Friday, 28 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Banner update

Its so unbelievably hard to find a gay rights esque slogan or image which either hasn't been used before, or isn't soul curshingly/earth shatteringly cringey. I'm not really a fan of the whole 'born this way', 'I am who I am' thing, as I think yes, it is important to be proud of who you are, that goes without saying, but I think the importance is not focussing on how different you are, but how, in this case, it's all the same, sexuality should not be the single most important factor which defines a person, it is ofcourse one of the factors which defines a person, but people should not be judged purely on who they are attracted to.

I guess an easy road to go down with the design would be to focus on how it is all the same, how I cannot see the diffence and how people should also feel the same way, but theres so many issues which aggravate me about this, like the pure ignorance and hatred, how being so ignorant, hateful and dissmissive towards a persons lifestyle  can be percieved as right, when compared to the 'chosen' lifestyle of a gay or bisexual person is percieved as wrong? I just can't comprehend how that could even make sense. Also, the arguement of it being a choice, speaking from experience, being gay is not a choice, it is fair to say acting on your sexuality is a choice, but when speaking of someones sexual idenity, it is not a choice, why would people choose, especially in countries where it is particularly frowned upon, or punished, to be gay? Hatred is by far more of a choice than sexuality will ever be.

I have so many ideas I need to get down on paper so I can start to see how they work..

I've seen a lot of posters surrounding these issues, I particularly like these ones:

Clever clever clever. Such valid points to make, its not okay to say this to straight people, so why is it okay to say this to gay people? It isnt.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Retro Social Media Posters..

I actually love these posters made by Brazilian agencies MaxiMídia and Moma Propaganda.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Obsessively looking at vintage photos..

Heres another parody image (like the owl one):

Imagine if this was real.

Oh and while we're talking about Banners

Above is an image which I created to enter into a competition Kate Nash was running on her last tour to design one of her tour t-shirts. I chose this design as she has a song named 'I've got a secret' which is basically a song which hits out at homophobia. This was my interpretation.. and it won!

Its on sale here on Kate Nash's official website.

Instrumental 'Oldies'

I now have a collection of about 700 instrumentals from as far back as the 1920's. They are just so so so good, I listen to them obsessively, they make me just want to go back in time. Heres a random selection of some for you to listen to:


For our next brief at Uni we have been told to choose something which we have some sort of opinion on and create a banner in relation to this. My obvious and first choice is to do something relating to gay rights across the world, the general idea of all the 'gay rights' campaigns etc make me cringe in a way, as I am gay myself but as I have never had any issues with personal bullying/discrimination etc I just sometimes think 'is it necessary?' and also alot of the campaigns can be very distasteful. However I am aware that there are these issues, I guess its just not at the forefront of my mind as (as selfish as it sounds) I don't face any of these issues personally. I have been reading about issues around the world surrounding the issues of gay people and I just think its horrific, that so many young people, and older people have killed themselves in recent times due to homophobic bullying, that so many people are forced to keep their sexuality a secret, that people are actually killed or imprisoned in some countries for their sexuality. How is that right? How can people say that being gay is wrong, but killing, imprisoning, punishing, bullying a human being because of their sexuality is right?

It makes no sense atall. It makes me sick, as I am writing this, today it has emerged that a man has been murdered, burnt and tied up, for being gay.. and we're the ones that act 'wrong'. Right. Yeah, I can see how that makes sense..

I am not sure whether I a going to do a banner about a certain issue or whether to do it on general gay hatred, as well, there is alot of that still it would seem. Below heres some banners from gay rights protests which I always find amusing/interesting:

Okay it isn't real but

I need some of this spray, Owls are terrifying.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

My real life wooden totem pole finished!

A proffessional photographer came in to work with us, he was really nice and very helpful at helping us photograph our work, he told us alot about lighting which I did know about, but hadn't really thought about it in the way he explained it, so that was interesting. I have photographed in a studio and in many different locations so I found it a quite easy and quick task to photograph my image (I did it in about 30 seconds, mainly because it was home time too and we had to leave!). I'm so happy with my final totem pole, it needs a little bit of altering, I need to smooth out the edges, and maybe sand down some other areas for effect. I love it though, I want to make more! People that I don't know who saw me walking around carrying it kept offering to buy it aswell which is always a plus..

Final design in progress..

