Dialogue exhibition

Knowing that typography is one of my weaknesses, I decided to attend a graphic design event held by two third years who had set up their own company. The event took place in the corn exchange and was open to anyone who wanted to take part, the concept was simple, two designers would create separate pieces, which would then be screen printed on top of the other. 
        Although the venue was small there was a huge amount of work in there, and a vast amount of it was incredible, to say the two artists hadn’t seen the others work, many of the pieces really complimented each other. It was great to see so many different typography used in so many different ways and I think this will begin to lift any mental limits I have on what can be done. 
        The double prints looked really interesting and it made me wonder how this could be done within visual communication, I then considered the concept of having a base of large companies which exploit various other countries and legal loopholes in order to improve their profit, and screen print in front of it the effects of their acts, in particular the people they are impacting. This could be a follow up project to the racism book and include various techniques I have learnt over the past year. 

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Book Idea Continuation

When I thought of the racism book idea I did begin to think further about how this could become an even stronger, more visually pleasing piece whilst also having the strong concepts behind it. Concepts and ideas are definitely my strong point, however I often lack the abilities to make those a reality, so I decided to look into the kind of things others have done in order to make their own work look better. I took out a book which is about using everyday things in order to create strong graphic design pieces as this is something I have always loved the look of, it gives it a fresh, crisp, more realistic look to the work which in turn makes it far more personal to the audience than just looking at very flat 2 or 1 colour typography pieces. This way they become much more interested in the reasons behind the piece being created. 

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Recently I’ve seen a huge amount of these kind of menus appearing in society, hand written and much more personal to the diners which should make them feel much more relaxed in the restaurant/cafe. It also gives the establishment a much more vintage feel and takes away the industrial vibes. 

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I found this piece to be fascinating, the various textures has given the pieces such an interesting look but they catch my eye so well. It just shows how layers, and textures have the ability to completely advance a piece. As demonstrated by Kate on the courses work, she showed me the original piece she had done for SDP and then showed me the newer piece which involved much more textures and better positioning on the included elements and it had totally transformed her work and become really beautiful and strong. 

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This piece was of particular interest as just the day before reading this a graphic designer had been discussing with me his wish to create wooden business cards, so we went to the woodwork department to see how possible this would be and it turned out to be quite simple but as these images show it can be a very worthwhile process as they look really different to many business cards which are left around in various bars, cafes and exhibitions. I think I would take more notice if the designer had found an interesting new way to show their abilities. 

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I was really pleased when I found this piece, I’d wanted to create the book using embossing and this is a great example of how the technique looked, however I hadn’t considered embossing and printing the piece. But it looks stunning and the simplicity of the pieces are something which I want to have within the book. 

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I fell in love with these little cards, its a prime example of how colours and textures can be used to create beautiful designs. This kind of thing isn’t something I’d ever felt confident enough to try because there were already stunning enough pieces like this one in the world, but after seeing all the different things which can be done with them I do really want to begin working on it and seeing the different things I can do, even if the outcome isn’t anywhere near as good as these, there will be plenty of lessons in the process and I’ll know where to improve in the future. 

strengths and weaknesses

Over this year I have changed quite a lot, not only in my practice but the way I am. 

I’ve begun to experiment far more than I ever have before, and its something which is really exciting to me. I no longer feel like I don’t know what I want to do because I can only do one thing and don’t enjoy that very much. I have found that I do have stronger abilities in various areas, but at the same time this has helped to highlight the things I do need to work on, such as typography and illustration. I want to work on my illustration in particular because although its not something I am particularly strong in, it is something I greatly enjoy doing and to be able to produce some really good illustration work would be highly beneficial to me in the long run. 

In my personal statement I say that I am highly critical of myself, which is still true, but now I do believe more in the amount I can do even in bad situations and still manage to produce something worthwhile. I’ve learnt to deal with stress far better and I don’t let it get the better of me any more, which helps me to keep ideas clear, not panicking also has given me the ability to do even better things because in the past I’ve just given up at the point of panicking. 

The SDP project in particular is something I am incredibly proud of, its a big piece with quite a few components which all need a lot of care and attention, at the point I am now with it and the various disasters I’ve had along the way I would usually be much more stressed at this point than I am but I really like what I have produced and think it does what I wanted it to quite well. I just hope that others feel the same way. 

