RICHARD TUBB EGRD3014
THE FORCE THAT THROUGH THE GREEN FUSE DRIVES THE FLOWER The aim of this brief was to allow our lecturerers to get to know us and what areas we are interested in. I decided to illustrate my response as this is the key area that I am focusing myself into. The work shows what I feel makes up me and my personality. Moving clockwise from the top, the first area shows my aims and desires - to be a designer. Next, in the top right are my wants, which are to own my own house and to be financially secure. Moving down are my hates, namely politicians, political correctness and the ‘nanny state’. The next area is my fears, such as war, spiders, death and another recession. Moving up and to the left are my guilty pleasures - poker and, of course, alcohol. The central portion shows my general interests of cars, camping, packaging and ancient history and buildings. I enjoyed illustrating this as I haven’t done an in-depth and meaningful illustration in a while, and I feel that the result is stimulating and interesting.
THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS Leading on from the previous brief, we had to once again convey our work practises and interests, but this time using film. This was the first time Iâ€™d properly used film at any time in my life, so it was definately a learning curve. Once again I chose illustration as my main focus, and I decided to film myself drawing on top of a light box. To make it more intriguing, I filmed myself on four separate occasions, each time drawing something different, and I cut and chopped up the film, alternating between each one. In the background I had music playing, so when it was chopped up it would emphasise the broken nature of the video. Due to the intensity of the jagged visuals and audio, I thought it would be a good idea to have a break half way through, which focused on me doing another common ritual - making a cup of tea. This allows the viewer to take a breather before the film resumes its chopped up nature. I found this brief made me stop and think of how I could show something that isnâ€™t usually filmed, and yet still do it in an intersting and engaging way. Despite this, I didnâ€™t enjoy it that much as film has never really appealed to me, so I wont be revisiting it again. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Sy98-sopE8A
ACTION RESEARCH: THINKING THROUGH DOING At this point, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at my practise and see what I have done and where I’ve come. It was obvious that my main and strongest area was illustration, and I have a few distinct styles, from intensely detailed to simplistic and clean. My work also showed me that I have an interest in type and layout, although I haven’t really explored this area of late. As well as these two areas, I also have an underlying interest in packaging, and so I proposed to redesign the packaging of a product or several products, enabling me to combine my illustration, type and packaging skills. However, after going to several tutorials I realised that this wasn’t the best way to go about it, and so I returned to the drawing board.
I began by doing some illustrations, combining traditional methods as well as using the computer. However, I felt lost and didnâ€™t have a direction to take it. I kept finding I was going round in circles, drawing the same things over and over, and that they didnâ€™t really have a purpose. I attended some tutorials and things began to get moving again.
After going to the tutorials I decided to focus on creating a book. Interestingly, looking back I usually begin most projects by thinking about designing a book, but this then usually leads on to something that is much more interesting and original in its concept. My idea was to do a set of books on buildings from my hometown of Crawley. As it was designated a â€˜New Townâ€™ in the 1940s, there is a wide span of differing architecture and age of buildings. One book was going to be about the old, original buildings that were around when Crawley was just a village. The other book would be on a selection of the new buildings built since the 1940s. However, I began to realise that I didnâ€™t have an interest in the newer buildings, and that I really wanted to focus on the older medieval and saxon buildings, as ancient history is an interest of mine.
The next idea that struck me was to create a box or case for the book (or books) to be housed in. This way it would fulfil my desire to incorporate packaging into the project. I sketched out several ideas and created a mock up (next page) in order to test the angles of a design and to ensure it all fitted correctly. However, I felt as though I was getting a bit ahead of myself, and so I decided to focus back on the book. I also went to a meeting where I was shown work that had incorporated the ideas of packaging into something that was a lot more original and unique. This really inspired me and so I began to think of other ways to bring packaging into the project without it being too obvious or the usual way.
My next idea was to expand on the theme of creating a book about the old buildings in Crawley. As interesting as books can be, I felt that I wanted to do something a little more different. I decided that as well as creating a book, I would design little houses that you could make yourself from flat nets. These would be housed in the book next to the corresponding picture and information on the real thing. These would be perforated so that they could be torn out an made into a miniature 3D version of that building.
