Evaluation: Unit 6
Unit 6 is the last brief before I leave for university. This is also the biggest brief to date and at the end there will be an exhibition, which will showcase all of the work I complete during this unit, this means I have to ensure my work is at a high professional standard as it will not only be seen by my teachers but also a wide range of audience members.
The brief theme I was given was rebellion this meant that all of my work had to fit in to some form of rebellion however this was going to be portrayed by me learning what rebellion means to me and what I want to do with it for my outcomes.
After being given my brief it was the Easter holidays therefore this was my time to explore ideas and realise what I wanted to do for my FMP before coming back to negotiate my brief.
On the 18th April I sat with the rest of the class where I spoke about my brief but the first problem I had was my document didn’t convert to Microsoft word and saved as pages therefore I didn’t have my brief printed off nonetheless I spoke about my brief from what I knew in my mind. This didn’t go as well as it maybe would have if I had my brief however from the feedback I received the theme of rebellion wasn’t strong enough although I wanted to do David Bowie because he was so rebellious in the way he acted, dressed and the way he wrote music. I used Bowie as from conducting a survey I asked the question ‘who rebels in the music industry? (This can be positively and negatively?’) Answers varied from Kanye West, Liam Gallagher, Sex Pistols and David Bowie, As I already had an interest in David Bowie I decided to look further into him to see how he rebelled within the music industry. To understand further information about David Bowie I realised that David Bowie was a rebellious person in multiple ways first off he didn’t confine himself to being one person he felt like ‘an actor on stage not a rock star.’ He also wrote music by rebelling from watching I realised there was many note changes that Bowie did which not many others would do and it only made sense because it was Bowie. Along with this he rebelled negatively because he did drugs and did nearly overdose several times however I don’t want to focus on rebellion as a negative as the world rebellion to me without creativity put into it reminds me of riots and taking stands against something therefore this is not the route I want to be obvious with what I do also thinking further into this the college wouldn’t like something to be negative as well as people viewing it may find it offensive if I just based my work off drugs it wouldn’t communicate my work in a positive way.
Thinking further into the theme of rebellion I had to think about how the theme of David Bowie was going to fit creatively to my work. After taking time to see what I needed to do I decided that I wanted to work completely digital as this is something I’ve never done before therefore I am rebelling against the way I normally work.
As well as this I decided to use a wacom tablet to produce my outcomes, this completely rebelled from my normal way of working as if I have ever done digital work before its not been on such a large scale of being fully produced this way normally I stay comfortable and work traditionally and then only enhance digitally.
I decided the best piece of equipment to use was a wacom tablet this meant that my outcomes were going to be detailed and precise. This is what resulted from my feedback I was then able to update my brief and my scheme of work so that it fit to the work I was going to complete to make sure of this I created a scheme of work so I knew I could meet my deadline as long as I followed this throughout the project.
With this being done I added to my research looking into artists such as Helen Green, Natalie Foss and Phillip Dennis. The reasons for these illustrators are different. Helen Green has completed a lot of illustrations on David Bowie, which I really like however doesn’t fit with the way I have worked in the past to me they seem plain even though they’re effective and professional I couldn’t see myself having an outcome like hers but it was good to look at her work as I got to see her use of colour and how she used a slightly different tones. I then looked into Natalie Foss her illustrations were simple yet her use of colour made the drawing quirky. Nonetheless I think Natalie Foss is helpful to my work as using colour is something I’m good at and will most likely still do when I’m drawing digitally. I then looked into the work of Phillip Dennis, who uses mixed media to create his drawings this is something I’ve never done before but I’m familiar with using mixed media to create outcomes this is another way for me to experiment and develop further with my mixed media skills and see how the outcomes look.
Out of all the artists I have researched into Helen Green is going to be the most helpful when it comes to drawing Bowie digitally as she is the most related to my work however I don’t want to massively follow them but takes hints of inspiration from their work which will help me produce highly effective final pieces.
To continue my work further I wanted to have an idea of what my moving image was going to be. This was bothering me the most as I had no certain idea set for what I wanted it to be I had ideas such as lyric videos because of this I looked at Maroon five – Payphone as well as Arctic Monkeys – Do I wanna know. This gave me a contrast on what a lyric video could be like if I done it however this means that I would have to have headphones in order for people to listen to the audio even though I can do this I wanted to look into other options so that using headphones doesn’t have to happen. I would prefer my moving image to be able to work without sound even though sound will enhance my moving image I would like people to be able to view it and not have to listen as this may be a problem, therefore I am going to work on a moving image without sound and if in the end sound can be added then I will do this. I also watched TED talks one which Mark Ronson done about the sampling of music and the other being small acts of rebellion by Yang May Ooi. Both of these were beneficial in different ways. The TED talk based on small acts of rebellion was good to watch as it wasn’t exactly fitted to my work in every way however it showed how rebellion can link into a lot of places Yang May Ooi used rebellion to be her true self instead of following what everyone else did. Yang did this in the 80’s this was when being gay was frowned upon and if you was gay then you would get things shouted at you however with small acts of rebellion Yang became herself more and more first off she admitted to herself that she was gay and then began opening up more and more to find out the people who mattered most accepted her.
