Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Why This Module Is Already Terrifying

I was kind of excited about this module, I think because it was new and different and I could finally do work that had nothing to do with Margaret Atwood. BUT. Honestly the briefing made me really confused and stressed, all these different areas that I could focus in on and none that I think my work sits in!
I've never actually sat down and looked at my work and thought, "Yes, that is some fine editorial work" or "Yes, my work is meant for book covers". It kind of just exists at uni and at home and floats between being something that I do for myself and something that I do to get a degree. I initially thought that I'd want to go into packaging and product, I've always liked the idea of applying my work to products and being able to make and sell actual items that people might buy. But then when I'm sat in the briefing, I was really interested in book covers and reportage and some of the things that were talked about to do with those two categories.
I had a quick chat with Ben, who suggested that my work might fit in the "Adult Publishing" section and it did kind of make sense once he'd explained it too me. But I'm still bit confused and wary of it all. I have this (very stupid) fear that if I choose a certain area to work in for this module it means that that's what I'm going to have to focus on for the rest of my creative career. I know that's bullshit but it's just a tiny thought at the back of my head that's stressing me out a little bit. I think I'm just going to have to take baby steps with this one and try and make it fit around me, my interests and my work as best I can.

OUIL505 Applied Illustration - Things I Want To Happen

One thing that I will take forward from OUIL504: 
It's really hard to decide on just one thing that I'd choose to take forward from 504, the module introduced me to a whole range of new media and processes that I started to incorporate into my practice and I feel that my work benefitted hugely from being introduced to these processes. I think I would definitely like to take an element of printmaking forward into 505, wether this be producing final prints, producing work via a specific process or using scanned textures/images to enhance digital work.

One way to push myself out of my comfort zone: 
I'd say to push myself out of my comfort zone I might need to consider colour more than I currently do. I tend to stray away from using too much colour, but I think getting a handle on this and finding out how I can incorporate it into my practice in a way that I think works and that I'm comfortable working with will help push my practice further. I do also think that I need to continue to push myself in terms of my abilities using digital software, I still worry that this is a weak area of mine and that this is going to hold me back at some point. Hopefully during this module I can expand my understanding of the software further.

One thing that I want to accomplish by May: 
I would really like to see my practice heading in some kind of direction and starting to find somewhere that me and my work fit in the world of illustration. I think I can only figure this out through research and development and I'm hoping this module will help me understand the different areas of illustration and how to produce work that best fits into these areas. I would also hope that by May, I have grown abit more confident with my practice, something which I struggle with but that I am gradually coming to grips with.

Friday, 27 January 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird - Initial Sketches

I've been sketching a few different versions of the flowers out and am thinking that I'd refer to keep the design more line based. I think this would work quite well in a pastel colour, with monotype text over the top. I think the contrast between the roughness of the monotype and the smooth, coloured flowers will be quite nice and would also show the theme of innocence through the illustrations but also bring light to the more serious undertone of the book using the rough, textured monotype. 

This was just a quick mock-up of who the cover could potentially look, with the pastel/faded design underneath and quite bold text laid over the top. The only problem I can see with this is maybe because the illustration is quite line based, the text could get lost in it? I could try make the flowers more shape based or possibly just fill them in with a colour and add the detail in over the top. I'm not 100% sure yet, I think I still need to play around with the design and layout of it all and also could do with getting the monotype done and out of the way in order to start scanning things in and mocking them up on photoshop. It might be an idea to make a few book jackets and placing my designs on them just to see how everything could work as a whole. 

To Kill A Mockingbird - Why Camellias?

I've been doing a bit of further research into the different plant symbolism within To Kill A Mockingbird and feel that Camellias would be the best flower to use for my book cover design due to their different symbolism and meaning in the book.
Firstly, Camellia's are the state flower of Alabama, the state in which To Kill A Mockingbird is set.
Looking into symbolism within the book, Mrs Dubose's camellias represent the racism and prejudice found in Macomb County. You can then look at the fact that Camellias are difficult to get rid of, having to be pulled up by their roots to stop the plant from growing/flowering. This relates to the message in the book that to effectively eradicate racism and prejudice, one must be level headed with a caring heart. This also links to Jem's rash behaviour in cutting off the heads of Mrs Dubose's Camellias and how violence can not simply erase prejudice and racism.
We can also look at the symbolism of the Camellia when Mrs Dubose leaves Jem a single Camellia in perfect condition. This reminds us that we must approach difficult issues with compassions and understanding.

To me, the symbolism of the Camellia is linked to a lot of important themes and ideas that run throughout the book and I think because of this it would be a really great starting point for my book cover designs. It strays away from the usual symbol of the mockingbird whilst still having a connection to the key ideas in the book.

To Kill A Mockingbird - Initial Roughs

I've spent some time roughing a few ideas up, mainly based around the symbol of the mockingbird and the different flower symbolisms i found in the book.

