Friday, 28 May 2010

What a palava

Well I am finally heading to camberwell to hand in. I have had to compromise on including colour in the loop I hand in because techincal issues got way too in the way. Before the exhibition I should be able to use a working computor and put the colour pictures into a more successful loop. For now I've had to put it all on a USB to hand in, i'm nto sure if this is allowed? Hopefully it will be ok. I am really dissapointed in how this is gone.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Possibly a final piece

If this has worked, it's a video loop I managed to get of my drawings. I've also managed to burn it to disk now so fingers crossed.

Drastic Change of plan

Well, after a few more tried flash DEFINATELY isnt working on that mac, nor is imovie. Nor can I find anything that isn't a dodgy download to convert the loops I managed to make on windows movie maker to a .mov file that is suitable for submission. Nor can I put my colour pictures anywhere on display.

Best bet now is to hope that the digital media room is open very early (in a few hours) and print the colour pictures. There are no available options in terms of submitting the loop in time for examination. HOWEVER. It is not the exhibition yet, and I have two weeks to use the college library computors with flash on to make a new one. Although this won't be assessed, it means I can still exhibit the piece how I wanted to.

One positive thing came out of tonights work...I managed to burn my interview with my nanny on to disk. Tra la la.

This whole experience has really infuriated me, as I have had many problems with using technology in my work in the past, but this time I was really excited about using the new mediums in the piece. But once more, it was being reliant on the technology to produce an end result that has been the failure.

I am still fairly happy with handing in my 12 drawings as my final work for examination, as they are the work, the loop just is a way of bringing the ideas to life. This doesn't mean to say i'm not really pissed off. I just hope I pass. I should have factored in technology failure and errors to my time plan, but didn't. I know that this mess is my fault, but I can't help feeling if i'd just stuck to good old traditional methods I would have a complete body of work at this point, not a mess.


I have just spend the last 7 or so hours failing to put my drawings into a loop.

I know this seems like late on to be finishing off, but I've been pretty packed in for time. I had all the colour ready and done, allt he drawings ready and done, and thought it would take about an hour to loop them and burn to disk.

I've rented a MAC from the Central Loan Store. Once again they fail me...I don't know exactly what's wrong with it but it keeps saying there's not enough space to upload images into flash or imovie. I don't really understand this as there is a WHOLE COMPUTOR empty here. In addition, the charger is broken and keeps shutting the computor down. THEN, for the show reel you have to save your file as .mov, it says there are instructions on blackboard but I can't find them anywhere.

SO the long and short is. Hours of work on photoshop colouring my pictures, only to find I can't animate them, or even upload them to my blog. I also can't print them, because the library's colour printers are broken. So I don't know how to hand in the main body of my work. Not only that, but I can't produce a film to submit, another large and vital part of my work. Obviously, if I'd been more organised I could have got help with all of this and had it sorted out. Unfortunately that is not the case. As late as I am though, I still had a time plan. It just didn't take into account that the CLS laptops wouldn't work and the camberwell printers wouldnt work.

Four in the morning is not a good time to think on the spot.
I am glad we recieve a word count, as otherwise all my work would be a rambling pile of shit.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

I am trying to complete my evaluative statement and am finding it really hard to put all these weeks of thinking into a cohesive 500 words. There's just too much stuff to include!

Also, went to the 1st year shows at camberwell last night, made me both worried and less worried. There was a lot of work where it was clear not much thought had gone into the presentation, or in fact the work, which was worrying. There was also some good work, like in painting 'Tom's curiosity', a sort of brick that was hot when you put your fingers in it. But all in all the standard seemed to be pretty mixed. I suppose though that this is a good thing, it shows that if you work hard and present your work thoughtfully and well, it will stand out positively. It is also worrying in terms of our exhibition though, as I have never prepared for an exhibition before, and I feel distinctly un-ready.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I feel a lot better and less stressed. Have just picked up a MAC to put my images into flash, and have since been scanning in my drawings. Flicking through them looks like you're being shown a reel from a school photograph, all different boys. Seeing a moving image similar to how the end result should look had restored my confidence, I think it's going to be a really interesting result.

