That Was Then and This Is Now

I have been  putting off doing this post for ages. I have neglected and missed my lovely blog for to long. Purely for lack of time. But it feels like I have forgotten how to do it or where to start.

So I'm just going to do what I do best. Ramble. Maybe a stream of thought will emerge as I go along.

I have missed this, missed connecting through here. Oh I know there's Facebook and it feels like a lot of the blogs I used to follow have stopped posting and switched to posting there or on Instagram but I want to fight that trend. I'm digging my heels in. This blog, started originally as a way to store photos when an old pc was dying, has brought me so much. Friends, confidence to explore, an improved mental attitude (through Rocking Fridays - thank you Virginia) my first sales, confidence to go back to school, BACK TO SCHOOL! At 38. I was so flaming scared. But the support through here and by my family had me doing a Maths GCSE and then a pre-degree Art & Design course. It's been a weird and wonderful couple of years.

Isn't it funny though that the platform that helped me most has also been neglected the most. No more.

I have just finished the Art & Design Access. That consisted of 2 weekly rotations in Fine Art, Fashion & Textiles, Visual Communication and 3D. With Photography intertwined between them all. You then picked one of them as a pathway to finish the rest of your course on. Now I started this thinking I was going on to a Fine Art degree - mainly because I couldn't find any Illustration degrees locally but I had found a part time Fine Art degree at Canterbury Christchurch. Had attended their open day, seemed really amazing and they had guided me towards the UCA Access but told me not to let them steal me. Sorry guys.

I absolutely hated, with a passion, the Fine Art rotation. My head and heart just does not get Fine Art. At least, not what we covered in those two weeks. I add that last bit because a friend is currently doing a Fine Art degree in a different part of the country and I absolutely love what she is producing.

I was dreading the Fashion & Textiles rotation and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it. Lots of illustration involved, that helped but also the tactile nature of textiles. Loved it. Towards the end of that rotation I also took myself off on an outside workshop which involved sketching with thread - I'll post about that another day. So I was actually torn between Fashion & Textiles and Visual Communication in the end but went with Vis Comm for a couple of reasons. Illustration was a big thing in there. A friend who was going into Fashion warned me that I might have to go in extra days for sewing workshops which I just couldn't do and she did end up going in nearly every day. I was also worried it would be heavily fashion based and I really have zero interest in that.

I learnt so much in Vis Comm, we covered Typography, Graphic Design, Illustration, different artists I'd never heard of... some I knew their work but not the names... The input and feedback was brutally honest but not nasty. It was all helpful and positively enforced with what to do to improve. How to push yourself and take things further. Think outside the box (and sometimes realise, you know what? I'm getting back in my box!) And yet I don't think we even scratched the surface. I want to learn so much more.

So we come to the end. We had 10 weeks leading up to our final pieces that were then, and still are until the 12th of June, exhibited. Mine was based on Folklore - it changed loads over that 10 weeks. I ended up basing it on my local area and creating a new folklore legend from animals that are abundant here. I used lino cutting which I never had before and I taught myself through Youtube videos.

Am I happy with my final piece? Yes and no. I had intended there to be four different images. I managed one 12 x12" image. I seriously underestimated the designing time, ended up cutting - I think it was 4 versions of my final tile before I was happy. Then you see the exhibition and there is all this amazing work on display and I just wish I had got done what I wanted done.

BUT...

It is the best thing I have ever done. I am not one for saying I like my own work usually but I frigging love my final piece. It may not be enough to get the grade I was secretly hoping for. In fact I know it isn't. But I love it. I love the detail in it. I love that I persevered to do one really good piece rather than a few mediocre ones. I love that I taught myself to do it. There is literally blood, sweat and tears in that thing. And I am super proud of it.
Carmen Wing : Werebatbunny - lino print
And then there is what happens next.  I have accepted a degree place at Canterbury UCA on their Illustration & Animation degree - a new course which is why I never found it before. I have deferred for a year while Mr Bear is still half days at nursery. In some ways I am a little heartbroken to do that. In other ways, it gives me time to think. 

