Saturday, 31 December 2011

ITAP- Connectivity

Josiah McElheny talking about the notions of originality
One of the key principles of the connectivity lecture was notions of originality in visual communication and further more the art world. Being original and different is something every artist strives for. Doing things and coming up with aesthetic creations in which no one else has done before could well be an
 innocent and valid goal for an artist but the simple fact is that it is quite unattainable. Being creative has been around nearly as long as we have.  We can only hope to recreate and existing idea and add our own style or ideals onto the artwork. After the preraphelite era artists where now abundant with varying degrees of skill but nonetheless a wealthy person could acquire one personally if he so required. The paintings where originally intended for private consumption, therefore artists would make copies of their own works many times without thinking that they would be seen together. This is an example of pieces of art being recreated and re drawn by the artist who created them, often many times, picasso famously recreating la dora maar in about 60 different adaptations. So for contempory artists looking for indivudualistic style, it is a very tall order.

La Dora Maar au chat
I have often found trouble trying to find a style or a particular technique to stick to. But I think the most important thing is not to worry about it, also the fact I am still young, bears evidence that I should try and fail first before resigning to a specific style. See what works for me, many artists died well into their 80's and were still experimenting artistically. It's a case of finding out what methods work for you, paint a way that is comfortable and not be scared to try something different. It is healthy to push yourself at every opportunity. 


Another key principle was Bricolage and its use in contempory culture. Many moons ago the process of Bricolage involved using photography, printed imagery and the more traditional pen, pencil and charcoal. In modern times the process is a little different, often relying on computer software such as Adobe photoshop to adjust and re-touch images to create an intended purpose. A famous example of traditional bricolage would be Elsie Wright-Cottingley's fairies in which a series of 5 photographs were produced in 1917 and used by Arthur Conan Doyle and cause wide hysteria and a nation to question the reality of the mythical creatures known as fairies.

 Contempory artists use slightly different mediums to create bricolage effects, using compiled images of various sources often to advertise a promotional campaign for a perspective client. On the image on left the graphic designer most likely used photoshop to create this effective poster, creating a city line in the ash of the smoking cigarette.

Companies will often hire the assistance of a graphic designer when it comes to advertising, often to portray the corporate identity of the firm or to stir a particular feeling or emotion they wish to evoke in the audience. For example quite often soft drink companies such as coca cola would have a designer photoshop water droplets onto their cans for use in advertising poster, to give the sense of a cool, cold and refreshing drinking experience.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

ITAP- Development of creative thought

Artist Unknown

Creativity and the thought processes which it entails is something that can not always be learnt or furthermore taught. It is now scientifically accepted that the majority of the population have a tendency to use 1 side of their brain more than the other. Those who use their right side of their brain are more creative. Also the right side of the brain being home to philosophy, imagination and spatial perception while those of the left side persuasion often being more logical, analytical and expository. By no means does this mean that if a person tilts more towards the right or left side of thinking that they are completely lacking in some of the traits of their opposing brain side. In my case for example I would confidently say that I am more of a right side of the brain person, being a creative I would at least hope to be. But I also can be extremely analogical and over-rational to the point sometime where I can stunt my own creative process by completely shunting my own artwork because I hate it. So this is to be taken as an excepted rule of thumb but by no means a universal guide for every person on the planet.

Overcoming mindsets.
Overcoming mindsets. The 1st key principle. As visual communicators we can often become entrapped within a certain way of working which sometimes stunts our design process and can very well get in the way of coming up with an innovative idea and something which is interesting and different. Working in this habitual way gets us predictable results. By keeping to the same creative methods which have worked before you do not allow for change, mistakes and imaginative outcomes. Mistakes are needed, by making mistakes you figure out ways around them, often finding completely different ways of communicating the same idea but still keeping it relative and in keeping with your original idea.

Timesaving irony

Getting rid of Assumptions was the 2nd key principle of the lecture. Assumptions within the visual communication industry for me can be transferred and relative in a number of different disciplines. For me I've seen assumption and preconceptions become a big part of the illustration community, with potential clients not acquiring the help and expertise  of an illustrator for a graphic design job because they do not often think that illustrators could also be graphic designers, which a majority of the time is far from the truth. My disciplinary route choice is illustration, but coming from  a 3 year graphic design course, I have had my fair share of logo design, magazine editing and corporate identity.

