Tuesday, 25 October 2011

odour woes...

First of all, I'd like to explain that for the last  (let's see, how old am I....) 19 years (or slightly less) i have been pretty much nose-deaf. Or nose-blind. I'm not sure what top call it, but I haven't been able to smell. This has ben GREAT, cos I could still smell things like chocolate cake, or chicken tikka, but couldn't smell farts, deodorant or other such things that are nasty. I took pleasure in buying perfume, for the pretty little bottles, as I found all the scents similarly weak and attractive.

Now, for some reason, my sense of smell has been reawakened. My life has become HELL. U'm going to have to continue this later...i have a workshop starting in cinco minutes.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

First Fortnight. Thoughts.

This has been very intersting. It's ben a LOT of work, so far...I've worked with a team, twice, and I've just begun to do independant work, which to me is a lot more palatable. Probably I just haven't met the right team yet ;) That having been said, I enjoyed the challenge of working with a team. It involved a lot of compromise, and the song was not entirely to my liking, but overall it was good. I got a lot out of it, and I had fun making my bat puppets. (I'll post pictures later.)
      Tuesday: didn't know there was one! Thought it was just a film, which of course i can catch up on, seeing as i can never stay till 7 on tuesdays, having un-movable prior commitments. But i've just found out there's a lecture before the film, so next tuesday i plan to stay for that then leave and catch up on the film another time.
      Wednesday: I SHOULD say these have been useful, you know, for life and stuff.... but to be perfectly honest they've so far proved to be the biggest waste of my time so far. I hate to say that, as I know they are indeed 'importnat' becasue they're about practitioners' actual lives and i will of course need to know these very practical things at one time, but still.
     So far, teh first week was mediocre, i was uninterested but it was tolerable. The second week i was dead bored out my tiny mind, my back ached beyond measure and i was put hours behind on my work, all from listening to this man go ON about his work. I wasn't going to go, as i had so much work to do, but i decided last minute that i should; it might change my life or something...Needless to say, i was exceedingly mad that i'd made the 'responsible' decision and gone to it. This week, yesterday, again i wasn't going to go- i had piles of work to do and my reflective journal, which has been a casualty of my mad timetable, BUT I DID trek the hour and a half to college only to be told it was cancelled. There's no one to blame for that, i didn't particularly mind as i was basically joyful I didn't have to go, and could get on with my work all the sooner. The problem was that if he had been there, i would have been as miserable as in the previous weeks- it being yet another designer, this time in advertising, which may have been better than the previous, but was still not my thing at all. WHEN WILL THERE BE ILLUSTRATORS???? i need to find out who's going to be on...it's not worth the time and trek if it's going to be nothing of interest or importance.
     Thursday: I live for thursdays. The lectures are FANTASTIC and i love them. I wouldn't miss one even if i were in new zealand teh night before. I'd take out a loan and jump on a plane.

My workload:  is too much given my travelling time, tbh. I will need to sort out my timetable this weekend, cos this is mad. I'm managing, barely....
         ....it's not the work, it's the travel. It's the people on the travel. I hate it. I've had to muster up courage to leave the house today, after the experience i had yesterday nearly drove my to agoraphobia.
                                     I've never really been a tv watcher- i watch it but i prefer books. All my favourite shows (all two of them) i watch on dvd. Yet recently i've begun to understand. I love tv. it makes human interaction possible without actually having to interact with humans. don't have to touch them. don't have to put up with their nastiness in any of its forms. can switch them off at will.  :)
      you need never leave home. I would like to never leave home, until i have a nice big country house in the middle of nowhere and a lake, on my own with three sheep.
                     That's all i need.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Curiouser and curiouser: English illustrators, designers and artists

...from the wonderful place I call home:

1. From 'The Highwayman', illustrated by by Charles Keeping
      I was literally raised on this dark poem, and I've always had a special place in my heart for it and its brilliant illustrations. I love the dramatic elegance of Keeping's inky style; how it so vividly portrays emotion and movement without using any colour- which i can link to my own work, I often just draw in black and white, although it's usually because I get really proud of a drawing and can't bear to colour it in, rather than because I've mastered the technical wizardry of the medium. (Far from it. :) )

2. 'Visions of the daughters of Albion' by William Blake
      I appreciate illustrations with meaning, and you don't get more meanigful than William Blake. This illustration has many meanings- all the characters represent something, with the overall theme of the painting being the innocence and political freedom of early North America, and the longing jealousy of the 'monarchy-opressed' Britain it sprang from. This is also relevant to me because I am half American and have an interest in early american history (well, the history of the Native americans, to be precise). I also like how he's drawn Theotormon (on the right) tying himself in knots over his moral dilemma- it's a really interesting visual interpretation of the metaphor.