I traced the basic image of what I imagined my totem to look like and then coloured it in, I decided the use of red, blue and black would be effective considering the nautical themes, heres a rough coloured in sketch which I would then scan in and edit digitally:
I scanned the image in and then began to draw around it in illustrator, a very tedious and strenuous task, but I wanted my work to be screen printed onto wood, so with the would taking away some of the perfect edges etc once printed, I wanted the initial print to be as neat and tidy as possible. The design of the woman wasn't working the way I had sketched her out, because of how symmetrical the design is as a whole she needed to be too for it to work. I first did some newer sketches of her to see how I could possibly make her work. My favourites were where she looked almost like a russian doll, I decided to go with that image and created this on illustrator:
My (almost finished) first idea as a whole was this:

I decided it could work, but it wasn't exactly how I'd imaged it would be as a final image, so I continued to experiment. Block colour was working better than line work as a whole image, so I transformed the line work into negative spaces. This worked so much better. It took alot of work as I had to make sure the colours were working well together and there were not too many images next to each other which were the same colour otherwise it wouldn't look right or effective as an image. Here is the final image:

I chose the lighter blue to go on the other shapes, which were not red and dark blue, as I think it just worked, I played around with alot of other colours and this one just seemed to fit best, it doesn't look too out of the ordinary with the cards being a colour which isn't white, and all the other shapes seemed to just looked right in blue because they are generally nautical images.

Now I needed to separate the image ready to screen print! Exciting..

Monday, 10 October 2011

My Alter Ego

I have had in my head my little alter ego for years, and that is a sailor girl with big hair. If you see any of my drawings from since, well, forever, this character has been in some way incorporated, I've even got a tattoo of it! So, when I had to add my alter ego here it was pretty obvious where to start. I started with getting and looking at a selection of pin up esque figures, sailors and girls with big hair, this is pretty much what all my work is based on and inspired by anyway so I had alot to already look at.. like my board for example (although I obviously added to it during this project):

I have the basic layout for all my emblems and the way they would look as a whole but now I need to decide on colour, size and final images..

Weakness and Fear

Next was my weakness. I'm aware I have a lot of weaknesses but obviously as this is a public piece of work I will be showing to my classmates etc these are things I would have to explain to people! So I decided to stick with a weakness pretty self explanatory, I forgive people too easily. I looked around for ideas and images to inspire but yet again I was drawn back to my vintage tattoo book, as I'd been using this for all the other emblems inspiration, it made sense to continue this way, in this style. As soon as I had a look through, it was obvious what I would do. I had seen images such as this:

The images of people shaking hands to me automatically suggest meeting new people, making friendships, my friendships are really important to me, and I think displaying the fact I forgive people too easily as a weakness is important as I feel it is strength to forgive people, not being too stubborn, but in certain circumstances can become a weakness, and here it is a reminder to understand the happy medium between things like this.


I have so many fears, mannequins, wax works, spiders, heights, rides.. everything really. But as I'm actually scared of these things I didn't really want to spend my time drawing them out or looking at them, ever. So I decided on a more sentimental fear, losing people. I absolutely despise the thought of losing people in any sense of the word, its the worst feeling in the world.
I didn't really want to draw anything too morbid or obvious. I really didn't know what I would d at this point so I just put a circle in place of where this emblem would go on my totem.. I'd come back to it later.

Secret and Strength

I could not for the life of my think of one secret that I have. I maybe used to have secrets, but recently I've become more myself and open about everything there is to me. I dont have secrets, so how could I represent one? Obviously, my 'secret' emblem had to represent in some way how I had none, an open book maybe? I had to think of other sayings and metaphors which represented honesty, and then I turned the page of the vintage tattoos book and saw this:

A deck of cards laid out, obviously, how did I not think of it? I decided I would use an image like this, an image of cards, as in I have 'laid all my cards on the table'. I have nothing left to win nor lose, as I have no secrets.

My strength was very similar as my strength was that I am honest an true to myself, a trait I think everyone needs, a trait which can take some people a long time to learn to do! There have been times where I've lied completely to myself, been in so much denial and its so much better having no secrets, even from yourself. Whilst looking through the vintage tattoo book (this book seriously has almost everything I'd ever need, its brilliant) I found these images:

The above images have the words 'death before dishonour' on the scroll. It stood out to me instantly, it was perfect for what I was looking for, that I would rather die than be dishonest, okay, not literally, but in a sense that if I were to go back to being dishonest to myself, what's the point? It's almost like who I truelly am would be dead, the essence of myself wouldn't be who I truelly am.

I think my choices of images are coming on really well...

Steve jobs

When I heard of Steve Jobs death, I'll be honest I had no idea who he was. I'm not going to pretend I knew all about him and was deeply upset from the offset. However, after 5 minutes of finding out just exactly who he was, I realised he'd already made a massive impact to me and alot of people around me.
As a creative person I am drawn to the style of things, the way things look, pretty things which make life easier. Which is why when I was in high school I decided I needed an ipod mini, I'd never seen an ipod before, no-one in my school had one yet and I just needed one. After a little persuading my mum bought me one, I remember everyone in school was so jealous! And so they should've been. I had all of my music collection at the time on my ipod, every single song I owned, and they were there with their 128mb mp3 players (none of them seemed to understand that an ipod was actually just an mp3 player, but compared to theirs, with a much larger capacity.). People eventually started getting mp3 players with screens and larger capacitys, similar to my ipod.. nothing like my ipod though. Nothing as organised, as easy, as pretty as my ipod.

