Thursday, 27 October 2011

Gerhard Richter

Tuesday this week I was lucky enough to enjoy a day packed full of culture, food, friends and opportunities. Not to go into too much detail, but it was a rather good day! One of the highlights of which was visiting the Gerhard Richter exhibition at Tate Modern, if you get a chance I urge you to take a visit.

Richter has produced such an incredible body of work, that is impressive not only in scale but in diversity. I was amazed to be able wonder around the exhibition going form room to room finding completely different styles all crafted by the same man. I am truly in awe of how Richter works between the abstract and the life like, mastering both so uniquely.

                                   Horst with Dog (1965)                                  Betty (1988)

The exhibition is a chronological journey through Richter's art, beginning with paintings done from photographs, that he made his own by his trademark 'blur' - achieved by dragging a dry paint brush across the wet paint, softening the edges and mixing colours into each other. This technique really transformed the images from their plain photographs into something more. There is a universality to Richter's work, by taking subjects that are personal to him and distorting the images either with the blur effect (as shown above) or by using large thick gloops of oil paint (as shown below), the clarity of identity is muddied and as we look upon his images from a distance, we feel that we can relate to the subjects.

Townscape Paris (1968) above, was a painting that particularly interested me, not because of it's beauty, but by how Richter created it so that from a distance one could make out the bombed city landscape; but as the audience drew closer that image disintegrated, dissolving into chaotic globs of paint. This could be very reflective of the peoples experience of war, and how that from a distance there still seemed to be an etching of civilisations but as soon as you get closer to the situation you realise the chaos and destruction, there seeming to be no reasoning behind anything when close up.

                Forest (3) (1990)                                                                  Detail (Kreutz) (1971)

Although on occasion I can be found to scoff at certain abstract pieces, I found Richter's to be simply enchanting. The explanation of this may be found in the exhibition dialogue, I felt as though I was being given a guided tour of Richter's self development. I read about friendships with other artists, challenges he took on through the discovery of new artists work, political interests, popular culture, all which affected his work making the abstract appear less abstract and more bound to life experience.

Work that is most famous of his are his squeegee pieces, that are quite outstanding, but that is often due to their scale. Others of his abstract collections include paintings he did of photographs of small brushstrokes that he blew up to enormous sizes. The painterly marks, divorced from their original context and scale, start to lose their abstractness, and begin to look like something real, begin to taken on landscapes. This is most intriguing, as for a while you try to decipher where the image have been taken from and soon you come to the realisation that they are images of paint.

14 Nov .99 (1999)

I would love to go on and on about this exhibition as I found it to be a really wonderful treat, but I shan't ruin it for you, just promise me you'll at least try and go visit it! I'm going again this Friday, that's how much I enjoyed it!

Self Portrait (1996)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Destructive Tendencies

So I may be pretty late finding these guys, but I came across the work of Lernert and Sander whilst looking around, and I have to admit I fell in love immediately. Their art direction is just wonderful, it's clear, it really pushes the message, and their concepts are just hilarious - in my opinion anyway, but I do find the destruction of things quite amusing, don't ask me why, laughter just blurts out of me without my control. These are two of my favourite shorts:

I really love the colour palettes, the created anticipation, the hold your breath moments, and then bursts of laughs every time the bunny's head fell off.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A Girl at a Window

My final film from my postgrad at Central St.Martins, which I only just realised that I never posted on here. Have a look if you fancy, here's the synopsis for it that a tutor helped me to articulate (I'm not so good with the words). Oh and the credits go on for like a year, so apologies if you really want to read them.

Synopsis: ‘A Girl at a Window’ was named after and inspired by the painting by Louis-Leopold Boilly. The film investigates the painting’s themes of voyeurism: of looking and being looked at. I enjoyed the symbolism of the telescope, an apparatus that looks outward, contratsed against the fishbowl, an object one looks into. I was inturigued by how the painting was of a mounted engraving, that it had been created from another’s interpretation of reality.

Using a minimalist aesthetic in Flash, the animation explores issues of subjectivity and identity through the portrayal of a young woman who feels disconnected from the world. The character is self-conscious, existing in a society that places great value on how one portrays one’s self to the world; leading her to feel trapped by social and societal pressures, feeling she must perform for others, yearning for the freedom from the gaze of others.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

If I were a man....

...I wouldn't grow a beard like this, simply through fear of a small ferret potentially trying to make it it's new home, and the fact that it looks a little on the itchy side.

Monday, 3 October 2011

If I were a man...

... I would grow a tash like this, fun for the face!

September Showreel 2011

So after some very helpful comments from my friends  Saf and Frankie I have rejigged my showreel around so my more recent work is at the front. Any more thoughts on what works and what doesn't would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 30 September 2011

A word to the creative beginner...

