Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Jillian Tamaki

I love buying and collecting books, and I'm always interested in lovely design and covers... Jillian Tamaki's Designs for Penguin Classics are no exception. I have just seen these on her blog and had to share them, despite being gorgeous and probably requiring a lot of time and love, I think the medium is really interesting and creates a lovely delicate feel, as well as complimenting the fact that the books are from the 'classics' series. 

I think my favourite has to be the Black Beauty cover, I love the movement in it and the way the embroidery gives such texture to the mane and tail. And look - even the cute little Penguin logo has been embroidered!

From reading her Blog the story is that she created her "Monster Quilt" a while ago and said she wouldn't take on any commissions in embroidery unless it was for Penguin Classics - and that is exactly what she got! All I can say is I'm very happy they did commission her.

The "Monster Quilt"

Monday, 28 March 2011

Self Initiated Project

I was given a new project at uni today... well, sort of. Its a self initiated project, so we haven't exactly been given a brief. I'm still a little unsure about the topic I'm going to choose, but I think I might do something exploring the controversy around Fur and Taxidermy (and therefore death and the fragility of life), which may possibly also briefly look at Hunting and Vegetarianism. Why? Well I find it quite an interesting topic and there are many strong views around it, and it always seems to be a current topic.

So I'm going to start by looking for work inspired around this subject:

Cardboard Taxidermy by Cardboard Safari:

These come flat-packed, with instructions so you assemble them yourself. I love how stylish and contemporary they are... something modern for your home which is also kinda an activity. They could be a comment about hunting, although as they are all recyclable I assume the designers main aim was create a decoration that was eco-friendly. 

Cat Skull Fascinator by Death Glam Couture:
I have seen a lot of artists and designers doing this sort of thing in the past few years, ie. using animal bones and skulls in jewellery, and finding a beauty in something dead. However again I feel that many people are doing this more because they feel that it is cool, and for a more commercial use than making a serious artistic statement - I don't mean for that to sound as pretentious as it really does, as I feel there is nothing wrong with it, only it belongs in a boutique and fashion mags rather than the Tate.

Of course, all this brings me to "the most expensive piece of contemporary art ever created" and a couple of other pieces by Damien Hirst:

And the works of Elizabeth Mcgrath:

Angela Singer:

Polly Morgan:

I love the way the animals aren't shown in their natural habitat... allowing them to seem unique and beautiful rather than something disgusting and dead. All the animals she uses have died from natural or unpreventable deaths, and I feel the way she presents them celebrates the animals life rather than highlighting the death.

Im still unsure of what form my final outcome will take, although that will come after I have done more research. I might just focus on a particular area of the topic, or just death as a general theme. I think I'm going to have to do a few gallery and museum visits first to inform my ideas a little further... 

And with that I will leave you with this image:

Sunday, 27 March 2011

They Want Blood

Its here! My hand drawn font, made up of lots and lots of black and white Brogues. 

I'm really pleased with how it turned out, the worst part was all the scanning and resizing. It took quite a while to draw out but I started off early in the week and managed to space it out, so that I didn't get bored drawing out a million shoes :) I also decided on a phrase to show my concept:

I prefer the top version, I think the emphasis on 'blood' makes the phrase stronger. I also created a variant 'O' for Blood so that it wasn't too repetitive. 

Oh and for anyone who hasn't read my previous posts, this type was inspired by my shoes (pictured) that murdered my feet when I wore them last week. It is about people (myself included) who put up with pain for fashion, but don't really mind. I don't think I even own a pair of trainers haha. Anyway I wanted it to be a little ambiguous to add a bit of mystery, but also make it feel more 'brutal' - for lack of a better word. As after all some people put themselves through a lot to look good, fashion can be brutal. 

I spoke to ne of my tutors early last week, and he said that he felt the shoes looked a bit too comfy, and I should vary the shoes more and go for more extreme examples to get my concept across more. I went home and printed off a million images of shoes and had a go at collaging them into letters and working into them, but it just completely failed. I realised you can't create very many letters with a shoe silhouette (which is needed to show the heel height, and therefore the pain) that is unless you do something like this :

Which I didn't really want to do, not that there is anything wrong with it but I just feel that you could do that sort of thing with any object, so its not really that challenging. To create the alphabet I had to rely heavily on birds eye views and the laces to form many of the letters, although many shoes look the same from above and don't work as well as something with a simple pattern, like my brogues... so I was back to my initial idea. I came to this conclusion on Wednesday, and went into uni on Thursday to talk to my tutors, although I was in uni for 2 hours and no one turned up so I just went home and went with my initial idea. ANYWAY I'm really pleased with how my idea and typography turned out, and I think it gets the concept across.

EDIT : I forgot to mention about the Target Audience of my type. I felt it would most appeal to approximately 15-30 year olds, who are into fashion and/or art. I wanted it to have a serious concept, but be a little 'light hearted' - I felt it would not change anyones mind about fashion, but rather people would see it and laugh and think "yeah thats me". I could most likely see it being used in an editorial way such as accompanying an article about shoes or fashion in general, or in a fashion boutique more to show a 'commitment' that the brand or buyers have to fashion, which people would be proud of.

Oh and I also had a go last week at creating an accompanying font out of plasters... I was going to put it together using photography as a little experiment although when sorting out my photos I realized halfway through the lighting dramatically changed, making it look weird (shouldn't have had that tea break halfway through shooting)

It looks a little rank haha. If I have time I might complete it and draw the whole alphabet out, to blend in with my shoes one better. Although I'm not too worried as I am happy with how my Shoes Type has turned out, and from the feedback I have had so far it seems to be getting my concept across well on its own.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A couple of Artists Im loving at the moment...

Katy Horan:

I can't believe how great these are, I love the Creepy Victorian feel that they have mixed with the lovely lacey patterns. Each picture contains such unique characters which feel quite lonely but powerful at the same time.

Stacey Rozich:

I think these are similar to Horan's work in a way, with the detailing and use of patterns, and the way the figures can sometimes feel quite isolated in the compositions. Although I really love her use of colour and the 'Folky' themes incorporated in her work.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Heels and Platforms

After printing off lots of photos of shoes and having a go at collaging them into letters, I realised that to create a lot of the shoes I'm going to have to rely on birds eye views... its just not possible to create many letters using a normal shoe silhouette. I dug through my wardrobe and did a few studies, although this just made me realise that a lot of shoes look the same from above... so will using more extravagant shoes really work that much better than my heeled brogues? Also, I really need shoes with laces or straps to do certain letters such as 'B'... which most of the shoes I was looking at don't have.

A & B

I started to draw out my alphabet, and although I think it looks nice the shoes are just a bit too 'comfy' - I need more extravagant and 'omg' type shoes to get my concept across better. 

I think it would be nice to also have in some more recognisable styles of shoes in there, with lots of interesting silhouettes... maybe some designer ones, but also more historic examples, such as shoes of a chinese woman with bound feet:

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