Monday, 28 November 2016

Illustration Friday - Tape

The theme for this weeks Illustration Friday was 'tape'. I didn't really want to do anything that involved a cassette tape as I thought it'd be the most obvious solution and something that a lot of people would do as an approach to this word. I decided to illustrate the micro cassette recorder that Agent Cooper uses to talk to Diane in Twin Peaks, it's not directly related to the word tape but I guess it'll do. I drew the piece out in pencil in my sketchbook and then adjusted the levels and added colour. I think Illustration Friday is helping me get to grips bit more with using digital media. It's still not something that I really choose to use in my work but I can see how it helps tidy pieces up or add finishing touches.
Original Drawing
Final Illustration 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Timeplan

Me and Ste met up this week to figure out a time plan for the brief, highlighting what we wanted to get done and when. The main point of this was to try and organise our time around the christmas holidays, around our own personal deadlines and so that we had plenty of time for production in case anything went wrong. We've decided we might revisit this after christmas once our brand and market research is done so that we can refine when we're working on certain aspects of the brief in order to balance this workload with our other projects. 

Week 1 - 30th November 
Research competitors and look at how the design is used, for example typography, layout and imagery. 

Week 2 - 7th December
Innovative packaging design - Inside of boxes, and other elements the box contains
Add research on The Grown Up Chocolates existing packaging and anaylse it

Week 3 - 14th December
Week off

Week 4 - 28th December
Research Printing stocks - Printing method - Finishes
Research other landing pages - Broad research related to style and Competitors

Week 5 - 4th January 
Week off

Week 6 - 11th January
Outline what features we want on the box, for example, clear windows, belly bands etc
Outline what stock we are going to use, if theres going to be any finishes, and what printing method we intend to use. 
Research applied illustration -  Aimed towards audience

Week 7 - 18th January
Rough sketches on layout and concepts 
Refined sketched developments 
Digitise refinded sketched developments 

Week 8 - 25th January 
Further refinded ideas 
Digitise refinded sketched developments 

Week 9 - 1st February 
Pick idea and elements that we are going to use
Start constructing the design together

Week 10 - 8th February 
Construction of the design 

Week 11 - 15th February
Construction of the design 

Week 12 - 22nd February 
Printing the final box
Construction of the box

Week 13 - 1st March
Refine anything that may have gone wrong. Finish construction of the box

Week 14 - 8th March
Putting Design Boards Together

Week 15 - 15th March
Tie up any existing work

Week 16 - 22nd March 

YCN Deadline 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

More Mono Experiment

I've had another go with mono printing in order to try and visualise what I could use as a background for my prints. I was thinking that i could possibly mono print block circles of colour and then either screen print/lino print/monotype over the top of said colours. I think the textures created when mono printing are really nice and add a handmade quality and texture to what would usually be just a flat block of colour. I also tried using a few other leaf shaped stencils to see what I could create with these and am quite happy with some of the results that I got.

These were the stencils that I used but I really like the patterns and textures that they've picked up from being used to print, I think scanned in and arranged in some way would make these look really interesting and could possibly be used for my leafy image. 

Both of these are variations on the kind of background that I was trying to achieve. I much prefer these to the idea of having flat blocks of colours and think they would add depth and texture to my images. 

I think there's some really interesting outcomes from this little mono print session, but i'm not sure if I'll actually use anything like this. I was pretty set on using lino print but now I'm starting to think a combination could work really well. I mocked up the image below to see how it would look together, it's quite rushed and messy but I'm liking the direction that things seem to be heading.

Moving Pictures Proposal Form

BA (Hons) Illustration - Level 05

OUIL504 Illustration: Process & Production

STUDIO BRIEF 3 PROJECT PROPOSAL: Production & Presentation of my Moving Pictures

I intend to produce ……
A 30 second sting based on imagery produced during the Printed Pictures Brief

The content will focus on (identify 3 specific themes, texts or concepts)
1.     Natural world – stems from Atwoods work and life, I have particularly been inspired by the poem ‘The Moment’

2.     Deconstructing existing imagery into different elements and exploring how they can work together in motion

3.     Giving an overview to Atwoods work

I will be aiming to communicate (identify 3 specific messages, ideas, moods etc.)

