CASE STUDY: DAVID SHRIGLEY*

15/10/2018 – 19/10/2018

SIDE HUSTLE

 

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The Cheshire born visual artist David Shrigley continues to experience a successful career that is full of crude, in-your-face and often hauntingly relatable art. Best described as childish humour with adult problems, Shrigley is simply entertaining. To mention some of his successes: nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013, his piece Really Good was the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, a very successful short movie called Who I Am and What I Want based from his book of the same name and he directed Blur’s Good Song.

 

 

He graduated from Leicester Polytechnic in 1991 with a 2:2. For someone with an impressive résumé it would seem odd that he would have left Leicester with a better grade. However his style and his humour blossomed with the birth of the internet, subversive, smart, silly and political. I believe he opened the path for many artists with the same style, e.g. Chris Simpson.

 

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He was still from a time where art = paintings, then it trickles down from there all the way to his drawings. He says it himself in an interview with The Guardian’s Becky Barnicoat (The Guardian, 2017):

“I thought my degree show was brilliant, but the people who were marking it didn’t. I got a 2:2. They didn’t appreciate my genius.[…] I didn’t sell anything at the show – it was 1991, before the YBAs. There wasn’t a precedent for people selling work that wasn’t figurative painting”.[12]

He is a silent revolutionary, by staying true to himself and his style he broke through year by year to prove the world that fine art isn’t just a canvas.

With the internet and online retail platforms like Etsy, Bigcartel, Depop etc. a whole market of accessible art has made many people’s dream a reality. We can finally buy real or copies directly from the artist for much cheaper than a gallery or store. It is thanks to artists like David Shrigley where mugs, postcards, prints and inflatable swans have a space in the art world and a voice. This kind of accessible art is not a joke, it is serious, just look at what he’s achieved.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

David Shrigley, Untitled (the message) 2014, acrylic on paper, 75.0 cm x 56.0 cm, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

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This piece can mean so many things, I think it conveys everything it has to say. Whatever the message is when it hits you it changes you, the nail can be removed but it will never look the same again. We will never be the same nail again. If someone tells you something devastating as: ‘your wife died’ your whole world has changed and then you have to deal with the message. Most of the times some will say something as insignificant as: ‘you’re stupid’. No matter how hard the hammer hits you, you’re still getting hit with a message. Some people deliver the message in one hard hit, brutally honest, others take several hits to get their point across. Some nails are hard to hammer, they’re stubborn and don’t want to face the message, some go right through the piece of wood. But this image isn’t a negative one, imagine you’re happy couple and you find out you’re expecting. The hammer still hits you though, the pain of that message comes later down the line when the kids are screaming at 11pm on a sugar rush refusing to go to bed…

 

Untitled (Fuck off I am a painter) (2011), Ink and marker on paper, Diptych 29,6 x 21; 29,6 x 21 cm, Galleri Nicole Wallner, Copenhagen

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This piece makes me proud to be an artist. It sums up our arrogance and angry passion in life to always do what we want to do. If you like to draw horses, draw horses. If you like to make mud pies, make mud pies. If you like to write blogs, write blogs. There is an artist for every fan, a fan for every subject, a subject for every artist. The cycle repeats because there is still so much art to be explored and discovered. It is our duty as creatives to push the boundaries of things we care about, we get wrapped up in the whole commercial aspect that we forget why we made art in the first place, because it is personal. It is an extension of our ideas on any kind of medium imaginable, it is the physical expression of our egos.

All this to say: I think David Shrigley is Really Good.

