Friday, 9 May 2014

Life Cycles - to do list

It is good to see that many of you have made a strong start to the new project. There has also been a little bit of late finishing of the illustration work, but this does need to be "put to bed" so we can all get focussed and productive with the graphics work.
Graphics really depends on 3 main ingredients:
  • Idea/message
  • Communication
  • Visuals
At this stage you really need to be exploring a wide range of initial ideas through brainstorming. Thinking about a personal concept/take on your life cycle (this is where the message bit comes in), then gathering visuals from primary and secondary sources that are going to allow you to communicate your ideas.
So the following need to be completed by the end of Tuesday 13th May:
  • Word association brainstorms for at least 4 different life cycles from the brief.
  • More detailed additional brainstorms for 2 Life Cycles - this is where you should try to develop an original theme based on your selected cycle.
  • Visual brainstorming (collected collage material) for 2 Life Cycles - at least 4 pages - mix text and imagery.
  • Notes and brainstorming for a first Photoshoot - go through what you need: props, make-up, model/s, location, lighting, posture, perhaps storyboard ideas for individual shots that you have.
  • Your first photoshoot - take at least 30 photos, print contact sheets of all your shots and blow 5 or 6 of the best ones up to A4.

Life Cycles Brief





This project requires you use photography and create your own inventively manipulated imagery.  It encourages you to explore different visual language within Art & Design i.e. the difference between abstract figuration, collage and photomontage.  You will experience the area of Graphic Design, how to brainstorm, develop slogans, captions and take these through to a concept.


5 weeks taught time plus 4 weeks of study leave including half term.  

Project begins :       Tuesday 6 May – Friday  16th May (2 weeks)
Study Leave :                   Monday 19 May – Monday 9 June ( 2 weeks)

Timetabled Photography workshop lessons, bring sketchbook: 

Monday 9 June lessons on this day, Rm 522 (photography workshop using life cycles imagery)
Monday 16 June lessons on this day, Rm 522.   (ditto)

Normal Timetable resumes :

Thursday 19 June – Monday 8 July (3 weeks)
Introduction to UCAS writing personal statements and open days etc
College breaks up Thursday 10 July.( Personal statement, UCAS applications and holiday work set in last few days. 


On the theme of ‘life cycles’ you are to produce a 6 sided leaflet on 1 stage in life (see list). Within the leaflet you will need to follow a grid format that will form part of your leaflet. You will use workshops within lessons to explore a wide variety of techniques and processes.

  • Week 1 and 2  before study leave-  brainstorming, research, development of concepts, photography shoots, drawing, workshop techniques       
  • Study leave – you will be set specific workshop techniques working from your photographs and some artist research. 
  • On your return 3 weeks developing producing mock ups, and resolving the leaflet, evaluation


You will need to pay a nominal amount towards specialist materials such as spray paint etc
Workshops in expressive and controlled drawing some of these during study leave:
·         printmaking - monoprints, gold card, letterpress            
·         photography –  2 good shoots working within your theme, using dramatic lighting and extreme viewpoints.  You may use studio set ups or go to specific locations etc

·         sewing machine
·         acetate collage
·         spraypaint stencils
·         collage
·         image transfer with emulsion
·         photomontage
·         food colouring/ink and bleach
·         pencil/biro drawing
·         hand rendered slogans and sayings

LIFE CYCLES to choose from:

Teenager                               Midlife Crisis
Love                                       Retirement
Marriage                                Death


Weeks 1, 2

  1. Produce at least 1 page of  initial brainstorming for at least  4 of the  life cycles

  1. Choose 2 to explore  in much more depth  and produce 12 pages ( 6 each) . This should include:  brainstorming, word association, mood boards, photographs, photocopies of objects, magazine cuttings, extracts from poems, slogans, observational drawings etc

Write down everything to do with an idea not just a single word but everything to do with that theme:  e.g. marriage could be brainstormed in the following way:  - an American Las Vegas styled marriage. 

Brainstorm: Las Vegas , the chapel of love, Elvis impersonator, side burns, 1 armed bandits, double your money, everyone a winner , poker, lots of tack gold, American flag, dollars signs, Stretch Limousine Cadillacs, wedding lyrics, four weddings and a funeral, white veil, Elvis white jumpsuit, renting a witness, best man, lady in waiting lyrics from songs about getting married, honeymoon suites, the film ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ and famous sayings from this.  All of these words could be visualised in varying imgery, textures, found objects and marks – make yours as exciting as possible!

When considering what to put down, try to avoid the ‘cut and paste’ syndrome of putting anything down and it looking obvious.  Try rather to select carefully and treat images by using processes to make more subtle statements.  Arrange your elements carefully before sticking and attaching these.

  1. Come up with a definite ‘concept’.  A concept is a strong idea that follows a particular slant on atheme and that could be interpreted in many ways, i.e. different ways to get married to might  be :- a tacky wedding ceremony  in  Las Vegas, an extreme parachuting/ bungee jumping experience or  ‘my big fat gypsy wedding’ TV documentary.

