angry over their past the travellers continue to return again and again, and over time strange and horrifying things start happening on site. When the parks newly acquainted Priest is murdered opening day, the O’Leary’s are eager to pin it on their aggressive intruders, but an anonymous tip off suggests the violence is being caused by somebody – or something – else.     

I’m just kind of really chuffed with myself for creating a complex, actually AHS type concept that seems believable and is based on research – even though to my mind it’s unfinished. However we discussed that because the overall story is complex I may have difficulty in illustrating the whole thing – which I think in reality I don’t think I necessarily want too. I think my two points of interest right now are when the travellers charge in and threaten the O’Neil’s for their land. I was thinking it could be a cool flash back-y type of thing – the flashbacks done in dull tones or black and white and switching between the characters of modern time as they discuss it. Or when Darcy finds the priest re-opening morning, who I think is going to be her son too. This way I only have to imagine a certain set of characters and can focus on small parts. John said it’d be good to focus on episodes. I want to spend as much time as possible on character design and development, so I think maybe focusing on a small part such as these is the best way to go. I’m not even 100% fussed if I don’t finish it, I just want to see how it goes. I’d also like to maybe create promo stuff as if it were a season of AHS, posters and things. I think I’ve definitely decided Sarah Paulson is Starring role/face base as Darcy, and Finn Wittrock is going to be the son/Priest I haven’t named yet. Lily Rabe is probably also going to be the head of the modern day travellers.

Later on I decided to go back to collage but in the best way I know how. I tried to work with the same colour scheme from the workshop as well as relate the imagery together, I’m not sure if I want to carry on with this because I think I want to work on characters now I know my plot. The next few weeks are going to be a busy one so I’m going to see how things go from here. Hopefully things wont be so hectic after Christmas and I can actually just do some work!!




18/05/2016 – Chicago Betty

Tada! It’s done.

I’ve been focused on this mainly since my last blog, my mind was sort of boggled but I was also on a deadline to have this film finished by tomorrow for the show. I kept with the same colour scheme as I have been throughout the project, I’m sure I’ve fallen in love with it. Its also very diverse with shades and is easy for photoshop overlays that create the textures.

I think visually, not colour scheme wise, my main inspiration was the animation/cut scenes/cinematics of Alice: Madness Returns that I’d linked very early on in the project. It was replicated with the puppetry we had gone through with Kat in the aftereffects workshops. From what I remember of them too, they are also textured to look like paper. My main look was to re-create the dark lines and textures. The combination of the colours and the visual style are my best attempt to create something as awesome as Laurie Simmons Kaleidoscope house. I tried to be as accurate with Betty’s proportions to a humans, that wasn’t entirely possible with Photoshop and resizing the separate body parts but I do think overall the dolls (Betty and her friends) look similar to Simmons dressed up humans too – their faces are very round and big. I changed my mind in doing the collaged approach to animating like the 2 day workshop before – I think I just wanted her to be able to have more movement and different limb points for comical effect. I think she also looks more like a doll now too whereas photos were (obviously) more human like.

Throughout the film there are nods to 20’s culture, particularly in clothing style as well as patterns. I added things like the car and the radio because both things became more popular within this time frame and were a common part of family life. My other cultural reference was the fact that Betty and her friends were exactly the same just a different colour – I wanted to make fun of the fact a lot of people just replicated each other within culture. I’m not entirely sure if people will understand these references without context but I know that at least visually/aesthetically the film represents the 20’s.

I had intended to do a voiceover for the film – I still could as a test when re-fining my work before hand in. But after a tutorial with Leah last Thursday, she suggested I just do subtitles and use sound effects/music. I felt like this would be a better choice for me because who actually likes the sound of their own voice? no one.

I managed to pull myself together after the issues with technology. I sorted out my laptop and it began working properly with all the adobe stuff too. I think just by pure luck I managed to get everything right by sizing and image quality and the film turned out great – and most importantly not pixelated!

I had a look at old advertising too, a lot of them were so creepy! It re-affirmed that dolls were used as a trick, making girls expect to become these dolls in later life. All the dolls got a lot of compliments and were hyped up with jingles or poems etc. It also showed what companies were popular at that point in time, and I tried to include that within my advert. I could have worked on a brand more really, and would go over that if I were going to do this again.

I still have no idea how to lay out or present my research and things, I might just have to grab a folder and put loose bits inside and then just include all my sketchbooks and stuff. Hopefully when I start to do it pieces might fit together.


04.05.16 – Trying to make sense of it all now…

Now to try and cram a whole months of events into one blog, it will be long.

I’m now near enough a month behind on work because I’ve been going through a difficult period, so I’ve completely lost the flow and now have no idea what I’m doing. I really want to include my stuff at the Beaney though but I’m also willing to accept the fact that maybe I might just not have the time. However I’d be happy to just see everyone else’s work and help them talk about it to the public. I now have about 2 weeks to create my animation, have it edited and have sound too as well as an essay on top of that. What also doesn’t help is that I’m completely stuck in where to go next.