The next step was to design how the buildings would fit together. My initial idea was for the obvious choice of glue, in a small tube which would be supplied with the book, although I didnâ€™t know how this would be packaged in one cohesive piece. Continuing with this idea, I thought about having glue on the tabs that was similar to the back of stamps - lick the back and stick them together. However, both these ideas seemed to introduce unnecessary elements and wastage into the design, which is something Iâ€™m looking at in my dissertation. So I decided it would be best to create some sort of locking tabs, in this way eliminating the need for glue altogether, which would also save money as well as the time spent making the mini buildings.
I then made a mock-up of a house to test out my ideas and designs. I was very pleased with the final result, the locking tabs held it tightly in place and didnâ€™t look too unsightly - they will be illustrated onto just like the rest of the building, so they should be almost invisible.
I then began to illustrate a building to get a feel for what they will look like, as shown on the left. I didn’t base it on anything, I just went along and just made it look ‘oldy wealdy’. It was good fun to draw, as it is such a small scale and yet so detailed. Whilst doing this, I realised I could save time by duplicating certain aspects of the house. For example, the roof took a very long time to do as each tile is drawn individually. I decided that instead of repeatedly redrawing a roof every time I make a new building, I should instead make a large area of roof texture that I can then cut parts out of to place on top of the nets of other houses. By making it large and cutting sections out, there will still appear to be subtle variations between each house, but the time spent designing each roof is drastically reduced. Another idea I had was to scan in the illustrated nets and scale them up in size or reduce them in size. This way I could create a lot of houses in a short space of time, enabling me to build up a collection very quickly, as shown in the picture on the top right. Also, I copied and pasted various pieces from each house to create a larger and different building, as shown in the bottom right picture.
Whilst I enjoyed making these houses, I found that the simple one-box shape wasnâ€™t very adventurous, so I began to design a more complicated building. The roof was hard to make, but it was immensely satisfying to complete it, and it slotted together well. To the right is the net, showing how both the walls and roof of the building are made up of two parts, partially due to ease of design and partially just because of the limitations of paper size.
A main building seen in old villages is a church, so this was the next building I created. On the left are my sketches and workings out for the church and its spire. I ended up using pythagorasâ€™ theorem which was a surprise but very useful, and I really do love the technical side of working out the exact lenghths of each side and other parts, which in turn saves time as I make less mistakes when designing the buildings. The final building is on the right, and I think that the texture that the ink gives is fascinating, much like the old stone found on buildings of this age.
Due to me having amassed a small streets worth of buildings, I decided to do just that and create a street. It was great to do, and the buildings really compliment each other and create an atmosphere.
I now felt that I had ironed out any imperfections and that I was ready to copy a real building. I chose the Old Punch Bowl in Crawley highstreet, which is a 15th century farmhouse and now a pub.I chose it because it is almost the quintessential old building, with its exposed beams and the way everything is a little wonky. I began by roughly looking at the ratio of height to width, and sketched them out to the nearest half-centimetre. From then I added the roof, all the while trying to keep a similar scale to the original building. One slight setback was that the building couldnâ€™t be made from one piece of card, as it was too big, and I felt that making it any smaller would sacrifice some of the detail, so I decided to make it in two halves, as shown in the net on the following pages.
As with all the buildings I design, I made a quick mock-up to make sure everything fits as it should before I begin the long process of illustrationg it. I make the mock-ups out of thinner 80gsm paper, whereas the final buildings are made out of 140gsm cartridge paper. I have noticed a significant difference, with the 140gsm paper giving much more strength and durability than the thinner one. This is something I will consider when taking this project forward into my FMP.
One problem I found with the Old Punch Bowl is that although the front and sides are easy to see and photograph in real life, the rear of the building is almost completely covered up in later extensions and alterations, including a conservatory. I decided not to include these aspects for two reasons - firstly, they are not part of the original old building, and secondly it would have simply taken too long, and most probably would have been almost impossible to accurately make the adjoining parts of the building. This is why the rear portion has been left blank, as I didnâ€™t just want to make it up. This is definately something I need to consider when making another real building.
