Idea for the end product:

My tutors have asked for an end product from this project for our pop-up exhibition in a weeks time. I finally decided what to do; I’m going to redraw the House of Commons by using toys as the furniture then populate it with my weird conjoined collages drawn in illustrator.

I tried it out in paint on my own compouter; as it now can’t even run the uni desktop, it looks okay but the perspective on the chairs and the stair case on the left is off, If i can get onto illustrator and use a grid setup it will be easier. However I am particualrly fond of the lego door and chalkboard at the back. toy town house of commons layer 8 fin

Wacom, the new toy:

eye for newspaper text wakon 4I loaned out a Wacom tablet, having heard of its existence on the same day. I had previously heard of tablets made for drawing on the computer using a touch pad and a stylus, it seemed like a good idea, but never before had I seen one let alone used one. So I took the opportunity.

I’m learning how to effectively use it but its slow going; namely because my computer is five years old and slower than slow, and its only drawing program of any kind is paint. I generally steer clear of all technology so drawing on the computer was something I was fiercely afraid of.

Either way I loaned one from university, and had a mess around. This was the first image I managed, simple and a good start as far as I was concerned. The baby college wacom 2 - Copytablet was so simple to use; plug-in through the usb and draw. That’s it. IT was so simple even i could use without knowing anything about it. After using it for nearly a week, i still only know the basics, i have no idea what the buttons are there for, nor how to use them at all let alone effectively. The only problem, if you can call it that, is the button on the stylus; its sat on the side of the pen, and because I’m so used to  using pencils, i rotate the pencil when it wears down, but if i do this with the stylus i press the button. If i hold it down it does nothing, but if i press it once it will erase my last mark. Which wouldn’t be so bad if i didn’t have this unfortunate habit of continuously drawing… Either way as you can see from the rant I’m clearly in love with this thing.

After i managed the eye, above, i tried to draw some collages like I’ve doing in illustrator; the images are alright; if a little askew, but i blame the human error.

I’m not sure of the ‘official’ method of creating a drawing, but then I’m fairly collage wacom paint 1 - Copysure there isn’t one for paint. But i started by drawing in thick grey lines for the shapes and shadows, then a base colour, then including two or three different shades to enforce light and dark. If any grey is left visible at the end rub it out. It’s simple but the simple type of method works, at least for me; but this would be easier with the ability to add and remove layers.

I googled some tutorials which helped amazingly: has tutorials for specific programs and situations, whereas this blog has a collection of helpful tutorials for setting up the tablet, Spoon graphics.  Also is amazing for tutorials if anyone has it, i’d also recommend to youtube search wacom tutorials, theres hundreds.

Just Drawing Transformations:

SAM_1740 SAM_1742It was explained in detail that the drawing transformations project, was not a seperate project. Or rather that it could be but it didn’t need to be, it was supposed to be just a brief to help us understand how we work and howwe produce work in different methods.

I’m not sure if that’s something ive achieved. I just experiment with different media, although in the beginning I was looking at the ‘basics’ of drawing: the crosshatching, colour, and shape. Which is when the physcological aspect of the corrolation between these three particular shapes and colours came into it, and influenced all experiments thereafter.

The images are of my recent experiment into sowing, not a past time i enjoy in the slightest. The littler ones to the right, where for how the stiching would look, i think it makes the content more childlike, in combination to the shapes and the colours. The larger ones to the left however, where to be used in an ‘animation’, which I was going to use stop motion photographs to achieve it on photoshop. This has been put off until i can get a computer that will work photoshop. I wanted to do the video, namely just to try out the technology.

I think the project, in terms of being seperate, is simple. It has no great thought or personal interest in the content of the work produced. Which is why i chose just the ‘basics’, i wanted it to be more about how i can make things rather than the content, which i have to give first thought to in all my other work. The project obviously has connections to my other projects; the deconstruction project by the watercolours, ‘light boxes’ and salt art. Whereas the current text and image project has been influenced by my brief experiments in computer art; pixel works in paint, reptative patterns in illustrator, soon a video in photoshop. Overall the project has given me what i wanted; a chance to produce work in previously unexplored methods without concern for the outcome or relation to content. It’s helped me find my niche.


Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 16.46.44I started to mess with the different functions of illustrator than what i have previously been using; namely the pen tool and figuring out how to use layers effectively. I can’t say which button I pressed for these experiments as I’m not rightly sure, but I’m going to test them again to figure out how to use them to actually create something.

decalcomaniaWhereas the text and image project is slow coming, the drawing transformations is much less stress free. When researching drawing methods, printing was a big one. And was something I’ve never done. I managed to create a few Ecremage‘decalcomania’ images; where you cover a surface(glass, or acetate) with ink and drop paper over, which you then draw onto and remove to create this sort of result. I also tried ‘Ecremage’ which is a variation of the same thing; only you use oil and float the ink or paint on top, which you then drop the paper and draw on. The aftereffects on either side of the paper are both intriguing. Ecremage print

MontageI also produced a montage: many images overlayed and scrambled together to form a whole, and a ‘gratlage’; where you draw or rather scratch into dried paint. The result is lacking, naGratlagemely because of my lack of skill, and my disturbance at the sounds the scratching caused, although I am sure with practise and earmuffs I could produce a rather detailed and strange-looking negative.

Also in the drawing transformations I have started to merge the three shapes together, although itSAM_1718 developed from having the crossing shapes as a repeating pattern. Where i also sunk into drawing spirals, the randomized scribble has a blurry, textured look to it, rather like grain in wood. I got attached. Although that swiftly changed back into SAM_1720the use of colour as I found a perspective image, much like this but in only one tone, on page 228 of “The art of looking sideways”, so far an            immensely helpful book, and decided to mimic it with my shapes and colour. I rather like the outcome. SAM_1719SAM_1721SAM_1717

Putting together Humpty:

So I started using collages to create a face for Humpty Dumpty when i first began, and hence I decided to revisit them with my new-found appreciation of illustrator. Basically, I picked and chose separate parts of faces from a newspaper, and slapped them together free hand on illustrator.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 16.08.24The first involves a make up advertisements eye, a politicians hair and a portly womans face shape. The creating of it involved far too many layers on illustrator, and my new love for the colour choices. The legs are drawn as they are, not because i rushed or got bored, but because i wanted to keep something of a sketch drawing in it. I wanted to ensure it came from pasted images together, that this was as fictional as humpty himself.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 17.09.18The second has the coupling of a car adverts bottom jaw, nose and mouth (although i left off the mustache and beard), and an actors hairstyle. I don’t think this turned out as well, namely because the two faces where facing two completely opposite directions. But I am fond of the hair patterns. I tried to repeat the same thing with the arms, as i had done previously with the legs, not sure of their shape though.

My tutor prompted me with the artist Saul Bass. He produces film posters namely, they involve they same flat style as my previous images created through illustrator. Although they use more Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 16.55.29dramatic shadows and silhouettes, over my block shading; as i try to reduce the amount of black in my drawings, whereas he seems to thrive in it.

One of his works is a star wars poster, which i tried to mimic and include in my work with the rabbits being a bit of a turncoat, as Boba Fett from the franchise “Star Wars”.

Red, yellow and blue texts

TScreen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.49.17o contribute to a nearly forgotten drawing transformations project I did some more research, and stumbled on Kandinsky’s research about the primary shapes and their responding colours: red, yellow and blue. He apparently gave out a questionnaire whilst at Bauhaus, to understand their views on the relation between each shape and colour. The result came in the majority choosing yellow for the triangle, red for the square and blue for the circle, confirming his thesis. Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 13.43.14

While i have previously done some research into Kandinsky’s use of line, I find colour much more interesting. I know how childish it sounds, but its a fact: someone will look at an odd object because of its colour more often than its strange shape. I decided to incorporate the colour co-ordinations into the drawing project; I also used it as a means to use illustrator again. We’ve come to a mutual understanding.

In my text and image project I’ve become attached to typography, although my ability for the thought of it, and the ability to produce it is limited to this; That legibility and readability are very different things: the former is the brain’s ability to recognise the words and the latter is to be able to read it, depending on how you arrange it.

Typography is actually a very ergonomic art form, is it used in every piece of text you have ever read, including handwriting. Typography is more than just making words look ornate, it makes the specific measurements between lines in a newspaper, books or credits, it makes the type sizes and column widths, line length and alignment. And most interesting is the hierarchy it has created through these mediums;  for example, having a large text in the middle of the top is universally known as a title, meanwhile anything under that, in a smaller text – although still alone, is a sub-heading. Curious how it clicks.