It was also interesting that just seeing the drawings put through the process of scanning and then into moving image made me realise a lot more about audience and what message I am going to be communicating. I am glad I'm putting the images on a loop, I think it will be an effective way to reflect the ideas behind the peice and show how the faces change from drawing to drawing. It would have been good to have more work to loop, to see how this changed.

Final Days

I have realised in the last week or so that my time management has been really bad. I am now trying to do a final push in these last few days to rectify the huge problems I have given myself through my mismanagement of my own work.

Looking through the criteria, I think I have been following them, but the lack of organisation means that I just need to find a way to show more clearly what I have been looking at etc. I think this blog shows a lot of my process through the project, so with sketchbooks and research that should be ok. I think what isn't so clear is the transition from when I changed my source material from my great-grandad's magic act to the photo of my dad. I've realised that people can't see what i'm thinking in my head, and it's essential to always write it down or illustrate it in some way. The other major error was that I didn't make a new timetable for myself, basically just went off the FMP rails. I have been constantly working, researching and thinking about the project, just because I didn't make a plan I think this may be hard to reflect in the work I hand in. I am quite stressed and worried.

I've decided to drastically cut down the number of drawings- again because of lack of plan I was just drawing as many as came out over the weeks, and focus on completing my evaluation and making sure I have an aqequate final peice. In the time I have left, I could get the number of drawings I need done, but it would leave me no time to prepare everything else I have to hand in. I also need to scan the rest of the drawings in and add colour to them all, and compile them in flash.

I have at least learnt a great deal from this project, I know that I am never going to be this unorganised again.

Monday, 24 May 2010

On a large scale

On Friday I put some A1 sheets on the wall and used brush pens and letraset markers to draw the image on a larger scale.

This is what I meant to do with the projector a few weeks ago, except the projector I hired didn't work. I think with a projector it would have been more helpful, as my main problem with this was the scale and proportions were really hard to get right, from looking at a small photograph to converting to an A1 size.

What the larger scale drawing did help me with though was exploring the facial expression in the photo. When i'm drawing on A4 I find it hard to capture the expression on my dad's face, as the light in the photograph causes blocks of shade around the contours of the face. I found that drawing it on a larger scale allowed it to open up and find the facial expression a bit more. This then really helped when I went back to continuing my A4 series, the last few I have drawn have been closer to the origional photograph than my previous efforts.

This really worked in a similar way to my exercises in drawing from memory, different mediums, etc- just getting more familiar with the image and seeing how this effects the pattern. Each time I draw the image I have to question whether I'm drawing from the image or from what I remember drawing about the image. More often than not, it's a mixture of both, but with the memory of how to draw the image as much more of an influence.

Friday, 21 May 2010


I realised that I haven't really articulated what my new plan is on this blog. After various group discussions, talking to Amanda, research and practise I realise I have reached a sort of hybrid cross in my piece of work, between an image that represents nostalgia, family history, and general things that go with the sort of Kodak golden years of the past- colours, archaic images and settings, things we associate with nostalgic feelings, and this crossed with an experiment in the practise of drawing- so I am repeatedly drawing the photo of my dad on a layout pad, and seeing what happens.

This came a lot from what I was thinking about Death of the Author, when my drawings came up as different family member's faces rather than my dad's. As I've been drawing I have noticed definate changes from image to image, even though each one is drawn in the same conditions. Often, they look like my face as a child.

In exhibition, my piece will visually look quite a lot like Dryden Goodwin's Sustained Endeavour, something I am quite concerned about, as the ideas behind my piece are very different. Although this is a concern, I still think that a loop of the drawings coupled with the origional drawings themselves is the best and most effective way to present my work in exhibition, so that comes over a concern that it is not a totally origional presentation. Dryden Goodwin's piece is about the endeavour of drawing matched with the endeavour of rowing, whereas mine is about the physcological triggers in memory that effect the end result of each drawing I create, when the media taken in is the same each time.