  1. Begin to generate ideas for a photo-shoot by producing planning  storyboards showing extreme viewpoints - close ups, low angle, high angle, things in and out focus, shadows, lighting, action and movement.  Make it achievable for yourself by using friends and family easily  available in locations that you can return to if necessary. This is needed in the first week – do not hang around take photos really quickly! Produce at least 1 strong  photo shoot of 10 images. Translate these images in class and at home.

  1. Select apt slogans to work with to relate to your life cycle and begin experimenting with techniques to enrich your work.   Begin to develop layouts, thumbnail sketches, using text along with image . Develop positive or negative slogans to accompany your images [brainstorm ideas in groups and on an individual basis]. 

You will be set some practical tasks and :

  1. Research 3 well designed leaflets.  Photograph or stick in, or print off examples of creative leaflets you can find.  Look in the student union, music shops, retail shops to find examples of good layout. Annotate and answer the following:

  • How does information flow from one panel to the next?
  • How is colour, text and image unified?  Comment on the layout
  • Is there a regular position/scale/ for the text on the page?
  • How is the type face integrated or contrasted with the other imagery?
  • How is the front and back cover connected?
  • How many images are used?
  • What is the tone of the the message? ie fun and feel good, shocking and serious etc
  • Can you explain how ideas and images have they been cleverly put together?


Look at one artist or designer from each of the 8 lists..  Collect information on each and analyse their work.  Answer the following questions:
  1. How have they composed their imagery?
  2. What media have they used?
  3. What processes and techniques have been included and what do you think about them?
  4. What mood, idea or concept does it reflect?
  5. Do you think the work is successful?  Why?
  6. What style would you say this work reflects?
  7. What makes this work interesting?
  8. Work in the style of at least 2 of these artists/designers and produce 4  images that reflect their work using some of your own photos.
9.      Have a look at and look at the handmade fonts. Make your own homemade font and photograph each letter separately using found objects or materials on white paper. Make it appropriate to your idea and use materials that are fitting to your theme ie an addiction theme for  teenagers may be made up from cigarette butts.


1.  Abstract Imagery
      Jean Michal Basquiat, John Hoyland,
       Howard Hodgekin, Sean Scully,
       Franz Kline, De Kooning, Jackson

2.   Representational  Drawing
       David Hockney,
      Jenny Saville, Egon Schiele, THS,
Kelly Roper, Tim Tomkinson, David Foldvari

3.   Collage
      Kurt Schwitters, , Katy Lemay
      Eduardo Recife, Sara Fanelli
       Dawn Dupree, Tim Marrs, Alex

4.   Photography.
      Bill Brant, Bill Viola, Martin Parr,
Cindy Sherman, Corrine Day, Olivero Toscani,  Mario Testino, Nick Maplin, Robert Mapplethorpe

5.  Pop Art
     Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake,
     Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg,      Andy Warhol, Roy Lichenstein

6.  Linear Drawing
     Keith Haring, Michael Craig-Martin,
     Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns,
     Neasden Control Centre

7.  Photomontage
     Eduardo Paolozzi, John Heartfield, Raoul Haussmann, Helen Chadwick, David Mach, Terry Gillam

8.  Text
     David Carson, Fuel, Vince Frost,
      Why Not Associates, Tomarto, Neville
      Brody, Barbra Krugar, Tom Hingston,
Designers Republic

N.B before Study Leave you will be expected to clear out your drawers and take all work home. by Friday 16 May  Be warned anything left in drawers will be thrown!

On your return on Thursday 19 June  you will be assessed at this time to see if you have enough work to pass this stage to date on this project.  This is a formal assessment point and should be treated as seriously.  If you have any parts outstanding then you will be referred automatically. 
Forgetting your book or being absent without good reason is an automatic referral

Weeks 3, 4 and 5:

6.      Continue to develop ideas within workshop sessions.  Aim to have a considerable amount of experimental ideas. 

7.      Having developed your images begin to consider the format. You are to include a grid for one of your panels within the leaflet.The size of your Leaflet should be 28 x 14cms.  Within each Leaflet you should produce 1 page that is equally divided into 8 sections [each section is 7 x 7cms] This can be on any of the sides.It could be that the Leaflet is unfolded to reveal a central page or be any other of the panels  Other panels can be developed as you wish but must look appropriate to the 8 grid section.  For each of the boxes you should show a developed image using the following in any order:

·         Abstract:
An image showing a section, portion or heavily cropped image that has been developed using paint\expressive mark making.

·     Representational:
An image taken from observation or a photograph that resembles an object or figure.

·         Linear:
An image using line only but can involve colour and surface additionally.

·         Collage:
An image using found materials newspapers, magazines, fabrics, metals etc.

