Saturday, 28 November 2009

Sometimes I wish I was born in the fifties....

Our final project of 2009 is now underway - batch production. Make 5 books for 5 pounds, and look at the word 'book' in the loosed sense of the term. It's such a lovely project that was introduced to us by the incredible Professor George Hardie, who was responsible for this

amongst so much more amazing work. After the lecture, a few of us were discussing it and I just thought about how I almost wish I had been brought up 4 decades earlier, and been working at the time George Hardie was. People asked why, and I felt it was because you could design things - posters, album sleeves, books, and that on its own was enough. 

You could be a master craftsperson of the printed page, and no one cared if you could make a flashing-glittery-viral-interactive-social-network-integrated-ad-campaign. I don't resent screen based design or the progression of technology - without this need to make better our ways of disseminating information, the printing press would never have been invented in the first place. Neither am I denying the environmental consequences of print. However it's nice to spend sometime recalling the beauty what what is seen by many as a dying artform. 

This is what I plan to do in my book, through the use of both collages of classic diagrams and manuals plus my own photographs which I will be taking on Wednessday when I travel to the Newsquest print centre in Southampton for research. 

Personally I'm hoping that even though there will be less printed media in the near future, it will mean what is printed will be better quality and designers will have to think much harder about it. Maybe those who take the time to learn the process inside out, will be all the more valued. As to whether this will actually happen, I'm guessing my generation of designers will be the ones to find out.

Monday, 16 November 2009

All You Need Is...a few white walls and some free alcohol tempt people into submitting some artwork. So Saturday night was a great success! We had a chance to pat ourselves on the back and say "arn't we just talented?" at the opening night of the exhibition titled "All You Need Is..." organised by Pat Bradbury and other Brighton Uni Illustration students at the Artist's Residence B&B.

I was excited to have the opportunity to present something on actual-real-paper instead of pixels, and so I submitted an (albeit rushed) but I think just about satisfactory piece of work in response to the brief. It attempted, via a subverted diagram of military ration pack menu variations, to make a comment on the disposable nature of the human beings we send into war-zones and the quantities we discuss them in, similar to the 5000 calories soldiers are attempted to tot up each day. Yes indeed. Suffice to say it may have been a bit far fetched – but hopefully the image could stand alone as something which looks interesting and might raise a question, even if that may be "Ally what the hell is this about?".

More images of work here

Friday, 13 November 2009

Wired Sussex Portfolio Clinic

Last night I headed to the Corn Exchange to attend Wired Sussex's portfolio clinic. A wide range of different digital design agencies attended to offer up their wisdoms on how to be more successful in applying for work (or in my case internships) and how to get the most out of your portfolio.
It was a very popular event so most of my time was spent in a que to speak to designers but it was without a doubt worth my while.

I spoke to 3 agencies based in Brighton or surrounding areas – Preview,  Red Design and Crush.

They were all very encouraging and supportive of the work I showed them, and it's always nice to get feedback from somebody in industry who isn't one of your tutors and will judge your work solely on face value, without any bias towards a pre-established understanding of you as a student.

The main pieces of advice I took away from the event were

  • Always push yourself as much as possible – pick the hardest most challenging briefs you can, and don't be put off by that.This being the kind of tutorial advice than can be difficult advice to follow when faced with a looming deadline but it's inspiring to have this message echoed by designers working in industry.
  • That designers love to get things through the post and sending out things can be much more effective than an e-mail sometimes.
  • That most agencies do actually bother to look at the pdf's you send them, and that it's still a good way of finding work experience. 
  • Keep at it!
Theres a lot to be said for having these people give you the time of day, sometimes it's all you need to push you further.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Audio Brief

A live brief set by the Brighton club, Audio to create the imagery for their monthly listings poster.
I'm currently working into some of the imagery I produced over the summer, with photographs of random textures scanned and manipulated in photoshop.
They are looking for something "left-field" and interesting, I'm guessing along the lines of Village Green's series of posters for Fabric in London.
As a started point I was inspired by these images I saw at the Photographer's Gallery a few years ago of supposed 'ectoplasm', a material produced out of the orifices of seance participants.

I'm quite skeptical about how real these are but I thought the imagery could be reinterpreted in an interesting way. Francis Bacon supposedly also interpreted these photographs for his piece "Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion".

These needs working into more but that basic feel of it is starting to look this this:

Thanks to lovely Sally for letting me use her face!

Work is ongoing.....

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

More than just a pretty face...

Beautiful AND intelligent! This flickr set displays some of the loveliest photos of slime mold (not actually mold, it's just a living organism that uses spores to reproduce). They can solve mazes in order to seek out their food, and apparently also have the capability for short term memory. In experiments where a slime mold that did like light was placed in a box, it learnt to shrink down (as if cowering) when the lid was opened, even when the lid was opened in a dark room. Amazing! I'm hoping to use this for an art & science collaborative project (a selected bolt-on to my degree) in some way....perhaps developing on the ideas of natural graffiti such as this lovely typographic work by Anna Garforth

I find really exciting the idea that you can still have the freedom of expression in chance dialogues with the public that comes from graffiti, but in a non-vandalistic, non-permanent way. I'm also inspired by the possibility that the message could interact with the environment and medium in some way. Much more development is needed but the results may be exciting!