Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Age UK illustration

Late last year we, at university, were set a brief by the charity Age UK (previously Age Concern & Help the Aged for those of you who may still know it as that).  The purpose of this project, was to create an illustrated book/booklet illustrating stories from people who suffer with dementias lives, which would promote the idea of life stories. 'Life stories' is a way in which to help older people and those who suffer with forms of dementia by recording important events and stories from their lifes which they can look back at and keep forever to remind them of these things.
We each met up with a different person who suffered with dementia and spoke to them about their lives (in our case, me and Jadine spoke to the same man). We chose one story or aspect of his life each and began to illustrate it. Our illustration would be featured in the booklet along with a transcript of that particular part of the conversation and also a postcard too relating to that particular story.

Creating my illustration

The man I spoke to was very keen when talking about when he used to visit the pineapple pub in marple with his friends. He spoke of how he and his friends would drink robinsons beer, out of the same glass all night, and how he was the captain of the domino team there too. My first idea was to create a 3D image of the pub and photograph this, I used printed papers and cardboard to create a small scene, I spent alot of time working out where the colours would go, as I was only using 3 different shades of blue, I liked that it was going to be monotone. I lit the background with small fairy lights and then used the photography studio to photograph the whole scene. Below is the outcome:

At this point the brief was finished within uni, but I wasn't happy with it, I didn't want this to be the image Age uk would use in their booklet, I really didn't like it! Well, I liked it, but I just didn't feel proud of it, which made me want to make something I was proud of. So I set out looking at different things which I liked, and began to make my second image.
I knew what kind of image I wanted to create, I really love retro posters, and when I set out looking at these I found some I particularly liked by Justin Van Genderen (below):

I particularly liked these because I'm obsessed with retro style posters and also because I just love images which feature some sort of skyline. I began to create simple ideas, and my idea for the pineapple pub illustration progressed.

I started of with really simple just basic ideas, like the above, which were obviously lacking in detail, but these were just simple ideas at first. A problem I was having is that the pub just didn't look like a pub, especially not the exact pub I was trying to recreate. So I searched everywhere and finally found a photography of the actual pub, here it is:

After seeing this image I got really into creating a whole scene using this image, it was really difficult to create all the background areas and details using only limited colours, but I worked very hard to try and make this work effectively! After lots of planning and labouring over my image I finally was happy and    here is the final image: 

I then created the smaller image which would be used as a small postcard within the booklet, I wanted to concentrate on another aspect of the story he told us, so here I created an image which would symbolise the fact he was captain of the domino team, using the same colours as in the other illustration, here it is:

I am really happy with my final images overall, and can't wait to do more work like this! I can't wait to see all of our illustrations in the booklet, very exciting!

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