Narrative And Voice
Some of the main stuff that stood out to me in the lecture this morning was the moss type by Anna Garforth - this really encouraged me to think about materials as well as how I could incorporate typeface and illustration within my work. I would like to look into deforestation, the effects of habitat loss as well as the reasons behind it.
To kick start our project we visited the British Museum. We were told to make some drawings of anything that inspired us, considering sustainability, the way artists/historians have collected and created things and form. I went to the African section of the museum and found some really interesting stuff. Below you can see some of my rough drawings and the thought process behind some ideas. There were a few projects that incorporated recycled materials such as bottle caps, shells, old printing blocks, gun metal etc. I was also interested in a carved wood piece that reminded me of corrugated card - I thought using this as a material for my piece could be quite interesting, or considering the uses of this type of card - recycled coffee cups. The aboriginal art made me think a lot about pattern work and how I can introduce an illustrative quality to my work.
A few more ideas that have come to mind after having done some further research into some of the least sustainable companies and uses of materials is to look at the effects of fabric dying and the material wastage of fabric companies. I fount out that textile companies leave one of the world's largest water footprints on the planet; using a ratio of 30:1, water:dye, and that dye houses dump wastewater into local rivers making groundwater undrinkable and farmland ruined. I have been thinking about how I could identify this and create something memorable for use in a textiles company to encourage them to think about their water wastage and act upon it - it is possible to dye textiles using a much lower ratio of water to dye companies just haven't acted on it.
The largest sustainability problem in creative companies and offices in general is the use of paper. I found a stat that said "1 tree is cut down every second to make paper' - this really shocked me and I think if I were to be reminded of this every day on my way into work it would make me think about the amount of paper I used. Inspired by the "grow" moss piece by Anna Garforth I like the idea of incorporating a plant wall piece that says "let me grow" below the above statistic or looking into how I get people to reduce their use of paper coffee cups somehow; perhaps above a coffee machine??
I did some further research into the idea behind my work; looking into sustainability within the work place and some statistics surrounding the use of paper and paper cups which seems to be one of the most wasteful aspects within a design agency - the waste and use of paper. Obviously a design agency needs to use a lot of paper but is there a way of encouraging people to reduce the amount of paper we use or to at least consider it. I found the statistic "1 tree is cut down every second to make paper" and have been working around this. I really want to stick to an illustrative style and when I spoke to a friend she suggested I just continue to explore this idea with a few more experiments. As I've discussed I would like to incorporate real moss or a type of plant wall within the constrictions of the words 'let me grow' (as can be seen above in my illustration). This week I'd like to experiment either growing this or collecting moss and designing it in a similar way to present as an example - hopefully this'll give my work more context and the audience will begin to understand the reasoning behind my work. I want to incorporate a growing material to represent the fact that despite the use of paper we can continue to grow and replace the trees and habitats we destroy in order to make paper.
Vector image for screen print #1
Vector image for screen print #2
I have decided to keep my design proposal illustrative and typographic as I think this is where my strengths lie. I'm not sure, however, whether our work should have more of an obvious purpose or more of an interactive element. I struggled slightly this week trying to come up with an idea that incorporated elements that people would want to engage with over and over again. For the interim crit on Monday I will propose an illustration for a wall mural and see the kind of feedback I get. After this I can then decide whether or not to develop the idea further or take an alternate route.
I spoke to my tutor Olly today regarding my idea so far and got some really positive feedback; he liked the design bar a few of the typography elements which he suggested redesigning to make more legible - he confused some of the lettering in the oval so I will obviously have to redo this. He also suggested making it into a screen print layering the green and black separately and said this would look nice as big as possible.
I begun by separating the layers digitally in Photoshop so I have the green text ready. Tomorrow I will have to redraw elements of the flowery illustrations and the typography and make this digital for Thursday morning so that I can go to Archway and print Thursday and Friday. Hopefully this will be enough time for me to finish my project for hand in on Monday. I've really enjoyed the design element of this brief and being able to be illustrative and playful without having to think too heavily about the meaning or design implications etc. and am excited to introduce printmaking to it.
I've spent today and yesterday working on my screen print using the images to the left. I am printing 'let it grow' and 'second' in green to represent the moss and the flowery patterns and remaining type in the black ink. I am really pleased with the result and was able to get them to line up well. I'm thinking about finding moss or fake moss over the weekend and experimenting with this on one of the final prints to represent my idea in a more obvious way.
The feedback I received from my final crit was fairly positive - my peers really liked my illustrations; said they stood out and the incorporation of the moss added a different level of interest. They suggested to perhaps consider ways that the audience could interact with the piece to prolong its interest; perhaps the moss can be added to via illustration or writing. Seen as my idea is based around the fact that we can replace what we destroy this might be an interesting concept to explore, however I don't know how realistic or feasible it would be. They, as well as my tutor, also suggested to reconsider the design of the font - the word 'second' and the smaller curly font wasn't very readable, which was something I was already concerned with after I printed it. My tutor also suggested making it bigger and filling the entire space with illustration rather than just a portion - I appreciate this opinion and think his comments are fair but am not entirely sure I would like it as much in this way - If I have time I may produce an illustration and play around with how it would look on a larger scale.