Workshop: Lazer-cutting

I had done some lazer-cutting in the past throughout school and sixth form, and so I knew a little about what we were doing in the workshop. After choosing a font to spell out my name and separating all the appropriate parts of the lettering so as not to lose large parts of the perspex, I chose my perspex colour for cutting. It worked out really well and I am happy with how it came out. This is a technique I will definitely bare in mind for future projects as it gives such a clean cut and finish, as opposed to the risk of using a craft knife.

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Constellation: Representation

For the past two Monday’s, I have attended Cath Davies’ lectures on representation in design and I have thoroughly enjoyed both. The process of analysing the work of others to disassemble their creative ideas and understand their choices is an activity which I always enjoyed across my A level subjects of Spanish, English Literature and Art and Design. I love studying the initial reaction of an audience in relation to a piece, and then the assembly of the piece itself in order to comprehend the decisions of the designer for their final piece over other compositions which were discarded through the creative process. In the first week, we looked at the advertisement posters for the film Red Dragon and then at a poster advertising deodorant using the Greek myth of Icarus and his waxen wings. Cath’s technique of first describing what is visible, followed by addressing connotations and tactical usage and then finding theoretical perspectives helped me to understand how the composition of the pieces was constructed to achieve the overall effect on the audience.

Deodorant advertRed Dragon analysis

In the second week, we studied two James Bond film posters. We analysed the difference between the two, in particular the different approaches to the representation of women. Our discussions revealed an extreme differentiation in the use of women in the media: used purely as sexual objects in the era of the first (1962), and as characters with more strength and power in the second (1984). We addressed the context of the film posters and the placement of important events in relation to the films, for example, the feminist movement which took place in the years before the 1984 James Bond film. In this lecture, Cath gave examples of quotes that she had found which gave more meaning to the decisions of the designer than before. Some of these quotes for the 1962 film included Mackinnon’s view that “violence” is “a natural, practically genetic component of masculinity”. Another, Strinati’s observation that “men are usually shown as dominant, aggressive and authoritative. Women…subordinate…confined to their sexuality.” A quote giving opinion on the racial and sexual context of the film is the way in which Sarah Street believed that the presentation of Grace Jones “bordered on the racist”.

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These lectures gave me further understanding of the analytical approach that I should use when looking at the work of other designers and artists. It also taught me the way in which other people should be able to understand my work, and therefore the thought processes that must occur before the assembly of a final piece.

Workshop: An Introduction to Illustrator

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Previous to beginning university, I had only briefly used Photoshop and had never used Illustrator. For this reason, I found the workshops on both incredibly useful. I enjoyed gaining a small insight into the galaxies of creative opportunities on both programmes and I am excited to explore and create in the future.

In the Illustrator workshop, Matt talked us through the process of creating a poster displaying facts and images about social networking. We covered techniques such as: the type tool; gradient fills in vector shapes; using text boxes; using opacity; importing external image files; using the ‘trace’ function; using statistical graphics to create a pie chart; creating a repeat pattern; using the brush tool; using text wrap.

Despite my poster being basic, I am very proud of what I have created. I cannot wait to see how my skills on Illustrator and Photoshop grow and progress, and I look forward to reminiscing on this poster in the future when I am capable of much more.

Workshop: Print

Prior to joining university, I had never had the opportunity to learn the majority of the print techniques available at Cardiff Metropolitan. I had only practised screen printing a few times whilst studying for my textiles GCSE. In the printing workshop, I had the opportunity to experiment with different tools to engrave shapes and patterns into board and perspex and then print them onto paper.

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The first photo shows the piece of board I created and applied ink to, and the second photo shows the print.

Workshop: Sequence Task

In week 1, we were given a task named ‘Sequence’ with the following brief:

“Make a 16 frame sequence using fast/loose drawing to describe your journey from bed to studio. Decide which re the essential/significant frames. You must use all 16. No words to be used within frames.”

“Stage 1. Plan the content and the order of the frames using a written list of events.”

For this stage of the process, I played with a few ideas of how to illustrate my morning journey. My favourite idea was that I would use my hair to illustrate this movement through the morning, as I felt it was something that went through the most change throughout my morning routine and could most accurately display my journey from my bed to the studio. I wrote a list of ideas for what should go in each frame to ensure I had enough to cover 16 frames.

Ideas Notes

“Stage 2. Edit the sequence. Think about presenting the complete narrative as an interesting graphic form so there is variety throughout the narrative. Use changes in perspective, changes of scale etc.”

For stage 2, I planned out each frame carefully and tested drawing a few frames that I thought may be more difficult than others to draw for my final board of frames.

Practises

We were reminded to not “be precious about the drawings. Work with pencil and rubber to make changes easily.”

This is my final story board.

Home to Uni

The 16 frames were based on the following ideas:

1- Lying in bed, hair spread on pillow

2- Messy, post-waking up, pre-shower hair

3- Pre-shower, stretching in front of the mirror

4- Wet hair in the shower, close up

5- Close up of hands in hair, mid wash

6- Just out of the shower, hair wet and straight, steamy room

7- Hair twisted up in towel

8- Hair blowing in hot hair from hair dryer

9- Mid close up of hair being brushed from below, tension in hair on one side of brush and loose curls on the other

10- From above, brushing hair

11- Close up of hair styled, grips in side of hair

12- Hair ready to leave flat, straight, contrasting to next two frames

13- Mess of hair in whole frame, hair being blown and messed up in the wind of outside

14- In mirror in toilets at university, looking at messy hair created by the wind on the walk

15- Brushing hair again, this time from behind with mirror in front

16- Close up of side of head, ear visible, pencil behind ear ready to learn in the studio

Workshop: An Introduction to Collage

Though I have incorporated collage into my artwork before now, Friday’s workshop on collage really sparked my interest. I found the tasks incredibly interesting and I felt my creations were successful overall. Taking photographs of my experiments instead of sticking them together with glue allowed progression and growth of my ideas, granting my curiosity the opportunity to explore alternative combinations of images. I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with colour and proportion within the pieces, as well as the cutting/tearing technique of the individual elements of the collages. I found it particularly challenging to detach the idea of having a concept or story behind the piece that ties the content of the pictures together, as I have always been taught that everything I do should have meaning and explanation. It was this element of the task that I found the most difficult and though I tried to detach my previous guidelines for creating artwork, I feel that I subconsciously created some of my pieces to tell stories. Overall, I am very happy with the work I produced and I would love to experiment further with this aspect of creation.

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