This year has been one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life. It's also been one of the most stressful and knackering. I'm going to try and go self employed this year, properly focus, not just mess about. I have signed up to and been accepted on an English GCSE course... I've also taken out a years subscription for classes with The Society of Visual Storytelling. Sooo... still going to be pretty busy. Plus - the Illustration degree does not do part time. I find it really odd that the same uni that caters for you to prepare for uni part time doesn't then allow you to do the actual degree part time. It doesn't work out part time at all when you add up what you do at home but I don't think I could physically get myself there and be back here for school times. I'm going to go on an open day soon and have a chat with them about  my options. Surely I'm not the first to come up against this problem. BUT if I can get myself enough work in the meantime I may not even need to go. I will miss my desk buddy who is starting there this year, different course but same area of the uni. But - like I say, going to be busy anyway.

Well will you look at that? I rambled long enough that I got myself a blog post. Now that I've dipped my toe in I am going to come back soon and do a more pretty one showing some stages of my final piece and some other bits from school. Plus - I am taking part in and determined to actually finish ICAD this year. I'm going to be dragging out and dusting off my sewing machine to explore textiles a wee bit more.

 Looking forward to catching up - thanks for stopping by today :)

Rotation Sketchbook Pages

*Picture heavy*
February already. I can't believe it - wasn't it just Christmas? Things are ramping up a gear here. We are just starting the FMP - Final Major Project - at school. This is the one we write the brief for ourselves. It takes 10 weeks, 12 if we count the Easter holidays. At the end the final result gets exhibited to the public. No pressure then.

We've had the past week off while our stage 2 work gets assessed and have just had a week of school trips. The majority  of people went to Amsterdam and those that couldn't make it had a couple of days visiting galleries in London. I stayed home and did the London trips - which was great as, although I live close I have never actually been to any London art galleries. The museums, yes but not the galleries. So in two days we did the V&A, The Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. Loved it - will definitely go back. Maybe that's a post for another day.

So - I thought, while I am sat printing out pages and pages of paperwork for the final project, I'd show you my sketchbooks from the beginning. This post is a few pages from Stage 1 - Rotations. We have to use this and the stage 2 sketchbook to gather ideas for the final project.
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook
This is my Stage 1 & Stage 2 sketchbooks underneath my shiny new Stage 3 book.
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook
This is my very first entry detailing what we did on the first day. It was a kind of bonding/get to know each other day and we all sat and drew on these massive rolls of paper. We had to not be wary of drawing over the top of other peoples work and just go for it and work LARGE. Seems like so long ago now - I was terrified going in on that first day. 
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook
Fine Art
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fine Art
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fine Art
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fine Art
Another group project - That cardboard spider was over 6' tall!
 Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Repeating patterns we designed in Photoshop.
Stuck the people in to give an idea how they might be used on fabric.
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - FAshion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
 The next pages were speed sketches after draping fabric, trying to get ideas from our designs.
 So - yeah - severed hand inspiration *g*
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
 Then had to model said garment that I had dodgily cobbled together. Oh joy!
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Fashion & Textiles
 This was an interesting colour mixing exercise. We had to try and get the greys just using orange, yellow, blue and white.
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Colour Chart
 Then cut out greyish shades from a magazine, do a full page collage and try to replicate, as close as possible, the tones. Again just using the red, blue, yellow and white.
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Colour mixing
 Visual Communication
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Visual Communication
Designing letters - So, naturally, I thought a headless Frankenstein's Monster makes a great 'i'
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Visual Communications
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Visual Communication
 Collage - I love it but am rubbish at it - these took me AGES!
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook - Collage
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook
3D
It's fair to say I struggled with the 3D rotation but I loved doing the plaster casting!
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook
Whoopidooings - Stage 1 - Rotations Sketchbook
I tell you what - I have gone from someone thinking I would like to journal more - to doing it all the time! It's certainly teaching me how to use the sketchbook as a tool rather than be afraid of it. (Says She, afraid to jump in and start Stage 3!)