Right now I feel like the flower roughs would be the strongest ideas to follow through and start to develop. The symbol of the Mockingbird is common throughout a lot of the existing covers through the book and even though this is an original motif, I think it's one that the judges are going to be expecting to see, and one that is going to be hard to work with in order to come up with an innovative design. I feel like the symbolism of the flowers offer a different insight into the themes that run throughout the novel and still manage to link back to the book strongly.

 I think my next step is to develop some of these ideas and see how they come along. I could also do with getting a bit of feedback from pals/tutors and make sure that I'm not going completely in the wrong direction.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird - Selected Symbols and Motifs

The Mockingbird:
- Symbolises innocence, childhood, imprisonment, justice, prejudice
- Representative of characters Tom Robinson, Boo Radley and Scout

Flower Symbolism
- Camellias represent prejudice that cannot be brushed off easily, they have to be tugged up by their roots
- Azaleas are down by Miss Maudie who always has a sunny character despite the bitterness and prejudice that surrounds her. Azaleas are known for growing in adverse conditions
- Geraniums - only flowers frown by Mayella Ewell and mainly symbolise her unfulfilled love which she tries to force upon Tom Robinson

Tim Johnson
- Represents the rampant racialism in the south
- Atticus shooting Tim Johnson sets himself up to be the 'hero' who will attempt to bring down racism
- The mob, injustice, anything Atticus has to fight
- Brown and white dog, further indicator to racial injustice

To Kill a Mockingbird - Selected Passages and Quotes

I thought it might be an idea to stick some quotes here that have struck a chord with me while i've been researching the book. I think some of the imagery that these quotes/passages conjure up could be a good starting point for my roughs and sketches. 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

“Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.”

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

“People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.”

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

To Kill A Mockingbird - Existing Covers

- Simple silhouette illustrations
- Quite bold, large type 
- Balanced type and illustration, neither overpowers the other
- Draws attention to the theme of innocence and childhood that runs throughout the book 
- Two colour, simple and effective

- Shaped based illustration
- Three colours including stock
- Draws attention to the symbolism of the Mockingbird
- Text clear and easy to read

- Line based illustration 
- Emphasis on text
The childlike illustration links to the themes of childhood and innocence
- The subject matter of the illustration draws attention to the symbolism of the mockingbird
- Two colour and stock 

- Black silhouette illustrations 
- Title of the novel is combined into the illustration 
- Includes the symbolism of childhood and the mockingbird
- 3 colours and stock

A lot of the covers I've been looking at include that symbol of the mockingbird, perhaps because this symbolism is integral to the story. I think it's definitely something that I'd like to try and incorporate into my own designs, along with other possibles imagery/symbolism from the novel. 

Penguin Book Awards - To Kill A Mockingbird

I've decided to make a start on the Penguin Book Awards brief, with my chosen book being To Kill A Mockingbird. I've never actually read the book before but I've done a bit of research on all three and feel that this is the book that i'm most confident working on.

The brief asks for us to design a new and classic cover for the book, coming at it from a fresh perspective to create a cover that should feel timeless and confident and appeal to a whole new generation of readers.

The cover must be 198mm high by 129mm wide with a spine of 20 mm and must incorporate the arrow branding, barcode and additional text.

The deadline is the 7th March at 12 noon and the final cover must be submitted as:
.300 dpi
.5mm Bleed
.Trim and crop marks
. Colour managed
. Max size 5mb

I am hoping to get this brief done by the end of February and be working on it at a weekly basis. This should give me plenty of time for research, roughs and development as well as producing a final copy.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Summative Evaluation

End of Module Student Evaluation
BA (Hons) Illustration
Module Code: OUIL504 Illustration 1: Production & Presentation

Name: Leah Haywood                                
Student ID: LH250738

Learning Outcome
Evidenced where?
Blog, Visual Journal, Roughs, Final Illustrations, Stings, storyboards, development sheets etc.  (No more than 75 words)
Your grade
Using words:
> poor, satisfactory, good, very good, excellent
5A5:  Demonstrate an informed understanding of issues relating to image, media, format and context through the delivery of solutions to identified visual problems.
(Knowledge & Understanding -  Critical Awareness)
This is most apparent on my blog, which has been a main source of ongoing evaluating, reflection and decision making throughout this module.
Sketchbook work, roughs and storyboarding have also helped to evidence this and I have developed a better understanding of the importance of roughs, storyboarding and planning ahead and how they can play a part in developing your work and final outcomes.

