Saturday, 3 April 2010

In Space No One Can Hear You Scream


Thought it was about time I gave you a tour around my home away from home. The studio. Most importantly (regarding this blog), my space. Here is where I create my shizzle and put it on pizzle. See if you can feel the creative juices flowing around the space, oozing out the walls and dripping from the ceiling.

lovely selection of cards by Becky mullulul... I'll get back to you on that one.

Flight Of The Conchords: I Told You I Was Freaky - an album well worth buying simply for its gorgeous presentation and artwork by John Baizley, who has some pretty enticing artwork you can google.

A doodle I scanned, coloured and printed big big big!

A slapdash collage of drawing and test prints from a screen-print induction

Pen and Ink Drawing on a sketchpad cover (left) and the aforementioned doodle (right)

Behold the space! Very bare at this particular moment, due to various happenings, but nonetheless a space!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Crip Crip Crop Little April Shower may not have been April at the time, but it probably was raining

Righto, well now that we knew how to draw everything it was time to crop it into pretty squares, oblongs (no-one says oblongs anymore, why not?) and find the best and most visually enticing compostitions.

But hold on a cotton-pickin' second! This weren't no open brief, no no no! It were with titles and themes and what not!

Eight outcomes (surprise surprise!) and four titles. I went about choosing fleeting sunlight, supermarket blues, phone booth and hidden from view. I've only shown you the pictoral outcomes of three, but rest assured I did all four and also churned out the more abstract outcomes as well (which weren't so exciting).

I especially liked this little dude, I'm ashamed to say I like it more than the final

et voila, le finale

Now apparently Macs steal your soul if you don't know what you're doing. I agree with this now but back then I thought they were talking poppycock. You really need to be a seasoned Mac-a-zoid before you start bludgeoning your ideas with vector based turds.

I hope you agree that, even though they're just sketches, the preliminary work is much more visually appealing than the final.

I had so much fun drawing faces like this I almost lost track of the project

And this was the project our tutors were most happy with. I understand now why, not just because it was analogue, but because of the elements analogue work achieves more naturalistically. It seems to me that setting a mood/an ambience is so much easier when it comes to pen-to-paper simply because it feels more innate to a human to pick up a stick and wipe colourful goop on a page than it does to slavishly batter buttons until the outcome looks acceptable. Basically I reckon it's in our genes and our blood.
Awful pun alert
(not the paint... then again it might get in your jeans)

How to draw anything

...but not everything

But hey now, let's not get pessimistic here; although this may have been a rather presumptuous title we still learnt a lot

There was to be no final outcome to this expedition (oh no sirree!), merely a journal of one's own ambition, readiness and urge to better one's drawing abilities. We were taught perspective and human form mainly... and mainly things are perspective and human form... trust me.

You'll see a form (something taking up physical space) from a particular perspective (the angle at which you're viewing the form from) and that's, rudimentarily, all there is to it. But to master this art is quite the time bandit, though this should be time you wouldn't want back (providing you want to draw) unlike the time I've spent uploading TIFFs instead of JPEGs.

I believe the internet term for this is *facepalm*

mmmm, plotting points on a grid is exciting when it goes 3D Mutha Fukkaaaaa

even peeps are in perspective boi!

there are never enough men with atomic symbols on there heads these days

eyelines and horizon lines are the bizzle... honest

Dinosaurs go "Raaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhh!"

...not rawr you fool

During Mac lessons my obsession with dinosaurs grew more unhealthy than it already was...


Being Mactastic's fantastic

admittedly I entered the realms of Mac-hood back in college, but to be perfectly honest I only used them when I had to, and felt about as comfortable as I assume Connery was in Zardoz.

When I came to university, this is when the brotherhood of Mac tried to convert me truly, and you know what (warning: upcoming profanities) I fucking loved it. I now understand when Graphicsy-types say "Macs are better" and then struggle to find an explanation as to why. They're just good for visual shizzle and the lizzle.
So, onto the journey through Macdome. Basically I had a mac lesson every week and assimilated as much information as I could whilst making ridiculous documents on Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign: learning and having fun.

