Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A visit to the Imperial War Museum in London

Today as part of the illustration course that I'm taking we went to the Imperial War Museum. We drew people, tanks, planes, exhibits, and whatever interested us there. It was a well stocked and laid out museum. There were exhibits on children in England during World War II, Holocaust, World Wars 1 and 2, Food during the war, the terrorism in Northern Ireland,and others wars that the UK has been involved in. It was different getting the perspective of the Brits for the wars, since I am more familiar with Canadian History, and Canadians involvement invading France. I was less aware of the effect of the war on the actual Islands of Great Britain.

Here are a few of my drawings from today. I'm actually really enjoying going out and collecting images on site. It is a refreshing way to work that is new for me. The paper colour is off because I took the photos in my room, and should have really waited until it was light out tomorrow to get proper lighting.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Art of Reportage

Comics from the book Clumsy By Jeffry Brown.

My first homework assignment of the week was to come to class prepared to share about a reportage artist that I admire or a sample of my own work.
Definition of Reportage:
reportage |rəˈpôrtij; ˌrepôrˈtä zh |
the reporting of news, for the press and the broadcast media : extensive reportage of elections.
• factual presentation in a book or other text, esp. when this adopts a journalistic style.

I can think of plenty of artists that I admire, but ones who specifically report on an event, or events? I realized that mainly the artists that interest me are the ones that report on their own lives. If they make things about themselves, their personal lives, and feelings it tends to make me interested in them and their stories. This goes for books as well.
As a starting point I made a list of artists who I admire that fit into the Reportage category (some may argue though that my definition of Reportage is a little loose...) Also, many of these artists have been listed in previous blog entries.
Artists/Graphic Novelists:
Marjane Satrapi-Persepolis and Persepolis 2. She also has two newer books that I need to read-Plumes of Feathers and Embroideries.
Don Nace-Drawn Out -Autobiographical sketches surrounding his life.
Jeffery Brown- His work is pictured above. I recently purchased his graphic novel titled Clumsy It is a collection of sketches done at the time of a relationship that he dedicated to anyone who has loved and lost. The actual drawing style doesn't interest me, but the story is full of embarrassing moments, heartfelt times between lovers, and true reflections of relationship blisses and disapointments. It is strikingly honest. Here is a proper review of it:
Sonja Ahlers-Another artist I had forgotten about. I have her book Fatal Distraction which is a combination of imagery, text, poetry and self-reflections. Read an article about her here:
Ralph Steadman-has written and illustrated various books, but is known especially for his work with Hunter S. Thompson.
Richard Avedon-Incredible black and white photos showing American people of the mid-west(among other photos, including one of Barack Obama before he became president.)
Diane Arbus- Do I really need to explain? Known for taking photos of freaks and sideshow acts, people who count as strange.
Edward Burtynsky-Large colour photos that deal with the masses of destruction that society inflicts on the earth-mines, oil-drilling, Chinese landfills, etc...
Edward Muybridge-Does his work count as reportage? He staged most of the images in his work; early film/photography studies in movement, and the human body.
Ron Mueck-He may not have occurred to me at all, but I saw a postcard of his work at the British Museum today, but sadly his exhibit occurred two years ago, so I won't get to see it. Larger than life creations of the human form.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have arrived in London!

I arrived yesterday in a slightly dazed state due to not sleeping all night except briefly for one hour on the plane. After finding my residence, I had to find my school's office and show them my passport. Then, after getting that out of the way I wondered around London for a while, whithout a true purpose except to find something to eat and just appreciate the sights around me. I told myself that I wasn't allowed to go to sleep until at least 8 pm, with walking being the only thing keeping me awake. by around 6:30 or so I had wandered over to St. Paul's Cathedral, which is a stunning, stately looking building that is enormous.
I didn't bring my camera with me for this jaunt around because I was just too tired, so I stole a picture of St. Paul's from this site:

Having slept well, and waking up at a riduclous hour (4:30 am), I am ready to plan out my day, and actually enjoy London as a well rested individual. My course doesn't start until Monday, so I have a few days of full-fledged sight seeing to do.
On the agenda for today: National Gallery or Tate Modern?

