Friday, 8 December 2017

Not Okay

I sketched this little character on a train journey a few days ago and it's finally made it to a finished stage. I don't usually work with human figure and found this a new, interesting way of creating imagery and evoking a sense of emotion within my work. This is definitley something that i'd like to explore more and that could hopefully become a small series of prints. I'm also enjoying how text and written word is becoming more incorporated into my practice and feel that this is something I could try to consistently include within my work. 

Album Cover a Week: Pinegrove - Cardinal

To kick start this little project I decided to do an alternative cover for Pinegrove's album 'Cardinal'. Informed by feelings of home, sense of place, travelling and introspection I found it fitting to create an image of the Port Authority Bus Station, mentioned specifically in the opening track. The colour choices are mellow and gentle, reflecting the kind of feeling that I think the album mostly provokes. 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Morning After The Year Before

This past friday saw the launch of the Platform 3 exhibition I had decided to get involved with. Named 'The Morning After The Year Before', the exhibition held host to a variety of artists and performers, all exploring the themes of personal trauma and a reaction to said theme. Along with prints and sculpture, the exhibition played host to interactive art and a variety of shrot films, comedy, spoken word and performance pieces. 

Personally, I benefited from the exhibition in terms of some exposure and networking but mainly in terms of my own confidence. I didnt really get the chance to 'network' as such, friends came down to support the exhibition and calm my nerves so I spent my night with them as a pose to networking and meeting new creatives. I do feel a lot more confident in terms of exhibiting though, especially when thinking about showing work outside of the safety of uni. I would be quite interested in getting a few friends together and exploring the idea of setting up an exhibition in a local space/bar, but this is something to look into after christmas possibly. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Pastoral Tutorial

After having a few weeks off I've been worried that I've fallen behind with Cop and Extended Practice. I had a tutorial with Ben today and I feel like the main thing that's been holding me back is being worried that whatever I produce won't be substantial enough if it's not a 'live' brief as such. We spoke about the idea of doing something along the lines of Secret 7" but with me being able to choose my own albums/songs to create work around. I'm really excited about the prospect of working on something like this and think it'll be a good project to get the ball rolling again.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Platform 3 Exhibition - The Morning After The Year Before

I have recently been in touch with the folks over at Platform 3 about their upcoming exhbition 'The Morning After The Year Before'. The exhibition requires work 'that is a response to personal trauma or an event or experience that has shaped you'. I've been working on a print recently that just so happens to fit the brief and decided to put myself forward to take part in the exhbition!

I've shown the organisers my work and they're happy for me to exhibit this piece and have also given me the opportunity to sell work on the night. I'm yet to decide what other pieces of work to get printed to sell but I'm also hoping to get some business cards sorted for the night that I can let people take away with the prints, if they decide to buy them. 

I've also found a section on the Facebook event page that's made me think Platform 3 might be good to talk too in regards my COP project, the event encourages no mobile phones, instead promoting real human connection formed away from social media, this is something that directly realtes to my COP essay and research. I'm excited to be taking part in the exhibition, I'm hoping that it'll give me a bit of a confidence boost with my work and with showing my work in general as this will be the first time I've exhbitited outside of uni. I'm also hoping it'll provide a good opportunity to network, allowing me to make contact with other creatives who are interested in similar subject matter. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

So Young Magazine - Competition Entry

So Young Magazine have recently launched their first Illustration competition. So Young is a fully illustrated independent music magazine and they're looking for 'the next great So Young illustrator to bring something new' to the magazine. The brief is as follows:

Illustrate a song by, or members of one of the bands below in any style you prefer… Digital, Collage, pencil drawing, anything… Check out our previous issues for inspiration at
Wolf Alice, Fat White Family, The Horrors, The Fall, The Big Moon, The Smiths, Savages, HMLTD, The Raincoats, Goat Girl, Nick Cave, Superfood, David Bowie, Mystery Jets, The Clash, Blondie, Sheer Mag, Childhood Or any band previously featured in So Young
Judges from Magazines, Galleries and Agencies will select from 10 finalists. These 10 finalists, chosen by So Young, will all have their entries posted on Instagram to our 48k followers.
Deadline is Friday 17th November 2017

The winner will recieve £200 prize money, a one year subscription to So Young, a feature written about their work on the So Young website and their work exhibited as part of a So Young exhibition at their gallery space in London

For this brief, I read through back copies of the magazine and chose to illustrate a piece on King Krule. As a pose to doing a portrait, I chose to illustrate King Krule's song, 'Easy, Easy'. I feel that this will be a more effective way of completing the brief rather than submitting a portrait as I'm hoping it will stand out a little more. I made three different versions of my submission and have decided to submit the first image as I think the illustration stands out more, and doesnt get lost with an additional features. 