 


Bibliography

https://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/chris-simpsons-artist

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Shrigley

https://www.yellowtrace.com.au/david-shrigley/

David Shrigley: Life and Life Drawing

interview with artist david shrigley

http://www.nicolaiwallner.com/about.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_I_Am_And_What_I_Want

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Song

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3813890/Now-s-two-phallic-symbols-Trafalgar-Square-Hand-giant-thumbs-sculpture-designed-represent-positivity-unveiled-fourth-plinth-not-Londoners-impressed.html

 

TRANSNATIONAL HISTORIES*

15/10/2018 – 19/10/2018

CTS: WEEK 3

Today we touched on a topic that revolves around how the people in power place importance on artists and art movements. The gatekeepers as we called them are the curators, buyers, influencers, investors, auctioneers and the upperclass who “dictate” what is art and what isn’t, what is valuable and what is cheap. We were asked to form a group and list our top 10 influential artists to relate to the previous statement. The whole room added an artist until we filled the 3 sheets, then there was a raise of hands to see how many people of each group had included that artist in their list. Of course this an approximation and not an official representation of a worldwide general belief, but also sectoral belief whereas a group of fashion students or literature students would have picked other major artists.

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Interestingly enough as illustrators we considered a lot of expressionists as canon artists or the masters. 20th century is the most represented century for multiple reasons: it’s our closest reference and the one that changed our current situations from the way things are designed, recreated and influenced. It is also part of general and pop culture which is heavily referenced or part of common/shared knowledge. At one point in our lives all of us haven been exposed to at least one or multiple works in any shape or form of these artists. So these artists hold power, they are still talked about and relevant in our day to day lives, however they’re only relevant because of the people who allowed for their craft to be recognised by the right people. It’s important to have your work  viewed by the general public, but the ones who buy your art and finance the work are the richer indivduals of our society and because they like it they ultimately decide your fate. Because of historical, societal and religious reasons, this is why so many of these artists on this list are Western European white males. If things would have been different in the past, maybe we would have more women, more Asians, more Africans etc. We tallied the artists and the results are surprisingly unshocking.

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DECONSTRUCTION*

08/10/2018 – 12/10/2018

STUDIO: WEEK 2

ADD 4 ILLLUSTRATIONS HERE

In this workshop we used our 4 illustrations from the Brief Encounters task as the basis for deconstructing an image. We are focusing on the concept Make-Reflect-Make. The premise of this workshop was to draw on an A2 piece of paper elements of each of our illustrations and to emulate as close as we can. We could make things bigger or smaller, change their original composition or simply exclude what we didn’t want.

I started out with Winsor & Newton markers from my kit because of the strong colour on the page and make my choices stand out. I drew without thinking almost, the first idea I drew. So the centre piece is the politician Robert Byrd with flying hockey pucks for eyes. He is surrounded by the skating lines left by the ice hockey player and as a background a gradient of the bodies from the Now hold this position until midterms drawing. There are also the flames and the Golden Knights logo on Robert Byrd’s foreheadThe possibilities are countless which make this workshop easily duplicable at home to practice our deconstruction skills.

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The second part of this workshop was to crop a part of one our illustrations and draw on top of the A2 using charcoal. I cropped an area on the top right corner of the Politician collage because we needed to find an interesting area that had many shapes.

ADD CROP

Analysing the cropped are we needed to find as many basic shapes as possible. Because of how 3D our world is we forget that everything is an agglomeration of circles, squares, triangles etc. put in a specific order. It was fun to do this with the collage as it is a very realistic image making it more challenging to distinguish shapes in moustaches and hands. This is the outcome of part 2

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We can see how dynamic the image has become between the marker and the charcoal, how removing all tone from an image and focusing solely on shapes the image changes the image completely. The next part is to see how removing, adding and altering lines can affect the quality of the image making it more vibrant and interesting to look at. This is key when creating any image, is a flat colour enough? Should I mix medias? Should I make this line less obvious?

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As you can see the difference it can make and thanks to part 3 I prefer the final outcome much better, I wouldn’t have been satisfied if I finished after Part 2. Here we can clearly see the value and the positive change the simple tool of reflecting then making and so on. Its important to constantly question what were doing, because we never know we make it to part 3 until we’re there.

