PART TWO: Making a Moodboard

 

baz-luhrmann-strictly-ballroom(A screenshot from Baz Lurrman’s tongue in cheek first feature film: Strictly Ballroom – an image of Tina Sparkles, in her iconic exotic fruit costume, and her matching dance partner, Nathan Starkey.)

For this exercise I chose the word exotic.

For this I needed to learn a few trick on Gimp 2.0, which I found tutorials for here:

https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/GIMP_Quickies/

https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Layer_Masks/

I chose to make a moodboard digitally for 2 reasons: Firstly because it combines a few simple techniques that I would like to learn/ practice on Gimp 2.0. Secondly I don’t have any magazines or relevant materials lying around or any money to acquire them with and so finding images online seemed like the perfect (cheapest) solution.

I gathered several different images, seen below.

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Here is my visual outcome (moodboard) for this theme:

Exotic Moodboard

N.B. From an Illustrators point of view, when gathering imagery that reflects a theme, it is important to remember that what might resonate with that theme to me may not resonate in the same way with the same theme to someone else. This is to do with culture and location and upbringing, etc. – for example: what is “exotic” to me, a middle-class white twenty-something female from the UK, is probably not the same for say, someone in their 50’s from Tahiti. This kind of representation needs to be carefully considered when thinking about who your main audience is going to be.

PART TWO: An objective drawing

For this exercise I have chosen to make an objective drawing of a pair of glasses. I was trying to become hyper-aware of its textures, physical qualities and uses.

MY FINAL IMAGE CAN BE SEEN BELOW…

This is a photo of the glasses I drew, but, this photograph seems to have skewed the perspective a little, making them appear slightly wider and more pointed than they actually are.

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I spent a little time sketching out the shape of the glasses, to make an accurate outline to work from. After that I carefully observed the glasses and essentially used shading to colour it in. I used a range of pencils from 8B – 3H and smudged some of them with my finger once on the paper, to get a smoother, more plastic-like, texture.

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My finished result is fairly minimal and not as accurate as I might have hoped it would turn out. This is because I find drawing from life endlessly frustrating and fairly joyless, so I tried to get it finished as quickly as possible. I recognise that in order to improve my observational drawing skills, I will need to do more of this type of drawing and am considering revisiting this at a later stage – instead, drawing a shoe, in order to understand the differences in textures and not have to focus so much on reflective surfaces (like glass and plastic) that cause me so much grief.

Overall this was a useful but frustrating exercise.

Feedback on Assessment One

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This blog post will cover the sticking points and follow up research that came out of my tutor’s FEED-back from Assignment 1. 

John Minton Vs. Angela Dalinger (Historical Context)

My frozen Lake Minnewanka, compared to the drawings of Edvard Munch.

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Edvard Munch Bjornson in Norweigan cultural life caricature 1891

I found this little nugget of insight interesting – I didn’t realise quite how rough his drawing work was, or how dark (in context.) Should have guessed really, being famous for ‘The Scream’ and having that infamous Norwegian sensibility.

My tutor also suggested that I re-frame my pastiche of Angela Dalinger’s work into a series of vignettes, so that the characters (and their actions) could be seen more clearly. Although the original composition was intentional, to mimic Dalinger’s own work, this was a really good suggestion. This was a very good idea, particularly because the picture quality of my work was very poor – due to using a crappy, ancient scanner that takes 10 minutes to scan one page in the following options: blurry, slightly more blurry, or one big grey blur.

I took these follow up shots on my phone to zoom in on the previously hidden details of the characters.

{INSERT SERIES OF 3-5 CLOSE UP VIGNETTES HERE}

The Key Is Communication (Project)

  • Clearly understand the way illustration works alongside text
  • Produced an intriguing image of Hugh Hefner, with a very good likeness.
  • Flagged up the issue of trying to achieve a ‘finished drawing’
  • Suggested looking at the work of Rachel Goodyear – who uses pencil and clean white space.
  • Also suggested looking at the work of Beatrice Alemagna (whom I am previously acquainted with, and a big fan of…) who’s use of pencil drawing is brought together with other media and the line if often increased in scale.