I had just been watching Ira Glass on YouTube, checking out his thoughts on storytelling as I had noticed a sudden surge of posts on Facebook of this quote, that I am reposting below. It's actually a really good thing to hear, especially if you're like me and just starting a new career path

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Postmodernism ay?

Yesterday I travelled into town due to winning free tickets for a screening in the eve. As usual I had to pay a ridiculous amount of money to travel, so I went up ealry(ish) to cram in lots of things to make sure I gained the full use of my travel card. Sometimes it gets to the stage where I am aimlessly travelling around on buses just to make the travel card worth it, it's definitely a different way to spend the day. However, there were no long bus journey's yesterday, it was straight off to the V&A for the Postmodernism: Style and Subversion exhibition.

This exhibition was a strange choice for me, because I actually really didn't like Postmodern art, perhaps due to ignorance, the lack of understanding of it's root, I just wasn't a fan. I however think it's important to experience a more diverse array of subject matter, even if it's work you don't necessarily like or appreciate initially. Of all the movements, Postmodernism is perhaps the most controversial, it is the unstable mix of theatrical and theoretical. The exhibition itself begins with the death of Modernism, and moves onto the birth of Postmodernism, that claims to have begun in many different places at many different times. Coming from the either/or ideas of Modernism, Postmodernism I have learnt was the both/and, which I felt to be, in an ideal instances a wonderful way to approach creative subject matter.

'The Other Figure' (1984) Giulio Paolini

Melancholy was one aspect of the Postmodern regard for the past, which I didn't fully appreciate. I was kind aware of their attitude to the past, and I now realise that that may be a reason for my distaste for Postmodern art. Despite their use of bright tantalising colours, and playful designs there is that feeling of disconnect, disillusionment. I feel a lot of sorrow attached to the Postmodern art movement.

The idea that no single strategy binds postmodernism together is an idea I have time for. The movement was a convergence of like-minded practitioners, having the feeling of one large collective. In saying that, I find it quite typical that a popular style would be the method of Bricolage, the cut and paste technique. My favourite example of this from the exhibition was Alessandro Mendini's "Proust Chair" (1978), above. It is a classic Postmodern bricolage, it's title is taken from literature, it's form from Baroque furniture, and the decoration from Pointalist painter, Paul Signac.

As we move on, we are then introduced to the New Wave. The desire to combine subversive statements with commercial appeal. It was I think the late 80s, and for this generation there was no space between avant-garde and commercial spheres. The complete blending of the two was itself a Postmodern phenomenon. The exhibition carries on into Postmodernism's downfall, we gaining an understanding here of how the movement became entangled in the very circuits of money and influence that it had initially sought to dismantle. 

I feel as though I may be boring some now, I have tried to highlight certain areas of the exhibition I enjoyed and things that I had learnt, but if I continue I'll only end up ranting and no one would want to be reading that. So instead I shall recommend you take a visit down to the the V&A (half price tickets if you've got an ArtFund card) if you want a learning experience, the exhibition is essentially a historical account of the art movement. In all honesty the exhibition was really enjoyable, it was the first time I actually understood what postmodernism was and found it to be wonderfully accessible. I still wouldn't say I am a fan of the movement, but I do feel now that I appreciate it far more than before and I think the exhibition/work definitely asks you to engage which for some may be too much, but I am sure there are those of you out there who would enjoy the challenge.

One last thing. The image above, by Jenny Holzer is the image I chose to end on because it was an all purpose admonition to herself and others. It encapsulates perfectly the ambivalence about commodity culture felt by many in the 1980s - and still felt by myself today.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

We may like eggs, but that doesn't mean they like us

This was an illustration I did a while back, and since starting the course I had always thought it would be fun to animate a little cycle of it. So I have finally gotten around to doing it, although the timing in the cycle had not been best thought out, but this is what I've got so far.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My friends are so pretty

Whilst at my house earlier this summer three friends and I enjoyed a leisurely afternoon with home made cocktails (Elderflower martinis are just yummy), apple shisha, mini bonfire and some soft jazz - I realise that this does all sounds very pleasant so obviously that had to be corrected. And so began the game (which is incredibly entertaining after you've polished of a considerable amount of pimms, rum and four too many bottles of red) of who can pull the ugliest face. I today found the just incredible photos from that evening, and knowing in advance that if I were to post any of the actually photos up I would be getting a shoe to the face, I thought instead I would post a series of illustrations of the photos - so technically this isn't actually a picture of my friend Po, it's just a drawing, technically.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

How do you bring to life the joy of twirling?