1.     Natural/Natural World – Key to Atwoods life and work

2.     Mystery/ambiguity

3.     Strong female characters – a theme that runs through Atwoods work

To an audience of ….. (name 3 characteristics)

1.     People who would buy the prints? The animation and prints could go together as a set?

2.     Fans of Atwood and her work

3.     Environmental Activists/people with an interest in nature and our relationship too it

Study Task 4 - Examples of Animated Shorts/Stings

David Foldvari - Something New

I really love this animation. It's kind of creepy in terms of the imagery, the jolty way that it moves and the sounds used on top. It's quite different to my style of working but I still really appreciate the craft that's been put into this animation. In reality it's quite a simple animation, there's not too much going on in terms of complex moving imagery as a lot of the time the main image stays still and it's just selected bits of the illustration that move, I feel like this would be a good approach to take with my animated stings.

Other Peter - Japan Now

I really like how this animation is a collection of shorter animations rather than one longer one on it's own. This kind of ties in with the option of having 3 shorter stings or 1 longer one, there's also the option of making 3 short stings that somehow tie together to create one 30 second sting (if that makes sense), kind of finding a way to link them all together. I also think that simplicity is going to be key with animating my images. The most effective that I'm finding haven't over worked their imagery and this makes it look a lot smoother and cleaner as a finished animation.

Aude Danset - Countrylife 3: Night

I really love the simplicity of this and how it builds up from one singular image to a whole collection of images that move and appear in their own way. I like how simple this animation is and yet it builds up to be something that appears quite complex. I especially like how the plants appear to grow and feel like this could be something I incorporate into my own stings. I think researching stings and shorts animations has helped me realise that there's more than one way of tackling this brief, it doesn't necessarily have to be a defined story, it could be a collection of images like this that come together to give an over all feel to a theme or even like the Japan Now animation that's a collection of shorts put together to make one larger animation.

Moving Pictures Briefing

'Extend Your Printed Pictures brief into Moving Images using After Effects'

Create either three 10 second animated stings OR one 30 second animated sting to advertise a documentary about your author.
Two colours, using copyright free soundtrack

Initial Thoughts:
I'm excited to start using After Effects and learn about storyboarding and animating but I'm also slightly anxious as to how well I'm going to be able to execute this. As soon as I take my illustrations onto the computer and start manipulating them digitally in any way, things seem to go downhill. Maybe this will be a good chance for me to develop my skills though.

Illustration Friday - Spider

The theme for this weeks Illustration Friday was Spider so since I had a tiny bit of time free this afternoon I decided to give it a go. I decided to practice with lino bit more and figure out how to print with two colours, I did a quick drawing of a black widow spider and then carved it into the lino. I cut out the red section of the spiders back in order to print that separately and allow for a two colour lino print. I've scanned the image into photoshop and changed the background colour and cleaned it up a little bit. I'm not claiming this to be anything spectacular at all, in all honesty its pretty crappy, but at least it's a start and it's helped me understand a little more about two colour printing with lino.



Monday, 21 November 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Brand Research

James Ecclestone founded the brand in September 2011. He had already set up Casemir Chocolate in 1984, which still supplies handmade chocolates for the hospitality business and over 200 hotels. Wanting to diversify his product, he set up The Grown Up Chocolate Company.
The Grown Up Chocolate Company are a small, independent business and the bars are sold in around 300 independent retailers in the UK including Fortnum and Mason, farm shops, delicatessens, Booths and National Trust gift shops and are predominately available online.

"The idea behind our Grown Up chocolate bars is that they are reminiscent of the bars we ate as children, but reimagined for grown ups only."
 Their chocolate bars are more like high quality versions of high street brands with an adult twist in terms of the ingredients/flavours used.

The company offer a range of confectionary from individual bars to boxes and hampers including flavours such as mince pie, spiced ginger, festive fig and port, salted caramel and coconut to name a few. The bars are priced between £1.99 and £2.95, the boxes between £3.95 and £60.00, and £50.00 for a hamper.