·         Pop Art:
An image which uses symbols, signs and other well understood images within our culture i.e. male ♂ and female ♀ symbols, x and y chromosomes, kisses xxx, targets, +,  =  signs  → ?     £    $,  icons of popular culture, film stars, pop stars, images of consumerism e.g. packaging labels, advertising, domestic appliances.

·         Photographic:
This includes photogrammes, location shots, studio set ups, black and white, colour, digital photography experiments with Polaroids.

·         Photomontage:
Collage using photographic imagery cut and pasted together.  Humorous or satirical images e.g. Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.

·         Text:
An image made up entirely from layered text using provocative statements, information, famous sayings, a line from a poem, personal important diary entry dates etc.  Your message should be clear and emphatic and come from your life cycle.

8.      Produce at least 2 mock-ups for your leaflet.  These should show scanned in print outs  showing sections, details, heavily cropped areas of interest etc.
9.       Cut your paper to scale  and start to draw onto this with the  6 sides with possible imagery that could be used.  Begin to consider how your leaflet will fold and complement its sides.  Imagery and text may flow, connect, contrast or complement colours and patterns.  Essentially you should try to create a compositional balance from one panel to the next. 

10.  Before you start printing, make sure you are completely happy with your outcome.  Let a tutor see your rough colour print outs before you print finally and make sure your sides fit together smoothly.

11.   Have a clean pristine area to stick your finals together - take your time.  Card should be used to sandwich between your print out.  Aim to have images stuck down on card on both sides.  These must be lined up accurately before you attempt to cut through all three layers. Areas to bend should be scored very carefully.  DO NOT USE PVA or Pritt Stick  use double-sided tape or photo mount.


A full sketchbook.  The following should be inside:
§  6 pages each of initial word brainstorming and visual thumbnail diagrams, more indepth brainstorms and mood boards  drawings for the 2 life cycles. 12 pages in all.
§  8 pages of research on artists’ work with annotations and questions answered by the side
§  3 leaflets with  research answering questions.
§  25 pages of research, development and resolvement on your chosen life cycle. These pages should show logical development and differing ways of presenting layouts for your leaflets - i.e. mock ups, varying images together, differing captions etc.  This sketchbook should be highly annotated
§  1 final leaflet based on your chosen life cycle
§  800 word evaluation of design process, techniques, artist research, development and experimentation

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Illustration Evaluation

To accompany your project submission you need to complete a word processed evaluation of at least 500 words, illustrating your evaluation with photographs is helpful, particularly images of your final board. Discuss anything you feel was relevant to your work in the project, but ensure you cover the following areas:
Starting out:
·        What Roald Dahl story did you choose to work with? What appealed about this particular narrative, which images and scenes captured your imagination?
·        Who did you look at in your initial research (into storyboarding and existing responses to Dahl’s work), did these responses appeal to you and help you to develop ideas for your own photoshoot?
·        How successful were your storyboards? Did they allow you to compose shots to photograph, make you aware of potential problems, help you to identify the locations/props/models you would need?
Your Photoshoot:
·        Describe how you went about your photoshoot(s). What lengths did you go to in order to source props/models/locations/make up.
·        In your photoshoot how did you employ lighting, camera angle, composition, gesture and expression to achieve dramatic results.
·        Do you feel your photoshoot was successful? Are there any aspects of your shoot you would do differently if you had the chance to do it again?
·        Which photographers work did you research? Did their work appeal to you? Explain why you liked or disliked their imagery. Was this research helpful in terms of how to approach this part of the project? If the Photographers influenced you in any way explain what that was.
Drawing and Printing:
·        What drawing techniques did you employ when responding to your photos, do you consider your drawings successful?
·        Which Illustrators who focus on drawing did you research? Did their work appeal to you or help you with your own images, how?
·        How successful were your prints, are there ways in which you could achieve even better prints in future?
Mixed Media and Photoshop:
·        What techniques and imagery did you use in your collaged illustrations? Do you feel your mixed media images were successful?
·        Which Illustrators who use a mixed media approach did you research? Did their work appeal to you or help you with your own images, how?
·        How did you develop your work through PhotoShop? Did you integrate text into your work in any way? Are you pleased with your PhotoShop images, why?
Your Final Board:
·        Was your planning for the final board helpful? Did you stick to your original plan closely?
·        How did you select imagery for your final board? Did you need to produce imagery specifically for the board or adjust existing images?
·        Describe how you chose to lay out your final board. Apart from your images what else did you choose to include?
·        Did you encounter any problems resolving your board? How did you overcome these challenges?
·        Are you pleased with your project outcome? Explain why and/or what you could do to improve it?
The Project:
·        How do you feel you managed your time throughout the project, did you push yourself?
·        Identify two skills you have acquired or improved upon during this project.
·        Identify two areas you could improve upon in future projects.

Include a printed version of your evaluation in your sketchbook and submit with the rest of your work.