Thursday, 27 November 2014

Folk Art meets the Modern World

Looking into past traditions is the best way to predict future trends. Nordic traditions have been recorded by Charles Freger in his work 'Wilder Mann". This includes dressing up to represent the cattle of the land, using traditional furs and coloured fabrics. 

Although these are old traditional pieces. This sort of work can be seen in more recent pieces. Such as music videos. The most relevant music video to this subject I can find is 'Jack' by Breach. Although this is a club dance track their are many similarities between the work that could suggest some influence from one piece to another. 

                   'Jack' By Breach.

As I found these pieces so interesting I looked into the practitioners involved further and found that the costume stylist was a woman called Hannah Glossop. Who has been involved in multiple music videos for famous artists such as Lily Allen, Britney Spears and The Hoosiers. I find the pieces so interesting as they have inversed the areas in which body hair would usually be found on a person. This challenges the perceptions of how dancers should look for a music video. 

The thing that makes this discovery even more exciting to me is the fact that the woman in charge of the costume design for all these videos and television shows gained her qualifications from one of the universities I am applying to. This gives me hope that one day I can make it to where I want to be in the world of TV and Theatre.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Life drawing Part 1.

 As I am new to the world of life drawing I thought it a could idea to upload photos of my work in chronological order so that it might be possible to see some development and improvement in my work as time progresses.

To the left is one of my first ever life drawings, in what I would consider to be my  weakest media, charcoal. I find it hard to inject life into a piece when using this traditional material. Every piece I produce in chalk and charcoal seems to be flat and have to energy to it. When given time to explore  on my own I will try to develop different techniques in order to cope with this weakness of my work. However I have found that  my life drawings improve when using a different media.

This piece to the right was created using black and white paint and was painted using my hands instead of a brush like traditional pieces. I like the way that the piece only shows the information you need to  make out the form. Their is no definitive line to the work. I also manage to get more life into the work than when drawing something in a more traditional style. This is why I prefer this style of work and will develop it further when given the opportunity.

After exploring working in paint by hand I then went back to charcoal. This was the perfect order to work in as it allowed me to take the energy from the painted pieces into the charcoal work which was lacking in life. I also began to explore the use of contour lines. These lines are to indicate that the body continues further than the eye can see and is not just a flat surface. I will develop my use of these lines further as they are not looking effective in their current stage.

As my journey into life drawing continues I intend to use colour in my work instead of just black at white work.

Propaganda posters

 We were tasked with creating our own propaganda posters to make people understand the importance of the creative industry and the impact this has on our economy and day to day lives.

I began by looking at posters using during the world wars, and other conflicts, to give me an idea of how they are presented, and the common features they have.

The common features I identified were the following:
  • Bright and bold colours
  • Simple easy to read text
  • A centre focal point
  • An aspirational figure.

I began by creating this background using a series of geometric shapes, I played around with the different shades of grey and red to give depth to the poster. I think I achieved this. I wanted to created a dull and lifeless city. This was to show that a world without creative arts would be a boring one.

I then started playing around with different kinds of text to layer over the poster. I wanted something that looked quite worn and weathered so it represents the older posters from the war. This is due to the fact these would've been done using screen printing, and therefore there would be sections of the text with parts missing. I think I managed to achieve this effect by fading the different layers into each other.

This is my finished poster. I decided to add a small amount of information onto the poster (facts and figures) to grab the attention of the audience. I then related the bottom line of text to the picture that is the focal point of the poster. The orange waves of colour are supposed to represent brightness and colour being introduced into the world through the creative arts.

I'm quite happy with the poster all together. I would like to have had enough time to play around with it some more, maybe try a different colour scheme, and try changing the clock into a figure of some kind. However with the amount of time I had at hand, I am impressed with the work I produced.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The 'Hub' logo design process . . .

 When designing a logo, there are some fundamental things you need to keep in mind. First of all, never forget what the client wants, even if its a vast contrast to what you yourself want to create. Second of all, keep it simple! Your logo needs to be easily recognisable and simple to understand with in a matter of seconds. The final point is that there must be a sound concept behind the whole thing. Without the concept to back up your idea, the idea becomes less influential and unfit for purpose. 

These to the left were my initial ideas for the logos. My basis for all my designs is that there is a central element, then their are smaller elements leading off from it. The centre is supposed to represent the forming of an idea, the lines leading off from it to represent all the different directions you can take your idea and different opportunities for it.
Then in order to visualise the logos in the situation which they will be used, which in this instance is as a vinyl sticker on a window, I super imposed my logo onto an image of the window it will be placed on. This gave me a better idea of how it would fit into the working environment.  




 After seeing them all on the window, I have been able to select my favourite designs. The designs I have chosen to take no further are number 4 and number 2.

The Negatives
Design Number 2:
I believe the central circle of the design takes up to much room on the window and therefore makes the room feel isolated from the outside, which is the complete opposite to what the clients have requested as they have stated they would like the room to feel integrated into the rest of the college. Also, I don't believe it is fit for purpose as it would look more appropriate as a NASA logo than one fit for this particular industry. However I will keep a sketch of it in my sketch book for future reference if I ever need something similar to this in another design task.

Design Number 4:
Using the rectangles instead of circles or ovals didn't work for me, I think it makes the design look restricted instead of following a natural curve and using all the available space of the window available.

The Positives
Design Number 1:
I really like this design out of all of the ones I have created. The colour green is meant to represent something organic that grows naturally like an idea should. The central rounded rectangle represents the hub centre and is supposed to show that ideas are nurtured in that environment as all the tangent lines radiate from that central shape. I also believe it looks fit for corporate use, but also has artistic flare and recognisability.

