10/03/16 – Animation week

Not long after my last entry I watched the animated film “The Book of Life”. I thought it touched on the subject of death really well as using culture as a way of describing how people cope with it as well as their beliefs. I love the art style anyway because it’s Mexican Catholic (not really a style but yeah), something I had worked with in the past.

… and obviously anything religious is good in my book.

On Monday we were separated into 2 groups. Will, Molly, Nina, Stephen and myself created a stop motion collaborative collage animation using the Dragon frame software that morning. We used very little drawings and mainly photographs, which highlighted what we enjoyed about the museum and defined what we were most interested in. Nothing makes sense still though, we don’t really know what the Beaney’s about or the relevance of all the exhibitions as an overall. I enjoyed this a lot more then the mural because it was a lot easier to showcase everything all at once as well as introduce more things without it looking jumbled (and a lot less terrifying to…). I’m impressed anyway because it’s something that moves! Although I wish we had worked more on a background or something because the whitespace is too much for me. What we found difficult about the mural was no one really spoke about an idea and we all just rolled with it, this time we did as well but maybe moving image is just a better way of making a collaboration work.

I posted a video of our video (Yeah I’m still bootlegging everything) onto Instagram and UCA were cool enough to put it onto their social media pages! Go us!

That afternoon we had another workshop on hand drawn animation with Andy in the animation studio. We were meant to morph one image into another, using 60 frames to create 5 seconds of footage. Overall I did 15! The images we were focusing on had to have some relation so I picked the two paintings in the Materials and Masters room (Kitty and the Man). Andy was super supportive and so knowledgeable, I’m happy with the overall outcome but still can’t decide if I enjoy the process or find it tedious.

I also kind of thought that it didn’t necessarily matter I hadn’t drawn anything because who’s to say I couldn’t work as I go or draw using collage or digitally. You sort of almost forget drawing isn’t just a physical act its just about creating imagery.

After visual theory on Tuesday I quickly ran down to the Beaney to take photos of the dolls. Like the muppet I am last time I just sort of looked at them and didn’t take any photos – the reason is unknown. A lot of them reminded me of my favourite of all title sequences – American Horror Story: Freakshow. Created by Kyle Cooper who has done the whole franchise as well as The Walking Dead and others, mainly films. The dolls white faces seemed to resemble that of Cooper’s – the sequence is also very heavy on the contextual references. For example actor Evan Peters plays ‘Jimmy The Lobster Boy’ who was a real person, had hands that resembled lobster claws, and the doll that appears next to Francis Conroy’s (Why her and not Peters I’m not sure?) name is a copy of the real lobster boy. Its a really interesting way of showing information out of context, but I guess only works if you know the info already? It could work for this project because I’m assuming those who will see our stuff at the Beaney would have seen the rest of the building right? According to Art of The Title.Com, the sequence is made of stop motion animation, CGI animation and film. The music is extremely enchanting too!

I did finally get the chance to do a few collages too! My first idea was to create a colour scheme, which I based on the art work for the Smashing Pumpkins I mentioned last week. I then used textures I’d photo copied before for past units and made my own brushes for distressing and such on photoshop. My aim was to make it look textured like McKean’s work but sometimes it was hard to maintain some textures whilst changing the colours and opacity and things. In the end I reverted back to my War Horse techinique, making my image black and white and then placing a colour mask over the top and changing the opacity.

At this point I was struggling to find time between uni and visiting my mum at the hospital, even struggling to find the time to shower.

I tried to illustrate the dolls as characters, just going by the vibes I felt for them and who I thought they’d be in my story. I hadn’t entirely made one up but you have to start somewhere. My illustrations just didn’t seem as sophisticated as my collages (from this unit and the last) in the end, so I left them. I think maybe a way of moving forward is to find other collage artists that are more contemporary and duplicate their style if it can easily be made into animations. I liked the stop motion/motion comic style of the opening sequence to Alice: Madness Returns because it reminded me a lot of the style from ‘A Trip to the Moon’ or ‘Mellon Collie’ because it was super theatrical and the two styles I’m comparing it too look like theatre sets. In a way ‘A Trip to the Moon’ is stop motion because some of it is animated by the moving of paper (I think?). All of these things relate to the vibe i’m imagining for my final outcome, not to say its final though. Also there’s this really great bit at the end of my favourite level for Alice, where the Walrus and the Carptenter brutally murder the stars in their show done in this style:

Isn’t it just gorgeous anyway? the dress Alice wears is the reason why I have this mega infatuation with the colours pastel pink and mint green. Also kind of mermaid-y which is my life really.

