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Thanks for visiting my blog. Take a look around and I hope you enjoy and feel free to contact me!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Christmas cards



Whilst in the studio today, we were discussing whether or not it was appropriate to upload Christmas card designs to blogs, when its no way near Christmas yet.

I am going to anyways. Not sure which one I prefer more, however I don't think they are too hot. Ah well, you live and you learn.

Enjoy.

Copyright Charlotte Cooper 2009

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Anorak


As one of my briefs for this semesters work, I have done the Anorak Children's Magazine Cover Competition. Seeing as this competition is open to all art students, all over the world, I strongly doubt I would win.
However, it was nice to do a more jovial project compared to my rather serious and political brief that was inspired from a visit to Auschwitz. Sometimes I struggle to make "beautiful" images for the sake of being beautiful. I'm motivated by concept and meaning in my work, so if work doesn't have that, the bottom generally falls out.
So for me, this has been a bit of a change from how I create my work. I wanted to create an image that talked about all things that are winter. Some things aren't as obvious as others. I would like to have more typographic illustrations on the image, however, I didn't want the image to be overwhelmed or too busy.

But enjoy.

Copyright Charlotte Cooper 2009

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Zenit





In the summer, I cracked open my very old SLR the Zenit.
Just a few snaps from my life.
They make me rather nostalgic.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Another day, another dollar.


So tomorrow the first day or term and the first day of third year begins. I am both excited and nervous for what this next year brings.
I am currently sat in my new room in my new house/ flat at Loughborough. I came last sunday with the intention to nail loads of my dissertation reading. I would like to say I have done the previous however, the arrival of my fellow cohorts has somewhat delayed this process. Note to self, heels and a wet floor is not a good mix when on the dance floor. (Trust me, i have the bruises the prove it- idiot). However, I am positive once in the swing of everything, I shall conquer the mountain that is the dissertation.

On another note, while I was on the break my Mum asked me to do some "re-branding" for her beauty salon. I am not a Graphic designer so it probably is not as slick as some could produce. Plus I believe the typography isn't the best, however my Mum selected and liked the choice, and afterall its her salon she is promoting.
The illustration is my handy work however.
Please note that the blank space at the bottom is where our telephone number normally is.
I am not that stupid to leave that there for the whole internet to then rape me of it.

All Products and Images Copyright Charlotte Cooper 2009

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Hello silence my old friend.



As of recent, I haven't had much to talk or post on here. I have been neglecting my creative needs. Its shameful.
I'm not going to spend another blog space whining about my lack of inspiration. i think I have done enough of that recently.

I have two things to show you, both little things to keep my mind ticking over while I'm home for the summer (although not long before third year begins).
Firstly, because I'm slightly obsessed with butterflies, I decided to make one to decorate my new room at uni with. I made it form old bits of haberdashery and wire. Please excuse the ridiculousness of the photo.
Secondly, I have started to make my own range of handmade Birthday cards, and this is one I made for my friend Emma (on the left). I have started doing mock up templates on photoshop, t the hopefully get printed to create my own line of bespoke cards.

Also, I am beginning side project work to my studies to create a small children's book of faries.
I know that in theory this sounds rather lame, however years ago I used to write and illustrate books about faries when I was in my teens. (Slightly sad I am aware) It was good practice, and it is paying off dividends to this day. Not to say the least when I was clearing through some draws I found these stories. I still believe that these can provide me with brilliant material for my book and I intend honour these with the same vigor as I originally wrote them.

For the time being here are some photos of my butterfly and card.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Strawberry Swing

I went to the cinema today. I love the cinema. But something, almost magical happened when this appeared on the screen, everyone was lulled into a serene fascination, no ones eyes moved from the screen. Mesmerising.
Its the new Coldplay Video for Strawberry Swing. The full version is on all Odeon Cinemas and Babelgum.com.

Here is a snippet from Coldplay's Youtube account.

http://www.youtube.com/user/coldplaytv?blend=1&ob=4#play/all/uploads-all/0/iEQpZcqxNDs

Watch and be amazed.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Back to the Future.






Yesterday, I got a little despondent about work.
It was suggested that maybe I should collaborate, both my love for illustration and craft together to make illustrations.

This is what I did at the end of my foundation, and the work I produced I was proud of, it oozed my personality and I was passionate about it.

Maybe it's time to return to this methodology.




Who says red cake isn't appetising?




Its been a while since I baked. So I decided to make a cake. 
In my minds eye, I envisaged a cake that was so intoxicating and full of chocolate it would tempt even the most savory of types.