Final Submission
Alternative Version
Alternative Version 

Monday, 8 May 2017

OUIL505 Design Boards

Promotional Materials - Mockups

I've mocked up my illustrations onto product and I'm really pleased with the result! I think it's cleare to see now how these images could work in the book and across promotional product. The use of a promotional package alongside the book is something I'm glad I've done as I was previously stuck with wether or not choose adult publishing or product and retail. This method of approaching the module and the brief has allowed me to cross over between the do and in turn has helped me understand how and where my practice may lie within illustration as a discipline.

Putting Things Into Context

I've been thinking about what products I could include in the promotional package and have decide that I will be including:
- a tote bag
- a poster
- a pin badge

I feel that these products will accompany the book well and avoids me jsut palstering work onto whatever mockup I can find that might fit within my context. I chose to mock the images up onto a tote bag because this is something that the book will come in, but will also be available for the customer to use after purchase. The poster and pin badges are more mementos, freebies that the customer can put up or wear. Everyone enjoys free stuff and I feel that my iamgery is suited to these kinds of applications. I'm going to trawl through mockup websites and try find what I need in order to get everything together.

Cover Mockup

I'm really pleased with how this looks mocked up onto an actual book. I feel that I've achieved the dark, atmospheric tone of voice I wanted too whilst also managing to alude to the mystery of what's inside the book. I feel that the cover illustration is more simple that the ones inside the book but feel that this balances them out and they both compliment each other to an equal amount. From here I need to decide on my final application of imagery, and consider exactly what products I want to include in the promotional package that will accompany the book. 

Final Cover

I'm really happy with how my final book cover has turned out. I feel that it compliments the illustrations that accompany it for the start of the chapters whilst also alluding to the mystery that is inside. I wanted to keep the outer cover simple as I feel that other illustrations are quite strong on their own and these are the illustrations that I will be applying to product. I managed to keep the colours consistent with the ones that I've already used and feel that the text stands out in the bold orange colour. The image of the eye is a focul point and I wanted it to be like this because of its repetition through the other illustrations and also as I thought it was a symbol that was a suitable representation of divination. My next step is too mock this up onto a book and then begin to apply my illustrations to products that will be a part of the promotional package. 

Cover Roughs

 I was a little unsure of what to do for my book cover at first. I was really happy with the final illustrations for the chapters inside the book and feel like they're really strong as a set. I started to think about possibly having a pattern that would completley wrap around the outside of the book and felt this this could either include constellations of the zodiac or alternativley runes and other alchemic symbols. As much as I feel this could have been effective, I felt like it focused too heavily on one specific aspect of fortune telling/divination. I started drawing a few things up that related back to the sacred geomtry I'd previously looked at and began to feel like this would be a stronger approach. The outside of the book needed to provide a general overview/insight as to what was inside and I feel a symbol constructed with elements of sacred geometry would best do this. I also decided I wanted to incorporate the image of they eye that i've been adding to the rest of my illustrations. I drew up half of the final design as I wanted it to be symmetrical and new I would be able to sort this out in Photoshop later on.

Final Project Proposal

I've made some slight amendments to my Project Proposal so that it includes the five chapter illustrations, the idea of a promotional package and a publisher (Folio Society) that would in context publish the book and aid in promoting the re-realease and the limited edition package that comes along with this.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Chapter Illustration Mockups

I'm really pleased with how my illustrations look mocked up in context. I feel that the overall aesthetic of the images I've created so far fit well with the content of the book and its overall theme. I also think that the images sit well within my target audience and feel that they would be effective in drawing the reader further into the book. My next step is to start planning the outer cover of the book and get that sorted out before moving onto other applications of my imagery and applying them in context.