I'll pop back with a post from Stage 2 hopefully before I finish the actual course.

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Merry Christmas!... and a Little Catch Up.

I know I've posted the cartoon before but it still makes me chuckle.

I have missed my blog so much but am hoping to try and post more after the New Year. Those of you that still swing by or send me messages or chat through Facebook or Instagram. I appreciate it so much. Thank you. So - Merry Christmas everyone. Hope it's a good 'un.

If you don't have to dash off - I thought I'd give you a bit of an update as to why I haven't blogged. As most of you will know, I started back at school in September, doing an Access to Higher Education course in Art & Design. For the first stage we did fortnightly rotations. Fine Art, Fashion & Textiles, Visual Communications and 3D. Here are a few of my favourite pieces from that time...

Fine Art:
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Woven Postcard
Photo weaving. The top one is a vintage postcard woven with a 'glitched' image of our family. I chose that postcard because Devvie had just gone off to uni too and I missed her... and she loves monkeys. So, in my mind, weaving an altered photo of us with an image that reminded me of her seemed appropriate.

This bottom image is 3 photos of me, one in colour, one in sepia and one in black and white. Woven together to try and emulate the style of the artist Greg Sands... I did say "try". 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Woven Postcard

Fashion & Textiles:
The tutor told us to bring in and draw an organic shaped object. Now, bear with me. My logic was - hands are organic, right? Zombies used to be people... yes? So zombie hands, therefore, must be organic shapes. *Ahem*
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie hand illustration
 I was so, SO proud of this hand. It's the first one I have ever drawn that looked like a hand. AND I used watercolours and controlled them! I still love it.

We then photcopied our shapes in various sizes. Colour and black & white.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie hands everywhere!
Then we had to make them into outfits. Yes - you'll be seeing these in all the high street stores next year...
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie FashionWhoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie Fashion
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie Fashion
Couture Le Zombie.

Visual Communication:
This is what I was there for. VisCom is literally communicating visually. So, illustration is big in this one. Which is what I want to do.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Ed Fella inspired Fragments of Childhood
This photo collage was inspired by the work of Ed Fella. He does a series called Fragments of a City. He does extreme close ups, usually featuring typography, giving glimpses into a place and time. I had decided to go out and take photos of all the weather beaten pub signs of local pubs that have closed down in my area. Turns out Little Bear had other ideas and was poorly - so I ended up crawling around under the kids beds, and taking pictures of their shelves. I'm actually pretty in love with this and am glad I did it. It gives a real snapshot into their lives. Fragments of Childhood.

Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Woven Typography Illustration
We were tasked with creating a set of letters. One of which had to be made from unusual materials you wouldn't normally associate with drawing. So no paint, pencils etc. I got an Ikea chopping board, went hammer-tastic with some nails and threaded it every which way. Both agression releasing and relaxing at the same time. This is still Craigs favourite thing I have done over my time there.

This next one is one of my favourite things I've done. It taught me a lot about patience because it took me days to do! Z is for...
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Zombie Typography Illustration

3D:
It's fair to say I really struggled in 3D and my tutor was so lovely. She was also my mentor tutor for rotations and she spotted me having a mini meltdown towards the end. I had got it into my head that I would be turned down for the VisCom pathway or that I'd failed and had a mini panic moment I think. So I wish I had done better in her class simply for all the support she gave me.

I did, however love playing with plaster casts... 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Plaster Cast Vegetables
You have no idea how satisfying it is to tweezer pepper seeds out of one of these things. Oddly - a lot!
Plaster Cast Vegetables
  Doesn't this pepper look like lungs? The texture is amazing!
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Plaster Cast Vegetables
During rotations I filled a whole sketchbook! A whole sketchbook in one month. (Let me know if you want a peek inside and I'll take photos.) I did get onto the VisCom pathway (what can I say, I'm an eejit!) and am now halfway through another sketchbook. After Christmas we have a few more short projects We have been working hard on typography - my tutor is kind of obsessed but it is interesting and I think I'm getting better. Then we have to propose our final brief which our tutor will approve (or not) and we work on that (in a final sketchbook) till the end of our course. *Sob* The final piece will be exhibited and open to the public. Ooer! 