The finishing touch would be pink icing.

I may have used a little too much food colouring.
Don't laugh.

It's special. 
I'm still going to devour it.
I think I can scratch cake decorator off possible careers.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Getting Crafty.






So, as the summer progresses on, I still find that I am without a job and without inspiration. It's not that I haven't tried for a job, just where I live there aren't any. Unless I fancy driving and hour away, which isn't feasible as I am minus a car.
So in an effort to try and solve my brain turning into sludge, I've been occupying my time with getting crafty. So far the results have been fruitful, and oddly enough, not very "illustration" based.
Sometimes  I reckon that I might be doing the wrong degree. Although I love illustration, I love to draw and animate, I get more satisfaction from producing textile based work. Whether this is because it is a hobby and so a source of escapism, therefore it brings me more pleasure could be why I find it more stimulating.
Who knows. At current, my illustration work is beginning to suffer. My sketchbook sits aimlessly beside me the majority of the time. It is filled with ideas and thumbnails of drawings of things I want to complete and do. None of which I have begun to even embark upon. I can't find the motivation nor the inclination to sit and work.
Maybe I have burned out? Never.
I think Living at home stifles my creativity. I find it impossible to work here. For starters my desk is of such a shallow dimension, it impossible to fit anything but the Macbook on it. Besides from that, where I live is far from the land of visual enquiry I wish it to be. Although Loughborough isn't much better, somehow I'm more inspired. Maybe its the people I mix with they are a constant resource where I can discuss refine my work with.
At home there is nothing like this. In between running my parents to the shops and back again, I look out the window and the creativity as blank as the piece of paper infront of me. Nothing is coming out.
When I get into blocks like this, I find it overwhelmingly infuriating as well as terrifying. My work means too much to me, so when it starts to suffer it begins to really get me down, and no one here seems to understand that.
I am a very driven individual and highly efficient. Its a well known fact. So being out of routine and inspiration is extremely counter productive.
Maybe the Ear infection i am currently enduring isn't benefiting or helping me either.
ANYWAYS.
Back to the craft. Check out the dresses I made plus other paraphernalia. 
Next time I blog I promise not to winge. AND sorry for bad photo quality. i think it is about time I invest in one that actually performs better than this excuse for one.

Monday, 8 June 2009

From Russia, With Love

The last project I completed before assessment was "An Illustrated Map". I did Russia.

Because I'm a geek, and I like history most of my work is motivated by this. So when I decided to make the map, I naturally took a historical route to my research. 

My map indicates a historical timeline of Russia, how the country first became and how it has evolved to this day.
It seemed an only natural transition to move this  piece into an animation. Further more, all these components have shaped and changed Russia to the country it is today.

от России с влюбленностью

video

Celebrate Good Times.





Heres some picture of this semesters work for my end of year show.

Please excuse the Poor choice of mannerism, and bad photo quality.

Third year is not so far away!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Projection

Further to mine and my partner Jonny Ray's project, "The Beginning of Civilisation" we have the projected our image and made a short film to display it.
I have done another version of this film with a different soundtrack, however, this one seems to work the best. 

Enjoy....

Jonny, et viola! 
video

Saturday, 9 May 2009

video

So this was my response to a brief called  "Destination Conversations" from when I went to Chicago.
Basically I felt when I went to the City that it had its own voice that is unlike any other. So many components of the city interacted and conversed to make up the bigger voice which is Chicago. Although not always spoken word, the conversation that might be happening might be a game of chess, a hockey match, the interaction of the seagulls with the subway...

In the animation I wanted a real continuity flowing from each frame to another to demonstrated how all this conversations join together to make up Chicago.
Considering I never do animation much, I'm pretty happy with this outcome and inspired to do more.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Civilisation




So the last brief I completed was called "The beginning of..." from this there was a list of words we could chose from such as space travel, life, death, fear, hope etc. For this project I was working in pairs. Myself and my partner Jonny Ray, decided upon the word "Civilisation". 
What we deduced from the research we had established, our image would stem from the idea that our whole civilisation we have grows from the ground. The ground provides us with food, raw materials, essentially life. So we decided that we would create an image that would show this underground world of potential that the ground has. Its happening all the time and its beneath our feet all the time something we are never fully aware of. Thus the image we have created will be projected onto the floor for the public to interact with. we will create a film from this, probably sped up also. 