Final Chapter Illustrations

This is my final set of five illustrations for the start of specific chapters in the book. I feel that they have a consistent aesthetic, with both the content, colour scheme and combination of shape and linework tying the imagery together well, even though they are all based around different subject matter. My next step will to be mock these up onto the inside of book pages in order to show them in context. Once I have finished the outer book cover I will begin to explore what other contexts these images could exist in, in order to promote the re-release of the book. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Experimenting with Texture

Following up from the feedback I got in the crit, I've begun to experiment with texture and feel that this is something I definitely want to incorporate into my illustrations. I didn't realise that some of the imagery was so flat until I started adding texture and explore how it can be used to enhance my images. I also feel that the added texture further promotes the dark, moody tone of voice I was trying to achieve.

After playing around with adding textures from the monoprints I made in 504, I think I've finally settled on an overall aesthetic for my illustrations. I've applied texture to both the hand and the playing card, with the texture on the hand completley replacing the flat colour that it was previously made from. The texture on the playing card was inverted and then placed over the top of the solid peach it is made from to create a speckled, dirtier look. I'm really happy with how this is coming along and feel that now I've decided on an overall look for the illustrations, it will be easy to replicate this across the other four and keep the style consistent.

Feedback From Crit

The crit today was really overwhelming. Everyones produced so much good work! I feel like I only have myself to blame for the lack of work I've produced so far, I really shouldn't have messed around with deciding on a theme/context for so long. I feel like this has put me at a huge disadvantage but I'm eager to get working on my illustrations some more! The feedback I got proved useful, I got positive feedback on my colour scheme, consistent style and strong shape based approach. I also got feedback that has helped me think more about my context. People suggested I apply my imagery to bags/pins/patches which I really like the idea of. I was thinking this could be something I consider as part of a promotional package for the re-release of the book. 

Some other feedback I got was to make the blade of the knife shape based as a pose to just a line drawing as this would further the consistency of the images. It was also suggested that I add some texture into the illustrations to give them some more depth and character. It was also nice to hear that even though I'm focusing more on shape based imagery, my tone of voice and personality is still conveyed through the illustrations. I've avoided shaped based imagery before and digital software for the fear that it would take away some of the character that my practice contains so its a relief to here that it stills exists even when I'm working more with shape. 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

New Ways of Working

Recently I've started working in more of a digital format. I bought some of the Kyle Webster photoshop brushes and have been borrowing the Wacom tablets from uni to experiment more with a digital media. At the start of this year I had very little experience working with digital media, it wasn't something that I was confident working in at all and a lot of the time it was something I'd purposely afford working with as I feel that sometimes through digital media you can use some of the hand-rendered quality and personality that you get when creating illustrations using analogue media.
The Photoshop brushes I bought have helped me get over that though, the amounts of different textures and lines you can get to create different aesthetics is great, it's showing me that I can use digital media to create work without loosing personality through the digitisation of my images. I feel like this is something that I can start to combine with my practice more and more, I'm really enjoying the process and feel that it is adding another level of professionalism to my work.

Chapter Illustrations - Development

I've begun to develop one of my iamges on Photoshop. I'm using the Kyle Webster Goache brushes as the basis of my image, I like the texture that it gives feel that they make the colours really pop. I experimented with creating a ring around the crystal ball to make it stand out more but felt that this was too harsh and didnt fit with the overall aesthetic of my work so far. I also tried inverting the iamge and I thought that maybe a dark background and lighter hands could work but I then felt like the image was a bit too over powering. I tried changing the colour of the stars aswell but felt it wasn't as consistent as my original colour choice.

I've managed to create three images that will be okay to show in the crit, I'm quite happy with how they're turning out but hope to get some constructive criticism that can help me push my project and my illustrations to the next level.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Chapter Illustrations - Roughs

I've started to make roughs for the chapters that I selected. I've decided to scrap the idea of doing a pattern for the end pages and add another chapter illustration in, I feel it fits better in the given context and I also didn't want to overcrowd my book with a lot of different imagery in too many different places. Before I started drawing anything, I knew I wanted the illsutrations to be spot images but wanted soemthing that pulled them all together and kept them in form. I decided to take influence from sacred geometry and began to incorporate geometric elements of linework into my designs. I feel that it's important that I keep these illustrations consistent when I come to drawing them digitally. I want to make sure that the colour scheme is cohesive, and also that the application of colour is cohesive across all five illustrations. My next step is to move onto developing these digitally and figuring out my colour choice.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Study Task 2 - Five Inspiring Illustrators

