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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.

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.