First impressions of London:
It is busy! So many people walking, with a purpose and somewhere to go.
There are a lot of busses.
The English use direct, but strange wording on their signs. For example in the tube stops the signs read, "WAY OUT" with arrows. I find this strange because why not use the word exit?
The tube's signage could use more icons (I think I am saying this because of my familiarity with Mexico City's metro system that links each stop with a sympbol, which I appreciate as a visual person).
I like the accents (something I knew before I arrived...)

Here is something I wrote while waiting in Iceland for my connecting flight:

I'm sitting in the Kevalik Airport in Iceland having spend the past 6 hours on a plane. It is 1 am for me, which means it is approaching my normal bedtime hours, however, a three hour plane ride awaits. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep a little along the way so that all of tomorrow(today) isn't a write off due to lack of sleep. So far, Iceland kind of looks like how used to imagine it before I really ever saw any pictures of Iceland- It looks a little the way the prairies look in spring when there's that transition time between brown and green. We flew down onto the runway which opens up off of the coastline. Unfortunately I wasn't in a window seat, so I couldn't really get the best view of flying in off of the ocean, but the land surrounding the tarmac is made up of varying degrees of low-lying green and brown bits of grassiness. I would say that it is good advice to not judge a country only on their airport. It is now raining, and I am disapointed in Iceland's airport because it is too early for any shops to be open, and I'm just really thirsty right now, and was hoping for maybe some tea or at least a bottle of water. Not even a vending machine in sight. The airport itself looks Scandinavian (or maybe Canadian...). Of course by Scandinavian I mean that it looks like the furniture may have been designed by Ikea. There are large floor to ceiling angled windows looking out onto the ariport runways, which I appreciate because I hate it when airports forget to include windows in their terminals. I can hear change being counted, and perhaps the sound of an espresso machine which tells me that something is open, so I may try to get something to drink before we board in 10 minutes.

As a note to that, after writing this I ended up chatting with two guys who had also come from Winnipeg and were waiting for the one-hour delayed London Flight. This made the airport waiting much less dull, and one named Garret who lives in the UK gave me some helpful guidance with the trains and underground tickets once we got off the plane in London.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Exciting Events

One of my best friends in the whole world is getting married! I designed her wedding invitations for her. Happily, she only needed a simple drawing to complete the idea she had about the invitations. This is it without the text(though in final draft we ended up switching it to landscape format). The sketch above is a cartoon version of them.

In other exciting news, I leave for LONDON, ENGLAND in one week! I bought a new sketchbook today and couple of other supplies I will need for the week-long short course that I'm taking. I'm starting to get really excited both about London, and about taking an illustration course. I ended up deciding to take a course called The Art of Witness: Graphic Reportage at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. The excitement is really starting to build now that I have time to think about the trip.

Winnipeg Folk Fest

Another Folk Fest is over. It was a great weekend filled with music, semi-hippies, tarp squatting, friends, and good food. This year I was lucky enough to be accepted as an artist for the Prairie Outdoor Exhibit. I painted some lockboxes for one of the stages prior to the festival starting. This got me a backstage pass for the weekend, so I got to join all the other festival volunteers in some of the perks of volunteering.

Here are a few highlights related specifically to the music:
Andrew Bird playing the closing night, and as was expected, made wonderful,beautiful music, and continues to amaze me.
Ghostkeeper played a nice set and really reminded me of an acoustic version of Bahamas. It was just a solo act, the rest of the band wasn't there which disapointed me-and may be why he reminded me of Bahamas, because with the whole band they don't really have that sound.
Greg MacPherson played with a lot of heart, and really sticks out in my mind.
Luluc-I didn't get to their concert, but saw them play a workshop with Devon Sproule and Romi Mayes, and also they played a Tweener act one night. They have a gentle, lovely sound.

And there are many others....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Winnipeg Folk Fest-Night Photos

Here are a couple of pics from this weekend at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. I'm just posting a few night shots I took of the vendors. I liked the glow they gave off. There is something interesting about Food vendors and the lights they give off, (especially on the edge of a field) I will write more once the weekend is over!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Giant - Illustration Friday

Giant Hand-man.
Something somewhat similar to a few drawings I did last year titled Mr. and Mrs. Handsome.
I'm not sure that I'm crazy about the lettering. I might take it out in Photoshop.
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