Moving on to to tone and shadows. We redrew our image using solely charcoal, but we focused on the shadows and textures of our image and less the lines that they’re made up of. This is interesting, to make an image based on shadows and texture, our mind is able to connect the dots and create the image ourselves. Sometimes too many lines make an image boring, predictable, the expression less is more suits this statement perfectly. Then we were asked to explain briefly how one of our images came about. I chose the Politician one again and explained as following: Found a book called EYEMAZING. Stopped at a random page. From that we needed to use the image we had to explain the sentence. This taught me to learn how to adapt and overcome any assignment with what is available. Sometimes its difficult, it doesn’t make sense and may seem impossible at first but we need this is a perfect opportunity to use REFLECT-MAKE. Step by step any brief even the most difficult can be overcome and when were stuck we should ask for help because someone else’s reflect can help you make and move on towards completing the the task.

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I had some extra time so I blew up the book with the eyes to reflect the statement a little more directly.

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TASK 3 – WHAT’S ON??*

08/10/2018

SIDE HUSTLE

While you are at the exhibition notice the environment, the atmosphere, the type of work and the way the exhibition has been curated. 

While at the exhibition select one artist or piece of work and try to unpick the process by which the work was created. Think about what materials have been used to create the artwork, how the artwork was constructed and the style of the artwork.

Create an image that emulates the chosen piece but does not copy or mimic it.

 

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From the list of exhibitions to visit, I chose Francis Upritchard’s ‘Wetwang Slack’ exhibition in the curve gallery of the Barbican Centre. It was the odd name of the expo that intrigued me (and the price tag), I didn’t do my research as I wanted to be surprised by what I was going to visit. Upon arrival I was stunned by ten colourful characters made from polymer plastic standing in two single files. They all had placid expressions bordering on dullness, it contrasted with the colourful, tribal-inspired patterns of their clothes nicely. The description of the expo is explained simply by the curator Leila Hasham as: “a melting pot of traditions where no dominant culture persists”. She also mentions how Upritchards is teasing museums as everything is displayed like the British Museum, showing a playful side to her and her weirdly wonderful art. Before continuing through the expo, one has to understand the name of the Curve Gallery, it is a small space on the ground floor that literally curves to the left. From a birds eye view it kind of looks like a backwards C. An unconventional shape for a space that is stereotypically thought to hold flat rectangular paintings. However, the curve works in its favour, as the art hides just around the corner waiting to be discovered. Once we move past the 10 figures, we find ourselves looking at bronze hands and snakes, miniature, decorative hats displayed on hanging cabinets, ceramic pots with little faces and finally the showstopper that makes Wetwang Slack worth the trip.

The curator chose to fade the colours of the art pieces throughout the exhibit, like that our eyes aren’t distracted by colour and can focus on form of each material and texture instead. Speaking of material, the prized sculpture of Upritchards collection are made from a non-elastic rubber called Balata that can only be cultivated in a certain region of Brazil. ADD REFERENCE OF THE RUBBER HERE.I would like to develop specifically on one piece in particular: “ADD NAME OF PIECE HER”.

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This piece for me, reflects so much of Upritchards personality and experience with the balata rubber. Back in 2003? she actually travelled to where this material is cultivated and befriended the man ADD NAME who preserves balata. She spent several months learning about it and how to use it for her art. So this sculpture is made from knowledge, not only from the material but the experience of living in the Amazon.

Looking at the piece of art we can see two beings fishing, they could be men as the tallest has a penis. They contrast each other physically, the tall one with his long legs standing in a river or a shallow body of water holding up his small companion by his short arms. The small one is propped up on the tall one’s hips fishing with his hands in the water below. I assume they’re standing in water as the flatfish is wrapping around the tall one’s legs, presumably escaping his fate of being eaten. There are other flatfishes and a small octopus trapped underneath the tall one’s feet waiting to be collected. This sculpture shows us an extreme physical exaggeration, but it is pleasant to see the way their bodies stretch up against each other, both lacking something the other needs in order to survive.