This ad just makes my face happy. I love the idea, the constructions of it, the micro situations contributing to an overall feeling of yummy joy.

My favourites are the office works, and the robots, and the penguins washing their armpits, and well kind of the whole damn thing.... and I don't even like chocolate!

Keep it real baby seal

Right now I'm a rather confused little duckling. I don't really understand why Coke is trying to teach me life lessons, I mean of all companies, really?

Monday, 19 September 2011

August Showreel 2011

Good afternoon, just wanted to post my updated showreel, I've just added a few new clips from jobs I've had since school ended. I would really appreciate any feedback, or advice on how to improve it so that one day some nice employer person will invite me into their studio family - that's the dream!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Evening Standard Inspiration

On the long commute home this evening I found yesterdays Evening Standard shoved in the bottom of my laptop case. As I was flicking through the pages I started to read an article entitled '30 things to do before you're 30'. It listed the obvious, and then a few not so obvious but actually quite good ideas, and left me feeling as though I should aim for a vague few of their suggestions before I hit the big 3, 0.

But in any case, I made this little drawing in my notebook whilst travelling home wondering if any of the goals were actually achievable. The 3 holds the first fifteen, and the 0 that has been saved for tomorrows train journey is yet to come. The thing I enjoyed most about making this drawing, is that when I looked up and turned around, (which I did unusually slowly, laying a feeling that I must of been tense with resentment - although I was in fact quite chipper) the man sitting next to me jolted back from his original position, which was right over my shoulder and shouted "I'M SORRY" at me. Incredibly funny, especially for it being in the context of the quiet carriage.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


For the last couple of weeks I've been interning at Th1ng working with the lovely Chris Cray, who's definitely furthered my understanding of animation. But this post however is not about animation, but more about his love for cross hatching stemming from Tom Gauld. It had reminded me of some illustrations that I had done before I found animation about a year ago. These images are quite old, and I hope I have progressed since their creation but I thought I'd share them with you today. In the spirit of sharing (and cross hatching) there is a blog that has recently become very active that is well worth a look - created by my friend Chris who who's work I am just in awe of, so check it out.


Hello hello. So this is an animation that I redid in flash from a rough pencil animation task from school. To be honest I got rather uninterested half way through so this is in no way a good little animation but for me it was just something I wanted to get done and out of the way. The next animation I post will definitely, definitely, kind of probably hopefully be better...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

See something, say something

I came across this today and just wanted to share it. Lovely work, really heartwarming, eyes definitely welled up.

See Something Say Something from Bold Creative Showreel on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hey, I know that name!

After an afternoon stroll in cyber space I came across this wonderful animation, I soon realised that it was crafted by a friend from my secondary schools brother. Random.

Really beautifully, and a superb style.


A beautiful animation exploring the process of growing up. I love the style and the abstract nature of the animation, really charming.

From Animate! funded short film 2006. Winner best film at London Animation Festival 2006.
Written by Liana Dognini.
Music by Ben Park.
Edited by Rod Main.
Produced by Jo Gallagher through Picasso Pictures

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Forgot to mention Showreel 2011

Oh yeah, I've got a showreel. Still needs some work but check it out...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Birthday Gift

With every birthday brings "wisdom", but more importantly presents. The most charming this year being a gift from my brother, Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson. Whilst casually strolling through the web a while ago, I stumbled across Jackson's unique cross stitch and when I found out she was publishing a book I knew that a quick email to the brother would ensure summer evenings cross stitching in the garden.

So after a lot of giggling at abuse wrapped up in a quaint  little bow I got stitching. As much as it would have made sense to stick to the patterns given in the book I jumped straight onto the lyrics of the song I was listening to at the time...

Using some snazzy thread I found in my toolbox I became kind of proud of the whole thing, I think theres just something very fulfilling about seeing something develop quickly and actually turning out alright. So I kind of got a bit over excited about doing more so I've ended up spending the afternoon doing another piece (housewarming gift, two birds one stone) and turned it's creation into a (not so exciting) little animation. I think at some point I'd like to make it something more interesting, music, a proper ending, but for a little experiment today it's fine...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Scared of colour much?

It's not exactly that I'm scared of using colour in my work, but more that I love black and white and find that you can be so incredibly emotive with different lines, marks and shadings. This has led to me finding colour not always necessary, and also tricky to get right - yeah basically I'm kind scared of colours.

This said I am trying to ease my way in to using colour by going over some of my old cycles and adding colour to them...

As you can see from my first colour attempt I went with the subtle approach. Round two I will definitely, kind of, maybe, push myself to use more colour.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Final Push

This week has been the final week of my postgrad experience, to my dismay it's all over now and life outside St.Martins is calling. But as my last post as a student (unless obviously some kind stranger chooses to donate money into a MA fund) I thought I'd pop up the final bits of work I've been doing. 

