One of the books I have chosen to base a zine on for my self initiated project is To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. It is set in the Isle of Skye in Scotland. In October last year I went to Islay with my family, which has very similar scenery. The house we stayed in also happened to be a few feet away from a lighthouse, so I have decided to base my imagery on the pictures I took of Islay.
This amazing Ted talk by famous book jacket designer Chip Kidd is one of the big starting points to my self initiated project. He explains how he created some of his most famous book covers and the reasoning behind them. It is fascinating to be allowed into the mind of such a clever designer and this made me want to create clever book design as well.
I thought I would share the starting point to my self initiated project.
I attended a talk at LCC by Alice Twemlow, a writer educator and critic whose work focuses on Graphic Design theory. She talked about book design and especially ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. She talked about a particular squiggle that caught her attention (see the one below)
That then got me thinking about clever design and typography in books. I looked through my own bookshelf and found a very old edition from the 50s of Alice in Wonderland that belonged to my grandmother. I found quite a few interesting playful uses of typography in it, and I especially liked the letters mimicking the tail of a mouse. This inspired me to experiment with type and storytelling for this project.
Our afternoon of drawing at the National Gallery was followed by a zine workshop. We had to use the drawings we made at the gallery and turn them into a zine that reflected our experience of that visit. As I am currently working on my portfolio for DPS, I decided I wanted my zine to be one of the projects I would use in it. I was quite excited about making a zine because it is something I have been meaning to do for a long time and I attempted a few times, and failed to ever complete them.
My zine is about how emotion and intentions can be read in the hands we see in paintings. Especially in renaissance paintings, where poses are usually quite dramatic. I used a quote by Michel de Montaigne which I thought was very fitting of that theme and turned it into a poster to have on the back of my zine.
This workshop consisted of a visit to the V&A museum to do some observational drawing. We were asked to stick to one chosen technique and fill a sketchbook with drawings. I chose to draw with fine liner as we were asked to draw accurately and I felt this medium allowed for more precision.
I also chose to draw statues because I love to draw faces and figures and I haven’t done any live drawing for a long time. I thought this would be a good occasion to practice drawing people again.