5A6: Understand the potential and limitations of a range of processes, technologies and techniques involved in the development and production of work for print and screen based delivery.
(Knowledge & Understanding -  Research)
I think this is most evident in my documentation of the feedback I have received throughout the module and from my own ongoing self-evaluation.
Tutor and peer feedback in crits has helped me evaluate my work and where to progress next with it. I have also been evaluating my own progress throughout which has led to more informed decision making and an over-all more well-informed module.  
5B4: Analyse and critically evaluate primary/secondary source material to inform the development and contextualisation of ideas, concepts and products through individual responses to set briefs.
(Cognitive Skills - Problem Analysis, Problem Solving)
This is evident in my summer research into my chosen author, part of which fully informed some of the key themes and motifs that have emerged in my work. I have also revisited this when stuck and conducted occasional additional research in order to produce a well-rounded response.
The given study tasks asking us to explore different examples of print processes and animation also evidences this and helped me to make more well informed decisions in regards my practice

5C4: Select, manipulate and apply appropriate media, processes and technologies in the development, production and presentation of ideas, concepts and products.
(Practical Skills -  Practical and Conceptual Development)
This is evidenced on my blog throughout all 3 studio briefs including roughs, mock-ups, test prints, experimentation of print processes, storyboards and after effects techniques. I think this is most apparent in studio brief 2, printed pictures, where I have explored a range of concepts and processes in order to fulfill the brief.  
Very Good
5C5: Identify, evaluate and apply practical/technical processes, materials and media in order to produce technically competent and conceptually appropriate outcomes.
(Practical Skills - Visual Quality and Technical Competence)
This is evident on my blog, particularly for studio brief 2 where I have explored a range of print processes in order to meet the desired outcome. I produced prints from a range of different print processes and evaluated each along the way to find what would be the best route to follow to produce an end product for this brief
Very Good
5D4: Demonstrate the ability to communicate the development and resolution of ideas through appropriate visual and written presentation of work.
(Key Transferable Skills - Presentation and Evaluation)
I have been keeping an ongoing evaluation of my work in the form of my blog and have returned back to this during the decision making process.
In terms of my presentation I believe that my finals outcomes for the three briefs are strong in terms of their professional presentation, in particular my printed pictures outcomes.

Summative Evaluation

At the start of this module I had little knowledge on print processes and how these can be used to add a level of professionalism to your work. I also had no knowledge on after effects and the uses of storyboarding. I have progressed to have a better understanding of different adobe programmes and how these can be used to enhance my work and I also feel a lot more comfortable and confident working with a whole range of different print processes and feel that this is something that will become integral to my practice.

I think the main bulk of learning for me took place during Studio Brief 2: Printed Pictures. This brief introduced me to a range of different print processes and techniques that I have been able to use to produce a more professional standard of work. This has included learning how to mono print, lino print and screen print and how to begin to combine these processes together and how to use these processes on a digital platform. I feel that I’ve learnt a bit more about my own practice through this experimentation in print and feel that I will be able to successfully integrate what I’ve learnt about print in this module with work that I produce in the future. I have also enhanced my understanding of digital software and how to effectively use this to enhance and finish my work. Previous to this module I had stayed away from using any of the Adobe suites because I simply didn’t understand it and didn’t want to produce ‘digital’ work, I am now a lot more comfortable in working on these programmes.
I personally believe that Studio Brief 2 was my most successful brief throughout this module. It was one that I enjoyed a lot and feel that I have made the most progression in. Away from the practical aspects of this brief I believe that compared to this time last year I have come a long way. Previously I had a very low attendance, was not participating in crits and group discussion and on reflection can see how my practice suffered from this. I believe that throughout this module I have improved my studentship, been present for the majority of sessions and workshops and in doing this I can clearly see how my work is improving. I also believe that paying more attention to blogging has helped me a lot. Throughout the module I have kept an ongoing evaluation and documentation on my blog which I believe has helped me make better informed decisions in order to produce the best outcome possible.

In terms of the lows of this module I truly believe that I could have made more of an effort with Studio Brief 3: Moving Pictures. I continuously put this off in order to concentrate on Studio Brief 2 and think that my final animation and the process leading up to it could have been a lot better than they were. Saying that, I am not entirely disappointed in my animation, but can definitely see room for improvement. I also feel like my organization could’ve been a little better. In terms of Studio Brief 2 I think I could have had my prints finished earlier in the module if I had organized my time better, this would have also led to me having a bit more free time to tackle Studio Brief 3. I also believe I could’ve done more contextual research for this module. I don’t necessarily think my work suffered too much from my lack of it but I can definitely see how the research could’ve opened my eyes to new ways of image-making, new ideas and new processes.

I definitely think I will be taking forward different aspects of print-making and the techniques and skills I have learnt here. I believe that print could start to play a more prominent part in my practice and I am looking forward to exploring these processes further and also experimenting with new techniques of printing. Roughs and Storyboards have also proved to be very useful in terms of producing and developing ideas and would like to have this continue being an integral part of my image-making process. I also believe that this module I have learnt how to keep a track of my blogging, though not as regular as it probably should be I feel that I have definitely managed to keep up too it a bit more and would like to see this continue throughout the year.

Project Proposal for Studio Brief 3 - Moving Pictures

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