Meanwhile, in the external positioning unit, I have been experimenting with watercolours over illustrations. I have never used them before but found that they gave a great hand rendered result, and I thought about using them on the buildings in this project. However, I soon realised that the buildings are far too small to be coloured in using watercolours, but I still did want to experiment with colour, so I began using Adobe Photoshop to colour in segments of them. On the right is the result of this, showing the evolution of the houses Iâ€™ve been making - first starting off with a basic test house, then illustrating it and adding detail, and finally the use of colour. I feel that it really adds a realistic dimension to the building, as well as making it stand out much more.
The next step was to apply this to my model of the real building the Old Punch Bowl. On the left you can see the difference colour gives, not only making it much more enticing but also linking it much more strongly to the original building. The next step I want to take is to start playing with textures, especially on the white portions of the building, as these feel a bit bare and blank.
One way of taking this idea further is the addition of â€˜foundationsâ€™. This would consist of a sheet of card that will have simplistic illustrations of the ground, roads, paths and so on. This will also enable me to use more than one style of my illustration. On this you will be able to place the 3D buildings, each with its own space, marked out with its name and some information and history on the building. I think this will engage people more than just a collection of houses without any real context.
EVALUATION The first project, Through the Green Fuse, was a good idea to get us to look at ourselves and our practise and see where we are and where we have come from. I was surprised to see the amount of illustration I have done, and realised this was my strongest skill. It also made me see how I need to keep exploring other ways of doing things to keep me focused and fresh. Whilst I enjoyed the second project, Five Obstructions, due to it being completely unlike anything Iâ€™ve done before, I still donâ€™t get excited by using film as a method of my practise. It was good to do in order for me to find out where my limits are. For the action research planning I decided to look at buildings in my hometown as this has always interested me - Crawley has a lot of history and I am fascinated by it before it became a New Town. I have a passion for historical buildings, and this was a great way to link this all together, as well as a way of utilising my skillset of illustration and packaging design by creating miniature buildings. My experiments up to this point have confirmed to me that this is a project I want to take forward into the next semester and carry on with as my final major project.
FMP PROPOSAL I am planning to continue with this project as my FMP. I have discovered a few areas where alterations are necessary, such as widening the scope from just Crawley to perhaps London or even a national level. This is because although Crawley is well known around the South of England, elsewhere in the UK it is not as recognised, so I will need to broaden the area that I am referencing buildings from. In terms of indetifying an audience, I believe there are many applications for this project. It could be a fun collectors item for adults, or even an educational item for children and teenagers interested in the history of the buildings around them. This is something I will be looking at early on in order to give me a focus. Also, the final form is open to debate, as I can see this equally being a book as much as a collection of separate nets that come as one bundle, and this is something I am excited about exploring and developing in my FMP.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Crawley Borough Council. (2010). Crawley Listed Building List. http://www.crawley.gov.uk/stellent/groups/public/ documents/report/int175663.pdf (Last accessed 12th December 2011). Martin, F. L. (2011). Photos and Images of Towns. http:// www.viewphotos.org/england/ (Last accessed 14th December 2011). Thompson, Colin. (2011). Colin Thompson - Author and Illustrator. http://www.colinthompson.com/ (Last accessed 3rd December 2011). Fawcett-Tang, Roger. (2001). Experimental Formats. Switzerland: RotoVision Goldsmith, Michael. (1987). Crawley and District in Old Picture Postcards. Zaltbommel: Grafisch Bedriff Gwynne, Peter. (1990). A History of Crawley. Chichester: Phillimore & Co Klanten, Robert. (2009). Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper. Berlin: Gestalten Thompson, Colin. (1999). The Tower to the Sun. London: Red Fox Yoshida, Miyuki. (2008). The Art of Paper Folding for Popup. Tokyo: Pie Books