Lisa Perrin

Lisa Perrin is an illustrator whose work covers a varity of formats but also works on book covers for different novels. Her work mostly consists of shape based imagery, using line and texture to create depth and add character and detail. Her work is slightly surreal, and carries a slightly darker tone of voice whilst still being appealing and aesthetically pleasing. I like the way in which Perrin uses shape based imagery and then adds detail in using a variety of line and texture. I feel that this is an approach that maybe I could take with my own work as I feel it is a kind of illustration that could appeal to a wide audience. 

Marissa Johnson

Marissa Johnson is an illsutrator and designer who applies her illustrative work to textiles and printed fabric. Her work consists of shape based imagery, texture and mark making in order to produce pieces of work that have depth and integrity to them. I particularly like her application of colour, this is soemthing I struggle with and I find it inspiring to see a relativley simple colour paletter that is cohesive but that also allows the focal point of the imagery to stand out. Her use of texture as a background further helps the imagery stand out. I think texture is something I would like to be incorporating into my work more as a means to give it more depth. 

Tallulah Fontaine

Talllah Fontaine is an illustrator who's work has been applied within multiple contexts. Her work ranges from retail and promotion to publishing and editorial. I've noticed whilst looking through her website that Fontaine maintains a consistent visual aesthetic but depending on the brief and context, this may differ slightly, wether it's in terms of colour palette or image composition. I feel that this is something to remember whilst working in different contexts or trying to work within one. There are certain considerations that have to be taken into account but this doesnt neccesarily mean you cannot communicate a tone of voice. Additionaly, the colour palettes throughout her work and subtle use of texture are a beautiful combination that strengthens her work as a whole. 

Bryn Perrot

Bryn Perrot is an illustrator and woodcut artist. Her wood carvings have been used for beer labels, band merch, shops signs and collaborations with t-shirt companies. I find her work particularly striking because of both its simplicity in terms of colour but also it's intiricacy using shape and line. I find it inspiring to see illustrators that work primarily in black and white, this is usually my go to, so it's nice to see proffessionals who use black and white imagery as their main method of image making. I also particularly like the high level of detail achieve using line. Her work isn't so much over-complicated imagery, at face value it may seem quite simple but the detail and character conveyed via the use of line is wonderful. 

Camille Chew 

Camille Chew is an illustrator who's work addresses the themes of mythology, fantasy and the occult.  Her product range is limited and mostly consists of prints of her many illustrations. Although maybe her work doesnt sit in a wide variety of contexts already, I believe her work is something that could be applicable to more than one area of concern. Her use of clean shape and line is a good contrast to the rough textures used in some of her backgrounds. Through this combination she manages to convey a darker tone of voice, linking to her interests in fantasy and the occult. I feel that making imagery relevant to the subject matter and that conveys the theme visually is something that is important to remember whislt undergoing this module. 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Book of Fortune Telling - Agnes M.Miall

I've been struggling with the context part of this module but I think I've finally found it. I was looking for something to read at home the other day and I found this book that used to be my grandma's. It's really old, and the cover is very 90's BUT it's all about fortune telling and different ways to tell fortunes. Since I've been looking at the occult and divination I thought this book would be perfect for me to base my 505 project around. It would allow me to explore the different themes and ideas that I've already had whilst providing a strong context for my work to sit within.

I geuss I've gone back to working within the adult publishing section, something that I moved away from previously because I was fed up of working around books. After having some time away from this kind of work, I remember how much I enjoyed working around texts and books in 504 and I also really enjoyed working on the penguin brief for Responsive. I was put off adult publishing to begin with because I didn't think I'd be able to find something I wanted to work with but I'm quite happy with the idea of work around the book that I've found.

As a intial idea, I was thinking I could create a new cover design for the book and then propose to accompany this with 4 illustrations that would accompany the start of different chapters. I was also thinking I could create a pattern to go on the end pages of the book. These are all things that I can propose and specify when I get round to re-doing the Project Proposal. I went through all the chapters and have highlighted the ones that I am interested in working on. 