The last bits of stress resinated in getting my music all sorted, which as you can see meant a lot of anxious scribbling in my sketch book...

Thankfully, it all came together in the end, but despite the deadline being met there was still work to do. Designs for my DVD menu and cover were scratched into my sketch book and rapidly scanned into photoshop, a quick tutorial of Encore and the DVD's were ready. But as you may be able to tell it was all a little last minute so any comments or advice on designs would be appreciated.

Now although I can't post up my final film, I thought it would be nice to show a few snaps from the piece...

Now that that's finished it's on to the next piece, I'm thinking something funny...

Now that's a fancy four legged cycle

by Aubrey Longley-Cook

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Brilliance appears from nowhere!!

So for the last week or so I have been home alone, and this has brought me endless amounts of joy, even the thought of it now has me chuckling like a cow and gate infant. Simple steps, on entering the website click the under 21's button and just embrace the brilliance of it...

p.s. brilliant design, engaging every angle, I like it!!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Talk Talk Stop Motion

The new Talk Talk advert created by CHI & Partners and directed Adam Berg is the sweetest thing!! The stop frame animation is so wonderfully done. The fine details of the animation really pull it together, such as the movement of the superhero's eyes which are just lovely. This animation definitely made me feel the need to pick up my phone and call a friend to catch up.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Rough Cut 'A Girl at a Window'

So here is the near to final timings for my animation for my final project at St.Martins:

Yesterday we had the critique session with my fellow students, tutors and Lee and Jo from the National Gallery. The comments that were made include, advice from Steve advised to watch my eyes - ensuring that they don't widen as the animation goes on. He also inquired as to whether the TV would be used in the final piece, which I stated it would most certainly not be.

Birgitta commented that in the initial part of my animation, and she felt that my character design was too similar to another animator, Erica Russell. I have since research her as I was unaware of her existence prior to Birgitta's comment and can see some similarity in the structuring of the limbs.

Taking this into consideration when reanimating this section I shall definitely be careful to try make my design less similar with that of Russell's. Overall though I think the feedback was quite positive, so I now just need to finish animating and draw up my backgrounds. FIngers crossed it shall all go smoothly.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Addiction Series

Nick Ballon is a photographer I discovered recently, his personal project 'Addiction' I thought was really interesting. 'Addiction' is an ongoing project of Ballon's looking at naturally occurring physical features that consume our everyday behaviour. I thought that the topic was significant, as we all have addictions whether it be smoking or picking nail varnish and Ballon's view on this subject I find to be rather refreshing.

Kumi Yamashita

I stumbled across Yamashita's work today, and was simply spellbound by her mastery of the manipulation of light and shadows. I have personally seen very few artist who manipulate light to create alluring shadows, none of whom have created such crisp and unique shadows as these.

Yamashita's further exploration of contorting light has led her to create moving shadows, such as in her piece Dialogue...

Light and shadows are not however, the only medium that Yamashita works with. Her broad spectrum of media, also includes most interestingly the use of brads (which is what they're called, although I think its just a fancy way of saying pins) and thread on board. An example of such is here, I think the effects is spectacular, especially with consideration to how it was created.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Let us dance

So this week I began to animate the beginning of my animation, finally.
This is the bit I have been rather excited about animating as I thought the wonderfully fluid motion of a dance would be really fun to animate. I have however found it difficult to let go and create a really loose movement, so here you will see the first layout of the dance. I will be going back over it, trying to create more flow, with a looser line. But for the moment this is how the dance is looking.

The first animation is a demonstration of my initial timing:

The timing here as I have been made aware of by my wonderful fellow students is a little slow, breaking the flow of the dance and not allowing the transformation to be as punchy as I would have liked. So I have since reworked the timing in the hope to establish that when the movement breaks the character transforms:

So it would be great to hear what you think of the timing of this.

This, like I said is the trial version, so when it comes to the clean up the style of the piece will be different. I am aiming to keep the sketchy line, but have it a lot finer than the one I have been using here. I also hope to push this animated section further when it comes to reanimating, extening the lines of follow through, a lot like in this animation created by Ryan Woodward. This animation was actually the inspiration by behind my initial thought process for the dance:

It would be great to hear your thoughts on this scene, and hopefully soon I shall have a sample of the clean up to post.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Over Grown

I came across this work by Chrissie Macdonald whilst on the Peepshow Collective blog, and just found there to be something really wonderful about the images. I love this idea of nature breaking through bland concrete man made offices, and growing freely and quaintly. The photography by John Short, I also think is masterfully done.