Rachel Goodyear Visual Research

This is very simple and effective way of making a drawing look “finished” and dynamic/clean. I would like to experiment with this bold use of white space in future projects, but am aware that they rely on a very strong/detailed drawing to draw you in.

Beatrice Alemagna Visual Research

There is something very childlike about Alemagna’s work. Something spontaneous and playful, that perhaps stems from her lack of Arts Education, or perhaps just her unbridled imagination and passion for the subject. I find it very engaging and already own a couple of her books.

“The best ideas come to me when I am in bed.”                                                                                                  “I like mixed media because it looks unstable, mobile and seizable.”                                          “Drawings made by different techniques are intriguing, mysterious. They make me feel different sensations. I like that.”

To submit or not to submit (for assessment)

This is something I have been thinking more and more about. I will have to discuss this further with my tutor, but I may well submit for assessment – to give myself a level of accountability that I struggle to give myself otherwise.

Feedback on Assignment 1 – ‘Say Hello’

‘There is a real fluency with your drawing which is excellent, in terms of generating a range of ideas and also bringing character and action to all the elements.’

Cool.

My tutor then raises the point, how could I convert the line drawings (from my postcard ideas) into finished postcards? He suggested scanning them in and colouring them to see what happens when I start to contextualise them as finished pieces. I will go back to this at a later stage to experiment with this idea.

‘The cinema foyer illustration is great.’

‘The overall flat but slightly wonky feel of the gouache chimes very well with your interest in Outsider Art.’

‘It might be interesting to see what happens if you start illustrating with these materials as part of your development process… in a similarly immediate way as your drawings.’

In response to making a point that I “agonised” over the first assignment in general, my Tutor reminded me, ‘You don’t need to give yourself a hard time over this.’ Which was reassuring to hear. Almost as reassuring as his complimentary words about my work.

Something I should definitely remember to take forward into the next part of this project* is the following piece of advice:

‘Give yourself permission to start from scratch, work in new ways and allow yourself to make mistakes.’

Make that general life advice*

Sketchbooks

I have not kept a sketchbook up until now, because most of my work is writing and that is kept in a folder, in amongst a few sporadic drawings, but this is definitely something to consider and start organising.

‘Sketchbooks could be a pivotal aspect of your practice, given your fluency with drawing and the immediacy with which you are exploring your ideas.

See it as a space to support your project work but also as a space to play and experiment away from your projects… What can you develop in your sketchbooks which you can then bring to your projects.’

Weaknesses

My tutor was keen to know what I thought my weaknesses were (in terms of drawing), as I had previously mentioned in one of my blog posts.

I think my weaknesses are:

Suggested Viewing/ Reading

  • At some stage it might be worth exploring how your illustrations can become 3-Dimensional
  • Folk Art/ Outside Art (from Tumblr) is a clear influence on your work – http://pensarefriends.tumblr.com/
  • Look at Alfred Wallis
  • Look at Makato Okawa – http://outsidein.org.uk/Makoto-Okawa
  • More in depth look at process —> Rose Wylie (83 year old artist) in how they translate and condense ideas into visual forms, the stages they go through to get to such a roughly finished outcome.
  • Similarly, you could ask the same question of Quentin Blake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06rYXkIhBtY

My own further research based on these suggestions:

Yann Kebbi – http://www.yannkebbi.fr

3D: Elsa  Dray-Farges  http://elsadray-farges.com/Work

http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/diy-halloween-masks/

PART TWO: Turning words into pictures

For this exercise I chose the word KITCHEN. Here are my visual outcomes for this word:

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‘Using drawing as a form of visual shorthand.’

During this exercise I noticed how I am developing a sense of visual editing and distillation of information, through practicing drawing more often than previously.