- Foreword
- Reading Your Hand
- In Which Month Were You Born?
- The Man For You 
- How To Cast A Horoscope 
- What Do The Cards Say
- Your Name And Number
- What Your Handwriting Reveals 
- 'Bumps' And Face Fortunes
- Dreams And Destiny
- Crystal Gazing
- Divining By Sand
- Dice Decisions
- Deductions From Dominoes
- Your Fortune In The Fire
- The Five Physical Types
- Knife Prophecies
- Sense From Scribbles
- Teacup Fortunes
- You Can Be Lucky 
- The Luck Of Precious Stones 
- Bridal Luck
- The Luck And Meanings Of Christian Names
- Something About Surnames
- Some Surnames And Their Meanings 

I've looked at a few of the chapters and had a quick read of some of the chapters I might be interested in, I think I'm going to write my Project Proposal next so I have a clear plan to follow and then make a final decision on which chapters I want to illustrate for, what I want to do for the cover and what I'd like to do for the pattern for the end pages. I also think I'd like to add my illustrations onto product as an accompany feature to the book. 

Choosing a Theme

I've gone back to the idea of witches and witchcraft but rather than focusing on that as a theme, I've decided to look at the occult. I feel like this will offer me less restrictions and more ideas and themes to work with. I'm still not 100% on the context that I have in mind yet but I feel that once I've nailed down my theme and done some more research, I will be able to build on my context. I've done some initial research and begun to look at what the occult is, what it means and what its subcategories are

Occult - mystical, supernatural or magical powers, practices or phenomena
            - knowledge of the hidden
            - magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism, religion, divination


Magic - the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces

Alchemy - a power or process that changes or transforms something in a myterious or impressive             way

Extra-sensory perception - the sixth sense, reception of infomation not gained through the recognized physical senses, but sense with the mind

Astrology - the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world 

Spiritualism - a system of belief or religious practice based on suppossed communication with the spirtis of the dead, especially through mediums 

Religion - the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power

Divination - the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means 

I've highlighted three areas of the occult that I think I'd be particularly interested in working around. I've also done a little more research into the three different categories to further understand what they include and figure out which one I'd be happy working with. 

- Tarot Cards
- I Ching Diving Coins
- Runes
- Crystal Balls
- Scrying Mirrors 
- Pendulums 
- Tea Cups 
- Dowsing Rods
- Lithomancy Gemstones
- Palm Reading 

- Zodiac 
- Horoscopes 
- Lunar Cycles
- Star Divination 
- Constellations 
- Charts
- Maps
- Sun
- Moon
- Stars

- Seances
- Mediums 
- Ouija Boards
- Prophecy 
- Clairvoyance
- Gift of Tongues 
- Visions
- Raps
- Levitations 
- Automatic Writing
- Materialization
- Phantom Forms/Faces
- Luminous Appearances 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Decision Making

I think if I've learnt one thing about myself from this module already it's that I am awful at decision making. I said at the start of this module that one thing I wanted to accomplish by may was to be able to make better informed and quicker decisions, this is something that I definitley haven't done. I've changed my mind on this project twice now and I feel that I'm putting myself behind and creating more work for myself. I might not have been able to make quick decisions so far but I feel like experimenting with a few different possible routes to follow has helped inform me about what kindof work i want to be creating.

The whol decision making side of it is definitley something that I need to be working on and that I need to be able to do quicker. I know that next year and after uni I'm not going to be able to take months to decide on what I want to do for a project so I'm really going to have to work on this. I feel that if I just started following my instinct abit more and started creating work that I was genuinlley excited about then I'd be able to avoid this whole situation. I think I still get hung up on making work that I feel other people would like and this sometimes gets in the way of me jsut making things that I know I'll enjoy working on.

Change of Plan.... Again

I've done the unthinkable and decided to change my project again. Although this might not be the best decision I've made considering there isn't long till deadline, I feel that its the right one to make right now. There were a few problems with my Baba Yaga theme that were proving difficult to work around.

1 - There was no context
- As much as I tried to put this into context, I just couldn't find anything that had any substance behind it. Yeah, I could have applied my illustrations to a wide variety of things but I want to create something thats got more structure and meaning behind it. I feel that moving on to create something that has a solid context is important, after all, this module is more about the strength of the context rather than the process and creation of the actual illustrations.