The concept behind their current branding is that the pictures of children on the packaging are kids pretending to be grown ups, communicating that you have to be 'grown up' to have this product and also communicating that kids will pretend to be adults/dress up/ do anything to get their hands on chocolate. This is emphasised by the tagline 'nice try kid, but it's not for you!' further showing that the child is trying to get the chocolate by any means possible.


Friday, 18 November 2016

The Grown Up Chocolate Company - Why We Decided To Work Together

I've decided to work with a Graphic Designer on The Grown Up Chocolate brief for YCN. I chose my collaborative partner, Ste, for a number of reasons. His design work is very clean and sophisticated which I think could work with my illustration practice. I also think that the combination of our two practices would produce a well developed outcome for our selected brief. We both have a good work ethic and an enthusiasm for our own areas of practice and feel that combining this will make for an effective collaborative group. I've chosen to work on The Grown Up Chocolate Company brief because it allows space for me to develop my own practice and expand my work into looking at product and packaging and how illustration can be applied to that. I also think that collaborating with a graphic designer will be a good opportunity for me to experience what it's like to work with other creatives outside of my own practice. The pairing of a graphic designer and illustrator will also work well for this brief as we will be able to complete the project using a combination of both our skill sets. We have decided that my main area of responsibility will be the illustrations and support of design work. Ste's main responsibilities will include layout, type and the landing page.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Collaborative Brief - The Grown Up Chocolate Company

I have decided to start collaborating on this brief with a student on Graphic Design. We had a look at a few of the other YCN briefs and decided this would be best suited for both of us as it will engage both our fields of study, Illustration and Graphic Design. The brief asks us to create an original and inventive packaging design for a new personalised chocolate product. The packaging will include a box and outer sleeve and will be accompanied by a landing page that will be used to present the product to the customer.

Early this week I met up with the Graphic Design student, and we talked through the brief and started to plan the things we would need to consider and achieve before the deadline for this brief. So far we have agreed that we will meet once a week to discuss and review progress and work on the brief. We have also agreed to construct a time plan in the next week to help us manage our time effectively and allow for mistakes and production. We had a quick look at the brand and their existing packaging and from that we understood that the brand was quite trendy and modern, aimed at adults, within the age range 20 - 40. Correctly identifying the target audience will be a key part of the first stages of the brief so this will be one of the first things we look into. We are also going to individually conduct wider research on the brand, deconstruct the brief to gain full understanding of what's being asked of us and also start to research packaging concepts and how illustration can be applied to a product. There is also a possibility that we may arrange a trip to the production kitchen in Harlow to help inform our knowledge and understanding of the brand.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Screen Printing Induction


I've got a slight love/hate relationship with screen printing, mostly because usually when I screen print something goes wrong but also because I could never get my head around how to get a more hand-drawn texture. But this time i managed it! Theresa suggested that I use a china marker to achieve different shades and textures and I was actually really happy with how the print came out!

I had a few prints that came out a bit wrong but that was only a problem with the pressure I was applying to the squeegee, after I figured that out it all went fine! I also got to use a table top printing bed rather than one of the big printing ones which was great because I could actually reach the back of the printing bed this time and I think that helped my apply pressure to the squeegee more evenly than I usually can. Overall, I'm really happy with the texture the china marker gave and think I'll be trying this out again to see what different shades I can produce by using the china marker.

Lino and Mono Printing Practice

I've had a go with bit more mono and lino printing and am pretty happy with how everythings turning out. I'm thinking I should maybe experiment with monotype printing a bit more, I really like the hand drawn effect that it gives and would like to see how using different pencils/tools to draw onto the paper would make the print. I think that it'd look good over the top of screen printed textures/colours maybe? Who knows! I really like the overall aesthetic of lino printing but i'm not sure wether it'd work for the type of things I've been drawing as they're quite texture based and a lot of that will be lost through lino printing. I'm just going to play around with different processes bit more till I find something thats working for me.

