Free writing a story

There was a man that loved ice cream. He loved ice cream so much that he would have it for every single meal, breakfast lunch and dinner. His favourite ice cream was a big double cherry and vanilla cone with crunchy peanut chunks and a flake on top. Although this was his favourite there were so many other ice cream flavours out there that he was crazy about. Sometimes at night he would have wild dreams about giant mango sorbets and raspberry and white chocolate Vienetta dancing around him and then slowly closing in on him and wrapping him up in their frozen deliciousness.

(105 words)

Edited version:

There was a man that loved ice cream. He had it for breakfast lunch and dinner. His favourite was a double cherry and vanilla cone with crunchy peanut chunks and a flake. There were other flavours that he loved. Sometimes at night he had wild dreams about giant mango sorbets; raspberry and white chocolate Vienetta dancing around him, closing in on him, and wrapping him up.

(68 words)

Alice in Wonderland at the British Library

 

 

I was excited to visit the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library because the Disney version of it used to be my favourite film when I was little.

There were three main parts to the exhibition, the first one being a display of different sized decorated mirrors. The mirrors all had a key moment of the story written on them alongside some illustrations that were all by different people. I would say this was the most child friendly part of the exhibition and as I looked around there were quite a few children that seemed to really enjoy it, running around in between the mirrors and looking at the drawings.

After this the exhibition went back in time and took us to when Alice was first created. The British Library holds the original manuscript for Alice in Wonderland and although they didn’t have it on display, they had a numerised version of it we could flick through on a tablet. This was one of the couple of interactive pieces that they had along with a small puzzle that had to be put together in order to retrace the story of Alice, and I think it would have been much better to have more of those. Although the exhibition was very interesting, most of it was kept under glass and this made it harder for viewers to engage with the content, especially younger viewers whom the exhibition should have been looking to attract. I also think the theme of Alice in Wonderland creates a lot of space for fun, games and activities and extravagant setups but the British Librabry chose to have a more adult take on it which I think is a shame.

The third part of the exhibition focused on how the tale of Alice has inspired many different authors, artists, musicians, film makers and how it has become a true classic that everyone knows. As an illustration student I enjoyed the fact that the exhibition was also really focused on Tenniel’s work for the original book and how most of the artwork inspired by Alice in Wonderland over the years has stayed very faithful to his drawings.

I do recommend visiting this exhibition as I think most people know the Disney version of the tale better than the original one and I learnt a lot of things I didn’t know about Carroll and how he came up with the story. However there might be some disappointment where one would expect to be completely swept up in the crazy, weird and colourful world of Alice only to find a more serious looking display.

Lino cut

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Yesterday I did lino cut for the first time and I adored it! I took inspiration from two drawings that were in my old ‘What Is It?’ sketchbook but rather than simply copy the outline I tried to play with them and adapt them to lino cut. I created lines through playing with contrast and texture. I think I will be spending a LOT of time doing this in the future because I am in love with it. Also, I strongly suspect I am going to fall in love with dry point when I have the workshop next week and I am looking forward to combining both printing methods (on my lino cut of the man I think where the lines of the face are quite imprecise I could redefine them using dry point)

Old photograph // Instagram

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I was looking through my old blog and I found a photograph of Sicilian lemons I took back in 2012. At the time I shared a summer blog with one of my closest friends, it was our way of keeping in touch with each other and we would document our holidays with pictures and notes and then post it on our blog.

I probably didn’t think much of this photo at the time when I took it but when I stumbled upon it earlier I was really struck by the beauty of it. I remember many years ago I was obsessed with photography and wanted to become a photographer/blogger.

I have now become so used to thinking of myself as a drawer and an illustrator that I have almost forgotten how much I love taking pictures.

I absolutely love Instagram. I think it has rekindled my love for taking pictures, and although many negative things can be said about it, it’s a great app. I think it is different from Twitter or Facebook because posting on Instagram involves the process of taking a picture, and forces Instagram users to think about composition, colour, filter (they are great when used well), framing… It brings out everyone’s creative side and what is even more interesting is how people also conform to ‘aesthetics’ : the ‘so tumblr’ aesthetic (guilty), the fitness instagrammer aesthetic, the food pics aesthetic… there are many conventional ways of taking a picture on instagram and I think many people strive to have that particular aesthetic or theme to their feed. I think that can be a great thing and force people to get better at taking pictures.

