Saturday, 26 March 2011

Screaming for a Narrative

I'm rather glad I went to London on tuesday this week, we managed to have a look at the pick me up gallery show which showcased the works of various illustrators from the UK, I didn't really recognise any of the names unfortunately asides from the works of Tom Gauld which I have read a couple of his comics before, I must admitt I wasn't totally blown away by most of the work but I did find a few rather inspiring and I bought at least two books.

I liked this print by Andrew Rae. Not necesserily the image but the general idea. A giant A1 print of different figures- Perhaps this is something I could make one day.

not a huge fan of stuff like Le-Gun or the NoBrow magazines, two printed publications which offer a neat collection of different illustrators work. Most of the time theres only one or two images I seem to like in the entire book. Sounds a bit snooty actually. I did however like this particular cover a lot.

I also brought this fascinating book:

A bestiary of monsters, A bento box of them (which I believe is some sort of japanese food stuff???), its basically a book of monsters. Got me thinking a little bit about my own project again.
I've started to really enjoy drawing up my own characters and then a background and I decided that perhaps this could be a step in the right direction for my project.I looked through my designs and tried to think up a backgrounds, places or scenarios for them to be in and . For example, this rabbit again:

Could perhaps live somewhere deep dark and underground, an underground hall or castle safe from monsters.

This tin cowboy character,
Could visit a frankenstein monster labratory. (Not all cowboys have to go to the wild west obviously.)
And theres plenty more ideas.

A little house for someone to live in.
A futuristic style city for my sci-fi style characters

A monster that guards treasure

No idea. A bridge?
I've already got about twelve pages of rough background designs. But the project still needs a more solid or obvious connection, like the bestiary is. And I also need to get cracking. I can come up with at least one or two character designs a day still and it roughly takes me about two or three days a week to design one background. I want to see how far I can push myself with this.
Perhaps this could chronicle the boy characters adventures of the strange worlds and characters he meets? I really love coming up with different poses for this guy- I need to do more.
I don't feel like the most confident person in the world and I'm highly critical of the work I make, not to sound too big headed but I'm constantly having my artwork being reffered to as amazing' when I only see them as just drawings. I've being trying to keep my scraps and things I don't consider as that interesting (but other people seem to like):

Drew this in the cafe when I wasn't thinking at all. I think its a bowler!
Drew this on the paper bag my book came with. Just felt like drawing on it for some reason.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Sitting in the park and the cafe today I just ended up sapcing out and doing a few doodles. After Graham suggested reading Arabian nights, I watched 'The Thief of Baghdad' yesterday, a film from the 1940's. I've never seen it before but it was quite a beatiful looking movie, I tried remembering what some of the buildings and set designs looked like:

I really want to decide on what I want to do which could be considered as 'final major project work' Be it working on my friends Owl Tree poem some more, making my own story and illustrating it (which is a lot harder than it sounds) Making a book of characters which I discovered I now have at least 100 designs, a colouring book since I keep making black and white images or trying to make a sequence or connection from the images I've made so far. Or Perhaps I'm essentially bored of the storylines I've come up with? I sat about for a daydreaming session today and wrote this down on a piece of notepaper in the cafe:

Tasty Zombie Powder:

I really wanted to try not to get so worked up about my project,  I normally seem to let my mind wander off and came up with just dumb ideas I never seem to use, How about this for a story:

The music genre of Jazz is considered by many as a boring, old and dead genre, really now, the only people who seem to appreciate it is old men or grumpy old men or perhaps both.

Nothing wrong with a more refined taste in music mind you- but a dying music genre has attracted the attention of a very proud follower of Death, Fedorah who is said to be friends with the grim reaper himself, much like the reaper, he also travels the world relieving bodies of their souls, but unfairly uses those souls to power his 'death machine' an enormous monsterous living machine which is capable of creating undead music, and plans on creating a world of eternal night and music which will resemble Micheal Jacksons 'Thriller' as possible.With an endless supply of souls from idiotic attractive groupie females who happily sacrifice their own lives to power the death machine, things for the world look grim.

 Fortunately, a cowboy from centuries past hears of Fedorahs plans, not that hes particularily interested in stoping the death machine, he is interested in gaining a soul, something which he does not have since he happens to be a small tin cowboy toy. Cowboy gave up his body a long, long time ago and has lived for too long.

The Tin Cowboy and the death machine.
A fat useless angel who assists the tin cowboy

An ugly groupie Female.

