Monday, 26 April 2010

Africa, again.

Yet more Africa. You can see the development of this project here here here and here, if you're interested.

I've basically decided I want to make some posters...
And after much ponderation and thought, these are some initial designs I've done, using my fabric design, some photos of the women concerned, and a simple link to the website where you can find out more about the situation and how to help.

I think I quite like them, at the moment.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Working on choosing my three images for cropping.
This is my development process for one of them. (Although I plan to have the other two similar, just with different maps)

From map...

To tracing (thick felt pen)...

To outline...

To, I think, how I want it to look.

Now... to think some more about how to crop them...
I'm still thinking about 'He was walking around in circles', and my own personal 'walking round in circles' way of doing things... So I'm planning on cropping in on circles, centred on my circular strollings... BUT, the big question is... what's the point?

I just think it looks quite nice. And I think a lot of them would look even nicer. It means more to me than I think it would to anyone else though. More pondering needed.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A few updates...

Well, I'm trying to be a bit productive with my easter, so I'm revisiting a couple of old projects that need more work.

Firstly, the Penguin book design project. And not just a project, it's actually a competition, one that I'd rather like to win! My previous efforts can be seen here, here, here and here.
And to be honest, I struggled with it, which annoyed me, because I love doing book jackets, and I really enjoyed the book, and wanted to do it justice.
Anyway, this new idea is a development on all my different previous ideas.

Right this second, I really like it. I'm going to give it 24 hours and see what I think about it then, because I tend to get excited about things I've just done.

I've also started to revisit my Africa Project, which you can see here, here and here.

I've just been working on bringing a bit more life to my fabric designs. Started by projecting them onto fabric, and photographing them, which turned out remarkably well.

Friday, 9 April 2010

A creative interpretation of the word 'crop'...

More ponderings on our new brief, which I was previously discussing here...
I was thinking about maps then, and I still am now, but in a different way. The quote 'he was walking around in circles' inspired me quite a lot, mainly because it's something I do a lot in my life, quite literally. I try and walk places as much as possible, and actively enjoy it - sometimes so much so that if I reach my destination and am in no rush, I'll walk round the block, or divert my route so as to make it longer.
And I often go out walking with no destination or intention... I just walk and walk as far as my little legs will carry me. And I do lots of my thinking while I walk... if I'm troubled or unhappy, if I'm working on a new project, planning for the future... most of my important thinking gets done while I walk places.

Anyway, logically these walks are always circular, because ultimately I need to get home. There are some routes that I favour more than others, and I decided to interpret these 'circular' walks visually.
Something of an experiment in mapping/info graphics for me.

So what I've done is taken a route, drawn it on the map, then turned the outline of that route into an actual circle, and filled in the streets in between. So it turns my 'circular walks' into quite literal circles.
I'm not sure what the meaning or logic behind doing this is, other than I think these circular maps represent quite nicely my little day to day strollings, and as they're quite cryptic, they could also represent thoughts and ideas.
And yeah, I'm basically just talking nonsense now, so here they are :)

Route 1

Route 2

Route 3

I started off with these quite short routes, but I intend to do some longer ones, which will be more elaborate, obviously, as there will be more streets in between.
And yes... the project specified that we were to crop images. I'm aware that this is quite a creative interpretation of the word crop... The idea is that I would draw three maps in this style, and then take 20 different circular walks from each one... and each one of those circles would be a crop. Kind of... :)
I've done a test drawing anyway, by tracing over an enlarged photocopy of a street map. Here's a not very good photo of me holding it up to the built in camera on my mac.


Saturday, 3 April 2010

Before and After

Another thing I'm trying to get done over easter is to improve a few older projects. First, the degree show poster project. I'm still not happy with it, so there maybe yet be another 'after', but I think it's an improvement.


and After.

Friday, 2 April 2010


We have an interesting new brief.
I'm going to write it here as we recieved it... and then try and tell you how I'm thinking of approaching it!

Choose three random images.
Crop each image in 20 different ways - then choose one word from the following list:
Treasure, Velvet, Bold, Creep, Peep, Slip, Twist, Notch, Drip
And one statement from the following list
1. I've lost my papers
2. They scavenge and steal
3. Which woman? Whose child?
4. A most satisfying end
5. In short, they exist
6. A tiny fortune
7. He was walking around in circles
8. Two dead men got up to fight
9. Smoothing the all black surface

Finally, combine all elements in one of the following formats: Moving Image, 2D, 3D.

So..... Yeah. That's our last ever brief!
A bit of a strange one, but really exciting I think.

I was initially curious about the 'choose three images'... do they have to be our own images? Apparently not. This pleased me, as there's such a wealth of imagery that I love, it's going to be really enjoyable to choose some exciting pictures to work with.
I immediately knew I wanted some really elaborate, complex images. It's funny, because a few months ago I thought I'd settled into a style of working... clean lines, vector, simple blocks of colour...
But I'm starting to realize that just because some of my favourite designers work in that way, doesn't mean it's for me. My style of illustration has always been 'busy', and I've really enjoyed the last project where I produced those complex pieces... I want to see if I can continue working that way.

Also, if each image is going to be cropped in 20 different ways, I want lots of potential for variation!

So I started looking in the library, and thinking about the books that really interest me (I work there, so I really do browse every section on a day to day basis, not just the design section).
I was reminded of my love for maps and diagrams, which I know is quite a trendy area amongst designers at the moment (or so it seems), but it really is something I've loved from an early age.
In my childhood I used to draw elaborate (but crude) architectural plans for my dream house, create fantasy cities on my bedroom floor out of little boxes and toys...

Anyway, it's all well and good thinking about images I like, but they've got to relate to those quotes.
Another thing that's been interesting me recently is scale, and zoom... the idea of starting in the very depths of outer space, zooming in and in and in, to planets, earth, cities, buildings, streets, people, people's faces, skin, the cells in the skin, the atoms making up the skin... it's insane, when you really think about it, and incredible.

The images I've been interested in are, as I said, maps and city streets... but also, I found an incredible book of medical drawings, which was what made me think of the above 'zooming in' reference. I'm wondering if there's some way I can work further with this.

This has basically just been one long thought stream/ramble... But that's what this blog is about, I guess :)
Anyway, it would be quite a dull blog with no pictures, so here's a selection of imagery I've been enjoying. Sorry for the slightly low quality, they're just photos of books, I need to go back and get some high res scans.