Design Number 3:
This design has a simple appeal which really intrigues me. The chalk like font is similar looking to that used on an old style chalk board, and is supposed to represent learning. Once again their is a central element, however this time the lines are curved to show how ideas can take different directions but are still applicable. 

Design Number 5:
The two interlocking shaped in the centre of this design are supposed to show how ideas can link into each other and support each other. The use of the colour red is to grab the attention of passersby and to encourage them to take a second glance at the hub instead of just writing it off as another 'staff room' or college classroom. 

I have then applied my logo to other merchandise to see how it could be developed further and used for purposes other than the vinyl window sticker. One of the downsides to the first two designs in this photo is that they could not be featured on white products as sections of the logo would not be visible. Therefore this logos would not be practical for something such as a letter header. However the last design works on both white and black merchandise side to the bright bold green colour.  It would also be appropriate as a letter header placed against white paper. 

I Intend to develop these designs further and finally select one as my final design, which I will present to the clients in order to be considered for the final logo for 'The Hub' at North Notts College.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

London's Calling!

For me there is only ever one 4 oclock in the day, and its not in the morning! But for once I made an exception in order to go visit our countries capital and see some amazing pieces of artwork, as well as visit a UCAS fair in order to sort out my future.

After four hours cramped on a coach with a ton of other creative types we finally made it to the UCAS fair. Being there made me realise just how much I want to pursue a future in Set, Prop and Costume design. All the different courses with their different takes on how the course is run, the one thing I really can't wait to give a go is puppetry, which has always been an interest of mine.

An hour or so of traffic later and we made it to the tate modern, and boy was I impressed! Getting to see my first Picasso in person was amazing.

There are elements of his work which I would like to incorporate into my own lives drawings, one of which is his used of colour. As I am still fairly new to the world of life drawing all my pieces have still been in black and white, however the use of bold colour has always interested me and is something I would like to give a go. Also his used of abstract shape to show form is something else I'm keen on exploring further in my own work, this is why it was so important to me to see my first Picasso in person.

Another piece that interested me was one from the tate modern also. It was a jungle net made entirely from wire wool. This was as the artist liked to explore the use of household products outside of their usual usage. It also highlighted the differences between the western world and other cultures from less developed countries.

Not only this but my visit to the tate modern opened my eyes to the value of video based art. There were multiple pieces of work that were sequences of film and I found that this interactivity between the artwork itself and those viewing it really added another dimension to the piece and gave it more emotional influence for me.

In the V and A Museum there was an entire exhibit decorated to the stage and artefacts they had collected from productions. This was obviously going to be my favourite part of the entire museum. Getting to see the scale models of sets up close made me realise that I am definetly taking the right path by going into set, prop and costume design at university. I could have spent hours walking around that one small section of the museum, if only there had been more time and less things to see. Then I could've had time to wander round at my leisure and take in all the different pieces available.

Plus I got to see a massive tree stump. That was pretty cool. . .

Making an ID card.

 To get us used to working using photoshop we began creating ID cards for ourselves, using images we had taken and edited ourselves. So we all grabbed a camera and headed off to take some questionable photos. Sadly after the mis hap with my work, after it being wiped from a college computer, all I am left with are some of the images we took and the edits made.

I took this photo and then used Photoshop to edit it into something more interesting. I know the edit I ended up with is a bit garish but this was the first time I had EVER used the photo editing software, so decided to have a little fun figuring out how it works, and the limitations of using it.

I created the different colours on the bricks using selective colour, and choosing each brick individually using the magic wand. This was quite a lengthy process so hopefully after using Photoshop for a bit longer I might figure out a quicker way of getting the same effect.


 I then started playing around with the different focal types you can use. As well as enhancing the colours using the brightness and saturation.

I then took a photo of myself in a car wing mirror and used all the different editing options to play around and see what I am capable of doing, I am happy with all the photos I edited as they all have different elements to them which I like. I like the bottom one as the colour of the camera really pops when compared with the dull background. I also like the one above that because it has a more even balance of colour and black and grey. It also draws the eye to the focal point ME! I prefer all of these edits when compared with the originals.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Getting so frustrated after spending hours creating an ID badge, posters and other pieces on Photoshop, and for once being extremely proud and happy with my work it has all been wiped off by college technicians who decided to 'clear out' the computers. Yeah you really cleared it out alright, cleared it of all my hard work!!  So now there is a big GAPING hole in my exploratory work. Great. Good one college. Aren't you clever.

Friday, 14 November 2014


My first experience of being a model for a plaster cast was what I would a success; despite injuring myself in the process due to sitting in awkward positions for long periods of time. But it was all worth it! Nothing brings you closer together with the people on your course than letting them wrap you head to toe in cling film.
After this began the messy bit; after mixing plaster and cutting up enough skrim to keep us going the casting began. The ultimate aim for the casting it to create a tableaux of different poses to come together as one cohesive piece from all of the group.
The piece is inspired by the eglin marbles, from the greek parthanon. It is a usual occurance in greek sculpture that the work focuses on a side view of the human form as opposed to a standard frontal perspective.
It has been thought that the Elgin marbles were originally brightly coloured, unlike the pure white that ancient art is usually associated with. The casts are still in a pure stage at the moment however we are aiming to challenge this perception of art. As well as this we are aiming to challenge the usual body type that body casts are modelled on. We have done this by casting to people as one so they almost appear to be conjoined twins, as well as creating the body shape of someone with a curvature in their spine. Hopefully this will develop further into a more interesting view point of a traditional art form. Developments into this work will be posted as they occur, as the fully finished tableaux will be a lonnng process. . . . .