One thing I've found interesting about this project, and that I think has taught me alot about my own change in attitude to my work and how I work, is that I am less precious about drawing. Whereas before I would take days on one piece, I am now turning out several in a day. I don't know whether this is a good thing or not. I think in the context of the piece it is good, but I don't know if afterwards I will have permenantly changed my approach. Since studying illustration I have definately opened up to a 'looser', quicker, drawing style, but I have also carried on creating sustained drawings. I think that in this piece I'm not always happy with the quality of each drawing, although they produce the result I need, in a similary context of drawing from photographs I would usually spend a lot longer, and also be working in ink rather than pencil. I think it's been really important going through this process to realise this isn't always the best way to communicate what I am trying to illustrate.
Today I have been drawing the photo from memory again. It always turns out chunkier than the origional. I also find myself feeling like you do in an exam in school, straining to remember facts about where the lines go, then not wanting to put in ones that may not be right, you know you can't blag where they go, and then remembering a bit feels great, but mainly endup just blocking in main points, for example the shorts.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Yesterday I went to Brick Lane Gallery to see what it was like, not worth the visit. Then went to Whitechapel Gallery to see fff again, but it had finished! Error. So spent the rest of the day drawing. The faces begun to circle round to look like my first drawings again, more like my mum's dad. Very interesting.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

18th May

Last night as I went to sleep all I could see was a zoom up on the drawing, each mark on it.

I think experimenting in approached to drawing the image is really helping me understand drawing processes more. I'd still like to try projecting the image to draw from from, it's just unfortunate that the CLS one didn't work.*

I will try just larger scale drawing though, drawing upside down, eyes closed, different mediums, colour memory etc...

The more I draw and observe the image, the less it becomes a 2D person made from shapes and lines, the more it becomesa captured moment of a real person.

*Last week I hired a data projector from the CLS to project my image onto A1 paper and experiment with repeatedly drawing it using the projection as an outline pattern. However, the projector didn't work with 2 different computors. I think it is now too late on to try this again, but I can do similar experiments without the projector.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Drawing from Memory

After talking to Geoff on Monday I began drawing the image from memory. This was the first result. I found that I remembered it mostly as a whole image- for example I wasn't drawing the boy's shirt, I was drawing a block shape that I remembered filled that proportion. I also found that I felt like I wanted to put down everything quickly that I remembered. The whole drawing was quicker, and because I was drawing over a lightbox it came out thicker and darker in line.

I found I could remember the whole photo- colours, expression, shapes, but a lot of the connection between mental image and communicating on paper didn't really match. Often I would be drawing a line and know it was wrong. Everything seemed a lot flatter and heavier.

The smaller head here was my second attempt at drawing the photofraph from memory. I ended up just getting frustrated that the lines I was trying didn't match the image I could see in my mind- both drawings were a lot flatter and heavier.

The larger head was me trying to draw the face on a larger scale, as in the photo it is quite small and dark. I found that giving it space really helped in illustrating the expression on his face, the whole thing became more animated.

Repetative Drawing

These are the drawings I have been working on so far. I began with this first image, then used the lightbox to get the outline proportions on a layout pad, then copied from the photograph again. I'm hoping that by doing this I can see any patterns in the faces- do they relate to my family members, and in the drawings techniques.

I found that the drawings 2,3 and 4 all looked much more alike than the first one. This could be because I drew the first one really concentrating on the photograph, using a lightbox under the layout paper. The drawings 2,3 and 4 I probably didn't concentrate as much, because there is a difference in drawing once you know you can draw an image- it becomes quicker and more relaxed. I think I need to start again and put the same concentration into all of them as the first one, almost making myself forget what it was like to draw it? I don't know. Let's keep trying.

Drawing One
Drawing Two
Drawing Three
Drawing Four
Before this, I tried tracing over my first drawing using the lightbox and layout pad. I found that doing this made the drawings really overworked, with emphasis on mark-making and line. This first drawing looked quite grotesque and zombie-like. As I went through the 3 drawings, I accumulated knowledge about what would happen if I drew it straight off (zombie) so was lighter with my marks, turned the lightbox on and off inbetween mark-making, so then produced a lighter, softer result in the second two.
Layout trace One
Layout Trace Two
Layout Trace Three
After this, I tried drawing from memory. To the next post...
"Only the hand that erases can write the true thing."
-Meister Eckhart

Sunday, 16 May 2010


This afternoon Jake has been showing me how to use photoshop to add colour to my drawings.I can't believe i've never used it before!

