Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Final Major Project 2013 Part One

I was planning on talking about my work at university in chronological order, but due to a busy schedule lately I haven't had time to scan in some of my other projects, and this one happened to be the only one on my computer at the time! None the less, this one is my favourite project so far, as well as being the most recent.

From the collage above, I'm sure you may have guessed The Owl and The Pussycat were involved somehow - and you would be very correct! The project was our Final Major Project of the year, which was only completed last month.

We were given just 4 weeks to complete the entire thing which was very difficult and stressful - this is where 7 day weeks came in handy. I think for the duration of the time period I didn't have a single day of rest for well over a month in the run up to the final hand in at university. I was knackered...

The project itself was known as 'Narrative Illustration' and we were given a choice of 5 short stories to choose from. My lecturer Jake recommended I did 'The Owl and The Pussycat' which was one of the stories on the list, so I took his advice and went ahead with it.

As well as choosing the story, we were also given 3 options on how to present the Narrative Illustration, ranging from creating an interactive app, an animation or a printed product such as a book or magazine etc. I decided straight away I wanted to do an illustrated storybook, as for the entire year I have wanted to do one!

I don't really remember how I came to decide I was going to use collage, but somehow I did. I had used it as a medium for the first project we did back in October/November and had really enjoyed it, so I guess I went with what I knew I would enjoy.

Using collage was good fun and different to just drawing or painting which I usually did. However it did mean I had to buy in bulks and bulks of coloured paper from the internet and carry it with me wherever I was intending to back and forth on the train to the London was pretty tiring. Paper is heavy guys!

Prior to the actual making side of my collages, I had to design the characters and the landscapes of The Owl and The Pussycat, so I decided to do a little sketchbook work for a week or so. Mostly they were cute-sy and kawaii, which seems to be a recurring theme within my work lately so I just stuck with it. I wasn't really sure who the audience of my work was, but in the end the cute theme made it suitable for children, so in the end it became a Children's illustrated story.

Alot of interpretations of The Owl and The Pussycat are very traditional, romantic and perhaps a little dull in my opinion. I wanted my version to be a little more modern - note the Tesco bag! -  and as well as this I wanted to make it kawaii and sweet. Although I'm not a big fan of western takes on the whole kawaii art style - I didn't want to go overboard with that either. But in the end I feel like I managed to get a nice balance, just.

I had a lot of fun with my character of the cat especially...and the few mini characters I threw in here and there (such as the fly!). With the cat however I used a very specific 'hairy' looking grey paper which my lecturer really liked a lot. It couldn't be any old grey paper - it had to be this specific paper - so I had to keep buying it from the same art store every time. It all got a bit complicated.

The Owl was a little more difficult to create at times...whilst keeping his owl features such as wings and the beak and the face etc I tried really hard not to let him look like a traditional owl...nor that over printed owl that everyone wears on necklaces these days (I am guilty of this). So when it came to creating him in scenes like this, I would often have to remake him a few times just to get it right.

And when I got a little tired of cutting out complicated cats and owls I opted for the easy option of doing stuff like this was a lazy cop out at first. But then I think my way of getting round certain moments in the story took away the traditional, old fashioned vibe that went hand in hand with most versions of The Owl and the Pussycat and made it a little different.

Another lazy, quick way to show travel, landscape and time passing by! I think I did an alright job. And it was also an opportunity to throw in a cute crab character too.

This piece is possibly my favourite - The Land Where The Bong Tree Grows. It was made in the spirit of the old Pokemon games on Gameboy Color (remember??), I had the cute little pixel towns, forests and maps in my head and it came out like this in collage format...

And of course the Piggy-wig! Another important but sometimes forgotten character in the story.

Surrounded by bong tree ;) and check out his nose ring! He was good fun to create. I really wish I had made him into a doll like I did with the Owl and the Pussycat (but more on that later).

This again was my lazy way around some more scenes....the exchange of the ring for the shilling. Although, with the repetition of it I think I just about made it work.

Its always fun to create cute animal paws and hands....especially kitty paws and claws. Quite a few people liked this when I showed it to them in class so it must've had the right effect...without anyone thinking heyy this girl is too lazy to create the scene! :'D

And then we have - the turkey! He was a really difficult one to design in my sketchbook. I remember being at university one day trying to draw him and thinking what on earth does a turkey look like??
I also had the challenge of making him look like a vicar - as in my head - he marries the Owl and the Pussycat so he therefore MUST be a vicar...

So we get as far as the wedding....and yet again this is another lazy attempt to get out of making too much. But this point in the project I was exhausted, and working for many many hours at a time in front of the tv feeling quite shitty and fed up. Once of course you have finished working for the evening you have to tidy up, and it was always terrible when I had to clean up after an evening of cutting out lots of tiny bits of paper ...

A nice weddingy of my favourites....

And then the happy bride and groom dancing on the beach in the moonlight! Notice their pea green boat waiting for them on the beach :)

Finally at the end. Sort of. I managed to complete this entire set of collages in two weeks, but this was only half done. I then had to scan them in to the computer and have them published into a Children's illustrated storybook in time for the final hand in. However thats all I have time for right now...
In part two of this blog post I will discuss what I did next!


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