My initial starting point was to research, what I like to do is grab a notebook and just write about what I think is relevant. One topic can lead onto another, and Leah found it really interesting that I’d discovered that dollhouses were used as a teaching method to prepare young women for their future lives as mothers/housewives. This was in the victorian time period where it was popular for the wealthier children to play with a wealthier looking house so it represented their wealth as well as their everyday lives. What I like about this is that it has a deep cultural meaning and that’s a lot to play with. From then on I discovered an artist named Laurie Simmons, the majority of her work is based on photographs of different types of dolls as dollhouses, as well as making her human subjects represent dolls by dressing them up too. Here’s some of her work:

I thought maybe she’d be quite interesting to look at for a reference, mainly for the structure of the face and body because drawing a babyfaced doll is a lot harder then drawing a regular looking human. Simmons also co-designed an amazing dollhouse called the Kaleidoscope House. It is by far my favourite house that I looked at and reminded me a lot of the video for “Disco 2000” by Pulp:


So once we’d decided I was going to replicate a time in history, much like dollhouses do, I had to pick a character. I was quite inspired by these two, or maybe I was still reeling off the 20’s thing I was working on before:

Using the base for the object based writing workshop I thought that she was a young mother named Betty, who’s resentful towards her life because she’s been forced to marry and look after her baby whilst her husband works. She’s the vice president of the young mothers society and likes to show off her wealth by dressing in expensive jewellery and holding meetings in her mansion.

After this point I took a look into 20’s culture and I discovered that in America it became a lot more popular for families to live in the city then on a farm. A lot of people were sheep and liked to dress the same and have the same interests. The nations wealth doubled and the younger generation appreciated the new urban living style a lot more then the older generations. Most importantly there was a rise in women drinking, smoking and being open with their sexuality – more commonly named flapper girls – and had the freedom to vote. A lot of what women were doing, or were stereotyped as doing was considered taboo, although the flapper girl we all hear of didn’t entirely exist. Technology also became popular, cars and the radio were more common for families to own. From this point on I named my character ‘Chicago Betty’ and her son ‘Charles’, my aim now is to create an advertisement for her as a franchise and her “Ideal” 20’s home. (Chicago Betty just came to me after thinking about that fake doll featured in the Simpsons, Malibu Stacey) I want it to be ironic, sort of making fun of the fact that dollhouses have this quite sexist back history. Basically anything we want Betty to do she will do the opposite.

Ive done a few character designs, I loosely drew a few items from the dolls cabinet in the Beaney and took shapes from them that I thought were heads. 13103460_1058256027544669_6764666328565837881_n

The ones outlined in green (A little hard to see, sorry!) are what I based some heads on. I’ve tried to insert the video of the process I used to make Charles but it’s not uploading for some reason.

However, I took part in a two day workshop last week and created a test run of the advert. It all went wrong, for some reason the video was pixilated on the big projector and adobe has completely ruined my house internet so nothing loads to me to add sound or edit it. I hope I can sort this all out by the end of the project and not get it wrong next time. Here’s some stills from it:

I just stole some images from google, edited them and directed them in photoshop, then I transferred them into Aftereffects. I’m still rolling with that Smashing Pumpkins/Trip to the Moon/Dave McKean inspired colour scheme, a lot of people complimented that when the film was shown. Although I had no sound, which was meant to be a voice over sort of like a JML advert for Betty, the others understood that the project was based on the dollhouse part of the Beaney. Even though I have created some other designs which are a lot more cartoony, I appreciate the photographs in a way because you can move them in only in specific ways as well as the facial expressions being the same always just like a doll.  I’m considering just carrying on with this because of the point above, as well as it looking a lot more mature and it being easy for the time frame I have. It’s something to think about anyway for now. I’m not sure if I’m just allowed to do that really, I haven’t done a lot of visual work but in a way I’m just happy with this. Maybe my next step is to just attempt to do the voice over test for this clip, get premiere running, maybe a hard drive and see where we go from there. However if I do it this way my film may only just run under a minute, which isn’t the requirement – maybe I can’t stretch it out?

In terms of the technological side of things I’ve been incredibly stressed, the pressure of everything not working for me at home (as well as me paying £16 a month just for the convenience of it being at home!) and my emotional state I get quite angry and frustrated. It hinders things really because I get quite upset after a while, I’m not sure if it’s because it’s really winding me up or if it’s grief on top of that. I just hope I can pull myself together now, and sort it out now all the harder parts of home life are done.

I think my next step is to look at advertising in general, for children’s toys and I’ve just thought after looking at the Kaleidoscope house – ikea adverts. Then maybe my idea of the advert can be more refined, have a stable structure.

I just want to apologise in advance for anything thats missing… and isn’t all that developed. I have no idea what’s been done now and what hasn’t. I’m just going to roll with it and see where we go from there.