Silver Crow Project

Intro to Illustration & Animation - Unit 1 - Part 2 (Or Vincent the Skull)

For part 2 of the You Are Here brief we had to give a half PekaKucha style presentation on a proposal for an A1 final publication. No - I had no idea what a PekaKucha was either but the thought of doing a presentation sent shivers down my spine. I hate talking in front of people. A PekaKucha is a presentation done in 20 slides at 20 seconds each. (20x20) It keeps the presentation condensed and more interesting for the viewer. So ours was 10 slides long.

I decided to continue on with the theme I had been working on before of researching environmentally friendly ways to say goodbye to our dead.  I also wanted to move into textiles as I have wanted to experiment in that for a long time. My tutor snuck me into the textiles department, apparently they are very territorial - I didn't even know it was there - it's in a little hidden away secret area. I had a snoop and I was able to quiz the tutor in there, coming out with lots of ideas. We've had talks about how books or publications needn't necessarily be in the form of a physical book and to think outside the box. We had seen an exhibition that was described as a book or publication but the huge 'pages' were hung in such a way that you could walk through with them either side or on the walls - more an installation.

Making Vincent

We were to stay within the A1 parameters which includes any add ons. In other words... maths! Ugh!
I decided I wanted to use natural fabrics and thought hessian was a good representation of earth. Starting off with a piece of hessian... which I very technically measured by laying on top of an A1 piece of card and cutting around it...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing -  Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
Using cling film I covered a resin skull I'd bought especially for this project, it's apparently life sized, and then laid the hessian on top. The cling film was just to protect it for the next bit. I mixed up a concoction of PVA and water and liberally slathered the mixture all over it. Much massaging, folding and whispering of loving words ensued. (And some crazy "He's ALIVE!" manic laughter) Very therapeutic, strangely. Admire with awe the peg/knife/string chaos that arose from trying to stop it pinging everywhere...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing - Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
Vincent then languished in my airing cupboard for around 24 hours to dry out fully. (I'd just watched Loving Vincent - hence the name. Brilliant film. I cried.) At this point he has been removed from the skull and the hessian is rigid, there is nothing behind him...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing -  Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
After carefully cutting around the shape of Vincent, I had to work out how much hessian the skull had used. Then cut a piece of natural muslin which fit within the measurements. This wasn't quick. Maths and I still don't get on. The design on the muslin is mono-printed hand drawn plant and leaf patterns - I was going for a really organic feel and wanted all the fabric to be natural. Hence the twig and string to hang it. I stole the twig from Mr Bear's little twig forest in the garden. Sssh, don't tell him. Whenever we go out for a walk he comes home with a new stick to 'plant'. 

To finish off Vincent was attached with a few stitches to hold him to the hanging...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing - Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
I was really pleased with this one - I wanted to convey a natural feeling of earth and nature and death and how skulls crop up again and again in all the research I've done. 

I have been researching death (obviously) but the way we treat our dead, reclaiming cemeteries, how other cultures deal with their dead, environmental and space saving ways we could look at doing it in the future - how culture, religion, history affects it etc. Whether we are dealing with just a vessel or something more... I find it all fascinating and definitely something I want to come back to in the future.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Intro to Illustration & Animation - Unit 1 - Part 1 (Or Skulls, Skulls, Skulls)

I am nearly finished my first year as an art student and I have been so bad at documenting it. But I want to so that I don't forget it - it's been crazy! So here is a quick recap of my first unit; Introduction to Illustration and Animation. I've probably already forgotten bits - so bear with...

You Are Here
The  brief descriptions are very open to interpretation which is good because we can go off in any direction but at the same time can be quite daunting too. Our first brief was called You are Here and the end outcome for the first part was to take the form of seven A5 postcards which would have to be posted and go through the postal system to arrive back at the uni before the deadline. Whatever abuse they suffer on their journey would be part of their final effect.

I literally stumbled cross my theme idea while having lunch in Canterbury with Devvie. We were sat in a benched area that used to be the grounds of a church and on the floor, being used as a paving stone was one of the original gravestones with a beautiful skull etched into it.
Whoopidooings blog: Skull carving on a gravestone in Canterbury
I've seen this happen in quite a few public parks and old cemeteries where the graves have been reclaimed as public land. I often wonder where the bodies have gone, are they still there? Is it right to have this happen? Surely these people originally paid for those graves no matter how long ago. Is it right morally to either move them or build parks on top of them. Lots of questions. So that's where my research started. It then kind of wandered off into global overcrowding, people living longer, how to solve the lack of space and how to bury our dead or find other ways to 'dispose' of them but in the most respectful way possible. I started looking into environmentally ways to deal with our dead - even cremation is surprisingly bad for the environment with all the emissions etc. It was really eye opening. 

I looked into different cultures - a stand out one being Tibetan Sky Burials - don't google image it unless you have a strong tummy. Basically, you become vulture poop and are put back into the earth that way. Both honouring the earth and because the ground there is so hard it's also practical. It is a fascinating process. I then found an Italian company who are burying people in egg shaped pods with a tree of the deceased persons choosing being planted on top - so you are literally feeding a tree. 

