Saturday, 31 January 2009
One of the things I remeber frm this film was the class divide between the people aboard the ill fated Titanic. But what was great was the love affair between two characters oblivious of this class system. I remember the character of Jack asking Rose what he was supposed to do with the cutlery laid out to him at the dinner table her response was "just start from the outside and work your way in" i thought was a particularly humourous moment.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
The character of John Steed from the TV show 'The Avengers' I think is a great character and a cult icon. The character is a gentleman, polite, well dressed wearing a suit, bowler hat and carrying an umbrella. John Steed and Emma Peel were investigators the storylines would combine spi and science fiction themes. What I liked was that Steed was able to defend himself but in subtler ways, often the character of Emma Peel would fight so there was an interesting reversal of gender stereotypes.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Grant Gilbert studied a national diploma in Graphics at Stockport college going on to study at degree level at the UCE in Birmingham. After graduating he worked for 3 years at Planet 24 starting on the bottom rung. Thereafter he worked for Channel 4 again for 3 years. He has had experience with title sequences and promos whose work has included the rebranding of BBC 1, ITV 2, Channel 4 and Five. He owns Double G studios and went on to describe his process which involves making moodboards and detailed storyboards. He showed us powerpoint slides of his work including a channel 4 music ident which I found really interesting which involved tents with cables coming out illuminating, I thought it was extremely abstract.
Gilbert calls himself a designer but gets labelled Graphic Designer which he said he has done but it doesn't mean he he can't do motion graphics. He has eperience with logo designing/development including the More 4 logo, the sister channel of Channel 4. He went into detail about rebranding the BBC logo being influenced by past BBc logos including Abram Games' 1953 logo. He went onto say that he uses After Effects and described one of the ads he was developing for the BBC. He wanted to produce a design of people holding the BBC logo divided into seperate squares. There is a lot of development with his ideas and that things that stand out are simple and striking. I had no idea that Gilbert was involved in the hippo ident which got many complaints because of the financial cost of 1.2 million pounds. Gilbert mentioned that he has collaborated with 'Spin' a company in London and likes to paly the channels off with each other when promoting himself. He did comment that he found it difficult to work with the BBC because there was so many people to work with. Overall I found the lecture very interesting and felt that his ideas were original and inspiring.
I had a correspondance last year with Christopher Corr, a travel Illustrator whos childlike style I find charming. I emailed him again for further information and this was one of his responses:
I’ve always loved painting, printmaking, drawing.
Very old fashioned forms of image making.
I enjoy seeing what’s around in current exhibitions, galleries, museums.
A lot of my work is inspired by travels that I make, places that I want to draw.
I like to make comments on life as I see it and show a world that I’d like to live in.
You can communicate with abstraction.
Monday, 26 January 2009
When Gillian Blease did a lecture last year one of the things that interested me was her fine art background and that she did a crash course in illustration. Fine art vs illustration is an issue in the industry and i was interested in her opinion on the matter. More so i was intrigued to know what her experience of fine art education was in relation to defining the meaning of it and how she sees herself.
I think the term still applies, but only within its traditional use, and mostly with regard to training. I can say I was trained in the Fine Art tradition (ie I studied the crafts of painting, architecture printmaking etc.) but if I continued to make art I would call myself a visual artist or a contemporary artist. So I think its possible to study fine art but, unless they were working in a very classical way, most artists would not use that term to describe their practice.
I used to produce lots of work for exhibitions when I was an artist. I think I struggled with the fact that the endpoint of a piece of art is generally an audience in a gallery space. I found it impossible to get away from the constant awareness of how it was going to be perceived, which always interfered with the process of making it – ie self-conciousness. What I love about illustration is that its main purpose is functional and it exists in tandem with something else usually – ie the host copy or product. It’s a real partnership of different media. It’s about making a difference in small ways as opposed to making a statement. I find it more ego-less than ‘art’ which is full of ego!
Another of my contacts is Otto Dettmer, a freelance illustrator who has produced self publicised books. I admire his style and contacted him asking questions relating to illustration.
> Hi Liam here some answers. good luck with that.
> 1. How do you go about generating ideas? And what do you do if you
find it difficult to answer a brief?
as I read through a brief, I make little drawings in the margins of
anything that comes to mind. I don't normally go into details at this
stage. I make a quick 5 second drawing and then move on to the next
bit. All that obviously depends on how much time there is. But the
point of the brainstorming phase is to collect a large number of very
basic ideas. In any case I try to find out what the main message of
the piece is about, so as not to get sidetracked. Then I see which of
the drawings have any potential, as in do they fit the brief, are
they elegant. are they unusual? I'll use a drawing program like
freehand to make some montages of drawings and photographs, that's
the 'playing phase'. Sometimes unexpected solutions come about that
way. I'll send of the best ideas to the art director. sometimes the
art director also makes a useful input. Usually, hopefully, at the
end is a half decent solution. As a rule, I try not to do an
illustration which I wouldn't be happy with myself.
> 2. I believe that we are living in an age where Consumerism is more
prevelant than its ever been and is affecting our behaviour, i.e going to a shopping mall for recreation rather than going for a walk or playing sports etc. What is your opinion on Consumerism?
Well, of course, it's evil. A phenomenon of our times. The Soviets
believed in producing things, the capitalists believe in consuming
things. It's all a waste of time of course. Being human should be
about more than just producing and consuming. But what it actually is
about, I'm still working on. I'll let you know if I come up with
> 3. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of
working for both agencies/in house illustration and freelance?
I'm not sure, have never worked for an agency. I suppose there is a
bit of mutual distrust going on. I think of them as too commercial,
and my guess is that they think of me as too unpredictable.
> 4. How have you created a style that is instantly recognisable in
the industry as your own?
I have never tried to get a 'style'. I think the style should go with
the brief or the publication, not be something that comes with the
illustrator. So for example if it's a piece about war, I might chose
to do it in the style of Picasso, say. (as in Guernico) Having said
that, I suppose some kind of style will come about by itself, because
everybody has a way of doing things which is going to come through in
Friday, 23 January 2009
I emailed Matthew Richardson last year enquiring about his thoughts on Fine Art & illustration. My questions related to both areas and the idea of the two areas coming together. I also asked him whether he classed himself as an illustrator/fine artist. He reponded by saying that he doesn't class himself as an illustrator/fine artist but says rather sometimes "I illustrate" and or sometimes "I do my own work". He acknowledged that the edges of the two areas have blurred wishing there was more respect for each side from each side. He went on to say that he sees people as practitioners and the fine arts could learn alot from illustration. In terms of his work for exhibition he says he wants to communicate different things to different people whereas direct visual communication is needed in his illustration work. My opinion of him has changed since last year when he worked with us in the sense that i saw him as just an illustrator whereas now I seem him as purely a practitioner.