Friday, 26 February 2010

Summer Placements

I'm starting to scare myself shitless that I won't manage to find a way to flee the country this summer. My friend from work applied to Platform2 last year, aced his interview then got instantly rejected because both of his parents are doctors. My mam is a tutor at Middlesborough College and my dad is some sort of health and safety person.. Granted they are separated, but I have this irrational fear of rejection and they might see them as good jobs and assume I 'am not worthy' of this program. PLEASE DON'T SHUN ME.

I've been looking at other programs that I could apply to and, fuck me, I'm not poor enough to get onto Platform2 but there is NO fucking way I could afford to do anything like this otherwise!

BUNAC is a program that offers the opportunity to volunteer abroad, work in summer camps and find work overseas. I had a peruse. HMMMM to do something like Platform2 without subsidising would cost £899 at the very least, and even then I'd have to have basic Spanish skills to qualify!

This is ridiculous. Capitalist culture has cashed in on this volunteering bandwagon to the extend that it is now pretty much unachievable to anyone that doesn't want to wear it as moral accessory. I'm not homeless. I'm not living of mummy and daddy. I'm screwed.

Creative Networks

Bridget is looking for assistants to help out at the Creative Networks events held once a month in college. In a bid to be more pro-active I offered my services and will consequently be attending a lunch meeting with her and the other volunteers on Thursday. Boom.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Postcard Designs

Here are the blacked out frame images that I plan on using to create the embossing plates for the postcards that I will be submitting to the book fair. It's hard to tell how successful the first two will be because of the incredibly intricate detail but I'd rather chance it than never know - 5 is a much more rounded number for a set of postcards than 3! The next available drop-in is on Monday so hopefully I'll be able to get all 4 plates made and churn these cards out asap.

Live Brief

Hello final brief of the year. Hello having to make an informed decision as to some sort of indicative direction of my practice. Hello crushing sense of despair.

I am ultimately in a sink or swim situation and right now I've got a cold so my breathing isn't too good to begin with.

This is what I have mustered so far...

Competition Brief
  • Ongoing D&AD submission needs to be completed and sent by 19th March - definitely counts as a live brief, so far so good.
Leeds Book Fair
  • I plan on submitting something to the book fair, at the minute I'm considering developing my embossed postcard into a set to be sold, very time consuming but I DON'T WANT TO FAIL and it definitely counts as live, win.
Community/Museum Arts Project
  • Taken from the notice board, working on an intergenerational project with two artists for 2 hours each Monday afternoon to produce a piece to go in Leeds City Museum - it's not something that I'm absolutely desperate to do but I'm going with the 'I don't have a reason not to' ethic for this brief.
Fashion Illustration Brief
  • I realise that it's going to be difficult to find an existing live brief that is specifically tailored to the way I want to develop my fashion illustration so I've decided to manufacture the situation myself. Find a fashion student, set up a photo shoot to photograph their body of work and then use the resulting images to illustrate their portfolio/line.

At the minute I'm happy with the scope of work I have to do, I may be ambitious taking on 4 briefs but each one provides me with a different sense of the word 'live' and I really feel like I need that variety - if I committed to just one I'd panic and ruin myself, it's inevitable.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Platform2 Programme

In an incredibly depressing reality check after the epic fail of a London trip, it has occurred to me that Camp America is a long shot. And when I really think about it my dislike for Americans and children would not have made for a winning summer combination. I haven't yet withdrawn my application but all hope has definitely been lost and I'm exploring my other options.

Platform2 for instance! Posted on the Viscom Notice board by Christian, looks perfect. The programme offers 10 week placements in developing countries helping to build schools/teach English/dig a well etc. I've applied for it, just need to get some references together and if all goes well I could end up in Asia, Africa, India or Peru! FUCK YOU AMERICA.

It's a government funded scheme which means I wouldn't have to pay for flights/accommodation etc however the program is for 'those who would not otherwise have the chance to have such an experience' so I am fully reliant on whether or not they see me fit.

*pull your best underprivileged face*

Interviewing Prospective Students

Today I got the opportunity to interview prospective students along with Jodie and Graham. I loved it, any role with authority it always a winner. There was only 3 candidates throughout the morning so we didn't really get a big enough scope of work for me and Jodie to make a sound judgement seeing as we were little interview virgins - and also none of the work was mind blowing (not entirely sure if I should disclose that..).