Not going to lie, I am actually quite proud of my instagram and of the pictures I take. I usually edit my pictures so the colours are bright and vibrant, and I take pictures of everything that inspires me and that I find beautiful. I think instagram should not be looked down upon by people who love photography as there are many incredible photos being posted on there everyday.

this is my instagram page : https://www.instagram.com/redsparklyshoes/

 

Dream pods


Our new studio project explores Utopias. We have been put into groups and asked to come up with our own utopia, but it also has to contain some dystopian elements so as not to fall into clichés and binary points of view.

In our group we have come up with the idea that everyone has a ‘dream pod’ they can escape to. The dream pods are personal to everyone, because we do not all have to same idea of what a utopia is. Because they are so intimate, we can only access our pods through the most unique and personal thing we have : our blood. We thought the idea of blood was also interesting because they are a lot of things we have to think about : how much blood can we use until it becomes dangerous? What about blood groups? Blood conditions? If your blood is ill how does that affect your pod? Stealing someone else’s blood to enter their pod?

In our pods, everything is possible and everything we ever wanted is there. To the point where it’s almost maddening… We also have a limited amount of time in our pods and have to return to the real world to eat, sleep and be with our loved ones. This is where our dystopia meets our utopia, as this concept reminds me of drug addictions. Our idea is still very rough and we need to do some research and dig into it. I have been drawing some Matrix-looking pods and thinking about blood.

‘We should all be feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Yesterday on one of my usual Waterstones ramblings I came across this small but eye-catching book. It is an essay adapted from a very popular Ted talk delivered by the wonderful Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I had heard good things about it before and couldn’t resist picking it up. I was of course very drawn to the title, because I am a feminist and indeed feminism is an issue that is very relevant to today’s world and is being raised more and more. I’m always very pleasantly surprised when the issue is brought up in university because where I went to school feminism wasn’t something that was ever really talked about.

There have also been issues being raised regarding ‘white feminism’, which is the fact that white women have a much narrower view of feminism than black women do because they are more privileged. This is why Ngozi Adichie’s point of view as a Nigerian woman is so important.

The book is written in a really easy to read and engaging fashion and it really breaks down and explains sexism in today’s society (particulary in Nigeria). It had logical arguments that really show how absurd sexism in today’s society is. It is really empowering and leaves us with a feeling that we can change the way the world thinks. Not to mention it is also hilarious.

I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who can read. We should all be feminists.

Here is the actual TED talk :

Zine inspiration

A zine (pronounced ‘zeen’) is a small self-published booklet or magazine. Anyone can make a zine : illustrators, designers, artists, writers, film makers, neuroscientists, chefs, cat sitters… you! ArtofAwkInside5.jpg

This is a picture taken from this blog: http://www.thediyeye.com/category/illustration/page/2/

 

In our last CTS session we got handed out a pile of different zines that were published at different times and we had a chance to look through them and pick the ones that we liked to have a look at them. Some of them were from the the britpop era, some of them more modern, and it was wonderful seeing them all layed out together on the table with their colourful and beautiful covers. I absolutely love the concept of zines, it gives everyone a voice and a chance to make something easily and without the pressure of it looking ‘professional’ or ‘perfect’. Often in zines people talk about really personal and controversial issues that aren’t usually talked about in mainstream media: gender identity, race, sexism… the one that I picked up was about adults reflecting on growing up as an ‘arty’ kid. Zines could be about anything. As opposed to making a blog post, a zine is something that you can hold in your hands and flick through, which I think is much more engaging. Illustration lovers will agree with me that there is nothing more appealing than a book with a beautiful design on the cover, and to me that doesn’t compare to an image on a screen. There is something special about picking up a book, feeling the paper, holding it, turning the pages… I think when you make a zine you feel as though you’ve achieved a lot more than if you had just written a blog post. Zines can be printed out multiple times and handed out to lots of people.

Making a zine is something that I definitely want to do soon and having this CTS session really inspired me to do it. There are many topics I feel passionate about and would love to explore in my zine.

Collaborative drawing

Last week in CTS we were asked to pair up with someone and draw together. It had to be done in silence and continuing each other’s lines. It was really nice to connect with people through drawing and not speaking, and I was suprised by the results we got. It was fascinating to see how well I could work as a team with some people. I think this task was especially relevant as we are about to start our group projects, and it has made me feel excited about it.