Wednesday introduced us to Nick Mortimer, who is a film maker and model animator. He’s going to be working with us for the next unit with his experience. I found his talk interesting when he began to describe the imaginary and talk about scenes/backdrops. I think as a personal aim for this unit I’d like to work a lot more on putting characters into a place. I’m very shy when it comes to backgrounds because I find perspectives really difficult to draw. I felt quite thankful that Nick’s workshop was about backgrounds so I could work on this. I was a bit silly and sort of (completely) ignored the brief where we were meant to create a 3D model to animate in. I decided to do mine digitally, mainly because I wanted to work on something relevant to me (eg. my colour schemes, time period etc). I sat down with a sketchbook at first and plotted out a story based on the ideas I already had; making the story about death, dolls etc. Originally I wanted to use the doll I’ve been using (in the collab collage animation and the one I painted on the mural last week) as my main character, and have her follow this angel of death round (based on another doll in the exhibit) and then witness it take one of her own. This seemed too obvious of a statement so I began again trying to think outside of the box. I decided this time round to think more of the place as that was what I was working on that project. I created a utopia, filled with iconography (my favourite, and also one of the dolls looked like angels), a perfect land where all the townsfolk get along and are one big community. Its always sunny, the buildings are replicas of those buildt in the 1920’s – accidentally thinking ‘A Trip to the Moon’ was a 20’s film, but is instead 1902 – but I guess there wouldn’t have been much of a difference anyway, the time frames aren’t too far apart. I was inspired by the way heaven is shown within art, the fictional place of Columbia from Bioshock Infinite, the map for LA Noire mainly for time frame. I wanted it to sort of look like a carnival too because those themes/looks are present in the looks of theatre and ‘A Trip to the Moon’ etc too. I wanted the place to look like this but include elements of the Materials and Masters room, eg. the mountains are made of minerals, there’s a selection of small glass trinkets in the cabinet next to the dolls shaped like animals, I thought they could serve the public giving out cotton candy and peanuts. That way we get to include elements of the room without making it too obvious and attaching it to story sort of like the sequence to Freakshow. Later on in the story once we’d fallen in love with this idealic scenery this rapture/apocalypse/blimps were going to cover the skies and just take the citizens and things. Sort of a metaphor for how death kind of snatches people at strange times. Although it wasn’t the beautiful, romatic explination of death i’d aimed for I felt it still represented how I felt about the subject. I made a test backround using images I could find on google and using my colour scheme. I was really proud of myself for making it because I had managed to remember quite a lot from the After effects lesson the week before. It wont let me upload it currently but here’s a still from it:

After this I created more collages, here they all are including the ones from Tuesday and some mood boards:

Today I was forced back into the wonderful world of After effects, we went over some things and learnt some new things too. What I was most excited for was how to use lighting to make things look like a stage. This was something commonly used within the animation for Alice and I thought once I’d learnt how to use this my work could look professional like this too. I’d also been looking at motion comics, and found this amazing one for The Walking Dead. What I think it most interesting about motion comics is you learn by looking at it, you can easily figure out where the anchor points are as well as what’s in what layer:


What I also find useful is below it has a video on how it was made, what parts of the comic book he used and how he combines it all together.

My animation today also fed into my ideas of motion comics, we were asked to create the stage and the little puppet for our Shakespeare fest animation. I loved moving is little legs and making him dance, once you get used to what you’re doing its really fun!

I think my next step is to find a new way of collaging! become inspired and use this within my work – and also finally do some work… obviously. I want to be able to create my characters in a style that doesn’t bore me, because with this being animation the likelihood of me continuously re-drawing these people will be high. If I cannot find a new source maybe I should look for some dolls similar to the ones in the exhibit in terms of shape. I think what I’m hating about drawing them is because they’re so baby faced and out of proportion its not as easy as drawing a real human like I’m used too. I could take photos and edit them on the computer, who knows?

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!