In contrast Mark Ronsons TED talk was about how sampling has transformed music he speaks about sampling within music such as the most sampled song “La Di Da Di,” Doug E. Fresh and Slick Ric.” This song is used on the likes of Miley Cyrus – We can’t stop, and Notorious B.I.G Hypnotise this opened my eyes to the fact of if people sample from music there must be an impact that its made on someone to do it rather than be original for example Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby somewhat highlights Quen and David Bowie’s Pressure however its almost exact to it and does that make Vanilla Ice’s work lazy or does it show inspiration. Either way this shows how music can have an impact on so many people and be used whether its obvious or not although I didn’t take massive amounts of information from these videos for my project. From May Yang Ooi’s I especially took the advice to be myself within my work so that it’s individual and showcases me through my work.
From having a wider range of ideas in mind for my final outcome I moved onto my concepts this is where I began writing all the ideas I had done for final pieces. I realised that if illustration was something I wanted to do I shouldn’t confine myself to a straight view angle therefore I took it upon myself to watch tutorials which I found on YouTube I completed these within my sketchbook this was helpful as I learn how to draw a face in a way I never knew before and if I do draw an outcome which is on an angle this will be a guide into making the structure fit better. I realised however from this that I work best just going straight into doing a drawing rather than practicing before hand and learning from the mistakes I make along the way. I decided for my drawings to be Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, Pierrot and Davis Bowie in his last years. This didn’t go to plan instead I did Aladdin Sane, Labyrinth and David Bowie in his last years however I then completed a typographic David Bowie drawing therefore the reference picture I used he was being himself and wasn’t being a character.
The first drawing I complete was Aladdin Sane I drew this traditionally at first and then scanned it into Photoshop where I began to develop it I wanted this drawing to be precise along the way I realised a few things one was downloading brushes is a life saver when it comes to digitally drawing as it allows you to flow through your work quicker and also is more effective for example at first I was doing Aladdin Sanes hair with a hard brush and then hoping to blend it all in the end however from realisation hair isn’t something which is focused on in small detail it’s a large area which can be completed quite quickly with the right brushes therefore asking my friend Bart who uses Photoshop more than me for recommendations on where to download brushes from he suggested Shaddy Safadi and Jonas de Ro. The only other brushes I downloaded elsewhere was skin brushes however I had to change the opacity of these to 30% in order for them to not be too harsh when completing the skin. The reason for doing Aladdin Sane and being so accurate was because I feel this is the most iconic Bowie character everyone knows when you see a red and blue lightning bolt on someone’s face their being a David Bowie character. From drawing Bowie and being so precise in Photoshop I realised how hard it was to draw digitally along with how time consuming it can be looking at my scheme of work I used more time than I should have however working on my days off will mean I am able to make up for this time.
I then traditionally drew Labyrinth and then followed on by scanning this into Photoshop. I decided that since I completely rebelled within my first drawing and worked differently to how I would normally that I needed to bring some of the way I work back. The second drawing meant that I could be more experimental and loose with the way I work whereas before I felt confined to having to make sure everything was perfect. I knew in my mind that using colour in the hair had to happen therefore I went straight in and started with the hair using the hair tool I changed the size so that it was smaller and I could create lines with it. I did this by using different layers which had different colours on this made it easier to get rid of colours add to them and also remove mistakes. Once this was done I wanted the face to be purple however it to be watercolour I downloaded watercolour brushes and started to use them however I didn’t like the outcome they where giving me because of this I came up with a new idea to use triangles I started doing these traditionally however when I completed the face and scanned this into Photoshop you could see where the colours had bled into one another which I didn’t want I needed my outcomes to all be clean cut. As I said I would work traditionally and I’d already gone out of that pattern.
I opened my Photoshop document and began to use the polygon lasso tool in order to place the triangles in completely digitally this was time consuming however worth it in the end my outcome now looks more professional and effective than before as its clean cut. The next constraint I faced was the bottom of the drawing where the T-shirt was this didn’t fit in with the rest of the drawing to change this I added shadows and also realised that the hair wasn’t as long as it should’ve been therefore some of the shirt was covered which made the drawing of better quality once this was done I saved this and had the idea that this was most likely going to be my moving image.
My third piece I decided to go completely digital I took reference from a picture taken in David Bowie’s Lazarus video the reason I did this is because I wanted to have a recent Bowie drawing this was the last ever video that Bowie did therefore was logical to do. I used my wacom tablet in order to produce an outline I started with black as this was the most simple to do I was thinking that during the end of this outcome I would use mixed media like Phillip Dennis however the deeper I got into this drawing the more I liked the fact that it was simple. It was also different compared to my other two drawings which contrasted well I now had one precise outcome along with a colourful outcome and then a black and white outcome. Even though I don’t normally work with just black and white I was surprised by how much I liked this outcome. As I liked it just black and white I did no more to it because it simply didn’t need doing I decided that this outcome was going to be my large scale A2 outcome which will be mounted onto foam board for the exhibition day.