2 - I wasn't enjoying it
- I think I was pulled in by the idea of how cool Baba Yaga's hut could have looked as a print, and decided too quickly that I'd be able to create a whole collection of images based around her. As much as she's an interesting character, I've not been able to find out that much more about her and my work is lacking in substance and research. Additionally, I followed this route because I wanted to create something magical and a little spooky, this isn't really whats happening at the minute and I feel I'd be more productive if I just found something that'd allow me to create the kinds of images I want to make.

3 - I left it alone for too long
I've spent some time away from this module because I've been catching up with other things in preparation for upcoming deadlines and to be honest, I'm bored of it and I've come to dislike all the images that I was making. I just don't want to work on it anymore, and even though it might put me behind abit, I feel that changing to something else that I really enjoy and that I'm interested in will help me be motivated enough to get the work finished.

Friday, 7 April 2017

The Batsford Prize - I Forgot To Submit

Right, so basically, life got on top of me bit recently in terms of things going on inside and outside of uni. Due to this my head and my time management have been all over the place and I managed to forget to submit to Batsford. I am a little annoyed about this as I would have liked to submit my work but it's my own fault that I forgot the submission date. I'm still happy with my outcome and happy with my research and reasoning behind my outcome.

I think I do need to be bit more effective with my time management but at the same time, compared to last year I'm doing a lot better at juggling things so to have one minor slip up isn't that awful. Anyhow, I mocked up my final image just to put it into context and show how it could've been presented had I submitted it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Baba Yaga And The Wolf - Tin Can Forest

I found this book titled 'Baba Yaga and The Wolf' by Tin Can Forest and found it really useful to see how someone else had interpreted Baba Yaga. Although not necessarily my way of working, the illustrations throughout this book are wonderful and sit well within a narrative field. It's also useful to see what context Baba Yaga sits in to different people, I wish I had the money to be able to buy this book so i could have a read and get a better feel for it and the story it tells.

I don't really think that I want to make a book of sorts, but I feel that maybe looking at some of the stories Baba Yaga features in would help me develop a better understanding of this mysterious character, so this is something I will be looking into at a further date. It is also interesting to read about what the imagery is influenced by and how these different influences have shaped the way this book has come together.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Baba Yaga's Hut - Development

The most striking thing about Baba Yaga has to be the hut on chicken legs that she resides in. This is one of the things that drew me in about this character and I feel that it's going to be interesting to try and create an image based around her mythical house. There are different interpretations of her house, some say that the windows to the hut are eyes, others say the hut is surrounded by a fence made from flaming human skulls.


Stories say that her hut can be found in a clearing in the forest, standing on its chicken legs and screaming until you utter a phrase that brings it to a halt and settle on the ground. I'm trying to develop the image to make it seem as if the hut is in the middle of a forest, towering above the trees, to place more importance on the hut and also to allow people to focus on that part of the imagery first. I think I'm going to lino cut my final images as they'll give a textured, authentic feel to the imagery which I think will enhance my illustrations.

Cut Paper and Shape are Saving My Ass

I've been working with cut paper and shape a little bit and it's really helping me understand how to work with shape. I've mostly stuck to using line to create my illustrations before and it's because when i'm drawing and sketching thats all I can really make sense of. If I try understand a line drawing in terms of shape it confuses me a little. BUT, using cut paper to create shapes and the adding detail to them is helping me understand how working with shape could enhance my work. I've been creating some motifs of the three pairs of hands that do Baba Yaga's bidding using this method of image-making and I'm really enjoying the direction their heading in.

Initial Sketches

I've started sketching a few initial ideas in my sketchbook. I'm really interested in how to work with the image of Baba Yaga's hut but also how I can convey the ambiguity of this mysterious character. Baba Yaga is described as being both of force of good and evil, sometimes helping those that come to her and sometimes harming those that appear at her door. I've been trying to make her look more like a wise old woman, whilst still incorporating some of her legendary traits such as her long nose and her skeletal appearance. She is both someone to be feared and respected so I feel like that needs to be conveyed within my work.

I've also been trying to work on the appearance of her hut, this is proving tricky and I can't quite figure out how to get the chicken legs to look right and how to position them as if they are attached to the hut. Another thing I've been playing around with is the idea of the three spectral hands that appear from thin air to do her bidding. I feel that there's opportunity to experiment with composition with this imagery but I'm not entirely sure what to do yet.