Monday, 23 March 2009

Chicago






So, last week I was in Chicago with Uni. 
Chicago, is cool. Damn cool. When everyone tells you that everything is big in America, its a given and you generally nod along in belief thinking thats that 7th time you have been told this fact.

Truth is, words cannot being to justify HOW big everything is. The sheer enormity of the buildings gives you cramp in your neck, and to cross a road brings new meaning to "getting to the other side safely". 
Food portions are astronomical. I still can't understand how people can eat such large portions for meals and not feel ill or sick afterwards or suffer from heartburn. Which could explain America's Current obesity problem. Although saying this, we didn't see any obesity- except maybe when we went to the Pizza Resturant.

It's a shame that we couldn't spend more time in Chicago, the city is so vast you can't possibly cover it all in the time frame we were given. 

An aspect I loved of the City was Wicker Park area. It oozed charm and had an arts scene that permeated sophistication and chicness that was somewhat elitest. Despite this, there was some cool record shops, galleries, vintage clothes shops, street art and potentially the best cafe.... EVER.

EARWAX CAFE.
No joke, best burger and fries I have ever eaten in my life ever...
Long live the messy Burger. Comprising of  black bean burger, cheese, caramelised onions, mustard dressing and peppercorn dressing and spicy fries.
Oh my days, I never wanted the meal to end...ever. My friend had a steak sandwich with fries. I don't convey a word of a lie when I say there was the best of half a cow between the bread.

Something that continues to shock me and baffle me about America is that amount of poverty that is around. Away from the slick sky scrapers and haute cuisine of the resturants, there is the streets of the poor, where they struggle to make ends meet and gang culture is the norm. We walked streets and streets of some of the poorer neighborhoods and soon realised that America is not always the land of dreams it always wants to portray itself as.
On every street corner, musicians cling to the dream of the Jazz music following which gave some meaning to black working community in bygone eras. The jazz scene, although still existant, is now somewhat jaded and only exists for the tourist population. There is a sadness to it when you see a drummer drumming to try and recreate the magic of what once was, but the spell is broken, and no matter how long you drum, its will never come back.

However, the America dream and ceremony exists still is some parts of the city. One of the best places I saw this was the United Centre when we saw the Blackhawks Hockey Team play a match. 
Everyone stands to sing the National Anthem and pomp and pride that most Americans have in this country is something to marvel at and admire. I doubt I would see the same amount of Patriotic fervor in this country.

All in all I really enjoyed myself and saw a multi-faseted view of Chicago that deviates from what the Guidebook suggests.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Nuclear Power.




So this is my life drawing project for this week. Needless to say my feet have barely touched the ground this week. After being ill last week, everything seemed to get rather manic all at once. 

But I'll start with this. This weeks brief was Climate Change. I decided upon the idea of nuclear power. Despite the fact that we are investing money into more renewable sources of energy, the amount of power they will provide will not quench our lust for energy and technology. So it has to be soured elsewhere. Sadly, it seems Nuclear power is the only answer.

The very idea of Nuclear Power fills me with dread. In the Sellafield area, child leukaemia is more prevalent then any other part of the UK, on the Dounraey plant in the Scottish Highlands, radioactive particles were released accidentally that were later sourced further along the coast line. To me Nuclear power is ticking time bomb that will have catasrophic effect on our environment and ourselves. But the power that Nuclear plants provide is somewhat insatiable. which brings me to my next point.

What is the point of all of us doing "our bit" for the environment, when in reality we are only going to sell out to nuclear power, and no matter how many plastic bags we save, it will not save the earth if something was to go wrong.

Moreover, it seems very in vogue at current for people to appear green and carry their "Bags for life" around, except that the reality is that soon as may return home from their shopping trips, their homes are fed by Nuclear power.
I don't pretend to be a martyr. I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to energy consumption, Hence why i felt this was such a sticking point.

What is the point in being "green" when we are only going to sacrifice everything for our love of technology?
And this is what my image is about. I wanted to make the image in two halves and but it on a "bag for life". the idea is that from one angle, the bag portrays a wistful image that echoes affinity with being green and almost "at one with the earth".
However, by flipping the bag over, you can see the reality. The subject is being seduced by nuclear power and the very idea of recycling pales into insignificance. This is further emphasised by the use of radioactive signs that slowly transform into flowers, suggesting that idea of Nuclear power is so seductive when it comes to feeding our technology needs.

Th image consists f photographs, my own drawings and textures. I screen printed the image onto canvas and made the bag to confront the idea of how faceless this big "green" push really is.


