At the start of term, I was still very much continuing with the work that I was producing the last term of the second year. I found that this year I really began struggling with creating work just for it be aesthetically pleasing, I realised that in order to have a larger sense of purpose and be a more cohesive image I need to be reacting/ responding to words be with articles or pieces of writing such as poems or short essays. This term I have been experimenting with several different mediums gouache, watercolours and even acrylics, initially at the start of the term I was trying to be more selective with my medium use and visual language, however, I found that this was what was making my work become stale so quickly because I was becoming to over-analytical of the work when really I wasn’t giving it a chance to become more expressive since I didn’t know what I was trying to convey in the first place. I think this term that I have really learnt to trust my own aesthetic and material judgements in terms of my use of materials are compositions on a page. After looking at artists such as Marion Deuchars and Jean-Michel Basquiat I have realised the importance and strength of hand-rendered processes and the effect that these can have on a viewer. For the next term, I really want to keep exploring the tactile mediums and how I can use them to influence my own practice but in my own way. Also, the experience having to produce a website gave me the need to become more selective and critical of my own pieces of work and what I would think I would want online representing myself. My aim next term is to have a more cohesive style of working and responding to words, I potentially want to start looking at creating a non-linear narrative in response to some short essays or poetry as these are often the words I feel I connect with best. I want to become more assertive with myself and give myself tighter deadlines and stricter briefs such as dimensions etc in order to create work that is more alike to work that I could potentially be creating after graduation in order to actually achieve the level that I want to achieve. For much of the term, I found myself struggling with the levels of imagery, for example, the ornate and extremely figurative work that I found myself continually returning to because this is what my conscience felt secure doing this was the work that also wasn’t exploring or expressing anything. My reading for my dissertation has also been causing me to think more about the complexity of society and our own interactions, for example, Bathes’ essays Mythologies, especially the ‘Toys’ essay looking at how children’s toys are now a reflection of the adult world, I think by looking at stuff that isn’t just ILLUSTRATION will help me to think bigger as it will help me to start creating my own imagery instead of just relying on imagery presented within already written words.I think that this term has been the start of me finding my own place within the practice and realm of illustration and how I can potentially explore it more in the future, especially since I can now recognise myself as content servicer rather than a content provider since I think before I was trying to do both without really doing either of them particularly well.
After my initial response to the ‘Bolt in the brown’ article was to start exploring the city and urbanisation aspect of pollution and its effects. However, I soon found that this imagery became very stale and not terribly thought-provoking. So I wanted to start looking at making people think about the relationship between Great Britain and the balance of the urban and rural areas, for example, Londons ever-growing population has actually started expanding into more rural and scenic areas of Britain, however this expanse into greener areas could be having an effect on the weather there. Here I was experimenting with gouache and looking at how I could present this without using words. I decided to start mapping out the major cities within Great Britain, I then looked at where there are vast amounts of countrysides. In retrospect I think that the image works better without the green background present, however, I would like to experiment more by manipulating the marks of the background a bit more to create more of a sense of personalisation instead of just copying the outline. However I do think the decision to use gouache as the medium really helps to add a sense of tactility to the elements however I think this also adds to the issue with the green since it doesn’t entirely contrast so therefore the elements nearly blend into the background.
These are some experimental images I came up with in photoshop, I wanted to explore using digital mediums since I know that this is one of the most commonly used methods of creation when creating an editorial illustration. I think that by experimenting with photoshop I am getting more to grips with the program itself and the tools that I can utilize within it, for example within the time it took me to sketch and paint the two hand-rendered gouache experiments I could have been able to create countless ones digitally because the labour time is not so intensive. I think there will be a long process of experimentation before I am really truly happy with the outcomes of digital illustration because I think although it is an amazing tool to be able to utilize the aesthetic of it. Using digital processes means that you can have multiple version of the same images so it meant that I could experiment with different colour variations and different layering methods as a mean to explore different compositions and different brush usage. Although I think using digital processes to finalise and the image is what often gives it the edge over others, I think for my personal aesthetic and what suits my current medium usage staying traditional is where my work with excel and become more and more expressive.
For professional development we are required to make our very own website, here are a few websites whose aesthetics and layouts I think really suit their work and the way that the artists presents themselves.
Katie Cottle: https://www.katiecottle.com
Jack Oliver Coles: http://jackolivercoles.com/
Marion Deuchars: http://www.mariondeuchars.com/
I think the elements of all of these websites that I find appealing are the contrasts between the ‘handwritten’ texts and the normal computer fonts. I also like the simple layouts and ‘clean’ unclutter-ness of having the images all in lines or within columns instead of having them all over the homepages.
These are my initial starting sketches of a map of Britain, I initially started with a lot more detailed one but then i decided that I wanted to create a more stylised one so I started again with a little less detail but with a bit more character I felt. I am going to fill these with gouache and experiment with having a full green background and no background, I am going to then scan them in and experiment on photoshop to see what effects I can create, by scanning them into photoshop I think that I can assimilate the style that a lot of editorial images have but still remain true to the hand-rendered aesthetic that I aspire towards. I may also experiment with colouring them in digitally within photoshop if I have enough time as I think that this could also create some really interesting mark making.
An article about how the increase in pollution could be leading to a rise of lightning and bad weathers as a result of increasing urbanisation. By looking, at this article, it gave me a lot more inspiration because I could respond to because I could tune into words more and allow my mark making to be more activated by this. analysing the stereotypical editorial illustration style that is either very bland block shapes or incredibly linear pieces and how these sit within pieces of writing.
After experimenting with a lot of very figurative elements such as city skylines and literal clouds with lightning over them, I decided to zoom out of the pictures and take a more symbolic over-view by focusing on the differences between cities and the countryside. I think by using these simpler images I can create a more cohesive illustration that is easier to understand rather than taking in all the different elements of a cityscape and clouds and analysing what that could mean instead.