This year I took part in the field modules Circle Line: Experimental Documentary and Magical Objects. These two field modules encouraged me to expand more on my wider material practices which is something I really wanted to focus on and explore this year.
Circle Line was a video and animation based project which encouraged me to explore more abstract ideas and perspectives on creating. We worked within groups of around 4 or 5 and were encouraged to think outside our given disciplines to combine ideas into a final abstract outcome. For a lot of the process, the group had harmony in making choices and much of the angst came from collaborating with other groups within the module when compiling the work for presentation.
We were encouraged to make links between Insole Court in Llandaff and The Brecon Mountain Railway in Merthyr Tydfil and their joint pasts and abstract them. We took a trip to Brecon and recorded material on phones, GoPros and Video Cameras, our group decided to focus on texture and movement for our film since we felt this was the full extent of abstraction whilst still using the raw images. We combined with music students from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, to create soundtracks to go with our experimental films who also came on the trip to Merthyr.
For the project, I also created a promotional poster image for the showing of the films we had at Insole Court with the Music students we teamed up with to create the soundtracks for our films. I created the image on Procreate on my iPad with input from Chris Glynn for composition and what information was needed on it.
This field module was incredibly useful in giving me the confidence to be more active in group projects and gaining satisfaction from being someone that wasn’t asking the questions in meetings but instead being someone that was answering them.
Final experimental doc. without soundtrack
Within the Magical Objects project, we were encouraged to explore 3D based mediums with the focus of magical objects within history and culture. We started the project by diving headfirst into creating 3D pieces in cardboard from observational sketches of James Green’s collection of masks. Being able to see these pieces up close gave us a lot of inspiration for many of us hadn’t encountered masks up close.
The next part of the project was a group of us going on a research trip to Berlin to attend museums and galleries, I decided to link my masks and magical objects to my present subject topic of Men’s Mental Health and raising awareness, since this is contemporary subject I found a lot more inspiration in the contemporary art galleries and especially the Zine shops in Berlin. Whilst in Berlin I found myself really inspired by my surroundings and it gave me a lot of ideas for the rest of the project. For the rest of the project, I created masks based on clowns and hidden emotions within modern men and exploring raising awareness of the issue.
Being able to link my Field project with my subject work gave me a lot of confidence with continuing the work once the field module was finished and I think helped me create a cohesive body of work to finish the year off.
My Pecha Kucha
During my Pecha Kucha I discussed the new mediums that I have discovered during my two field experiences, such as Premiere Pro during Circle Line Documentary and using clay and Clay and Cardboard, since these are ways I am interested in working in in the future during my subject modules. I think that these new found mediums have really given me work another perspective.
During my Pecha Kucha I spoke about how I struggled with the first term of field due to a lack of understanding of the given project, as did much of my peers but I think this made our outcome a lot more raw since it was pure reactive energy instead of trying to tick boxes in the module descriptor.
The second term of field was a lot easier to interpret, along with the added research trip to Berlin which I found incredibly inspiring for contemporary illustration and graphic design. This research trip really encouraged me to explore more abstract contemporary illustration with brighter colours and free-er worker.
Both of the field modules really encouraged me to just work without thinking too much about what I producing. I think that this has really inspired me to be more pro-active about my work and to just create which has made me create more for less fear of disatisfaction.
My first term constellation and my dissertation are fairly well linked, in my essay last term I explored the notion of transdisciplinary and exploration within creative education since I believe this is something greatly discouraged.
I explained that my dissertation will be focusing on exploring the relationship between young children and their interaction with technology, and how as an illustrator I can consider that for example do children’s book illustrators need to start thinking about leaning towards exploring childrens applications on devices due to a disappearing market.
Whilst choosing this module the concept of exploring my subject ideas in 3D mediums really appealed to me as this is something I haven’t brought into my own practice out of fear of the unknown. My initial hesitations gave me the concern that all of the work we would be producing would have to be of the superstitious/mythical nature and therefore be very worn out ideas not applicable to modern day life, however this hasn’t been the case and I was able to take alot of inspiration from the contemporary art during the trip to Berlin.
During this module I struggled with my frustration of having to try to understand multiple new mediums in such a short amount of time, for the most part I got to grips with methods apart from carving the magic soaps, I found that I was too harsh with my first magic soap and carved far too much in the piece to be able to keep my given idea in mind. However luckily I had multiple soaps and decided to keep my designs more simple with little carving and more drawing into the soaps instead.
as you can see the ideas are very much the same with the face and features inside, however I decided it would be better to just carve into the top instead of trying to sculpt the soap entirely.
Being given the chance to translate my thoughts into 3D has really made me think about how to explore more abstract processes and gives pieces a lot more context that previously since it is in the outside world for everyone to see and not just in a sketchbook page hidden away. In addition to this looking at more traditional and historical artistry has proved to be very significant source of inspiration with more merciless topics e.g mental health. Giving my work this context has really highlighted the need for my work to be able to develop more due to the bigger range of inspiration.