Friday, 11 November 2016

(Almost) Final Ideas

I think these are the ideas I'm going to go with! I've been spending a lot of time mulling over ideas and different roughs and finally I think I'm getting somewhere! I think i'm going to make circular prints that will be printed onto square sheets of paper, I like the idea of filling the frame but doing this as a full size portrait print was taking up a lot of time and I felt like a lot of what I was trying to convey was getting lost. Using a circle within the frame of the paper was a way of containing the image so it didn't get out of hand whilst still being able to 'fill the frame' in a way. 

I'm really happy with how they're looking, the colours are just a rough idea of what I'm going for but will probably end  up being more muted pastel tones. Hopefully these will work well together as a set. I've tried tying them all together in the way that they're drawn and by including the same character/motifs throughout, the woman and the bird. I think the next step is to start seeing what these would look like as prints and how I'm going to create textures and different ways of applying colour throughout. 

Lino Print Workshop

The lino print workshop went pretty well, I've already lino printed a few times before this so I wouldn't say I necessarily learnt anything new but its always good to get a bit of practice in! Also the tools in the print room are so so much better than then ones I've got at home! I made two little prints just to get used to using the tools and cutting the lino again and was quite happy with how they turned out! I think lion's great for creating quite interesting textures and exploring quality of line. I also had a go at hand printing and using the printing press. Hand printing the lino gave quite a nice texture where as the printing press printed solid block. Both are pretty nice and at least now I know how to achieve different textures when printing.

Printed using Printing Press

Monoprint Workshop

I really enjoyed the mono print workshop that we had! I've had a go at printing in this way before but mainly using stencils and I wasn't too keen on it but I learnt some new techniques and new ways of making images in the workshop that I'm really excited to work more with! The prints above were made by inking the plastic sheet and then using tissue paper to clean away areas of ink to create an image! I was really happy about figuring out how to do this as Sophie Lécuyer uses a technique that creates similar images/textures to this and I was really keen to figure out how she had done it

Monotype really worked for me! I'm more of a drawer than anything so it was great to learn how to make prints that were focused on drawing and line rather than more shape based images. These were only done quickly so that I could figure out how everything worked but I started to see in the middle image how different textures and tonal values can be created using different tools to draw with and different pressures to create different textures! Really looking forward to exploring this way of printmaking more and seeing how it can fit into my practice.

(Halloween prints because the workshop was on Halloween. Spooky)

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Printed Pictures - Thumbnails and Ideas

I had a few ideas stemming from the editorial brief we just did, mainly involving a moon motif and figures/hands/bodies. I feel like I'm kind of drifting away from Atwood's work in some of these roughs but that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's okay to go with your own flow sometimes. The last pages of the issuu document show some more developed sketches that I'm pretty happy with. I'm trying to keep a consistent figure throughout and also try and compose the images in a similar way so that when it comes to creating the final prints, they'll all look pretty consistent.

I'm really enjoying where some of the roughs are heading and from different feedback sessions that I've had I've got a kind of clear idea of the route I want to go down. I've still got a fair bit more development to do and I could do with blogging abit more regularly, everything's so hectic at the moment it's hard to keep up!

Need to:
- Keep developing images
- Blog more often
- Not stress as much
- Think about colours

Printed Pictures Project Proposal

BA (Hons) Illustration - Level 05

OUIL504 Illustration: Process & Production

STUDIO BRIEF 2 PROJECT PROPOSAL: Production & Presentation of my Printed Pictures

I intend to produce ……
 5 two colour screenprints exploring themes and imagery in Margaret Atwoods work

The content will focus on (identify 3 specific themes, texts or concepts)
1.     Nature and Atwoods incorporation of this into her work and personal life

2.     Female identity/form/feminism – strong theme throughout work

3.      Additional imagery from selected texts/poems

I will be aiming to communicate (identify 3 specific messages, ideas, moods etc.)

1.     The relationship between humans and nature

2.     Strong female figures/characters

3.     A gentle tone to the image while also communicating a darker/mysterious tone

To an audience of ….. (name 3 characteristics)

1.     Fans of Atwoods writing/life

2.     People who are new to her work

3.     People who have an interest in nature and our responsibility to the planet