Friday, 22 June 2012

Course Leader Hug-o-rama.

Last night was the opening of the AUCB Summer Show; the first opportunity for the public to see the 'FERAL' illustration exhibition we have put together. After the hard work of readying the studio for the show, it was a magical and surreal night to celebrate the efforts of both students and tutors across the entire university, with as much wine as there was rainfall (a torrent), and a surprise or two to boot.

These ridiculous images are courtesy of sharp-snapper Sojung Kim and show the moment in which it was announced that I had won the illustration course prize. It was like one of those dreams where you're standing completely naked in front of loads of people. And they're smiling, and clapping... and all too expectant.
When asked to say a few words, I managed to slur something about being proud to be part of such a great course, trying not to weep as my course leader went on to describe me as the 'backbone of the course' and promptly took me in her arms.

I probably wouldn't believe this moment existed if it wasn't for this sit-com still of a photograph to remind me.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Feral Wolf-alogue.

The illustration Feral exhibition catalogue is officially being released into the 'wild frontier'. Me and 'The Team' have been part of a surprisingly long-winded process to bring this simple document into fruition, but we believe all those hours in Wetherspoons were worth it. Our FERAL wolf branding is by own very own Emily Hughes, with all hand-rendered type the distinctive scrawlings of Maria Midttun.
See you down the front.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Fade To White.

After much wriggling and writhing with oceanic layouts, the final coral bleaching collaboration for Synthia magazine looks something like this:

The original drawing was shaped to fit down the entire left panel of the spread allowing the title to 'eat' into it as if bleaching, however the detailed nature of Dan's article meant there was not enough space for it to do so comfortably. This led to a pleasing staggered effect, which also beneficial in 'breaking up' the text and making it a lot less psychologically 'wordy'. Experimenting with fading the coral's colour away to white to emulate the bleaching process, this left vacant areas in the landscape that simply looked like areas void of growth rather than indicating that there was anything there to start with. To resolve this I drained the colour away in the middle of the image then began returning it again (in line with Dan's comments on coral rehabilitation efforts) in conjunction with overlaying line drawings on top of the faded areas to cement their definition.

I have enjoyed the interactive approach between myself and The Scientist: Daniel Franklin, and would like to warmly thank him for his enthusiasm and advice.

Look out for us in June's edition of Synthia.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Feral: Live

The website for our graduate show FERAL went live today! My illustration course will proudly be exhibiting alongside AUCB Fine Art and Photography in our external degree show as part of Free Range Art & Design show 2012.

As you can see, it is set to be a very high calibre show, unashamedly diverse in every sense. Already very excited to be a part of it, I am nevertheless duly aware that the hard work of finishing our own work is just the beginning.

You can follow our progress via my tweetings at @FeralShow.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

OK Coral.

As part of the upcoming first issue of art & science magazine Synthia, I have been asked to illustrate an article by marine biologist Daniel Franklin about the process of coral bleaching. Synthia has been a twinkle in the eye of Laurie Ramsell for a while now, aiming to showcase crossovers between scientific enquiry and artistic practice to mutually beneficial effect, and I am delighted that he has asked me to be involved.

On this basis I have been making some studies of coral and related aquatic titbits (dinoflagellates to you and me...). The coral landscape above was inspired by the following quote: an irregular fortress, its architecture seemingly haphazard; there are crevices and caverns, terraces and shaded clefts, and the other walls are festooned with a panoply of intricate and colourful decorations* and I think my main goal with the accompanying illustration will be to demonstrate the diversity of coral reefs, and in so doing set out that the deterioration of these beautiful organisms is not just an isolated tragedy, but affects the entirety of the thriving ecosystem based around coral.
Unfortunately these guys (Ceratium fucus, Ceratium tripos, and Ceratium macroceros)** will not be used as they are not the types of dinoflagellates found inside coral, but I think it's nice they came into fruition anyway, especially as Symbiodinium are nowhere near as interesting looking.

*Taken from Roessler, C. (1986). Coral Kingdoms. New York: Abrams Inc.
**Kirby, R. (2010). Ocean Drifters - A Secret World Beneath the Waves. UK: Studio Cactus Ltd. p. 40.