I do know what I want to do for my final project. It wont be zombies. We have been told to stop working in our comfort zones *ahem* So I do have an idea - it's something I have wanted to explore for a few years but never really had the time (or the drive/direction if I'm honest) So I just really want to get on that now.

Safe to say, I have never done so much creative work in my life. I can really feel myself improving and am really focussed in the direction I want to go now. It's been brilliant. Knackering, all consuming, social life killing but A.MAZING. I will so miss it. I couldn't have done it without Craig and the girls. He takes two days off a week so that I can go in and then is up all hours trying to catch up on work. Pheeb has a hot dinner waiting for me when I haul my knackered bum through the door - I just love them. I've also made a couple of bonkers but beautiful friends - many a time they have helped me through when I have had a wobble or ten. (Why am I here? I'm to old, I can't do this, I'm kidding myself  etc, etc) Think and hope we'll be friends for a long time after the course finishes.

Good news is that I have been accepted onto the Animation & Illustration degree course which I am deferring. Bear is starting half days nursery next year - can you believe it? So I am going to take my English GCSE next year (hoping it will help with essays) and focus on going self employed. Then onto the degree. Eep.

If you managed to read this far - blimming well done. I will try and post more regularly which should make for less rambly posts... she says.

I hope your Christmas and New Year are wonderful. 2016? BRING. IT. ON!

Thanks for stopping by :) x

Secret Santa

Hi all.

I'm just popping in with news of this years Secret Santa. I am not going to be able to run it this year. I'm really sorry :( I just don't have the time or the spare pennies. School is taking up every spare moment. If someone else wants to host this year I truly wont be offended. Hopefully next year, things wont be so manic.

However - if you are in the UK and still want a Secret Santa to take part in, please consider the UKScrappers stocking swap. Sign up is open now.  I am still taking part in that one. I can't afford two this year and seeing as that one started first, that's the one I'm going to participate in.

Don't hate me! (I feel like the Grinch!) 

I'll be back soon with a bloggy post about what we've been doing at school :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Summer of Colour Week 3 & Summer Sketchbook Update

Afternoon all :)

Week 3 of Summer of Colour was Purple + Purple + Yellow. I did my week 3 a while ago - in fact, before week 2. So if you follow me on Instagram and think you've seen this already... you have.

I used Derwent Inktense pencils in shades Violet + Fuchsia + Lemon Yellow. Don't ask me where this little fella came from but he reminds me of Sheldon off of Big Bang Theory... around the eyes. Am I going mad? Probably.  Maybe I was watching it or had it on in the background.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Summer of Colour week 3 SoC2015 Fae in Inktense
Derwent Inktense
Posca Pens
Biro
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Fae on index card using Inktense
I thought I'd show you one more picture of him. Please excuse   his crumpled state - we had the doors open and the breeze must have blown this little index card in the sink. It was full of water - we found the card floating there eventually. I'm really impressed at how bright the colours still are. A testament to Inktense claims that when they set - they really set.
 Carmen Wing - Fae in Inktense (After being dunked in water)

As for what I've been up to. Lots! But I can't show you just yet. I have been working away on the Summer Project set by the school. I start on Monday. Am I anywhere near finished? Am I heck. Mild panic verging on hysteria. Craig reckons this is to prepare us for what's to come. Ease us in gently. Ha! I don't know if what I'm doing is right, if it's enough, if it's good enough, if it'll be done in time... breathe. Breathe. But - I am enjoying it. Strangely. I was hoping this book would be more full by now. (I have to train myself not to sidetracked by the research. I go off on a tangent.) I'll show you again next week, when I start and it should be finished. I'll show you some bits from inside too if you'd like.
Sketchbook
So - that's me for now. What have you been up to?
Thanks for stopping by today :)


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