I'm going to try doing a full image this evening, so far have just been trying different effects and colours. I've found it works quite well using blocks of opaque colour over the top of the drawing, rather than close up detail. This will also work well hopefully if the drawings are playing through flash on a loop.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have some pictures to put on here.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Pick Me Up

Quite some time ago now I went to the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House. I had a super day, found lots of new and wonderful artists and met some very interesting people indeed.

I particularly liked the work of Natsko Seki, a Japanese Artist who lives and works in London. She uses mixed media very effectively to make these beautiful, vibrant peices. I just can't work out how she does the layers! It also looks as though she uses found photography to collage with, another interesting translation of the medium.

My favourite collective, Nous Vous, were also there. I have admired their work for quite some time but had never yet seen an exhibition of theirs. I got to talk to William Edmonds in the afternoon and it was really useful- it helped me a lot in realising how I like to work, who I like to work with and also in finally deciding to accept my place at Camberwell for Illustration.
I bought some of their work, but need to scan it in to post. I really like the media they use, especially for packaging, eg. on the Now Owl CD made by William Edmonds- graphic paper, an opaque paper, screen prints and stickers. Something to bear in mind for future projects and work. I also found out some really useful information about printing techniques and good places in London to print on newsprint, which will come in really useful with my other work- the magazine and Alphabet.


Last week, Jake and I found a book on the floor near our friend's flat.
I was particularly struck by this entry.

I think it was that bit more effective because all the entries seem to be in different colours and handwriting each time. The book was also from 1962.
The chance find of a sentence, or reminder like that, reminded me of this postcard I bought in an antique fair...

"Just to remind you that Saturday has come."
Who was Victor, and who was Miss J. Pasfield? And why saturday? It all sounds very romantic and melancholy to me.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


As far as the exhibition goes, I know I will have a moving image to display. I have previously talked with Amanda about this- I think my peice would lose all context and effect if put on a show reel.

This means I have to either create an environment in which I can project it within our studio, or find another way. I have contacted a friend who has a spare plain television I could use, so if I get that tested that could be a possibility. The other problem is that the CLS run a lucky-draw system for people who've applied for projectors, tvs and dvd players for the exhibition. I've applied for a tv or projector, but If I am unsuccessful in the draw need back up. Fortunately, I think my mum has a projector I could use and have tested. Hopefully.

One Hour Project

On Monday we were told we had the dealine of one hour to create a final peice for this project.

I decided to adapt mine into a zoetrope- a simple mechanical device to create a moving image- as in the time frame it wouldn't have been possible to use flash or scan in images etc. I photocopied and reduced my drawing by 25%, 5 times, then to create movement changes the colour placement in each picture to create a flickering effect in the final moving image. Because we only had one hour, I just had to use what was to hand- so I used Letraset markers to colour the image. They worked quite well as they have a quite translucent quality to them.

My finished zoetrope- made from black card and a spinning stick- wasn't a particularly polished final result, but it served a purpose. What was clear in this is that although you can produce some sort of result in a short space of time, if you have an ambitious and exhibitable idea it is fair to say it is going to take a lot longer. Back up work of planning isn't enough. Especially for my peice, hours and hours of work put into drawing and developing is essential. If I don't keep to time then I won't have a peice.

I found the project really useful as it confirmed that my ideas from the research i've been doing really need to be developed into a solution by now. Although I have been pretty clear on my idea, I have tended to get carried away with research and neglect the physical side of actually drawing my peice.

Since Monday I have been trying to gather all my research into a cohesive block or summary. i think it could be really useful to write some sort of summary or essay on what I have been researching and thinking about, something more accessable to accompany my exhibited peice, even just in research.

Scans of one hour result to follow.

Still Remains

Apologies for the bad photo, but last thursday I met a lady at Spitalfields Market who made artworks from taxidermy, found photography and found and reclaimed items.

I thought this peice was interesting. The heads are all cut out from an old school photograph, and then paired with broken china bodies. When I spoke to the lady she said it was about how looking at a school photo the faces are all you see, but those faces can be attached to all sorts of lives.

I liked the translation from set, traditional photo to the presentation in the wooden box paired with the doll bodies. Although the message is simple, it was an effective way to present it and I thought the peice worked really well and interestingly.