I’ve found I have some quite strong abilities in video/audio editing which I didn’t expect, from the experiences I’ve had with it so far I can produce a piece which has a strong narrative all the way through. I can also add footage or audio into places that it wasn’t previously and make it work far better than I ever expected I could, on various occasions there have been sentences edited together so well that nobody has noticed that they shouldn’t have been. However I do need to work on how much I do, because I do it for hours on end and it becomes difficult to see mistakes etc when you have been staring at the same things for so long, I need to begin to take breaks or find ways not to allow that to happen as it could ruin what could have been a great edit. 

Screenprinting

After the screen printing induction at Vernon Street I have been really eager to go down and do even more, but I didn’t real confident enough in what I could remember from the session and didn’t want to be asking for help from the technicians too much because I know how busy they are. So I decided to do some research of my own before I attend the workshop because this will give me more confidence and give me more technical knowledge of the facilities. 

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It was incredibly useful, it even showed the very basics like the correct way to hold a squeegee and it also showed other pieces of screen printed artwork, which was really great to look at because it showed the extent of things which can be done with screen printing, opened my mind up from very simple designs to much more interesting intricate ones. 

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Over the summer I will be working on illustrations and various other things which I then go on to screen print. This may be the pointillism artwork I have already been doing or even expanding my own knowledge of typography which is something I have particularly struggled with and tried to avoid over the past few months. 

However I didn’t just want to be limited to printing onto cartridge paper and began to look at other things that can be screen printed onto. This resulted in me taking another book from the library on screen printing onto fabric. I think having these kind of things printed onto things like fabric, it changes the audiences reaction, as its easy to just wander past a screen print on a wall and only think about it for a second or two, but when something unusual is done to a commonplace object people become fascinated with it. The book showed what you can do with the screen prints and gave some really helpful tips on how to do this. 

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This book gave me more ideas for future projects which I am hoping to begin working on very soon, especially the Tshirts, as I think it would be incredibly exciting to screen print my own tshirts. Its fascinating how many ideas you get just from reading a book about techniques. 

Working with others

Throughout this year I have had the opportunity to work with an array of people, and had very different experiences with all of them. Despite issues in some cases, working in groups allows a stronger idea flow and opens concepts up to more view points which for visual communication is very important.
            My first experience of working in a group came during the Zine day, although we did struggle at first with an idea because we all felt the same way about where we had gone, we produced a piece we were all incredibly happy with and which got a great reaction from others. It showed how bouncing ideas off each other and working everyones ideas into one piece can produce something really fun and strong. However despite doing the narratives film with the same group I had a very different experience. We disagreed hugely on the direction in which to take the project and this resulted in the group splitting into two, taking us from 5 to a group of 3 and another of 2, increasing workloads and pressure, limiting resources and ideas. The group didn’t work, there was a lack of dedication and I very much felt like I was being relied on too much to get everything organised and done, even when arranging filming days I would be without response for days until the morning of the day when both other members would have a reason not to come, additionally I was the only one who turned up to every session and tutorial which was a lot of added pressure. Despite this I did learn valuable lessons on how to engage people, working with other peoples strengths and how to cope with stress when things do begin to fall apart so I’m glad I had that experience.
            Later during the send and receive module I was in a group I hadn’t worked with before, or even knew that well but it was obvious from the start we were all very enthusiastic and dedicated, people wanted to learn new techniques from those who knew more in other fields and it was fun teaching people, it feels like a valid use of information remembered from inductions. We worked incredibly hard to do what the charity wanted, and I know everyone loved working with the volunteers, it was an incredible experience getting to know those people and learning about their struggles and also their strengths. Working with people with learning difficulties was a real learning curb, it taught us how to interact with people in a way we wouldn’t in university, the way we interacted with them and what we spoke to them about was vastly different to what we talked about together. We had so much fun and there were some wonderful personalities in the charity.
            Overall the process of working with other has benefitted me as I was very much someone who wanted to work alone, however now I look forward to more group work.