 

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We can’t live without each other’s help and this demonstrates this through a basic need: food. We tend to forget how important help is as we assume through technology that we can do everything by ourselves. Relaying this back to Francis Upritchard, I assume she was inspired by Amazonian tribesmen that she saw during her journey, not only because they’re naked but because of the primitive manner in which they’re catching the fish. The piece also looks very ‘natural’, the style is organic and the smoothness of the rubber looks like skin. She left the ruggedness of the balata rubber making this sculpture look like it could have grown in the Amazon jungle as is. This could very well be a father and a son, or two friends gathering their daily meal. I also felt a sense of shame, we take food for granted in our Western Civilisation having it stacked and shelved for us at every street corner. Most of us living in modernised countries and cities have never caught our own meal. This piece is a good reminder to not take food for granted and to also appreciate the little things in life. Above all I felt a sense of serenity, I felt the peace one feels of being in a forest with nothing but our surroundings.

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For a free exhibition, this is probably one of the best I have ever seen. This is an artist I could analyse and emulate for future projects.

 

TASK 2 – THE O.R.B*

08/10/2018

SIDE HUSTLE

  • Have a conversation with a technician about what they do and how the space works.
  • Book in for an induction in to the space through ORB and create an image in the space, this can form part of your ‘Side Hustle’ Project which will be briefed to you in week 2.
  • Create an image of the technical space. with permission granted

When you have completed one of the three following tasks please create a blog post about it. Think about the following; Did it go smoothly? What did you find out about the space? Will you use it in future? Did you feel comfortable?

I walked into the third floor of the workshop block and met Kath, a new technician to LCC who was kind of enough to answer all my questions about the various techniques I was interested in. Armed with my technical passport she showed and explained the different printmaking techniques available at LCC. Overall it went smoothly and Im very excited to discover all the stations. I think printmaking is an essential practice to learn and develop, I believe it will give an edge to my work as well as my abilities as an artist. The space looks very professional, a mix of daunt, curiosity and unending possibilities filled me up and I can’t wait to get started. My mind was racing with ideas for personal and course work, simply put: the third floor of the workshop block is my oyster. She explained the following printmaking techniques available.

 

Relief:

This technique involves removing surface area from wood, lino or vinyl for example, then the ink sits on the surface and not in the grooves. This means the image is negative, what you remove won’t show. Those are the three main materials used and it that can expand from highly detailed to very abstract without ever losing the quality of this very distinct style. Warning: the image is also mirrored once printed, so text needs to be written backwards when making the image.

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Planographic:

Planographic is when you print from a flat surface, it means everything happens on the same plane, ergo we don’t manipulate the surface like in intaglio or relief. There is monoprinting which is unique as each print is automatically an original, no same image can be replicated in the same exact way, hence the name mono meaning one. Its done by painting with stencils directly on to the matrix (or the surface that will be used to print). Next we have lithography a chemical printing practice, it manipulates the area where the image will appear and won’t. Water will wash way the non-image and the grease will stick the ink to the image, this is done typically on limestone. Its a cheap printing technique that has the advantage of conserving the original markings of brushes, pencils, charcoals, spray paint etc.

 

Intaglio:

The exact opposite of relief, the surface of the plate is incised and its the holes made which absorb the ink and from where the ink is on the plate will create the image. Its usually done on copper or zinc plater, some of the techniques include drypoint, engraving and etching. I was interested in solar plate etching. The same as the other techniques, its a positive images meaning the holes are the image and using a strong acid it will eat away the exposed part of the metal so the ink can seep in. The dark doesn’t expose and the image is printed on a film, its prized for giving the illusion of tone.

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All in all, I think LCC has amazing facilities available to us and I will take full advantage of them, this was one of my reasons to transfer to this course. I want to explore each technique and produce a series of work from the ones I have the biggest affinity with. If there are two things that I take from my conversation with Kath are: take on one technique at a time and don’t call the imperfections of each technique imperfections, but characteristics.