I think I could have filled more of the space, but I started with the table in the middle as I was writing KITCHEN, and then started pretty much from the left hand corner round in a clockwise movement to fill the page with things from my own kitchen, mostly from memory and some from life, as I moved to the kitchen half way through to finish the exercise. I like that this is not completely linear, in that things overlap and if you looked at it from a life-like comparison it seems unrealistic because things appear to be floating and out of context which, visually, makes it more compelling.

 

 

PART TWO: Spider Diagrams

For this exercise I made spider diagrams for the following words. The black ink is my writing, the pink pencil is my friend’s writing; after having seen my work, she then expanded upon it with her own ideas. For the purpose of this exercise we will call her Friend A. Friend A and I discussed the topics whilst they added their own interpretations to my previous work until the page was filled.

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Somethings that surprised me…

I am surprised that I found CHILDHOOD the easiest to complete as I felt this was the most personal and one subject that I often have trouble recalling any details from, yet, once I got the ball rolling I found it incredibly easy to come up with lots of detailed examples and images from my own childhood, mostly examples that I found personally amusing.

Which word was most difficult to work with and why I think that was…

I was surprised how difficult I found to complete FESTIVAL and ANGER, probably because I struggled to find such personal links to either of these topics. I’m not an avid festival go-er or a particularly angry person, so these felt more like abstract concepts to me.

Evidently Film seems to be my go-to place for imagery and recognisable tropes for insights into worlds and scenarios I am not necessarily familiar with. This can also be seen throughout my OCA blog so far (through my use of additional images to support my writing)… so maybe this is something for me to be more aware of.

The following spider diagrams are put together by another friend of mine. Let’s call them, Friend B.

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The two diagrams above are purposefully separate to my own Spider Diagrams, because I wanted to see what Friend B would come up with when given the same instructions me, but without having my work as a reference point, unlike Friend A.

Friend B’s differed to mine was similarly (seemingly) personal like mine, but far less detailed. When I am told to ‘find all the information I can’ on a subject, I tend to go a little overboard and do just that. I find ALL of it. Friend B was far more conservative; once they had covered a subject with a few words, they moved onto something else.

The strategy that suited me best to generate the most words was…

Finding something personal to use as a jumping off point, then linking from there until no more links could be drawn and moving onto a similar topic. Finding things that amused me, and spiraling out from there. For those subjects that I struggled with, my first point of reference is usually Film or TV, then Books, then a Google image search, although the latter was not that useful and tended to focus mostly on landscapes or colours.

All in all, this was far more interesting and revealing than I initially thought it would be.

 

PART TWO: Exercise: Writing a brief

david-shrigley-this-is-to-tell-you-about-the-barn-dance

(image: David Shrigley – ‘This is to tell you about the Barn Dance.’)

Writing a brief sounds like a really simple concept, but it’s trickier than it appears. David Shirgley’s  piece, ‘This is to tell you about the Barndance’ is an example of how a an illustration brief could be taken a little too literally, leaving little or no creative interpretation to the illustrator… except in this case, it is exactly what a commissioner might be expecting from Shrigley, as he is well known for this particular style of no frills art, so in that sense, it might be an excellent example of a win-win for commissioner and client.

For this exercise I chose one of Mouni Feddag‘s excellent editorial illustration, seen below, because I admire the colour palette used and the way the composition is used to create a narrative of irony.

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[http://www.obscura-magazine.com/en/stories/detail/Illustrations+by+Mouni+Feddag]

Working backwards from the final image, I have created a short written brief that could have worked for this image.

BRIEF

This image should contain a woman in athletic gear, watching a group of people doing a high intensity workout on TV, from the comfort of her own sofa. It should be clear that she has abandoned her own work out (equipment should be in sight, but clearly not in use) and is now snacking.