29.01.16- my brains fallen back to normal speed/conclusions

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

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

manson copy.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


14.01.16 -Last week of War Horse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16.11.15 – Final week

I’m in the last week of this unit now! I can’t believe how quickly its gone.
After much consideration I’ve decided to do a mixture between narrative and poster for my final piece. I began aiming to do a 3D poster or shadow box inspired by Joseph Cornell based on the St Martins Church in Canterbury. I liked the whole love story behind it – how the King re-built it for his Queen and the churches importance. However I felt like this was hard to represent with just imagery alone , even with a small amount of text it wasn’t going to have a message. I worked quite hard to decode the Prioresses tale so reverted back to that. I felt it was also quite fitting to the current situation in Paris – its a portrayl of how religion effects people and how people lose their lives to differences in beliefs. Another pro was that Chaucer’s poems are fiction and the relation in my head of pairing it with surrealism, as  well as it being heavily based on religion, just like something out of Joseph Cornell’s head.
I tried today to stay in uni as much as I could, only leaving for food and for purposes related to the project. My engagement with the course hasn’t been 100% though I have more then others. Being at uca for a few years I seem to be repeating myself, as well as having a difficult home life at times, it has effected my studies occasionally. Other times I can plough through it, its not been awful recently but sometimes I don’t feel in the mood or I feel tired. I’ve tried not to leave so often as well but I also like to work at home on my tab and be in my own environment. I can’t always tell when I work best it just depends on my mood. I’ve tried harder to speak to tutors and get tutorial help and today Richard really helped me define that my poster may not be am ordinary conventional poster but it has poster like qualities. It just needs to have a jist – I’m an illustrator, I suppose unless I’m illustrating a book or demonstrating something I don’t really need to have a message.
Unfortunately I feel like maybe my final outcome won’t be as to how I hoped but I suppose as it’s my first unit on degree I can’t expect too much , especially being off for so long and adjusting into my surroundings. I just regret that it’s such a perfect project for me in terms of topic and the potential for stylization! I have to work with what I have now though, I want to start a fresh next project. Onwards and upwards I guess.

02.11.15 – I got nothing done

Last week as umm.. de-motivational.

Monday started off pretty well, We discussed in our groups our outcomes for the map task. Although the story wasn’t clear, my tutor liked how it was stylized and automatically said it was inspired by Baz Luhrmann. I think maybe the way I had set it out was a bit complicated but I suppose my time frame wasn’t great to really have the chance to think about it properly, I guess that’s the great thing about doing these tasks weekly so then I know I can do it properly and what went wrong the first time if I were to choose it for the final exhibition. Hugh also liked that I thought about how the overall book would be a concertina and how it’d all flow nicely together, he suggested I should keep it in mind for the next task.

With that idea in my head I thought I’d illustrate the Prioress’ Tale for the next piece. Its one that I’ve not seen visually myself so I thought it’d be almost like starting a fresh and just creating it from mind. However when It got to it we were pretty much forced to do a fanzine (as if I hadn’t had enough of fanzine’s last year with the fanzine fair that I felt was a total flop as well as being unhappy in my home life) in a particular format that wasn’t a concertina like I’d planned and discussed with Hugh. I just didn’t like the way we were pretty much forced to create a narrative this way when the subject was so broad in comparison to a map? Why restrict us now? What happened to the freedom the course gave us before? I just felt it was unnecessary so I planned out the storyboard like a graphic novel within my sketchbook and not in the layout I was told, keeping it in mind even if I didn’t do a proper outcome I still had my main drawings to refer to if I were to do this as my piece for the exhibition and switch it back to my main idea. I don’t regret doing it this way as I realised how much I could condense the story with it still making sense. Having it drawn out first has actually helped with my mock for this piece as I can just take the quick drawings I drew, select the few I think are needed and then edit it all together in Photoshop to make the outcome that was required (even though I didn’t want to do it that way). I still need to make it but I’m not in a major rush here. Plus the amount of time it took me to do the Knights tale wasn’t worth the stress for something I can develop later on, I was too quick to jump on making it look presentable when really it wasn’t necessary and took me about 4 days on and off. I was really looking forward to making a comic strip this week though because it would have just made more sense narrative wise in comparison to last week, but it wouldn’t have fit in the format they asked for. I have it for later though I guess. I know when I have a client I can’t just go and not do what they ask but I felt here I was just so restricted and it was so unnecessary to the brief, it wasn’t going to help me think creatively or have an outcome I was proud of and that’s quite important to me (sorry guys). I’m still going to do a mock for that outcome as i’ve said but i’ve planned it in a way so I can change it if i need; which is the best of both worlds really.