 

IMAGE VS OBJECT*

08/10/2018 – 12/10/2018

CTS: WEEK 2

We studied comic books and in particular Maus and Palestine. We also understood the world of archiving and the dedication of one man: Les Coleman, to study, collect and preserve the comics he though deserved to live on and be shared with future generations. In the workshop after we understood how to document comic books using Ian Hortons collection and the hard work that goes into archiving. We touched on several subjects: how the 9th art is now being valued as art and literature in our modern society. The comic book underworld has artistic freedom but financial limitations, the publishing world with financial opportunity that come with content restrictions. Finally how to captivate an audience through different ways of publishing a book and the reader experience it entails. I would like to discuss Bill Watterson instead and his world renowned comic: Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobbes was Bill Watterson’s 7th attempt at a comic strip and became incredibly successful. He defied everybody and stuck his ground until today about how he wanted his strip published and used. He managed to change the size in the newspaper for the Sunday strips and never merchandised his character Calvin as he wasn’t a sell out and felt it would defile his work and everything it stood for. The comic ran from 18/11/1985 – 31/12/1995 and abruptly ended after a very long hiatus with his publishing company Universal.

His strip was a daily 3 panel comic and a half-page on Sundays in full colour. For an comic strip artist this is a very stable job that pays well and you hold full creative process on the outcome of the art. Artist have a very tough time in the business world, because the more commercial you are the more needs to be exploited. Business men see opportunity to raise revenues, however most artists only want to give as much as they believe needs to be given. Selling out your passion can kill the creative process of making the next strip or next project, because instead of focusing on creating art, they focus on how to make the next buck. People see through art that sells out and loses the values it stood for in the first place. Watterson never lost sight of the pureness of Calvin, he wasn’t interested in seeing him on every billboard, so the strip has stayed original from day one.  However being a one-man business against corporate America and the pressure from publishers to constantly deliver oppressed the author to breaking and taking a nine-month break from everything. In an ideal world an artist can explore and take the time to develop his ideas freely and be well paid for the hard work.

For the reader experience, the strip was published in newspapers for 10 years. For avid fans this made you buy the newspaper everyday just to discover a little more of Calvin’s world knowing he would be there everyday. This experience that was lived was through the newspaper, Calvin was just a small part of the publication surrounded by lots of information. For some he wasn’t important, childish, for others it was the best part of the day. Then after his retirement, there were several volumes published of all the strips. So this a dedicated experience, you’re surrounded by Calvin and of his stories, everything is about him. You can no longer be distracted by anything else in the book, only the outside world. The newspaper version is ephemeral, todays newspaper is tomorrows garbage, there will always be another one. If we left our newspaper on the bus we could find a kiosk and get another one easily. The paper is thin, the colour is unappealing, its rough and matte, it smells of ink. However a book is glossy, its finished, its been carefully edited and made, the paper is smooth and a brilliant white, it feels like it belongs to us because we paid for it, we would be annoyed if we lost it on the bus, we lost our book. The most important I feel when it comes to comics is our connection between us and the book, the story and the characters, each experience is individual. We lose ourself with Calvin, the same story is told in millions of copies, but each copy is read differently and that is the best part.

I don’t believe the image vs. object, its not a fight. It should be Image & object, how they compliment each other and bring each other to the next level through careful execution. The only times I believe when images pull objects down and vice versa are when the art itself wasn’t properly delivered. Things are made in a certain way to get a reaction or emotion out of us. For example a badly designed book brings down the content with it making the whole reader experience bad from the start, thus the book isn’t finished yet it should be reedited to further enhance the art. This can be applied anywhere.

 

Bibliography

Calvin and Hobbes picture:

calvinandhobbes.wikia.com

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS*

01/10/2018 – 05/10/2018

STUDIO: WEEK 1

ADD PICTURES

BRIEF:

In any style and in any media, make four illustrations from the following four brief encounters:

  1. With someone or something in a one mile radius of Elephant and Castle
  2. With a book from the library
  3. With a free magazine/newspaper
  4. With social media/the internet

 

1.

