Friday, 24 February 2012

Research: Rand, O'Neill


Over the last few weeks I’ve begun to notice that I’ve blogged quite a bit about what I’ve been doing, reflecting on my personal work and its progress and events and activities I’ve taken part in but there’s not a lot of reference to my research. So today I shall start, from the beginning.

I’ve always had a love for Eric Carle and a few of the professionals I’ve been to see already have commented on a likeness between mine and his work (which is a lovely compliment I must say) although my technique differs slightly and comparing my work to his was never an aim. Though I’ve done research on him before so I shall not post endless images of his again, instead I’ve been proactive and found somebody else I’ve also taken a shine to and is more formally associated with graphic design rather than illustration- Paul Rand.

As my tutors and professionals are starting to make connections for me stating that my work has a more graphical quality with a good sense of space and use of it, I thought looking to more graphical artists would make for good and effective research. Rand uses simplistic shapes similar to how I work and Carle but he uses more flat colours unlike the textures which Carle adopts. I flit between the two, sometimes textured, sometimes flat depending on the context of the work.

I’ve noticed that the colours of Rand are very prominent but he utilises black a lot which I tend to shy away from, instead opting for grey blue or brown. I like how he renders his own typeface which I do still struggle with, however with him being a renowned graphic designer I suppose it comes more with his territory.

Another inspirational source at the moment is Martin O’Neill. I’m not looking at him from a technique angle but from an archiving angle. Ian suggested O’Neill in my tutorial recently and I did blog about my OCD kicking into overdrive at the thought of such a system. However looking at his work and working space has planted the seed of needing some kind of a system. I need to find a system which works for me whereby I can store all my magazines and ephemera and can then go back and locate it with ease. Currently I flick through reams and reams of magazines searching for a particular colour, texture or sizeable piece to use in my work which is time consuming and not an effective way of using my time. If I had an archive and a system I would be able to locate these much easier. For example a drawer labelled ‘pink’ where all pinks would be stored. If these drawers were to be lever arch files instead I could then even sub title them into different contexts or textures or shades of pink etc.

Just the images alone are enough to give me the eebie jeebies.

I’ve been looking at Little Red Riding Hood resources as it was going to be the starting point of my next part of FMP. I was, if you remember, going to make puppets to make a short film out of. However after giving this much consideration have decided that sticking with one technique rather than skimming the surface of several will be much more beneficial to me and my practice in the long run and hopefully my final mark too. The research that I have conducted so far though will aid my revised proposal, which at the moment I’m thinking of some minimalist film posters. From the research I’ve conducted today to aid me with getting my current elements up to scratch with their magical twists I found them very inspiring and quite funny. Additionally, this will hopefully make up for the time I’ve lost designing the book cover as I can utilise some of the elements from the first project to create these. By recycling my work I will be bringing my FMP as a whole back on schedule. Some of the images I’ve located for Little Red Riding Hood research are cute, some scary and some just beautiful, take a look below.

Finally, here are some of the minimalist film posters I’ve been looking at (additional to the ones on my modern met. Some of them in particular are very witty and some of just humourous. Please do not be offended by the inclusion of the Hitler referenced posters, I just thought that these too were quite witty. Thanks to Dom for mentioning the minimalist film posters, if I'm honest they're not something I've ever looked at before or even really knew that they existed and to such extent! There were so many to choose from that I selected the one's which I thought were witty and clever. Ian talked about my individual elements for the cover of Grimm's fairy-tales having a 'twist' which I have interpreted in my own way as wit and I hope that I can achieve that to a similar standard as the images I have selected below.

I think that work that makes people laugh or think 'that's witty' is more engaging than work that tries to be something it's not - art is labelled too often as pompous and an institution which is exclusive and not accessible to all. If I an engage my audience in a mutual sense of wit it would be extremely pleasing. I like the use of strong colours associated with these minimalist posters and as seen in my James and the Giant Peach cover design last year I do tend to use a restrictive palette, usually a bright one too as seen in the Helping Uganda Project. Because of this I particularly like the wax on wax off poster - lets face it, it's genius and the Simpson's poster, even though I myself am not a Simpson's fan. I like the Rocky poster generally because I'm a huge Rocky fan and it's instantly recognisable. My two main ingredients that I need to take from this minimalist research is to make elements that are instantly recognisable (stripping them back to their core details) and add copious amounts of wit to tell the story (ie an apple with a sickle from the grim reaper to signify that this particular apple means death).

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