I also never got round to doing the mock for the task as I’ve had to prioritize the essay as well as now do this power point task, which I did as much of as I could today but as I haven’t done all of my thematic tasks yet I can’t entirely. I feel like this week I may need to just push some things aside so they get done. I was on point with the essay, but last week I searched for HOURS for the THIRD and FINAL piece to talk about and I just can’t. Everything I know and can talk about is too similar and involves Comics and Video Games (which both I’ve already covered with my other two examples) – so tonight i’ve got to search to still really be on time with it. Wish me luck!

07.10.15 – Entry One

I would have written sooner but I felt like not much had really happened until this week, with it being the first few weeks of term and all. Still getting used to the routine (as I’m an IPS student I’ve been off since May, it was too long to exist without anything) and trying to juggle Uni as well as my job, social and family life and work at home too. It should improve soon though!

On Monday (the 5th), me and my friend Lilly did our first ever animation! We used charcoal like the artist/animator William Kentridge, who believes charcoal is perfect for animation as its easy to manipulate. I have a phobia of charcoal so I couldn’t disagree more; yeah maybe its easy to alter but i’d rather have stuck with a trusty, less messy and nicer to touch massive marker pen. Though it was nice to see the whole thing altogether and how it changed, I will admit the charcoal gave off a great look (I just dont like the feel of it in my hands eww) Our animation was focused on the theme “navigation” – we took a map of Canterbury and used the cross in the middle as a starting point. We’re both doing projects on the Cathedral so we made the map into a crucifix, and animated melting candles beside them, we then extended the map out to as many frames as out 60 shot limit gave us. We then tried to export it in after effects, which was pretty great to play around with and as both Lilly and I know Photoshop reasonably well it wasn’t too difficult…

… Until Lilly lost all of our files and in exportation the film went funny and we didn’t have a final outcome. I don’t blame Lilly, neither of us knew how to use a mac and we’d never done anything like this before. The lesson learnt is ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK. Or if you think you have DOUBLE CHECK. Our first animation will be the thing we talk about in interviews and dwell on fondly as something no one will ever know the greatness of.

Lectures are going okay, we’ve had 3 so far. At first it was quite hard to understand, words like “semiotics” and “metonym” weren’t in the vocabulary of the awful school I went too. Now I’m just looking forward to actually doing something literature based, when I chose to come to UCA instead of stay on at school I didn’t realise how much I’d miss English and writing.

Today we saw everyone else’s animations and it’s really interesting to see other people’s takes on the little miniature themes we have for this project (eg. Micro and Macro, People, Navigation etc) I love how as long as it relates anything goes which I didn’t really have in previous years. I like how degree treats our decisions as something that’s actually valid and a conscious choice instead of being so specific to grade boundaries and authority. Later on we managed to finish our riso printed postcards!! Finally!! The problem I’m finding right now is that because our group is reasonably big you have to accept you may not be getting long processes like riso print completed at the same time as everyone else because there really isnt enough time in the day for 50+ students. I just need to be prepared to have something to do within the time the can’t be filled with that.

My main concerns at the moment are getting my work done on time, I’ve done a ton of research but not had the chance to put it into my sketchbook. I hope I can start to plan my time better soon! I’m also struggling on where to go with my sketchbook, I feel like creating work based on my research is the next step but I also need to think about the themes we have and how to apply my work to them. I’m too influenced by people at the moment, I love saints and shrines and the little religion freak in my just really wants to feed the need to create this glamorous, romantic, empowering work I feel comes from religious art. It doesn’t help that all I’ve been looking at is Canterbury’s history and the people that helped it come to life. I’m trying to move on, but I keep coming up with developments. Should I let it go and move on? or stick with it because its the only lead I have? Its almost a choice between doing what the brief says and doing what you think is best to help you continue even if it doesn’t exactly apply to the brief.