And Fedorah.
Absurbd and silly idea I know (and probably makes little sense) but I did wonder again about the suggested connection for my drawings, I'm starting to wonder if I can connect some of the character designs I have already with some of the backgrounds I made and just write a short little story like the one above. Or perhaps I should really make my life a whole lot less complicated and illustrate an already written work?

Also, perhaps I should mention, I love coming up with stupid names for my artwork mostly because of the strange cartoons and videogames I played. For example:

I Still have no clear idea of what inspires me art, or where the idea neccesarily comes from but I find silly or very overthe top names from the videogames I played from my youth inspiring- take kickmaster for example. Its a Game about a master, who kicks.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Feeling Lost.

I wondered if I had hit a bit of a rut with my drawings and project lately- I still don't feel theres any real concrete idea- I still just enjoy being in the studio so I can draw. This week, I did try playing around with some colour images.

Generic fantasy style character, I thought up this when I was watching my housemates play Dungeons & Dragons. I'm still not sure if colouring my stuff in is working or not, Maybe I'm just too used to using my black and white pens.

as always, Derek is fascinated by the marks on the back of the paper.

I still start with the outline of the shape, but colour everything in first-

A background idea I had which turned into this:
I'm still not sure if its working, but for some reason, these colour images remind me all of that same retro feeling you get when you flick through the original mr men books or some of the Asterix animated films- no idea why I get this comparision in my head. This particular film helped inspire me to draw these following napkin Drawings.

The Noggin Kitty Collection.

More colour experiements, still liked the idea of a snow globe sort of image

Still no idea if colouring stuff in is working for me or not, and I did start to despair a little today that I don't have any real direction for my project- it really just feels like a bunch of drawings. Not to be cocky but it does feel a little reasuring that my tutors feel I have produced enough work for my degree show, but it still doesn't feel like I've really worked out what my project should at all.

Talking to Graham Rawle today and the idea of illustrating an already written work. For some reason, I'm a little drawn towards stuff like arabian nights and ended up drawing this guy. Graham even seemed to feel I could very easily churn out a whole bunch of drawings for the book ( rough sketches of course!) just over the weekend... kinda tempted to sit in the libary for a bit and see what I can come up with. Or....

Perhaps I should stick with my idea of the boy who stole the stars. In perhaps pick another one of my ideas if that isn't working. In any case, I drew a sheep for it, I figured since the main character was trying to sleep, sheep should surely be involved somehow. (counting Sheep before you go to bed.)

Feeling ever so slightly lost at the moment. Wish I could just make this project about 'making images' Adding the connection such as a colouring book, illustrating a story etc just feels like the actual 'work' part.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Right Connections

One of the problems I've been facing with my FMP at the moment is there still isn't any sort of connection. As my tutors have all pointed out I have a bunch of 'really nice drawings' but I'm still not entirely sure what direction I want to take it, I still really like Jonny Hannahs idea of creating a town or a place for them to live in or Salvatores idea of a sequence, but I did wonder today if I could link the image by using a door.

For example, I'm having a lot of fun making seperate backgrounds like this and adding characters a little later. I wondered if I could perhaps add a little door into somewhere which would link the image to the next. Say this image:

Has a tiny door in it somewhere? Perhaps it links or conects to the next image.
A door to go into the above image.
 Not sure if its working or not but I really want to see this through and find the connection my pile of drawings needs.

The door that leads to the next area kinda sounds a little bit like a videogame. Step through a door and go to the next area. Sounds silly and very geeky but I like this idea a lot.

Colouring in:
I'm still not satisfied with colouring in my images, it either takes too long to do, or simply colouring over it makes it looks a bit of a mess. I tried thinking back to some of the inspirations from my childhood again:

I'm sure everyone has made one of those when they were younger in school. Daniel Skillcorn  let me borrow this tablecloth drawing- so I could copy down some of the weird shapes the class made and that I may try making something of my own:

Instead of drawing everything out first, I coloured it in and then added in my obsessive detail. Sort of like those napkin drawings, I'm hoping this can also lead somewhere.
Like a lot my drawings, I still just start with the outline and think about what I want this object to look like and what colour I want it to be. I did still have time to make some of my typical black and white drawings today however:
An Inspiring Cartoon:
A Friend of mine posted this link on his facebook account. After watching it I couldn't help but want to draw an image inside some sort of lamp or snowglobe.

My Lamp/Snow Globe Idea. Just Felt like drawing this after watching the above cartoon. I do kinda wonder where some of my inspiration comes from sometimes.

And also made a bunch of other quick doodles while watching it.