I have never really been the kind of illustrator to keep sketch books. This is more of an issue for me with its physical form. The sketch book serves as a playground in order to experiment and produce work in preparation for when an opportunity to produce a full project arises. The sketch book serves as a companion of past ideas, trials and documented errors in smaller more manageable segments, ready for exploitation. However, as an artist who now works 100% digitally, the tangible sketch book feels more of a novel concept in its self.
Although I do not work with a sketch book, I do however understand it’s purpose. Behind each portfolio piece of work there are many lesser versions completed to some degree. I have spent many hours working on dislocated elements of work – for example, hair. Studying how or artists and illustrators use mark making to convey hair, dissecting their respective work flows and adopting fragments of these into my own work flow. Elements of experimentation may come in the form of mini projects (with a fictional client, sometimes myself providing a loose brief) or simply, creating a small part of a potentially larger illustration without the commitment to produce a complete work.
Initial interests and areas of interest.
In the approaching years prior to starting my studies at Portsmouth university there have been a number of articles, books, film and essays that have captured my attention and have helped further interest in diversifying my knowledge. These I feel are responsible for my current thought patterens and new ideas concerning what I do as a practiononer.
These sourses of insertaion are not illustration themselves, but other forms of media.
HyperNormalisation – Adam Curtis
HyperNormalisation, published exclusively on the BBC iplayer platform is a visual essay presented alongside often haunting long cuts taken from stock footage obscurity. The footage contextualises Curtis’s narrative as he takes you through history (early 70’s) to present day in a series of chapters leading to our modern day lives.
Curtis suggests that the trending opposites of our times – the chatter of social media and the stricture of Islamic fundamentalism – represent a retreat from complexity into an existence that constantly reflects our desires and anxieties back to us. Meanwhile, genuine power to change lives becomes more opaque and distant, leaving large parts of the world helpless and desperate. Along the way, this being Curtis, his film offers tragicomic asides on Patti Smith and Occupy, BlackRock investments and The X-Files. - Tim Adams
Sunday 9 October 2016 - theguardian.com
Personally, for me on a martial level HyperNormalisation remains so powerful because of the inventive format of the artefact in itself. I feel a sense of immersion far removed from what if felt when reading text. Instead of thinking only in words (an abstraction in itself) I feel more inclined to react and think visually. For me Curtis’s works are valuable as they allude to framing my own context in the world. Also, as a researcher I enjoy Curtis’s human led based theories. Major events often shown as aftermaths from conversations, breakdowns in political friendships and conflicts of interests. I believe these methodologies of thinking are relevant to me and serve as an influence.
The Consolations of Philosophy (ISBN 0-140-27661-0)
Alain de Botton.
Many die hard readers of philosophy disregard de Botton’s work, passing it on account for the reductionist handling of complex ancient and contemporary philosophy. However as my core interest in not specifically philosophy In this well intended text, most interesting to me is the appropriation of philosophy in a modern context.
Alain de Botton presents several modern problems we all face in secular society, and attempts to retrieve logic as a from respective philosophers such as Nietzsche and Socrates in order to console the reader. I think the process of using philosophy in a re-appropriated context to help others is inspirational.
This is an attitude I want to transfer to illustration as I believe the novel as a form of technology is held in lesshigh esteem and potential handicaps the ideas from reaching their full potential as those who may benefited greatly from Alain de Botton’s teaching may not or may not have an interest in reading.
Akira – Feture animation film – Japan - 1988
Akira is a 1988 Japanese adult animescience fiction film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, produced by Ryōhei Suzuki and Shunzō Katō, and written by Otomo and Izo Hashimoto, based on Otomo's manga of the same name.
In this video, the author analyses the use of light, and explains how these lights act as a motif for the film makers story telling.
Post WW2, because of the impact of the rapid technological industrialization, many feel that in effort to preserve japans identity. Akiras underlying themes refer to the uncomfortable nature of which modern japan clashes with its traditions. This is explored in more detail in the YouTube video provided. I particularly love how the environment in Akia is used to convey the sheer scale of Tokyo in a postmodern almost dystopian setting, and how the use of lighting. The neon lights are symbolic for the modernity of japan, as these where first used by tech companies such as Sony, and changed the visual landscape of japan.
WILL SELF: ON THE DEATH OF FILM
Will Self provides a very interesting theses on film, its relationship to long form fiction.
I particularly find this talk interesting as Self discuses to medium of film, and literature and acknowledging these artefacts as technological items, and how through time their relevance may shift in importance through time.
I also enjoy Selfs capacity as a speaker, i find the fluid unscripted deliverance makes his wordds more impactfull
Library reading –
Alongside the recommended reading, these are some of the texts I have first begun reading to begin my future research.
I will go into further detail in future blog posts.
Illustration: A Theoretical and Contextual Perspective (9786612662140) Alan Male
Philosophy and the Arts -Royal institute of philosophy lectures- VI
(a collection of essays, concerning pholiphy and art)
- a difficlut text, howver have proven very interesding.
Materiality -Petra Lange-Berndt
Whitechapel Gallery, 2015 - Art - 239 pages