The image will accompany an article on how and why more and more marketing companies are targeting women with new lines of “fashionable” athletic wear, often celebrity endorsed, and why it isn’t making those women any fitter.

The role of this image will be to add an emotional context to the article, a feeling of romanticism and irony. It should convey a feeling of isolation coupled with a familiar kind of comfort. The audience should feel like a voyeur looking into someones real life “moment of weakness.”

The composition should imply there is a disconnect between how she aspires to be and how she currently is. This could be implied through physical distance or a change in colour/tone. The colour palette should be feminine, but not overly girly (no pastel pinks please.) Overall the colour palette should be strong and clear, one that feels warm (familiar) and not sad.

 

CONTEXT

Illustration to accompany an online Women’s lifestyle magazine editorial piece.

 

INTENDED AUDIENCE

Women aged 18-45 interesting in keeping fit/ fashion/ social theory/ genderized marketing strategies.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO 

Stylistically,  I particularly admire your excellent use of colour, it feels very fresh, vibrant and modern – this is something we would like to convey. Also the way that your work has a slightly frenetic quality to the hand-drawn line work and layers of mark-making (i.e pencil over ink washes). It feels very human, and hints at the beauty of imperfection, which is something that we would like to encourage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSIGNMENT ONE: Say Hello!

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Kristen Wiig entering her show, ‘Welcome to Me’ in a swan-boat, from the film Welcome to Me.
For this assignment, I thought really hard about what how I want to portray myself.
My interests, inspirations, materials I feel comfortable working with and, crucially, what I would like to get out of the course.
I really struggle with the guilt of already having a degree in Visual Communications and still feeling like an absolute beginner in this Illustration Level 1 course. I feel like instinctively it stops me from experimenting, because I feel that I should already be at a certain level of competency by now, and the fact that I am not might reveal more about my abilities than I care to admit. But what I have realised (very slowly) is that that doesn’t matter. The fact that I am doing this course (very slowly) 3 years later is a testament to my remaining passion for illustration and my desire to have a better understanding of and ability to create interesting images. So, I have made a promise with myself to shut up and get on with it. But this first hurdle has been a big one.
I made a spider-diagram of sorts to sort my interests, attributes and goals for the course, etc.

 

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After compiling my mind map, I thought about what kind of imagery would best represent me, my current situation (actual and metaphorical), this included some imagery of things things that I associate with myself, but perhaps an outsider might not. I’ve always been drawn to the image of fishermen. It’s something of a sticking point that I always come back to. I felt I had to include it somehow but if I based it solely around the idea of a fisherman at sea, then it might not make a whole lot of sense to my audience.
 I collect little wooden men. Mostly Fishermen (made by Fishermen). A friend recently pointed out to me that this was odd. I was actually surprised that she thought so, but it made sense the more I thought about it. Last year when I was burgled, I was very lucky and not much got taken. Mostly because I didn’t have a lot to take. Unfortunately there were a few personal things that did get taken, that I occasionally miss. I remember at the time, I was desperately hoping that my Fishermen hadn’t been taken or broken. Of course, I also worried the about the cash that I had stashed in a hidden box hadn’t been taken too, but, it was the Fishermen that really stuck with me. Luckily they weren’t harmed and are still with me today. I just find them so captivating and strangely human. If I ever made something that strangely human, I’d be really chuffed.
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This exercise really challenged me and I spent far too much time on it. Working out ideas, concepts and things that I would never actually use (not included on this blog post). This was frustrating, and in the end it was a very simple exercise that did not need that much time and energy spent deliberating over it. It may also have been because I am a weird crossroads where I am (again) deciding what direction I want to take my life in and this month has felt like a whirlwind of job applications, sporadic interviews and business planning and I’m still feeling like I don’t really what I am doing or who I want to be, so every time I sat down to do this exercise… it was a blatant reminder of that. One that I didn’t really want to think about much more.
I also learned how to use a wacom tablet and GIMP.2 from scratch, which was an interesting and often frustrating process, but I feel like I have accomplished something completely new to me now, and so future projects will be much easier and more enjoyable, or perhaps equally frustrating… but I think I can handle it.
However, now that I have spent lots of time agonizing over these very simple exercises and spent some time brushing up on my drawing skills (and figuring out my weaknesses) I am excited to start Assignment 2. I have realised that I enjoy the idea generating and sketching parts, as long as it relatively removed from any image of myself. And I am starting to like the results.  I finally feel like I have a bit more focus, plus the space and a routine in place to get this thing underway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXERCISE: GETTING THE GIST – ‘Dressing Gowns? Burn them.’