Sitting in front of the two doors leading into the library and cafeteria I tracked the “flight path” of the students and staff walking in and out. I used a timed interval of 12 mins, between 13h25 and 13h37. I timed it like this as after a certain point the lines were beginning to blend too much together and my point was visually understandable of the human traffic in one of LCC’s most used doorways. I used oil pastels as the lines are thick and can easily overlap each other, if I would have used markers a colour like pink would drown in a dark blue and olive green. I interchanged pastels often so that one colour wouldn’t dominate on top and the others shadowed. The brief encounters that occurred were stares, a lot of people look at me confused, I was something out of the ordinary in their day. Some were busy or didn’t notice me, but those who did, questioned me with their eyes. They wondered for as long as they walked by me, before moving refocusing on where they were going. Some asked me what I was doing, but didn’t hang around longer to find out, but only two people actually did this. At the end of the experience, you realise how busy LCC is, how fast-paced the people are and how there is never enough time for all the tasks in a day. I scanned in the image and then doing another 12 min interval, I drew as many faces as I could of the people who passed me by. I layered the faces over the ‘flight path’ in Photoshop and printed it at the reprographics centre at LCC on A4 paper.  I layered the two images as I thought it would be interesting to see how with the motion of people in busy areas we tend to quickly forget faces and expressions. Thats why they’re in white and the ‘flight path’ in colour.

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2.

To honour brief encounter, I walked straight into the library, saw the first sign that caught my interest: photography. I walked down the aisle looking for a spine that spoke to me: EYEMAZING The New Collectible Art Photography. I placed the book on the floor and stopped at a random page, it happened to be: Gilbert Garcin’s (A  French surrealist photographer) piece ‘Do One’s Best’ (‘Faire de son mieux’).

 

I loved the picture and started to think what he could be cleaning up, immediately I though of American politicians. I chose some of the worst there are, collaged them all behind Garcin and then within the ‘clean area’ added the American flag. I do firmly believe that America needs to clean up the politicians that are running one of the most powerful countries in the world. Racism should be a thing of the past, but it still lingers in our everyday lives, a good start to reduce racism is by electing nominees who aren’t racist. It’s as simple as that. I used Photoshop and printed the image at the reprographics centre in LCC on A3 paper.

A4 Encounter

 

3.

I found a free sports journal called Elephant Sport at the entrance of LCC and then flicked through onto a random page and discovered an article about the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The 31st Ice Hockey team to join the NHL.

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In 2016 it was mocked and labeled a disaster before the players even touched the ice. Sports journalists and reporters quickly held their tongue when the team came out 9th in the overall ranking after only two years, and now ice hockey is loved by many Nevadans. For this I drew on an A5 piece of paper using uni-posca pens, watercolour and a brush pen. I drew it quickly and spent the least amount of time on it to be able to capture a child-like style. I chose this style as the team is only 2 years old I thought it would be appropriate. I set the ice on fire as Las Vegas is in a desert and deserts are easily prone to fire, but because they also burned all the nay-sayers and rivals on and off the ice.

ice hockey

 

4..

I saw a cartoon from the New Yorker on my instagram feed about a yogi doing the cobra positionand the caption read “Now hold this until the midterms”.

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I thought it would be funny to keep the caption and change the illustration to something a little more depressing of someone crying in a foetal position. Its not very uplifting, but this does reflect the depressing content that we tend to find on our social feed. We laugh at pain we easily relate to, but we don’t realise the damage it does to our mental health, if we regularly indulge in this kind of humour we are more inclined to repeat what we see. I used a brush and Chinese ink on an A6 page .

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I chose to range this project from A6 to A3 as I find the different sizes put together visually compelling. One side sticks out completely and then it spirals inwards to the centre of the 4 illustrations.