I've been using computers since I was about 7, I've had 4 desktop PCs and around 6 laptops. Where are they now? broken. Every one of my computers have lasted a little longer than a year, so unorganised, so dull, so filled with virus. I've had my mac just over a year and (touch wood) have never had a single problem with it, it does everything I need it to do, in the easiest and most organised and helpful way possible. For creative people macs are essential, they just work better for it, the programs are easier to use and the way its orgranised it just perfect for us. The fact that they're much nicer looking too and don't seem to make any noise atall (in the sense of a fan or some form of cooling hardware).. okay its superficial, but we're designers, illustrators, musicians, who wants something ugly that sounds like a hoover? Steve Jobs understood this. Understood what we needed and wanted from a machine. Apple hardware and software has made my life so much easier in personal and academic ways.

Below is a speech of his which is definitely worth a watch, very inspiring:

Now I'll leave you as I've just dug out my ipod mini and my ipod video and have a lot of music and videos to re-familiarise myself with, so excited..

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Okay so after looking through the tattoo book I decided on the type of image I would create first of all for my 'hope'. I decided for my 'hope', it must include an anchor, as anchors can represent many things within tattoo imagery, but are well known to represent hope, so that was an obvious choice really. Heres some images I looked at to inspire this choice:

I thought this emblem would need something more. I thought a swallow would be interesting to add into this emblem, not ony because it would look nice, but because swallows can represent so so many things within tattoo imagery and history. I am obsessed with images of sailors and everything about their history, I'm not even sure why, I just am. I know that swallows have always had importance to sailors, because before modern navigation systems were created, birds were a sign that sailors were close to land, and also, swallows return home every year no matter how far they have travelled to, this also symbolises the idea of returning home safely, a closeness to home, to family. Another idea which is symbolised by swallows is the idea of experiences, when sailors travelled a certain amount of miles, fulfilled certain tasks or reached certain destinations, they would have a swallow tattoed which would show off their skills as a sailor. Other meanings of a swallow tattoos, include a struggle that has been overcome, a victory gained, and a hardship survived, aswell as when two are tattooed together it can symbolise finding love, or soul mate. All these meanings together are basically what I wanted to portray as my hopes for my life, for love, happiness, family, safety, experience and to overcome anything that gets thrown at me.Below are some images that I looked at for inspiration on how to actually draw swallows:


For the next part of the brief involving our inventive characters, we had to use these skills we've developed to create a set of characters/emblems/shapes/things to represent 6 different things:

1. A hope
2. A fear
3. A secret
4. A strength
5. A weakness
6. An alter ego

We have to respresent these together as part of a totem that will accompany me and my family throughout life. I firstly decided what the 6 different things of mine would be..

1. A hope - To be happy and loved.
2. A fear - Losing people/myself.
3. A secret - I have no secrets..
4. A strength - I'm honest and true to myself.
5. A weakness - Forgiving people too easily.
6. An alter ego - A sailor girl obviously!

I then picked up my vintage tattoo designs book for inspiration, I didn't want to create characters as such, but I thought tattoo design esque emblems would work really well together! I now need to decide what kind of images will work best for each emblem..

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Trips to London and general update of my obsession with Girls Aloud

A photo I took of Girls Aloud at their 2009 Out Of Control tour.

If you've ever met me, you'll know I LOVE Girls Aloud. As they are currently on hiatus, they've been doing a lot of solo projects which is really exciting for the fans because not only does it mean theres more things to keep up with but also lots of opportunities to meet the girls. I recently went to watch Nicola Roberts perform at G-A-Y in London. She was performing tracks from her debut solo album which was amazing, her solo album is really impressive, the lyrics are so heartfelt and the producers she's worked with have really got it right. One song that is particularly heartfelt is the sticks and stones, which speaks about how she felt bullied almost by the press throughout her career with Girls Aloud with lyrics like "Too young to buy my own bottle of vodka, so i'd beg the driver please I need another, how funny that I was too young for so many things, yet you thought i'd cope with being told i'm ugly, over and over i'd read it believe it, said no to the shrink I can fix me I think" I feel like I can really connect with this song having a similar look to Nicola, it would always upset me when she was insulted as I just felt as though they were insulting me too, making fun of her skin tone or hair colour.

Sticks and Stones - Nicola Roberts

After seeing Nicola at G-A-Y at the weekend, the next week I went to her album signing and met her there, she recognised me from the G-A-Y gig which was really exciting! She gave out 'team ginge' gingerbread men and girls which was very cute and spent ages speaking to everyone and getting photographs with everyone too. We asked her if she was planning on seeing Kimberley (Walsh) performing in shrek as princess Fiona and she said she would be on opening night, Nicolas birthday, which was the day we had tickets for too so we said we'd see her there, amazing!

