Self Initiated Brief – final outcome

My final outcome: three A5 24 page zines inspired by three different modern classics.


Zine based on ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess

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Zine based on ‘To The Lighthouse’ by Virginia Woolf


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Zine based on ‘The Virgin Suicides’ by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Hand drawn type

I have been practicing hand drawn typography as part of my zine project, mainly using ink and dry brushes. I thought it would go well with ‘A Clockwork Orange’ as it can look quite aggressive and loud.


Here is the final alphabet I made out of these type experiments:

hand drawn type

Risograph experiments

As part of my current zine project I decided I would experiment with risograph printing, as I think it fits the format of a zine well.  First I used some of the images I created for my ‘A Clockwork Orange’ zine:

Although I liked the prints on their own, I decided not to use this method for my zine as the colour didn’t come out as bright as I wanted it to. I did however like the grainy effect and the slight shift in the layers on certain prints.

I decided to do more experiments with other images I had and played around with colours and overlays:


I am quite happy with these experiments as I have been wanting to try riso for a long time. It is a fast method of producing work.

Drawing in motion workshop

The walk along Southbank is a good place to practice drawing movement. We had to draw the structures of the buildings in one medium and the movement in another. I think watercolour expresses movement quite well, I chose red and orange tones to show the heat of bodies moving in the city.

I tried several techniques, at first just drawing the bodies and then tracing their movements across the page (inspired by Charlie Ford’s drawings)

To The Lighthouse – scenery research

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.

Visual stories inspiration

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.


Zine workshop

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.


V&A drawing workshop

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.