I could have researched forever. During the unit we were taking workshops in lino printing, screen printing, mono printing, risograph printing, solvent printing... photoshop... For the record - I hate photoshop and photoshop hates me. However, combining all these techniques, these are the postcards that came out of that project. 
whoopidooings blog: Carmen Wing: Mixed Media postcards themed around death, skulls, environmentally friendly burials etc
whoopidooings blog: Carmen Wing: Mixed Media postcards themed around death, skulls, environmentally friendly burials etc
whoopidooings blog: Carmen Wing: Mixed Media postcards themed around death, skulls, environmentally friendly burials etc
So - it's fair to say that by this point my brain was in shock at actually being used. I was surprised in the turn my research took but I wanted to continue with that research because I'd felt I'd barely scratched the surface.

I was pleased with a couple of these postcards because being a complete novice at photoshop - all the textures you see overlaid were images taken by me where I'm starting to compile a texture library so they are bits of rotting door from a playground, lino prints, distorted photography the spots on the red one are actually my car speakers. My favourite is the bottom one where I've integrated the original photo of the gravestone with a seaweed covered wall in Folkestone and a piece of wooden door. I thought it summed up my project for me. The tutors favourite seems to have been the orange one with the stripes. Which combines my first attempt at 3 colour lino print reduction with chine-collé and overlaid other prints I'd done.

The second part of the project was to produce an A1 piece either in a new theme or the same one but still under the brief of You Are Here. I'll blog that later as I've rambled on a bit.

I've missed blogging and reading all the blogs that I follow. I hope I'm becoming better organised and can catch up with you all soon. I've decided this and Instagram are the social media's I want to keep. Done with trying (and failing) to do them all.

Thanks for stopping by today - what are you doing or making right now? Let me know so I can come see.

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 460

Welcome to my quite uninspiring work space today - my dinner table. And a big hello. I haven't played along with WOYWW for a long time.

We are coming up to the end of the first year at uni and we are on Animation Fundamentals. They want six 10 second animations and a 30 second one, all done in different techniques. I am so bad at animation and all the computer stuff but I'm hoping I might do OK at the traditional 2D and stop motion. Anyway. Today I am working on my 10 second direct animation which involves scratching directly onto film. My tool of choice is that big arse nail on my laptop.
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday WOYWW Direct Animation in process and George Ezra
All that film equals 10 seconds. It's going to take frigging ages... but hopefully will look cool. Don't look to closely at the next image - the film I was given? Open heart surgery. Really. I'm not complaining - it just made me laugh.  When asked my theme for some of these animations I said "oh you know, nature, folklore, fantasy - stuff like that..." The tutor said to me "Be honest. Skulls?" Yep. Yep. Skulls. So that's what I'm scratching in. Though they look like little spiders at the moment. Spidery skulls? Both work equally well with open heart surgery methinks.
Whoopidooings Blog: Scratching a drawn-on direct animation for the first time. Skulls.
I'm listening to George Ezra's new album on the laptop while I work because my eldest baby surprised me with tickets to go see him next Tuesday. Excited much? Teeny, tiny HUUUUUUGE amount.

I'm going to link up with Julia at the What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday headquarters - see you there.

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Silver Crow Project - The Collage

Well, Hello Again

I come bearing arty stuffs! No, I have not just been sat on my tush scrolling through Instagram, eating chocolate and watching NCIS back to back. That's only some of the time.

Way back in the summer I had to get eight pieces done as a summer project before starting at uni. I settled on the theme of Silver Crow. I tried to go all graffiti/street art at first - don't get excited - that didn't work, I just got high spray painting my workshop shelves a Barbie-esque pink and green. Seriously. #procrastination-win I'm going to revisit street art at a later point. When I've recovered from the horror.

So I started with something I struggle with equally as much... *insert doom laden voice here*  ...COLLAGE. Don't get me wrong, I do like collage. When other people do it. Me, not so much. I can't keep the page clean, I get gluey prints all over the place, stick stuff down then realise I should have stuck something else first - ack it's just a shambles. Let's face it. I'm Grunge with a capital G. So lets embrace that. Lets chuck some paint at this collage before we even start. Take away that "I'm going to screw this up with my grubby hands" fear.

I used some of my grey spray paints and a rather gorgeous 'Rose Fluorescent' paint from Pebeo. That's better. 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - The Silver Crow Project - A grungy collage process
I went for a jackdaw in flight as my first image - whenever I see Silver Crow she is more often than not in flight or just taking off. The text I've used is from a dictionary sourced from a Plundered Pages pack I bought. It actually has mention of a White Crow in it. Had to get that in there.

This is how the final collage looks. It's hard to get a good photo of  - she's outlined in silver pen, not white. So her wings sparkle and shine. I'm not totally sure she's finished but I moved on to the next one as time was short. I am going to check over them all at some point with fresh eyes. See if anything leaps out at me.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - The Silver Crow Project - A grungy collage
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - The Silver Crow Project - A grungy collage

For a collage fearing newb - I'm actually really pleased. Lesson learnt - Embrace the Grunge Monster. Work with, not against. It's not going anywhere - I've finally realised it's part of my style! I know - a lot of you could have told me that years ago. 

I'll be back soon with Silver Crow number 2! 
Thanks for stopping by today :)