Many of the ideas that have grown from this project have inspired me to take up different mediums within my subject work for example, during this project I have decided to look a lot at continual line drawings which have in-turn started using more expressive mediums such as ink, soft pencils and charcoal. I have really enjoyed being less restrained during this pieces since I feel that it has allowed me to have a greater understanding of the moods and emotions I am trying to depict in them, for example I find myself very constrained whilst creating due to the fact I am too caught up in trying to make pieces perfect, but I think the influence of having a Fine Art practitioner leading this module has encouraged us to be more free whilst creating and this has leant to more abstract thought processes and more provoking subjects.
As an illustrator I have always struggled to step out of my comfort zone in a material sense , I will often revert back to mediums that I am comfortable but I feel that this field group has definitely encouraged me to become more experimental and step out into more contemporary methods e.g using sketching to be able to draft up pieces that i want to take into a 3D medium such as clay or cardboard.
The slideshow explaining reliquaries made me think a lot more about the fact that what i have been creating during this module, should have a purpose in order to make it more accessible. The idea of a reliquary protecting the important sacred aspect, reflects my notion of the brain being sacred and this shouldn’t be forgotten because of mental health struggles. By encouraging people to think of themselves as reliquaries it encourages the culture of self appreciation during harder times in life and discouraging self dissatisfaction which will often worsen situations.
By encouraging people to create/ use objects to in order to help during stressful situations we encourage a less medicinal way of coping with lives hard times and tackle the root causes of issues instead of just trying to cover them up with short term fixes like medication.
These are my pictures from the Magical Soaps session. The idea of the soaps being able to help with everyday life problems e.g love, money and career, has inspired me to think more positively about how contemporary day lives issues can be dealt with in a more constructive and optimistic outlook.
My soaps are intended to help someone who is suffering a lost identity from mental health issues. Indentidad Perdida = Lost Indentity. I wanted to combine the idea of self help intuition with a regular pattern, to encourage a sense steadiness when everything else is irregular.
Clown / Mime
These are my painted Dan Masks, I wanted to keep the colour palette fairly limited to reflect the limited colours of a clowns mask. I think painting the masks has made them seem a lot more vacant looking than unpainted because it bring the shapes and lines more prominent, however I am dissatisfied with the continual line mask that I decided to add more colour too because I feel like it has lost the detail in itself and therefore loses the expressiveness . However with the clown and mime faces I am happy with the contrast of the colours, black lines and the white bases since this highlights the key features and gives the impression of the expressions I am trying to convey through them .
By rendering my work into 3D I was able to understand the shapes I was trying to convey in my 2D work better as it has given me a better understanding of the forms I was creating.
This is a variation of sketches I produced in reflection of the trip to Berlin , I was inspired by the street art there and their certainty and their bold techniques. I wanted to explore the notion of losing an identity which often happens as a result of mental health experiences.
The image of repeating faces upon faces symbolizes the idea that someone is still the person they were before but they also now have another perspective of life as a result of this experience but the original person they were before is still there.
The concept of repetition of the faces stands for the idea that often those suffering with mental health will feel like they’re just going round and round in circles during treatments, but often they will be going through very minor but still making changes in their own mental health perspective and identity.
This are my passport clay dan masks, I wanted to try and replicate the continuous line drawings I had previously been creating. I really enjoyed try to recreate the images into 3D although I wasn’t too happy with the outcome of my continual line masks and would like to try and recreate them but with a thinner line of clay in order to achieve a more detailed outcome. By recreating some of the clown faces I was able to make them more detailed and scarier with the 3D element of it.
Drawings Inspired by ‘The Tribal Eye: Behind the Mask’ documentary
Watching this documentary really encouraged me to try and put my own work into context with these masks and motivated me to try and make my masks more contemporary for real current day issues e.g mental health education. The documentary inspired me to explore the unseen side of mental health which is the real issues lie and how it is a hidden problem within our society.
‘The Tribal Eye: Behind the Mask’ inspired me to look at more organic looking shapes and compositions within the masks and exploring the idea that our own faces are masks in themselves and use it as a metaphor reflecting our personal journey throughout life.
Ministry of Illustration
Ministry of Illustration
Ministry of Illustration
Ministry of Illustration
My own sketchbook page
This is a selection of photos from the ‘Magical Objects’ trip to Berlin, during this trip I was inspired by a lot of varied different sources, Berlin is well known for its street art as alot of them are very much pieces of art in their own write, especially on in the East Side Gallery on the Berlin Wall.
Whilst in Berlin I visited Ministerium für Illustration with a coursemate, it is a small gallery which houses traveling exhibitions. The exhibition taking place during our visit was from Church of Type, a contemporary letter press studio in America set up by Kevin Bradley. We were fasinated by the use of colours and wide variance of composition throughout the prints. Seeing these works made me realise the full potential print offers and has inspired me to try and bring it into my own work and also experiment more with colours in block forms rather than as lines.