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(Image courtesy of: The BBC, via https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/mar/14/hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy-review)

This Exercise was an attempt to ‘have a go’ an an editorial illustration. See Simon Jones’s facial expression to gauge my own reaction to this exercise…

You’ll note that Simon (seen above) is playing Arthur Dent from the 1970’s BBC adaptation of The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. You’ll also note that he is wearing a dressing gown. It is safe to say that there are far too few iconic dressing-gown-wearers, fictional or otherwise, in recent history. Making for an interesting challenge to illustrate.

I chose The Times newspaper, as there was a free copy available at work. I was spoiled for choice for obscure, flimsy articles on things that no-one cares about… I narrowed it down to the following 3 articles:

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  1. ‘I was a vasectomy tease – and I wasn’t alone either.’
  2. ‘Dressing Gowns? Burn them.’
  3. ‘Fear and Joey: If you thought the US election could not get any crazier, you didn’t factor in Joey Essex.’

I ultimately chose ‘Dressing Gowns? Burn them,’ because it was painfully close to US election, and I really couldn’t stomach thinking about it seriously for another minute. However, in hindsight, Fear And Joey is a fantastically apt article and superbly written… practically dripping with disdain for both Joey and Trump. Oh well.

Instead, I wanted something lighthearted with with a snappy title fuel my imagination.

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In truth, it was the line, ‘Hugh Hefner fans, Arthur Dent wannabes and aficionados of hospital fashion beware’ that really sealed the deal.

This article is so jam-packed full of sarcasm, I could barely contain myself. Conjuring images of balding middle aged men, flouncing around in their silken dressing gowns, smoking, running riot in the streets, on fire. It was perfect.

The gist of the article is to convey that a disconcerting loophole in UK safety laws means that some bathrobes and dressing gowns sold in the UK are highly flammable, and that somehow that is perfectly legal. A fairly serious oversight, that has the potential for real and serious harm. (Lest we forget that horrible, horrible accident with Claudia Winklemans’ 8 year old daughter during Halloween 2 years ago…)

But, the overarching tone of the article strikes a different chord, and that chord is – “Yes, but who actually wears those items nowadays?” This tone is summed up nicely by the phrases, ‘Oh no…Whatever. Get dressed.’ And the final words, ‘Here’s some advice: let it burn.’

It is this tone, that I really wanted to convey in my illustration, despite the serious implications of the (oddly specific) UK Health and Safety Laws loophole. The idea that the dressing gown itself, as an item of clothing, is utterly ridiculous, outdated and unlikely to spontaneously combust if you are wearing it purely to lounge around the house in. So, I came up with some initial ideas and created a thumbnail for each idea, seen below:

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In order to do this, I started to look for “buzzwords” in the article that I could start my image from, and as fate would have it, I only had to read the first two words, ‘Hugh Hefner’ – a dressing-gown-wearing-icon AND (as luck would have it) the physical embodiment of the what the dressing gown stands for today: ridiculous and outdated.

After sketching out my ideas, I fell in love with the idea of a vaguely obscene portrait of Hugh Hefner: wearing his infamous red dressing gown, a fireman’s hat, holding a large fireman’s hose, rather suggestively, smoking a pipe/ cigar, all from the comfort of his luxurious sofa. Even though from my thumbnail sketches I think that no. 1. is actually the clearest and most striking image, it was relatively simple and I wanted to play around with the Hugh Hefner idea for a while longer, because I knew it was more of a challenge for me.