I then moved onto my fourth outcome I wasn’t certain on what to do however I had typography in mind or something that didn’t show Bowie’s face yet represented him. With these ideas I joined them together and came up with the idea of using typography to create David Bowie’s face. I listened to David Bowie’s songs and took inspiration from what I heard and wrote down my favourite lyrics, which then gave me a starting point to writing these into Photoshop. I chose the font Impact as it didn’t seem too obvious however it was a bold font that was legible. I used white text and a black background I then also took a picture of David Bowie being himself and used this as reference to help place the text correctly this was slightly more tricky than I thought however in the end worked. Once I completed filling the face in with text I grouped the layers together and created a clipping mask, which then allowed me to use different shades of grey to create more depth within the face, however this would only effect the text and nothing else. The reasoning for this is because the test all being white doesn’t give you a focus area using different shades of grey created a depth in the face however allows someone to see the white first and then look deeper into the picture to realise what the bigger message behind the picture. This is going to be my A3 outcome, which I will print onto foam board.
As for my Aladdin Sane outcome I developed this further in Photoshop to create an album cover I did this by slicing some of the image using the marquee tool using guides every other 2cm’s. I merged the layers together and then duplicated them twice again which led on to me creating two smaller Bowies. I had my front cover near enough done however I needed to create the text saying ‘David Bowie.’ I did this using illustrator I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have an existing font to use for the cover therefore I did try but it didn’t seem right because of this I moved onto using my wacom tablet within illustrator and writing David Bowie over and over until it was perfect. I then copied these into Photoshop where I placed them until I was content with the placement this was the front cover done however I needed to move onto the back cover. Using the font Helvetica I took songs which I like of Bowies and began to write them in order I placed these on the left and added a barcode this looked too plain therefore using my Aladdin Sane drawing I took the left quarter of the face and placed it on the bottom right of the page this took away something which was too simple and made it simple yet effective. I printed these off in A3 as beforehand I had set the document up to 12x12cm . To finalise this I used a scalpel and began cutting I did a test at first using normal paper so that I knew how to do it and even more so that my disk would hold in it without breaking the paper. This worked effectively I then printed this out again using better paper and did the same process again this worked and is now one of my final pieces complete.
I also added a disk to this however its plain I would prefer for this to have something on it such as the lightning bolt this would make sense because its Aladdin sane along with this will be good for someone to look at as the front cover is quite bold and eye-catching with a lot to see where as this would rest the eye and be plain for someone to look at in contrast.
The last outcome to be done was my colourful Bowie drawing I wanted this to be my moving image therefore I took inspiration from Helen Green and created gifs I did this in Photoshop and screen recorded me changing the Hue/Saturation I then did file > Import > Video frames to layers. This allowed me to pick a starting point and an ending point to my gifs as well as this I limited this to every two frames. This gives me less frames to work with however wont ruin the flow of my gif as if done correctly it should still run smoothly. I had a couple of minor problems with creating the gifs such as the whole image would change colour rather than just the face to avoid this problem reoccurring I would take the layers I wanted to change on their own and merge them into one layer however this was only so the screen recording was successful once it was done successfully I would undo them so they where all separate layers again. Once I had took all of my screen recordings to create my gifs I rendered my video this meant that I could then go into After Effects and add the videos in. I used After Effects as it was the software I used for my moving image and I was working in the same way importing videos which where rendered from Photoshop in After Effects therefore I knew what I was doing and I know the software works effectively and will give me the outcome I want. It took a couple of times to get perfect nonetheless it all worked smoothly in the end I didn’t add audio to my moving image because it doesn’t need it the gif shows a series of changes throughout one image and music couldn’t do much to enhance therefore is pointless to do when it works fine on its own.
In conclusion being given the brief of rebellion has been a positive thing at first I wasn’t sure if my outcomes would be that good, especially as its something I’ve never done before but over time I have learnt to use a wacom tablet although there is more to learn about it my outcomes look effective and professional and some are even different to when I planned them out. I have also realised from this project that drawing digitally only using black is a strong point for me as it allows me to keep the drawing simple yet add slight detail such as shadows therefore my work in the future should incorporate using this skill the my advantage. I have also realised from this project that I can push myself further and learn more instead of just sticking to what I’m used to and how I’ve worked within the past. From this project I feel I have learnt the most and also learnt my ways of working differently Rebellion now means to me that I don’t have to confine to one way of working but I can push myself and go in other directions with my work to experiment and learn what I’m good at and only improve on it in the long run. I am overall pleased with the work I have done and know that its at a good enough standard to show for exhibition.