Meeting Nicola at her album signing

It was going to be Nicolas birthday so I thought I'd make her a card. On my way back from London after seeing her at G-A-Y I drawn this, so I made it into a vinyl sticker then into a card..

On 5th october I went down to London to watch Kimberley Walsh as Princess Fiona in shrek on her opening night, she has taken over the role from Amanda Holden as she's left to have a baby. As it was opening night there was a real buzz around the theatre, sadly I didn't meet Kimberley but everyone else seemed to (bad timing on my part!), but she did come out after and thank everyone for their support which was really nice, so I sort of met her I guess..

I was really impressed with Kimberelys performance! Her singing was brilliant and she seemed to just fit into the role perfectly (obviously, you know, minus being really far from an ogre in reality). There was a tap dancing number which I was apprehensive about seeing because I didn't imagine it being something I'd really be into seeing, but it was so good! Where we were sat we could also see Cheryl Cole and Nicola Roberts perfectly and they kept waving at us and speaking to us which was really exciting, we sang Hapy Birthday to Nicola and was shouting thankyou up to us, was so surreal to see them watching Kimberely as Fiona for the first time while we were too! My best friend Matt has moved back home to London so when I'm there I stay with him, I stayed with him after seeing Shrek, I love the photo of us below..

The next day I went around London on my own and ended up back at the theatre, I was speaking to the lady who worked at the stage door and she let me in to watch the show backstage on her monitor until I had to leave for my train. Apparently Kimberleys performance in the day wasn't as good as the night before (although I'm not surprised as she was out the night before for Nicolas birthday, and her first performance was really good), but she said her vocals and performance had really improved since the afternoon, I thought she again sounded amazing! I got to meet the very talented Nigel Harman who plays Lord Farquad in the musical which was really exciting as I'm a really big fan, I even went down to London when I was 14 to see him in guys and dolls! For his part in shrek he has to do the whole show on his kneews because his character is really small, its really clever and impressive, I wish I would've remembered to tell him just how impressive it was!

Aswell as going to musicals, gigs, and seeing my best friend, I also did visit some galleries. When I first went down to London to see Nicola at G-A-Y, I noticed a poster for this exhibition at the national portrait gallery. I love old school hollywood glamour, its just looks so sophisticated and beautiful, the men look so smart and well presented while the women just look so strong, powerful and glamourous. As I had a whole day of time to kill on my own in London as Matt had gone to work I remembered that exhibition so made my way to the national portrait gallery and had a look around, it cost £5.50, but if you're into that sort of stuff, then its definitely worth it, it shows photographs of hollywood stars from the 1920's up until the 1960's, I particularly loved the images of Marylin Monroe and James Dean, I think they just epitomise that era. I bought some postcards of some of the photographs which I particularly liked, ready to put up on the board infront of my desk at uni!

One of the postcards I bought!

So, all in all I would recommend going to see the 'Glamour of the Gods' exhibiton at The National Portrait Gallery. I would recommend seeing Kimberely Walsh, Nigel Harman, and the rest of the cast in Shrek the Musical and I would defnitely recommend having a listen to Nicola Roberts Album 'Cinderellas Eyes'. Oh and I'd recommend a night out in London with your best friend..

I'll leave you with my current favourite track off 'Cinderellas Eyes' (even though its a cover, and here the pitch has been highered for youtube..)

New Brief

I was beginning to get slightly worried there would never be a brief where I was allowed to draw sailors without everyone sighing at the fact I don't seem to really want to draw anything else… So when I got back to uni after summer and seen the first exercise in this brief in which I HAD to draw sailors, well, I was very pleased, it has to be said. We had to draw various human and animal characters of various different descriptions and using various methods. I started of drawing sailors and barbers using pencil and biro, which I enjoyed but didn't think was particularly amazing, although itwas exciting to be finally drawing things I liked! Heres some of my initial drawings:

I then started doing some drawings using a continuous line, my favourite was the barber below, look at him! He looks so suspicious! I absolutely love drawing these barbers and that they have to have those curly moustaches, they're so funny!

I then drawn some lions as they are the animal I'm most like, well, in the sense of my big mane of hair (and probably that alone!). Heres a few lions I quickly created which are quite cute:

I next drawn owls, this was an animal which was already a choice set for us, but we were also asked to draw animals which we are most scared of, I have this year discovered I am terrified of real life owls (not so much of illustrations of the demon creatures, but definitely the real life ones), so I began to draw owls. Heres my first page of owls:

I love the variations and how they look together as a compilation of images!

I think my favourite image of this whole exercise is this owl above, I even love the text underneath, somethings happens to me when I've got orange newspaper in my hands, I get all excited and start to make images I actually like.