 

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With my firmed up ideas finished, I took a moment to reflect on the successes and failures of each idea and visual outcome.

  1. I find it really difficult to draw people, in proportion, with the right shadows and highlights so I wanted to pick something that would make this whole process easy on me. Something I could either find a similar image for, like one of these many photos of Hugh Hefner sat in a dressing gown, that I found online…
  2. From which this image blossomed…

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Once I had my final image in in place, I realised it needed simplifying.

If I had the time and patience to improve on this image, I would not want it to be a pencil sketch (as this is very time consuming and I want the image to look cleaner.) More bold. Also the Dressing gown had to be the focal point, visually, and secondly the flammable connotations. Although Hugh takes central focus of the image here, because is is all in varying shades of grey, nothing really stands out.

This is why I would choose to use ink for my final image. Black and red. Dressing gown, fire hose and hat in red (also signalling danger and lust) and everything else simple line work in black or grey. I may well come back to this at a later stage as I find the image very entertaining to work on. 

 

EXERCISE: KNOW YOUR HISTORY

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It’s all about subtext. Here “Lord Gratton’s” coveting of his neighbours carnations whilst his wife’s back is turned is a metaphor for John Minton’s suppressed sexuality, masked in trivially polite small talk. Or perhaps he really does covet his neighbours carnations. It depends how you want to read the image.

In Minton’s own words, ‘Every living person has certain feelings about the world around him. It is these feelings, common to all men, which are the raw materials of the artist’s inspiration. This he must ‘translate’, into the structure of an art form, whether music, poetry or painting. The problem of the painter is this ‘translation’; that is, he has to create some arrangement of shape, line and colour which convey the idea or the emotion which moved him to paint this particular picture.’

[Minton, John. “Seven Artists Tell why they Paint”, Picture Post, 12 March 1949. p. 13]

In essence, an inescapable truth of Art is that in every artist’s work there is, to a certain degree, a part of themselves. Whether it be their childhood, sense of humour, their cultural surroundings or political views. Thus, the cultural, political and social climate that the work is made in also has a huge influence on what comes out on the page.

In John Minton’s case, the style and content of his work can be attributed to following factors:

John Minton’s Personal Life                                                                                                           “Francis John Minton (25 December 1917 – 20 January 1957) was an English painter, illustrator, stage designer and teacher. After studying in France, he became a teacher in London, and at the same time maintained a consistently large output of works. In addition to landscapes, portraits and other paintings, some of them on an unusually large scale, he built up a reputation as an illustrator of books.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Minton_(artist)#cite_ref-9

John Minton was a prolific and successful artist, but ultimately, a sad man; committing suicide at age 40, after years of living as a high functioning alcoholic. He was rumoured to be homosexual. A conscious objector during WW2.

Social/ Cultural/ Political Climate                                                                                                           Most notably, homosexuality was illegal in the UK up until 1967 (sexual offences act amended 1967…  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/jun/24/communities.gayrights) making Minton’s preferred subject matter, young males in emotionally charged settings (at the time) a very controversial subject. This particular subject matter could not to be openly discussed for fear of persecution. After WW2, Minton’s work took on a more frivolous tone, choosing to paint nature and natural oasis’ of calm over young males in emotionally charged settings. He became more involved in the Theatre, designing and painting sets and murals. All as a (perhaps subconscious) reaction to the seriousness of war and the fragility of life, he chose to pursue more enjoyable subjects with less emotional weight, and more un-tethered creative opportunities.

Artistic Trends of the 1930s & 40s                                                                                           Abstract expressionism was becoming increasingly popular and Minton felt sidelined by this. His style was very traditional and anchored in penmanship, however his work did not fall neatly into the category of abstract or modernist, and so he threw himself into teaching, and later Theatre work, where his murals and less detailed large scale work was much better suited to the stage. Alas, he never fully found his feet, and although he is a highly regarded Artist, he is not considered a master of his trade by any means.