The art group are called Still Remains, but I can't find anything on the internet, or remember this lady's full name. However, she said her daughter is starting illustration at Camberwell next year...

Next thursday I can try and find her in the market again though.
Today I was working on a second copy of my first drawing, tracing the outline through a lightbox and layout paper so the proportions are the same, then using the photograph to work from. It made me wonder, about the idea of drawing and drawing and drawing, I usually draw from a photograph for sentimental reasons, does repeating this process many times make it more or less sentimental and valuable?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Drawing Techniques and Mediums

Today I was trying out different drawing mediums. I began on continuing this first drawing, done over a light box in pencil. It has already taken several hours. I found that drawing over a lightbox was really helpful as the light coming under the paper allowed me to be really precise in where I made a mark, the result was totally different from my drawings of this photo so far.

I then tried ink pen and letrasets, and just 5B pencil, both done in about 10 minutes. I think for what i'm trying to achieve the first drawing will be most effective, but I still need to work out how to add colour to achieve the texture and tone that I want.

Pencil on Paper

Ink pen and letraset

5B pencil

Monday, 3 May 2010


In my assessment a few months ago Amanda and Rob said they'd like to see some more 'loose' drawings from me. My final major project has been a lot about my personal development in drawing, so I thought this quite relevant. When I went home I did some looser, quicker drawings from photographs. I don't want to use this technique for my project but it was really useful in showing me I didn't need to spend hours on a drawing, I can quickly capture a photograph + colours.

Dryden Goodwin, Sustained Endeavour

Dryden Goodwin's Sustained Endeavour is a piece I have been bearing in mind for some time. I first saw it at the Tate a few years ago, but couldn't remember who had done it. In a past tutorial with Amanda she told me who the artist was. I came to remember this piece as the ideas I was forming about the actual process of drawing and looking at Roland Barthes theories had a lot to do with the practise of sustained drawing.

The piece is 25 drawings, all of the same photograph of Steve Redgrave. Goodwin exhibited the piece as the drawings framed in rows, and a television screen showing a loop of the photographs- a flickering image, showing the defects varying from drawing to drawing.

Visually, this piece is really similar in concept to how I wanted to present my piece, but in ideas it differs. I was aiming to look at how my own visual and emotional memory effect the image I draw when I am drawing repeatedly.

Kutlug Ataman, FFF

Jake found Kutlug Ataman's 'fff' , in Whitechapel Gallery last week. We went to see it yesterday, and I cannot believe how visually close it is to my project.

Kutlug Ataman, fff, Whitechapel Gallery

The very nice lady working there let me take this rather shoddy photograph with my phone camera. But luckily there are some better images available online courtesy of the Thomas Dane Gallery..

What the peice is is a collection of old Super 8 footage of family films, re-edited and selected by Ataman, and paired with a comissioned 'blind' score by Michael Nyman (Nyman wasn't allowed to see the footage he was composing an accompaniment for until after he had written it). The result is a sort of disjointed cycle of music-box-esque piano score, coupled with a selection of films. I couldn't tell whether the films were being played on televisions or being projected though? One review said they were projected, but the surface of the film had a lightbox quality to it.

This editing of old imagery, and playing with memory in the form of installation is very similar to the ideas I have been having about my work. The description of the piece given by the Whitechapel Gallery stated "the result (of Ataman's fff) is an aural equivelant of the fragility of memory- fragmented and rewriting itself anew." The aim of my project was to create a translation of a way of recording memory- and although Ataman is using film not animation, he has done much the same thing.

My piece is greatly to do with being an outside party on the footage and imagery used to reach a final result, and bringing it to life in a new way, looking at what moving image evokes in the human mind, the associations with old photography (both mine and Ataman's imagery come form the 1950s), the family nostalgia and connections, can you have these same feelings evoked in an exhibition context by an image that didn't come from anywhere personal to you?-- purely through colour, texture of movement, subject matter clich├ęs, can the artist create nostalgia in the mind of the viewer?

I have a lot to do and write, so will have to update this with more research to follow. I sometimes think it would be useful to write a concise essay each time I find a new artist's work to look at.