In our first week back we a were asked what direction we may want to go in for our third year. I did this mainly by reflecting on my past works , and looking at them as a collective, this allowed me to identified the main themes and processes i work with, a lot of it involves the figure in someway and how we participate with our environments on a daily basis. a lot of my work also strives to form some kind of emotive response from the viewer, as i think i like my work to be relateable to everyone which is why i perspective is very interesting to. Thinking through this i decide to concentrate on the human form, i will be observing from life with quick drawing with a wide range of environments to see how this may encourage certain body language and use this as my starting point.
These are the outcome of an all day workshop where we were simply given images, and was given the freedom to just explore the possibilities and see what sparked our imaginations. I chose to merge certain aspects of the images together using different mediums, the harsh lines in chalk and bold colour of the inks i think this gives an interesting affect, as its such a contrast. I particularly like the isolation of them both in the last image making it seem like theirs a distance and separation between the two subjects.
working with freehand sewing has been a fairly new experience, but i have found it exciting producing illustrations this way and how it affects the message of the ‘drawing’ as i want to portray comfort and working on material create a much softer idyllic result but i also like the idea of playing with perspective in the way of viewing the image. As i plan to disjoint the human form creating cushions with legs then torsos allowing for more movement and personal choice in the way cushions are placed. The movement is what i find interesting as it can also link to a trouble mental state and can apply to tossing and turning and restlessness as our mental well being is part of what determines our body language.
With these development sketches i became very interested in all the different ways we position our legs for comfort and the way it communicate how we feel, by simple adjustments of our bodies. These were further developed from my observation drawings and i plan to use these to help develop my stitch pieces therefore creating a process for myself.
Although i love the simplicity of the legs i think to really inform my work and create an emotive message i need to include other variations of the body. Again i use ink as i find it the easiest to work with for quick expressive images but i will also translate these into stitch.
This year has been a massive learning experience in the way i approach projects in the way of process and materials , these have both been very dominant in my work and linking these to my concepts and ideas to further inform my work. This has made me go outside my comfort zone and explore materials and techniques, this is mainly due to the experiences i had in field both being totally new topics to me and leaving me with a strong need for process and further knowledge of what we have available to us in university.
But the year has also focused me on the more professional side and one project that really showed me this was the editorial project, as i think its useful to know the restraints you might have to deal with in the outside world. I think it even helps creatively, as it gives you a really strong focus and allows you to experiment from there. Even though they may be subtle it makes the final outcome something that has been thoroughly thought about and tweaked to best fit the article. I enjoyed coming back to inks and paper after being exposed to so many new ways of working and allow me to create purely emotive images.
It also opened doors to making GIFS with a few very simple techniques which i think helped add to my second editorial project and also to some of my development work towards the creative conscience brief. Through my projects i have found many artist that have help inspire my work whether it be through similar ideas or the process they have used. Johanna Basford is an illustrator i found when researching for the creative conscience open brief as i wanted to promote well being with in my own work, she was one illustrator that first created the adult colouring books which took off and helped relax many, as in this day and age with all the distraction around us due to technology and daily responsibilities, it is said stress levels are much higher than in the past. Just simply colouring helps relax the mind and also creates nostalgia from childhood and a much simpler time. This helped me as i wanted to also promote interaction so i found mugs a good way of being the vessel for communication.
This last term we were given the freedom to create our own project, i wanted to explore further into textiles as i made cushions for are you sitting comfortably and enjoyed the experience, so i wanted to look at it from a more illustrative perspective and i combined this with the body language brief we were given over easter. As the human form has always been apart of my work and i wanted to see how this can be translated into stitch and what effect it gives. One artist that helped with this process was Alice Kettle as her work varies in many techniques, but her stitch is always very emotive and open for interpretation which helped my ideas grow out of perspective and how there are always multiple ways of looking at something. Which i think has also been embedded in my work.
Alice kettle is another artist whos work has really spoke to me, as she has such a huge variety of techniques, and materials that are used in her work but all have characteristics that makes them noticeably hers. A lot her work contains the human form and evolves round human conditions, she uses there body language to escalate the mood in her creations.
This piece was in response to a project about loss where is draws upon personal loss and also in a broader sense of political agenders and natural disasters. In this piece the figure seems quite limp, apart from the hand over his chest perhaps communicating the pain of personal loss and the use of the bold red against the cold background creates an atmospheric piece, with distorted figures in red haunting the lone figure creating a mood of isolation.
I can relate to this work as my pieces are purely based on the human form showing natural positions we place our bodies, with in an environment which we feel comfortable as i think it becomes more distinctive to an individual. Whereas in a more formal environment people tend to express similar body language and mimic one another to blend in.
With these experimental pieces i think choosing the medium of stitch really helpes communicate comfort and individuality, but as kettles work is based a lot around perspective these pieces as a collective could also be communicating restlessness and using the thread in a continuous way, with bold cuts of fabric creates a clean image drawing you only to the position of the legs in isolation.
With this project it has really just made me focus on getting the essence of the human form and concentrating on the little things we do with out realising, also motions with just drawing quickly it helps to keep drawings quite looses and expressive. I really enjoyed this technique especially matching this with the bold colour of the inks, using them to give further feeling to the drawings. I think its important that i bring a mood to the drawing and as ive done this, i think the posture of being relaxed is something i want to take further as its the time we are most off guard which shows our subtle differences as individuals.
As i am approaching a fairly new process i want to look at the variations of textile illustration and the different techniques they use. Many use freehand embroidery which is something i have previously experimented with a little as i like the freedom and the thought of using the needle as you would a pencil. One artist work i really enjoy is Gillian Bate, her earlier work consists of landscapes of sleepy seaside towns using the stitch in a linear way matched with bold bursts of colours. I think this really works as the use of colour is clearly well thought out, it also has the quality of continuous line which adds charm to the piece and is something i will experiment with.
But her more recent work is really interesting as she make detailed embroideries of British wildlife and crates amazing texture, one of her techniques is to apply paint first which helps give them depth then applying stitch which forms as feathers or fur, creating a piece of art work and mimicking the essence of paint. With this bates shows that there is still lots of room to experiment with textile illustration.
I plan to stick to the more simplistic linear style as the process is new to me but will like to experiment with how i integrate colour using other materials and different coloured stitch also using ink pens specialised for material.