Baba Yaga - The Slavic Witch

- supernatural being (or one of three sisters of the same name) who appears as a deformed/ferocious looking witch

- also known as Baba Yaga Bony Legs due to her skeletal appearance (although she has an appetite for eating people) 

- she travels around in a mortar and pushes herself along the forest floor with a pestle, she can also fly in the mortar and use the pestle to push herself through the sky. She uses a silver birch broom to sweep away any traces of her

- skeletal appearance, iron teeth and a nose so long that it touches the ceiling when she sleeps

- lives in a hut deep in the forest on her own 

- her hut has a personality of it's own and can move around on its giant chicken-legs, usually spinning around as it moves for the forest, or stands with its back to the visitor, all the while emitting blood-curdling screeches

- it will only come to a halt when the visitor says a special incantation ("turn your back to the forest and your front to me"). When it stops it turns to face the visitor and lowers itself to the floor, throwing open the door with a  loud crash 

- the house is surrounded by a fence made of human bones and skulls with flaming eye sockets to illuminate the darkness

- rules over the elements and has three faithful servants; the white horseman (dawn), the red horseman (the sun), the black horseman (the night)

- her other servants include three pairs of disembodied hands that appear out of thin air to do her bidding. She calls them 'my soul friends' and 'friends of my bosom'

- male counterpart is Koshchey the Deathless

Further Research into Starting Points

I've been really struggling with trying to figure out what it is that I want to base this module around. I feel like I've been thinking a little too much about it and getting myself wound up about finding the 'perfect' theme/concept to run with.

I've been doing some research into things that I actually find interesting and that I want to learn more about and draw more from. I had a quick look at urban myths/legends which kind of trailed off into looking at superstitions and then haunted locations. As interesting as this was I wasn't 100% that any of these topics might be for me so I moved onto looking at witches which is something that I've been interested in in the past and feel that I'd enjoy drawing around.

The research I did at first was quite broad and I was struggling to pin down whether I wanted to look at the historical witch hunts and focus on the kind of creepy/gory details that come from that time or wether I wanted to look at white witches/medicine women and try and work with them. I was almost certain that I didn't want to look into mythological/legendary witches because I don't usually work with things that aren't based in some kind of truth and fact.

But then I stumbled upon Baba Yaga, a witch from Slavic folklore. After reading a bit about her and looking at old stories about her I've decided that this is definitely something that I'm quite interested in. For me Baba Yaga embodies both the creepy/spooky element of witches that I was interested in and also the white witches/medicine women that I was interested in, as in stories she can either be a good or bad character. I feel there'll be a lot of imagery to work with in this project and am looking forward to finding out more about Baba Yaga and her history.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Batsford Prize - Change of Plan

I originally stated that I was going to produce a screen print for this competition but after having the submission briefing for responsive, I really don't see the point. We don't actually hand anything physical in for marking, it's all digital and blog based so I think I'm just going to submit my work for this brief as a digital file rather than a photographed print.

It might seem a bit lazy or like a bit of a cop out but honestly I don't have the money to be buying fancy paper and binder and all that and I definitely don't have the time to be spending ages in the print room trying to get this right. I think my image will need a few tweaks if I submit it as a digital image, like a bit of texture adding too it maybe but that's okay! I'm still happy with my final design and my reasoning behind it!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Submission Boards and Proof of Submission

As part of our submission to YCN, we had to create a set of design boards to submit. My partner mostly worked on putting the design boards together as this was part of his responsibility within the group. His skills in type and layout are a lot stronger than mine and I feel that he best knows how to lay things out in order to maximise the impact of the imagery and also to make the work we've produced look more professional. We discussed design board content beforehand and he showed me what he'd produced afterwards and it was something we were both happy with. All that we had to do then was submit. Below is our proof of submission.

I am happy that this brief is over with now, I've enjoyed working collaboratively more than I thought I would and I can see how working across disciplines can improve my practice and also broaden my contacts. I didn't enjoy the brief as much as I thought I would and I think this is because towards the end I was just bored of it. I feel that if I enter a competition like YCN again I need to make sure i'm really engaged with the brief and I'm choosing it for reasons that are important to me.