Friday, May 29, 2009

I _am_ still here ...


The bombsite that is my work space at the moment ...
Notice many cups of tea and blinds drawn down to keep out the sun.
(and, yes, that is a copy of Genes V and my PhD thesis propping up the monitor)

Really enjoying my work right now but it's SO hard to concentrate when it's sunny outside (see, blinds lowered to reduce distraction), and I'd much rather be doing other fun stuff, or wedding planning, or picnic-ing in Ashton Court (we've been on a couple of walks there recently and seen a pair of peregrines!).

Aarrrrrrrgh .... want it to be over already!!!

Another 4 days to assesment, then a couple of weeks to write up 3rd year dissertation proposal, then its full steam ahead to summer and the wedding!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little bit of inspiration ...

I've got another week and a half of diligent work till the last hand-ins for this term - how time flies, eh? I'm developing the little girl dancing images into a children's book and am really enjoying it at the moment - but its all very much work-in-progress right now so I haven't really got anything to show here ...

Instead I thought I'd share some wonderful websites I've come across whilst doing research for this project - and also because my drawing style is slowly becoming very much more retro inspired ...

TWO blogs of vintage children's books! (click on images to go straight to the blogs):

And also there's these three flickr groups ... mmmmm..... eye candy!

EDIT: German children's book illustration!

I'm going to have to do 4 fully illustrated spreads, and an accompanying dummy book which is the full set of 13 spreads + title pages + end papers done as sketches rather than fully illustrated. Hopefully, if the tutors are happy with it and I get a lot of good feedback, I'm going to try and finish off the whole book over summer - yay :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tweet tweet?

T-minus two months till I become Mrs Sunshine ... and I thought I'd share with you one of my most important projects. I think everyone who is likely to receive one of these (and reads this blog) has already done so, so I'm not spoiling anyone's surprise ... I hope ...

If you remember this, well look what became of it:

One sheet is the (very informal) invite, and the other sheet is a cut out and make little remember-the-date bird which turns into this:

It took a long time to get to a design that I was happy with - here's the evolution of the tweeter:

The bird is based on this gorgeous set of Alice Melvin designed menagerie from the Tate. I tried lots of different bird cut-outs but this one worked the best. I had to redesign it slightly to make it work for what I wanted.

I really wanted a letterpressed invite - but the quotes I got were well beyond our budget, and for a while I thought of screenprinting at college - which would have been fine if I had 40 guests - but we have a lot more, and the time limitation just didn't allow it. In the end they were done digitally from coloured ink on watercolour paper originals. I wasn't happy with the colour reproduction, or the paper quality - but hey, they are done, and have been sent out (and received!).

If any of my lovely readers who received one of these has actually made them, please send me a photo of you with them. And there a few of my readers who can't come to the wedding - I have cards for you! I just need to get my act together and mail them ;) (yes Luceanne, I'm thinking of you!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All quiet ...

... on the blogging front ...

I am here, just getting on with the last of this year's college work ...

Proof: More dancing in my sketchbook:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My b-b-b-beautiful neighbourhood!

I don't usually blog about non-arty things on this blog - but music is creative, no?

Anyways, this weekend it has been the Southbank Bristol Arts trail - in our neighbourhood! We wondered round last year and this year was just as good, if not better. We have lots of artists living in the area - including the dean of my art college whom we saw sitting in his front garden marking dissertations ...

Wondering round yesterday, we came across crafty musician, Rachael Dadd who lives just a few streets over from us. I bought this GORGEOUS embroidered badge from her, and found out that they would be having a 'house concert' later that evening.

After seeing lots of fab art and meeting lots of talented neighbours; we stopped off at home for a bit of dinner. Feeling satiated post dinner, we weren't sure we wanted to head out again - but it was so close, there was no excuse ... and are we mighty glad we did!

First off, Rachael on piano with about 30 people sitting on every surface of her living room (yes, I was by her feet):

Rachael was followed by her housemate, Will (got a bit too dark to take photos). Listen to their music here: Rachael & Will. Both absolutely lovely lovely ...

Then we all decamped into the back garden where there must have been at least 40 people all sat round the big washing-machine-drum fire, sitting on the wall, looking through upstairs windows, etc etc .

Rachael and Will then played together as "The Hand":

After that we had Jethro (aka Jetfly). I just looked through our photos and realised we didn't get any of him! Darn ... He was GREAT ... must say that if you ever get to see him, make sure he sings "Punk Folk Disco" ... oh yes, my favourite song of the weekend ...

Then came - through, the back gate, on stilts, Ichi. I can't even begin to describe what this man is or does ... he played anything and everything; all by himself; including right at the end, the popper on his head! Suffice to say I hadn't smiled so much in one night in a long time ... :)

Nothing could top that - or could it? Last but not least, came out, in full costume, Jaaja ... Where did Rachael FIND these people? They are hitch-hiking round Europe for 6 months playing any gig they can get - if you come across them, GO SEE THEM! My cheeks are still hurting!

This is the band in full gear:

And this is their lead singer, with headgear off, standing on a chair and trying not to strangle himself on the washing line (the song
was about a washing machine ...):

That must have been the best evening out I have had in a LOOOOOOOONG time ... and how nice to be able to do it in a stranger's home ...

Apart from that, Sunshine also managed to help some ladies make some pottery:

And today we managed to see a couple more great local bands, The Ambling Band, another one not to be missed:

And last but not least, we managed to see my lovely friend and coursemate, Alice, and her band Limb Bones. Ah... what talented friends I have ...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Never will I choose to become a storyboard artist

Now don't get me wrong, I think storyboards are mighty useful things, especially if you're trying to visually work out a storyline for a narrative (a graphic novel; a children's picture book; etc) BUT I definitely would not choose to be a 'storyboard artist' - someone who does it if for a living for things that are then going to be translated to screen (eg TV, ads, films etc) ...

As part of our Visual Narrative module, we've had storyboard artist Oliver Harud in doing a workshop with us. He gave us a kind of live brief - an ad he had to work on last year - and we had to make up the 12 panel storyboards for it. Fine ... but we didn't actually think up the 12 panels - we were given quite specific descriptions (for example panel 3 was "Close up of her plate of healthy food (not just salad but steam fish/chicken & veg)" and it just felt odd to be told so specifically what was needed ... creativity was REALLY limited - and a lot of us struggled. It didn't help that the ad was for a diet pill!

As you can see, the arrow thing on panels 8 & 9 were prescribed to be quite specifically as top view with the whole arrow and whole figure. I was so bored of the drawing (pretty much everyone had done the same image - just in slightly different styles), that I decided to do my own alternative version of her swimming towards the camera.

Anyways, I ended up using the workshop to try and work on developing a character and re-drawing her in different positions and environments ... and in that respect, I got a lot out of the workshop - and Oliver was a great tutor (along with Ben Newman who was also around giving advice). But I sure don't see myself doing this for the rest of my life ....