What was available (changes in technology)                                                                        Minton was born in an era pre-internet (gasp!) so no digital prints, all hand drawn, etched, printed, with inks, oils and washes. His style therefore has a sense of urgency and drama to it. Partial to heavy use of line work.

Warming up, I copied one of Minton’s artworks, to get a feel for his style.

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Then, inspired by this piece  – a sense of exotic calm/ oasis

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I sketched a frozen Lake Minnewanka in Alberta, Canada, in the style of John Minton.

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Clearly mine is a bit more heavy handed and slap dash than Minton’s. I could have used  finer pen/ brush to get the sharper lines and more detail, like he did, but I didn’t have anything suitable to hand at the time.

The contemporary Artist I chose to compare against was Angela Dalinger.

Angela Dalinger’s Personal Life

Born as Sandra Angela Wichmann 6.2.1984 in Cloppenburg, Germany. Studied Illustration at the HAW Hamburg from 2008 to 2011. Resident in Neetzendorf, a small village in the south of Hamburg. Working under the artist name “Angela Dalinger” since 2011. Relatively little is known about Dalinger’s personal life.  https://angela-dalinger.jimdo.com/about-cv/

Social/ Cultural/ Political Climate

Germany is notably, very aware of its Political past. In fact, WW2 had such an effect on them as a nation that after the war, their whole educational system (particularly the Art Education system, think Bauhaus) was systematically redefined, built around the values of freedom and tolerance. It enabled and actively encouraged their younger generations to question the status quo. Therefore many of the Artists that are coming out of Germany are recognizably pushing the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable to display. Dalinger’s art work is incredibly visceral, visually naive (often with child-like qualities) and instantly recognisable, often including narrative elements of debauchery, violence, sex, defecation all in fairly mundane or everyday settings.It is often humorous rather than tragic, with tropes similar to that you would see in a horror film or something out of a Todd Solonz film.

Recent Artistic Trends

In this digital era, many Illustrators and Artists are intentionally returning to a hand-made aesthetic, as a way of being part of a counter culture movement, to give a more human quality to their work, or simply to stand out in a swathe of digital imagery. This hand-drawn (faux) naive style remains very popular in contemporary illustration. For Dalinger, her trademark acrylic paintings in her signature moody colour palette could be seen as comment on society, that all the scandalous and gross stuff that people do is actually pretty mundane and often bleak and/or humorous; that their actions and intentions are childlike (reflected by the visual style of painting) and this is just the way it is… nothing to see here, but in their own way, strangely tantalizing.

What technology is available (changes in technology)

Nowadays, you can become an internationally acclaimed artist/ Illustrator from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a computer, access to the internet, a scanner or camera and your artistic materials of choice. You can find your own clients, sell things online in your own online shop, cultivate a following on social media. Its incredibly possible to be a self sufficient artist or maker now, unlike in the 1940s. (It’s still hard work though…)

What makes this interesting though is that your market can be far more niche than previous possible, due to the wide reach of your audience (essentially, anyone in the world with internet access) and so artist are able to express themselves in a way that was not before possible, as they are free to make and do as they please – working on “passion projects” and “self initiated briefs” in the hope that is will simply find it’s audience, rather than creating work for a specific audience or client. Another example of how easy it is to create an image of something relatively foreign to oneself, for example, is If you want to make a drawing of some wild animals in the Savannah, all you need to do is ‘Google’ the image, you don’t actually need charter a plane and visit the Savannah and make sketches from life and put yourself in real danger of being eaten by wild animals. Things are a lot easier for us now, for better or for worse.

 

My pastiche was influence heavily by my middle class Canadian suburban surroundings.

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My final artwork can be seen here:

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