Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Current Reading List

After the talk with the print room technicians at Vernon St today, I decided to take advantage of the better of the two college libraries. Currently in my possession are...

Printmaking for Beginners (2005), Jane Stobart

Digital Printmaking (2001), George Whale and Naren Barfield

Handmade Prints (2003), Anne Desmet and Jim Anderson

These books either weren't available or just weren't in the library at all. They look and sound pretty amazing from the reviews so I may have to purchase them with my loan. I'm going to go scope them out in Waterstones first though.

The Printmaking Bible - Ann d'Arcy Hughes and Hebe Vernon-Morris
Paperwork: The Potential of Paper in Graphic Design - Nancy Williams

Statement of Intent

This first week back at uni has made me realise that the most appropriate phrase for this year is 'if you don't do it yourself, it will never get done'. There are so many things that I want to achieve this year and despite it only being September I already feel like I'm running out of time.

The main thing I'm concerned with is the idea of the 'penny dropping'. My final project last year really confirmed for me that my strengths lie in practical craft and design skills - i.e. book making, would you believe. And while this is something that I really enjoy, I need to determine if it is having an actual finished book at the end of my project that I value, or if it is simply the design of the physical book itself. So I really need to focus on content this year to give me a better idea of my real area of interest.

Placements are something that are really weighing down on us at the minute. For me this summer has just been far too unproductive. I've worked full and part time since May to earn enough money to pay the rent and by the time I get back from work and do all the things I have to do I'm in no way motivated to do any sort of self initiated design work. Next summer, for me, has to be different. I've decided to apply for Camp America, teaching the children art and craft. Although it's not an industry based placement it still counts towards my learning journey and helps me develop as person and broaden my horizons. It may even change my whole perspective on post-graduation, who knows.

What this means though, is that if I want to do an additional industry based work placement (which I do), then I have to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Which in turn means I need to build up a strong print/book making portfolio and fast. Really fast. Great. Not to mention find some places that I actually want to apply to... I plan on finding out from the tutors if there are any graduates with businesses that may suit my style of work. I think that's a good start.

Overall this year I want to take a more hands on approach to the course. I am going to get fully involved in class discussions and group crits to make the most out of my teaching time. It really has hit home that things aren't just going to happen out of chance.

Specialising in something that I enjoy is all fine and well but I also need to start thinking about how I can relate book making and relevant print processes to the real world. When we graduate we're going to have to adapt to fit a specific job, there isn't necessarily going to be a job sitting there that conveniently ticks all the boxes of my areas of interest. Things like software fluency are majorly important to my future as a practitioner and while I see them as tedious and unnecessary now, it doesn't mean I won't need them in the future.


Although I still don't know the subject of my print content, I had initially planned on doing my own illustrations. But to be honest I think that will seriously distract me from the main focus of the brief which, for me, is the practical elements of printmaking.

I would love to be able to illustrate my own book. I can draw well, but I've never really sat down and tried to illustrate anything so I feel that that in itself would be a whole separate project on its own.

I want to keep it simple, I have a vision of the handmade print book being very aesthetically pleasing; romantic and pretty. So I was thinking that floral illustrations would tie in nicely? But there is absolutely no need for a book of drawings of flowers, I think it would lack come sort of purpose at the end.

The only solution I have been able to come up with is to utilise the work of another student - a collaboration. There are a lot of people doing photography for this brief so there's a chance that some of them are looking at or have already used nature as their subject. That way I can use the book as an exhibition space for their work, and also my approach to its presentation.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Comm Tech - Outcome Ideas

Exploration of traditional printing, with all the final images compiled in a handmade book. Very visual, the sort that makes you want to stroke the pages.

Every printed image in the traditional book will either be scanned or photographed and then composed in exactly the same way only in a digitally printed one. Cover fabrics the same; page orders the same; everything the same - except I'll either commission it from a professional printers or do it in the digital lab.

Hopefully by the end not only will I have built up a print portfolio but I'll have a direct comparison between traditional and digital.

Things to think about...

What will my images be? How many different types of printing will I use? Printroom drop-in times? What software will I need for digital? Cost? Timescales? etc...

Monday, 28 September 2009

Comm Tech - Initial Thoughts

I really hated Comm-Tech last year. Really hated it. So it was pretty strange to sit in the briefing and feel.. erm...what was that... excitement?? Bugger..

"Explore and document your relationship with technology"


At the minute I feel as though book making is the area I want to specialise in so I think it'll be beneficial for me to explore printing techniques for this brief. It will give me the opportunity to build up a portfolio and also give me a better idea of how realistic my aspirations are are and whether or not there is any point in that specialism


Explore workshop based printing - etching, lino, letter press, screen printing etc. What use does it have in industry? Are there career opportunities? Advantages/disadvantages? Mass production - realistic timescales and prices?


Visit professional digital print studio - ask questions/try things out! Formatting - what software skills do you need? Limitations - dimensions/shapes etc? Creativity issues? Cost of one-offs and prototypes? What options are actually available?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

London and Britney

Within 24 hours I had seen Britney Spears and Slipknot - I'm going straight to hell.

Awesome couple of days. Drank myself into oblivion in Regents Park apparently in a fountain and on a climbing frame - we got locked in and had to escape over a rather large fence with drastic results. I was less than 10m from Britney's face. We spent the olympic budget on crap, junk food and ridiculous glasses in Camden.

Download Festival

The single best weekend of my life hands down. Despite missioning off by myself most of the time it was just absolutely incredible. I wish I had an actual real live camera to document it though, instead of this piece of shit camera phone.

Highlights included being in the same place in the world as Fred Durst; sitting through a whole painful set of Journey just to hear TWO songs; ruining Tony's life - and when I say life I mean tent; being one of 80,000 mentalist Slipknot fans; and getting hammered on the sticky wall.

My Summer

Since I started this blog quite late on in the summer there's a lot of things that I haven't thought to include so I'm taking some time to update.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Legendary Miss Spears

I'm currently reading Britney's biography 'cause I'm just that cool - and to be fair it's pretty fascinating. The book has just covered the '...Baby One More Time' explosion and her controversial covershoot for Rolling Stone in '99, which (due to me being about 10 at the time) I had never seen until now.

I honestly don't care how many cool points I lose for saying this: Britney Spears is my idol - fact.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Hockney inspired Range Rover TV ad

It's on tv so much at the minute and it's pretty genius.

You reckon the copywriter was a fan of David Hockney?


I made a rash decision to not care about saving my money for things like food.. or rent.. and blew half of this weeks wages on these BEAUTIES!

They are the footwear of the gods, I shit you not.

Infact, I'm in love them to the extent that next weeks wages will be blown on their big sisters.... HELLO!
I should mention the fact that I am awaiting the arrival of yet another pair of melissa shoes, not Vivienne Westwood, but beautiful nontheless :)