All products and images Copyright Charlotte Cooper 2009.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Hello Inspiration

Today life is good.
Even though I have a horrific cold, and every time I speak sound like I smoke 40 a day I feel that there is a change in the air.
Outside I feel spring is on its way, as I was walking to the library, there was a freshness in the air and warmth in the air that hinted that spring was coming. Change was coming.

I think I have finally found my inspiration, I'm just hanging about in my room at Uni surrounded by images of things I like which i photocopied from various books and journals from the Library on campus. I like having things all over the floor to inspire me, I used to do it all the time when I was at college, and then for some unknown reason I disregarded this method at uni. Lord knows why as it always helped and by re-arranging the pictures, I see things I didn't see before.
I have to go to my studio about 2 though, as its life drawing and i need photographs of the life model to explore a project about agesim, if I can pull it off, it will hopefully work really well.
I talked to my tutor on Friday, and told her how despondent I was about my work and the direction I was going in. It really helped, and ever since, I feel like I'm on the up. I'm totally changing my work ethic and giving it my all. I'm a workaholic, and i have no shame in admitting that. Everything I produced recently was just born from knowledge I already knew. nothing excited me, and it was just a continual slog of getting the work done as opposed to enjoying it and having fun with it. And that was what was really upsetting me the most. I was bored of what I was doing and continually getting stressed about it being right, I totally forgot about it being right for me.
I really feel like I'm finally having a breakthrough. Hallelujah. And to celebrate I bought a nice tacky new watch and a scanner.

Also, the landlady came around yesterday with a new hoover. I went on a hoovering fetish and vacuumed everywhere, seen as our other hoover did naf all when it came to cleaning. I only did the hall and half of my room when the cylinder was FULL. It repulses me that we have been living in a house that was just full of our own dead skin and hair. I was morified.
But the psychological feeling of knowing everything was beautiful and clean has done me the power of good.

I am having a good day.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

I wish I was an owl.


I wish I has an owl. They are beautiful birds and have a essence of wisdom.
At the moment, I feel like life is going quite A.W.O.L. I am feeling horrifically ill. After talking to my tutor today in the studio, I'm petrified of the next semester. Its freezing outside and my personal life has just had a massive blow.

I feel devastated.
So in an effort to try and cheer myself up and keep inspired, I made some cuddly owls. I am going to make some smaller ones so there is a little family of them.

I wish I was an owl right now :(

Sunday, 8 February 2009

I ruined a jumper for this.




Well today like the last few, I have spent working on the next project I have been given. Basically, we have been given a list of books to pick one from, read it, produce nine images from it. But these aren't typical book illustrations- thanks goodness.
 I don't mind doing book illustrations at all, but I don't want to copy and paste the text either. So the book I chose was TIMBUKTU by Paul Auster. Its a lovely novel. Lovely is quite  a obsequious word to us, so maybe I should be a bit more selective with my language. It is an extraordinary book.

Better?
Either way, I really love being given projects when I can read. Its a rare thing for me to read these days. A sad but true fact. I love reading, and its so important as an illustrator to read, as it can feed your imagination and equip you with a better vocabulary to express your ideas. Either on the page or off.
However, the work load is so great here at Loughborough, that when I finish my work at 12 at night, reading a book is normally the last thing on my mind.
So it is always a refreshing change to get a book to read. The novel TIMBUKTU deals with lots of ideas and issues. It was nice to get my English literature head into gear for a change. All I seem to do these days is to draw and scribble, not that I loathe this of course, but it to analyse a text was good for a change.
One of the ideas the novel talks about is drug use, although only looked at in a sideways glance there is a room to explore the impact it has had on the character "Willy".

So here is a few extracts from my sketchbook dealing with lots of issue in the novel.
In my ink flinging antics, I ruined a perfectly good jumper. I hope the tutors take this into account when they look at my sketchbook.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Assessment update.

So, I got the ominous results back today from my assessment. Needless to say that I'm not overly satisfied with them. The thins is with being a an illustrator, your work and degree means so much more to you than perhaps maybe a more traditional subject. The work is personal and its from you, so when you fail in that, sometimes it is a bit of a blow.

I know that all failings are good, as you learn from them, but in my case, this means that there is a need for reconsideration of time. I need to be more Savvy with my time, and think about the creative judgements I make instead of thinking i need to get the work in on time, I need to think more "What can I do with my time?" and start building from there and then I feel my work will excel and get far more personalised. At the moment it is stale, its is not going anywhere, I'm not learning anything new and I want to do more and take more risks. 