3. Arthur Rackham
     I couldn't find the name of this work online, but I've always loved it particularly out of Rackham's work, since I found it in a book at school. I adore Rackham's style; i find it very inspiring as i am fascinated with fairy tales and his grim(m) yet homely style welcomes me. I really like the sinewy look of the tree and how that relates to the softness of the girl. This has special meaning to me because i also talk to trees. ;) I love trees, they tell me stories as they rock me.

4. Alan Aldridge 'Who Killed Cock Robin?'
     Last year i went to the Museum of everything in Primrose Hill, and was duly fascinated by some scenes by a taxidermist who had created what was almost like 3d illustration, illustrating stories using stuffed animals arranged in specific tableaux within glass frames. I forgot who the artist was, but this image reminds me of it. I find it visually stimulating, and very interesting as there is so much to look at...which is true of all Aldridge's work.


5. Tom Eckersley
      My favourite book as an infant was Percy Short and Cuthbert, which was about the adventures of a very small hippo and a giant pelican. For that reason I've always loved pelicans and wanted to climb into their ginormous beaks. :) This just reminds me of that, although the thing about banks (which is why he done it) is dull to the extreme.

6. Frank Newbould- Skegness
    I am very inspired by the art deco style that is reflected in Newbould's work, although it's never influenced my own work (yet. I keep all doors open). This image resonated with me because it reminded me of my own fond memories of the seaside in my own bright red swimsuit when I was little. I've always loved red. The power of the graphic designer is immense, and I find this very interesting. Since seeing this poster, I've wanted to go to Skegness, a place I'd never even thought of before. Also: the old man reminds me of Captain January, a favourite Shirley Temple film of mine.

7.Cloud study by Constable
      I find this interesting purely because I love clouds almost or maybe more than I love trees. Actually. to refine that: I love clouds MORE because I haven't conquered drawing them yet. I'm pretty happy with the method I've got for trees and I need to have one for clouds too. And i just LOVE travelling through them,  especially the pillar-like fluffy ones that make planes jump about. I love turbulence. The best experience I've ever had was on a plane over Georgia, window seat over the wing, lightning storm literally forming out of the clouds next to me. The lightning cracked the sky open and illuminated the nebula-like, densely twisted cloud formatins around it. Everyone else was screaming but I was enthralled...

8. Ben Wilson- drawing on chewing gum
     This artist lives and works very near me and I've seen him at it often in my local muswell hill/east finchly. Besides that, I think I've eaten at the cafe this is about! (They're very good) I find the concept of his work very interesting, as I would never have thought to draw on gum ever, but it really does brighten up the streets.

9. 'Marriage a la Mode' by Hogarth
     I find his insights into social behaviour both funny and relevant despite how he worked in the 18th century. This has nothing of particular relevance to me except that it's just one of my favourite paintings ever. I like art to tell a story, stories are what I'm primarily concerned with...hence my river washed me up into illustration.

Victorian memento mori  
I find this photo very interesting and terribly sad, as well as peculiar - on the one hand it's a little ghastly, yet on the other it's a poignant rminder of a little girl who was so obviously loved. (Did i mention she's dead?) The idea of photgraphing one's dead relative is one that has been (thankfully) lost over time. The ease of photography we all enjoy today makes it easy to capture a person whilst living, happy memories recorded while they happen. But in the Victorian times when daguerrotypes were brand new, often the only photo a family of a dead loved one (especially a child, given the high rate of infant mortality) had would ahve been taken post mortem.
    i suppose it's just another way of remembering and coping with loss, thinngs which we all have to deal with. To them it wasn't as odd and macabre as it seems to us, it was an expression of loving memory (especially in the above image- you can just imagine the little girls's parents arranging her favourite dolls to sleep with her for eternity :( ) as well as a reminder of one's own mortality.