My favourite area is that although typography can be used to create some spectacular designs and innovations; it is the brain’s ability to process the text, in any form, whether it is; half written, misspelled (aside for the first and last letters) or without spaces, or made up of the white space.

Some typographers that are highly recommended: Guillaume Apollinare, Ralf Shrivugal, Phil Baines and Fluxus.

Stories in image:

Stories have been told by humans since we were first conscious enough to know ourselves, according to Barthes “there is not, nor has there ever been, anywhere a group of people without stories. International, transhistorical, across all cultures storytelling is just there – apart of life.” Which is a very simple summary of a very large topic which I am going to attempt to present as a discussion for my next assessment. However all i can see in this topic is how very true it is, for all that humanity cannot agree, we all imagine a world that isn’t the one we have, fact. The curiosity i have in this subject, the reason i picked it from a list, was ‘why?’, why do we have this urge to summarise the world around in stories, verbal or pictorial. (Also why did each of these forms become the basis of telling stories, why not another media?)

A few weeks ago I read a book called “The art of looking sideways”, written by Alan Fletcher, which is a “book attempting to open windows to glimpse views rather than dissect the pictures on the wall.” Meaning its a book of stuff, it has opinions, quotes, pictures and questions; it’s not an art analytical book, it holds ideas for different views into the art world.

The point is in “the art of looking sideways” there is short history of humanity. It says that “two millions years ago our ancestors were not mean, but by one million years ago they were. By then they had discovered how to make fire, fashion tools and create images.” Fletcher is criticising how we can be called human if we have no creative outlet. He goes on to give cases of artefacts-turned-mathoms of spears, colour and huts. Then he states the earliest known engraving is at least 135,000 years old, possibly double that. It’s a carving of around 70 bands of arcs and chevrons in animal bone, we don’t know why. The point is that someone made it, at some point, for some reason or other, but he decorated it with useless engravings, wasting time and energy for a pattern. Why do we do that?

Admittedly there are designs and patterns that have been explained from thousands of years ago; an animal rib with making to record the movements of the sun and moon from 12,000 years ago.

The most obvious type of storytelling we have, historically, that all seem to be aware of; cave art. Fletcher gives us another case, the first known discovery, where in 1879 an archaeologist found bison and horses on the walls. Which was swiftly dismissed as those at Lascaux nearly 60 years later, “‘Prehistorians’ insisted that primitive man was incapable of such creativity.” Obviously they were wrong, and like all people in power they fit the facts to their opinions not the other way round.

But then we can question the very meaning of the word “creativity”. After all no one human has the same inspiration, the same thought process, the same working style as any one else. Working from Fletcher’s passage on creativity, he claims,

Creativity is a compulsive human urge which demands more than ritual actions or routine responses, and is only valid when one is trading beyond experience. The word ‘creativity’ is frequently appropriated to enhance the mediocre or justify the mundane.

By which I took to mean that although every human being feels the need to create, it can never be just a day-to-day response or action; like brushing your teeth. It needs to have an emotion or urge behind it, it needs a reason, and the word ‘creativity’ is applied to situations that do not warrant the weight and potential ‘creativity’ gives any work of art. Fletcher goes on to comment that a “true creative act is something else. It produces something which never existed before. Whether of small consequence or amazing significance, it’s usually generated by a spontaneous insight.” While i can agree with the previous facts that not every work of art warrants the title, and the every urge to create is human, I cannot agree that true ‘creativity’ is, in essence ‘originality’. Namely because every work of art has something of another in it: Greyson Perry, in the Radio 4 Reith Lectures, stated “originality for those with short memories”.

Admittedly not every work of art is going to famous or inspiring, it won’t become the face for new world order, nor can it be guaranteed that it will be worth millions. But that is not the definition of a work of art.

I’m aware that this holds a lot of tangent material, however I’m planning on exploring every potential meaning or reading of every word applied to any art style, as the art world does not abide by have strict definitions to every word it uses. By which i mean that just because my research is under the heading of storytelling in art, does not limit me in any way: there is the question of why humans tell stories, how they began, how it evolved into our everyday literature, other medias that have developed, how the tradition of telling stories has evolved in art in particular, and why we keep it up today.