Whoever said this course was a walk in the park was lying.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Face to face


Currently due to my assessment period, I am having lots of free time to myself. It's really nice to have this and do work that i enjoy doing. With this in mind, I took the opportunity to do a few sketches/drawings/paintings of myself, seeing as I never get chance to do this sort of thing anymore. 
I really enjoyed dong the images. I don't pretend to think that they are amazing by any standard, but it was nice to do something different for a change. 

To lay a weary head...

It is a quite sad that these days I rarely get chance to be absorbed into my hobbies, and create things that are purely for me, and no one else.
The other week, I was indulgent and bought myself a new sewing machine. After using my mums battleaxe of one, I finally decided I would invest the money into something that would give me a lot of pleasure. And there are the fruits of my labour so far. I decided to make some pillows for my bed and they turned out pretty well.
It was really nice to indulge my hobbies a little bit, and not worry about what someone else will think of it, as it is only for me and me alone.

Snow day

As many did all over the British Isles this morning, I woke up to snow. As a student, it presented a perfect opportunity to create a snowman, something which I haven't done in possibly over ten years. 
This could potentially be that we have had no considerable snow fall in a long time, or that, i was too busy "growing up" to care. It is only when you get older you really reflect on your past and how you behaved and that when your young, you are too focussed on being grown up, you forget to be your own age.
I remember the day my dad taught me to build a snow man. I would only be about three, and he bent down to me, pouching and compressing a small amount of snow into his hands and then into ground. He whispered to me, "Now Charly-pops, we have to roll the snow, like we are making a big snow ball to make the body." And so we did, we wrapped the snow up off the ground into the giant snow ball growing bigger and bigger in size. From the eyes of a three year old, it looked enormous, but now it would probably be barely anything at all. I can remember my dad calling that snow man "Claude". The winter after we were also blessed with snow, and again, we made a snow man, this time called "Pierre".
This is a really poignant memory to me and its still has resonance today. As I constructed my snowman, I considered the technique my dad had taught me all those years ago, and created my man. Alas, his structure is something left to be desired as there is limited snow in my back garden at university and my flat mate Becky, began her snow man before mine. Afterwards we admired our work. I decided to call my snow man Claude, and suggested to Becky, hers to be called Pierre. She liked it. Sometimes its nice to revisit your childhood, no matter how old you are.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Wave Hello

This is an image i recently completed in accordance to a brief called "Alphabet". 
To me the alphabet is a series of symbols and shapes that represents our communication and how we arrange these and write these defines what we are trying to say. I also believe that the way we write can tell alot about how a person is in life. No person is alike, and no person writes alike, its like another form of a fingerprint. With this in mind, I asked many people to write their name into a fingerprint shape template which I then turned into a silk screen, to print with. From the prints I made this image of a hand, which emphasises that the idea that someone's handwriting is a unique language to  anyone person, just as their hand print is to them.

I'm quite happy with this piece. I really enjoyed the level of craft behind it also. This is what I enjoy the most about art, creating and making.

Work Station


I realised the other day that I hadn't yet wrote a single post in my blog after first creating it. I thought that the best way to start was to introduce to me and my work station.
So low and behold, here it is.
It is pretty basic, there you can see is my desk, my chair, my bookshelves and my inspiration wall. 
I love collecting weird postcards, odd advertisements, typography and photographs. The collection is now becoming so vast its encroaching on to the ceiling. Whenever I am feeling a little lack lustre or feeling low, My inspiration wall is something I can always take comfort from.
Sadly this isn't the case with my desk. Its small cramped, has a severe  lack of leg room, which in my case becomes a rather problematic situation. I can barely fit my mac on it and its the only place in my room where I can sit and read, as there is a chronic shortage of light.
The irony of the situation is that I spend the majority of my time sat here. I don't think there isn't a time where I am not working, even through the holidays I only had three days off and carried on working through. Part of me mourns the loss of my social life, but when the work works out it makes it worthwhile.

However this is something that is rare these days. I'm half way through my degree, I have no idea what my style is anymore, everything I produce I'm rarely ever satisfied with. 
I recognise that this is possibly a good thing as it is driving me forward to do better and better. 

Currently, I'm sitting in trepidation awaiting the results of work i submitted yesterday. I have no idea how I have done, although part of me doesn't want to know at all. Last year it didn't faze me as much when assessment time came through, as it was something that ultimately didn't count towards the degree. But now, I have no idea how good my best is. Is it enough, do I need to do more?
I honestly do not know.