Problems ?
Restating problems. The 3rd key principle. There will always be problems and creative hurdles to overcome in graphic communication. more so within creative teams when you can add personality clashes into the melting pot. But this is one of the best things about the creative industry, being able you find a creative team with the right amount of cumulative idea and process with a bit of wanting to tear the other person apart and your onto success. You need another opinion, well in commercial visual communication anyway. When a firm has lifted a brief from an influential client and need to design , lets say a product, for mass market, there is no way you can depend on the imagination and view of a single person. Everyone needs to make a contribution.

Ward Jenkins

Mel Milton
Developing Ideational fluency. The 4th key principle, is something which I think I'm generally good at. I have now developed my own way of thought generation and fluent design process, where I write down the concept, image or word in which I wish to take further, then surround it in a type of mind-map of thought and ideas often accompanied by scamps and sketches you immediately illustrative my idea. Another part of my
My process
creative process is collecting ephemera to include in my design process. In my magazine project, I have collected various small publications and dissected things I like and dislike about the magazine, and go on to incorporate some of the better design outcomes in my own spreads. I also like to write, alot, I do this more for myself than the person flicking through my sketchbook. I usually like to explain to myself exactly what I'm doing as I'm doing it as I often forget what I was hoping to attempt by the time I start drawing, others I would delineate entirely.

Managing a creative enviroment. The 5th and final principle. This can be incredibly important, the things you surround yourself with while drawing, designing or writing can have an immense influence on your work. Which is why often you will enter the work space of a creative to see it plastered with everything from sketches to limited edition collectible from a sci-fi movie. Also the reason for sticking up sketches and drawings you have done previously is to help you in times of creative block. If your sat there twiddling your thumbs stuck for something to draw, reclining in your seat and looking at a wall with a sketch you have drawn can help you re draw and re imagine something you had previously created.
My workspace.


Drawing by hand

Drawing by hand is something that has become 2nd nature to me. I find it incredibly useful and personally the best way to best communicate ideas, at least in the initial developmental stage. The fluidity you get from lead on paper or even ink is something that you can't attain digitally, this means you can change and tinker with your creative thoughts as your thinking them. As seen in this page taken from my sketchbook, my initial creative process is very sporadic and a bit all over the place, with varying thought stems sprouting from a primary word, concept or image usually accompanied by a sketch to help me to instantly visualise what I am trying to describe.

The 1st key principle was to work by hand, the 2nd being to utilise your creative brain which I'm illustrating in this page from my RVJ. Moving on from my initial sporadic thought processes on the 1st page now I have picked a couple of concepts which I find strong and communicate an clear idea and am concentrating on figuring out how they would work. Using sketches and narrative I am helping myself understand how these more deffinative ideas would work in the context of a magazine, allowing trial an error ,with some being strong and interesting but not really tailored in the magazine layout.

Principle 3 and 4 are perfectly illustrated in this page spread from my RVJ for a number of reasons. Firstly by this stage I am starting to develop a visual language in the literal sense and within design context. The concept on these pages is a narrative illustrative idea of having a character cartoon strip within the magazine entitled "how the brummie got it's accent", highlighting the literal interpretation of a visual language. Also as visible in my stlye and way of working I have developed a visual language within a design context, attaining contunuity in the way i communicate my design process aswell as aesthetics, using muted colours in my sketches and scamps. The 4th key principle, Cyclic design process I have shown at the bottom of the sketchbook spread using arrows and graphic novel type illustrations showing the viewer how the story would develop and change, frame to frame. The 5th key process is highlighted in the overall design process, before moving on in my sketchbook i usually evaluate my thoughts and ideas I have concluded in that point in time, usually choosing which one works best and which not to persue.
                                     Sketchbook process by an artist I admire Johnny Hardstaff
                     Another collection of sketchbooks from an insperational artist Mattias Adolfson

Monday, 24 January 2011

Eyegasmz!..tell a friend

Bo' yes!

soundmerch : the screen printing process from SoundMerch on Vimeo.

Bookmark forthwith

This website gives you the ability to construct your own fonts all online. You characterise your chosen font with glyphs which you customize with a variety of tools available on the grid provided. Once you have created all your letters and numbers, name your font and click download. You then get the TT file to install on your computer mac to use in any program you choose, all vectored and free of charge. Bostin ay' it!

Effing typeface


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Artist highlight : Phill Dunne

Phil Dunne is an incredible illustrator from Dublin, Ireland, who has spent the last 29 years drawing, painting, doodling and creating mind blowing pieces of art. From 1999 to 2003 Phil was studying at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin to get his degree in Visual Communications. After graduating he started to build his portfolio with several different projects and clients. Since then, Phil has already produced great pieces that you might of already seen around the web or at depthCORE.