Leeds Met Fine Art Flash Show

I attended a flash show set up by first year fine art students from Leeds Met, the exhibition was set up in an old church quite a walk away from the city centre but it was well worth a visit. There were some stunning pieces created, including sweets like trifles, jelly and fruitsalads all containing meat products, like bones, fish, and a huge pig head cake.  
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ImageOne of my favourite parts of the exhibition was being invited to join in with a guided meditation, so 12 of us sat around in a large circle and waited for the organiser to begin playing the tape. A large crowd gathered around us and as the tape begun the noise of the crowd almost drowned it out and although it was tempting to just ignore the tape and have a zone out everyone continued to listen. It concentrated attention to various parts of the body, taking negative energy in and negative energy out by imagining spinning spheres, the most beneficial of which is the one on the top of your head purely because its the easiest to imagine. During this the noise of the crowd had died down and they had moved away from the circle, but this created an even more surreal experience because it felt like every single person around you had also left, at one point I was totally convinced it was now me alone sat there. But when the tape finished it turned out everyone involved had felt the same. This was a really interesting thing to be part of, its not something I would usually do but it was refreshing and surreal.
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There was also one guy who was doing a reflective piece of the stained glass window version of jesus and he remained in the same position without moving or doing anything else through the entire show and that lasted a good 2-3 hours. It takes a lot of endurance, and willpower to remain with your arms raised above your head for so many hours. 

This exhibition just showed how there are so many different things you can do in art, no matter how complex or how simple they may still work impeccably well. It removed some of the restrictions I had on myself as before this I wouldn’t have considered working on the same huge scale as I have in the SDP module or taking on so many different factors in one go. 

Ceramics Induction

When I found out we were doing a ceramics induction I really wasn’t very interested, whenever I’ve done work with clay in the past (in junior school) its always looked appalling and I don’t feel I have any ability in the technical side of it in order to create what I want to ultimately. In fact this kind of work is one of the reasons I chose not to take a foundation year, because I had absolutely no intentions of ever working with this kind of media and was pretty happy at the time to stick to what I know. So upon arrival I wasn’t very into it, and throughout creating the piece I was constantly doubting what I was doing, I redid the patterns on it multiple times because I didn’t feel happy with any and by the time the clay was beginning to dry and becoming difficult to do anything more with I had what looked like this. 
ImageI wasn’t confident with how it looked but decided it was the best version I had so far and was therefore probably worth sticking with rather than risking ruining the product by continuing to change it. When I left the room I expected something to go wrong with it, believing it was going to crack, or even explode in the kiln because I thought I’d made it in a way the tutor had advised not to in order to avoid bubbles forming in the joins. However when I was given this in the second session I was so pleased, firstly because it hadn’t exploded and secondly because it didn’t look as hideous in this colour as it had done. ImageThe tutor began to explain to everyone about the oxides that they could use to colour their mugs/pots, however during this I wasn’t concentrating much one what he was saying about the ones he had placed in front of us but instead watching behind him at a board with various different glaze examples which was on the wall and my eyes were glued to a gorgeous blue, shiny one which stood out from the rest by miles. I waited until he had finished and asked him if there was any chance I could use that one instead and described to him how I wanted my piece to look, I think he was quite pleased for a bit of variation and he showed me how to brush the earthenware glaze on in a particular way, and how many layers I would need to do and then used mine to demonstrate how to glaze the insides of the pieces. 
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When I collected it I was so proud of it, it was utterly different to what I had imagined I would come out of the induction with when I had entered, and I love how it reflected my own love of the ocean. In this photo the pot looks like its got a large water colour-y white section however this is just the light reflecting off of its very glossy finish. 

After attending this induction I realised going out of my comfort zone can actually result in some of my favourite pieces of work, I’m not comparing it to other projects etc and therefore I remove a lot of the pressure I put onto myself with these kinds of things. Its something I intend to do more often, and I may even see how ceramics could be worked into future projects, as whilst the facilities are so readily available to me they would be great to use. This little blue pen pot will be my reminder to explore things regardless of whether I believe in my own abilities with it in the first place, I could even find a secret talent in it. 

Maybe eventually I’ll learn not to be so hard on myself before I even try something, maybe that will allow me to develop far more skills and not limit things that I do as much as I previously have.