Here's a selection of enjoyable pursuits I amused myself with, Jean-Luc Picard being my particular favourite.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Elegance of form

...and I ain't talkin' no mitigated pornography boi!

Now I'll keep this short and snappay* so I can progress ever so slightly more rapidly (one too many adverbs? pah!) to the end of what I've done so far (that also sounds odd...)

Next brief slapped colour in our face and, given my feedback, I probably should have slapped it back. I played it pretty safe and earned a fairly average (but respectable) mark... I think.

But more of that later, you're probably fretting feverishly over what the hell my next brief was considering you've followed the blog this far (I'm kidding, obviously... no-one's on the edge of their seat... are they?).

Anyway - Brief two introduced us to how beautiful letter forms are and the piece I've put up probably conveys my understanding of this the best: you see people often get Japanese or Chinese scribbled on t-shirts and fridge magnets or what not and they can genuinely mean absolute bull piss (like the actual words, absolute. bull. and piss.) and, not knowing foreign symbols (because at least you can attempt to speak portuguese) you'll happily buy the damn thing and love it.

almost undoubtably incorrect because I used the internet:

courtesy of Alta Vista Babel Fish - and perhaps Douglas Adams
Tres belle, non?
Anyway, point is, the only reason we don't consciously appreciate letterforms is that we read them instantly and take it for granted that they mean the sounds that they mean. We think of S as S, not "that weird squiggly one". So, long-point-made-short: letters are pretty pretty

Now their were 8 outcomes once again (this pattern continued...) but now no words were to be spelt, we simply had to portray a number of emotions/moods including Happy, Sad, Stillness (pictured below) and many many more... (well, eight).

My feedback was as follows: I was not adventurous enough with experimenting in colour; I could've tried weird and wonderful (or horrible) combinations that caressed (or melted) the eyes and made someones tummy go all yummy and fluttery inside (or contract violently to spew bile and quasi-digested food into the air).
They even gave reference to my ridiculous dress sense as what could've been a lead in this investigation (which is basically what every brief is, I now understand this - I did not then).

Well I should sign out for now.
*I realised a while back this was no longer a "short and snappay" post

It doesn't matter if your black or white

...but it does matter if your fonts are not hand-rendered, exclude Bauhaus 93 or include any form of colour.

Well, not entirely true but three is a magic number and the utterance does have a verbose and comical ring to it.

Our first real project was that of the typographical genre. Given 8 different fonts and precisely the same number of vocations (from weightlifter to bat) we had to display our name in the fonts to represent the aforementioned occupational persuits
(being a bat is hard, I wouldn't reccomend it: people get hurt; parents get dead; and George Clooney sabotages your reputation)

I give to you the two I was most happy to display (although I did do all 8, honest)

I did do them all, I ain't fibbing.

not the most impresive things, I know, but this is the first project of what is a gruelling journey in which I learn more about imagery than I thought possible to cram in 6 tiny little months. This journey rivals The Crusades or anything Indiana Jones has done, trust me*

*(you probably shouldn't trust me on that one)

To Begin At The Beginning...


Seems fairly reasonable to start where we started, or at least where some (myself included) would percieve to be the start (and others percieve to be the end). It has been some time since the beginning of this perilous journey into the world of Graphic Design and Illustration - an umbrella-head that basically covers the influence of a huge aesthetical aspect of your lives - and I'm gonna have to trek back a good 6 months (metaphysically of course; my delorean is low on plutonium) to remember how I got, albeit indirectly, to this computer.

So I might just let you know how I spent most of freshers week - including an interesting night of 5 words, 4 cups of coffee, 3 hours of sleep, 2 minutes rest and 1 spectacular apron:

(according to one tutor-interpreted applause-o-meter)