The second part of the brief was to make a group of six people (we were seven in the end) to discuss what illustration meant to us and we would define it (ADD DEFINITION PLUS ADD PICTURE) . We chose as a group to hang up our art on one of the poles in the studio, it not only made our art visible from a distance, but since it was in the middle it was hard to miss. I enjoyed working in a group discussing the meaning behind each one of our illustrations and understanding the motives behind what everyone did. It helps to have your art encouraged and to encourage others, it also helps to see how someone else does things in a way you didn’t think of to then experiment for future projects. Seeing other art also inspires you and pushes you to do more and better next time. (ELABORATE)

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS ILLUSTRATION?*

01/10/2018 – 05/10/2018

CTS: WEEK 1

ADD PICTURES!!!

WHAT IS ILLUSTRATION?(PART 1)

I defined Illustration as the following:

“To communicate un/intentionally a sub/conscious idea or emotion through any medium”

I believe that I am in a practice that can embrace anything and everything. We are one of the only artistic and commercial practices that can branch out and work in every sector of the working world. It’s a beautiful place to start, because if you work hard you can end up exactly where you always wanted to be. Sometimes you work somewhere you never even considered previously, but you find this to be your passion.

The conventional beliefs and generalisation of Illustration is to tie it strictly to drawing, marginalised as childish or as a visual aid to information. I believe that it is an art, an art that can stand alone but at the same time provide support, showing the flexibility of this domain. We can break this down into 3 fields: concept, skill and style.

Concept: Illustration can be placed on both ends of the conceptual scale. On one end we have pure information, for example the ability to illustrate a heart for a scientific textbook. The goal is to inform the person the exactitude of its function and shape. On the end we have complete abstraction,

Skill: Those who devote their lives to specific subjects, such as animals, education, plants etc. They have an incredible skill in one area or visual practice, although their concept isn’t the most revolutionary this doesn’t mean that what they do isn’t worth investigating. I believe concept and skill can be learned

Style: This is purely subjective, however the execution of a certain style depending on what the concept is, is very important. An abstract painting of a heart isn’t going to help a student ace his biology exam. It is up to the artist to realise what is the best way to portray they’re idea so that the audience can benefit to its fullest potential. Style is simply what defines you from others, its purely personal. I believe you can learn different kind of styles and incorporate them into your practice, but this improves and enhances your own identity. You don’t learn what your style is, because it’s you, you are own style. However many tend to hide behind other people’s personalities and styles for many reasons.

We live in a world that needs any and every kind of Illustrator and artist for that matter, we should learn to embrace and recognise how important our profession is. This leads in to my second part of What is Illustration? : the now and the future of our profession.

WHAT IS ILLUSTRATION? (PART 2)

Now more than ever I believe that the world needs more artists, especially more illustrators. Our profession has exploded, simply look at the food industry, I have never seen packaging look so aesthetic in the last 10 years. The smarter companies are realising that colours sell, logos sell, and illustrations/photography sell. Our standard for visual quality in Western Civilisation has increased exponentially because of capitalism. We’re continually asking for better, sometimes the product isn’t the best, but our minds were convinced by the packaging. If something as simple as a candy bar can shift my thinking, just look at the 20th century and the impact all the iconic symbols had on previous generations: Paris 1968, Uncle Sam, The Swastika, etc. That was drawn, designed, coloured, printed, stamped, graffitied , all this comes from someone who knew how to make something that would leave an impact. With present technologies, the modern illustrator can benefit from mixing old with new, practice the old or develop the new. We are on the crossroads of the future of our industry. Although we can’t deny how much technology has helped accelerate the process and allow for a larger market for illustrators, I think its important to continue to hone past techniques. inevitably art will always end up on a screen, and it will only progress this way as our world is pushing technology increasingly into our lives. Right now we are still very much in between old and new, however I do think the new will take over many artistic practices and technology will be part of every illustrators toolbox.

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