You learn so much about what not to do in an interview just by watching someone else, it's crazy. But to be honest it's all common sense anyway. One guy was entirely himself, had a crack on with Graham about football, shook our hands, looked us in the eye - lovely old job, winner by a mile. None of them had any questions... hmmmm FAIL. I had a list as long as my arm when I came, how could you not have any questions? The mind boggles.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


8 hour round trip to London on a lovely packed coach at unimaginable hours in the morning = ULTIMATE WASTE OF TIME. Fantastic.

The Camp America recruitment fair was such an epic fail. Despite leaving at 6:30am I didn't actually get to Kensington Hall until 12:45. The doors opened at 12 and by the time I arrived I still had to queue in the bastard cold for an hour and a half at least. When I eventually did get in there it was manic, like nothing I've ever seen. All the preppiness of Disneyland but with this horrible acid hype that everyone knew was there but were denying all knowledge of; if it wouldn't have reflected badly on their applications I reckon every girl in there with an ounce of competitive energy would have slipped a blade between the ribs of the unfortunate rival in front of them who managed to let themselves get distracted for one second whilst flashing an overly white smile to a camp rep. God the whole thing made me sick.

As the London fair was the last one in the UK it started to become apparent as I was shuffling round that any hope I had of securing a place was seriously deluded. Everything had filled up. Unless I was a 21+ equestrian connoisseur with the uncanny ability to juggle fire whilst belting out a pitch perfect selection of west-end classics I didn't have a cat in hells chance. Lovely.

It was a pretty horrible realisation, I've invested a lot of time and money into this and it appears I have hit a brick wall. I haven't withdrawn my application yet but I've definitely given up hope, hmmmm time to explore other options..

Final Book

I thought it was going to be incredibly difficult to decide on the page order for my book because in my mind there really was no outstanding narrative. But once I had finished all my drawings and began to lay them out in various ways it started to become clear which bits worked and which did not.

I realised that I had to start with a strong drawing and end with a strong drawing to ensure that the whole thing wasn't a sort of anticlimax. I had initially planned on having both the cover drawing and the drawing of the spine as the first two pages but when laid out in order it really didn't work. The rest of the book had no closure and seemed to finish quite abruptly after such a detailed introduction. From this I deduced that one of them had to serve as the last page in the book - but which one? I eventually decided that the cover image would be the best way to round the illustrations off - it will feel as though you've just read a magazine and then closed it and sat it down on the table, the cover image is not only the first thing you see on a magazine, it is also the last. The spine image will therefore work in the sense that it reflects the reader pulling the magazine from a shelf. I am aware that magazines are very rarely stored in the same way as books are on shelves because of their flimsiness, and it is mainly only in archives that they are sat this way but that in itself works in my favour - an archive is a colection, and my collection of illustrations have been my way of archiving the main points of that particular magazine.

The inbetween pages just seemed to fall into place after that. With the inclusion of typography on the last page (another lovely end to the book with the message 'wonderful' spread across the page, reveals the tone of the whole thing) I didn't want to have the other typography page right next to it as the content needed to be balanced throughout, and with the small amount of type on the spine image I realised that the 'DASH' page belonged somewhere in the middle.

My least favourite drawing is the one of the male model, so I was eager to put it near the front to put less emphasis on it but I knew it couldn't be the first image the audience saw and so I placed it behind my drawing of the flowery eyed musician hoping that people would be spellbound enough by her to not realise how bad the following drawing is.

Once I had made my first few decisions I let the others fall into place. I noticed that the sections of additional pages that I had drawn on to create perspective seemed to be gradually increasing - like you really were reading through the magazine, creating the illusion of a journey and progress. I ensured that the model in the hat, which has the most additional pages, was placed at the back and BOOM we have ourselves a narrative.

After all the problems I had with the leather it felt so good to finally have a finished book box, even if it was bound with buckram. Instead of the glossy black buckram I opted for the matte finish - definitely the right choice as it gives a much more professional look and it really isn't as bad as I had first anticipated. I think I just have horrible memories of appallingly bound, wonkily cut books from reportage last year and this may have tainted my decision a little. The embossing worked like a treat on the buckram as well, thank god - pretty hard to capture in a photo though. I'm really pleased with my little graphics on the cover, makes me feel like an actual designer!

The filigree paper used on the bed of the tray and the inside of the lid compliment the whole thing incredibly well. It was definitely worth forking out for the whole roll of wrapping paper despite needing only those two sheets. It was difficult to glue down because of the thinness of the paper and it isn't as flawless as I'd like it to be but even still I wouldn't swap it.