Monday, 26 April 2010


The old couple from the golden house, can you feeeel the love.

Ok, new plan, putting the characters into the houses, so creating little scenes with them in. I want them to stand out, thus why Ive kept them in this cut out form. Then creating the rooms from block colours, pastels, all Durham inspired... Can't decide whether to keep the line in or whether it looks better as just blocks...?

This one doesnt work without the lines, thus I will have to use the liiines

Red House 1

Gold house, I will re-do the colours of this as quite frankly they make me feel sick, its just 2am and my coffee rush has well and truly ran out!

Pink House

Green House

Dddurham dddevelopment

Sooo, I decided to visually create the characters I'd thought up on my visit to Durham, so here are the peeople from the houses. I want to keep my drawing style quite simple and cute to reflect my thoughts of Durham. I also want to use alot of block, pastel colour, to illustrate my inspiration from the houses:

I want to keep colours to a minimum on each piece so I thought about the pastel colour, white and then a tone of the colour. Not sure what I like more, I think the black is a bit more prominent but I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing as the blue is quite nice.
Like the cut out look

Type Idea:
Initially I created this by hand drawing each work and then cutting sticking it all togther then making it look almost presentable on photoshop...
As I mentioned before I wanted to illustrate the stories I had created typographically so here are a few mock examples. If they are approved of, I intend to re-do them in illustrator to get nice vector lines as apposed to the current dodgy pixel line!

I included the illustration of the house it represents, then picked out the most interesting bits of the story I created. Love is obviously the focal point. Each bit of type can work alone or together for each "We love each other" works alone as does "Memories, Moments, nothing else matters" Then obviously it all works collectively together.

This one I added different tones from the background colour and added them to the house and type just to add a bit more interest, I think this works quite well, making words such as love (focal point) more prominent.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

City Illustrations

I've decided I want to illustrate this project, simply because I haven't done a great deal of illustration in a while. So I began by drawing the houses just to see where it leads me :)

I added colour in simple blocks as thats how I saw the houses, just blocks of colour. I wanted these illustrations to just be quite simple but quite cute and fun. I got this feel from Durham, though its quite a small, quiant and quiet city (in comparison to the like of Newcastle) it still has elements in it which are quite fun and vibrant, for example the houses and the people from the city... I plan to work on these abit more but these are just my first ideas andI quite like. I plan to do the 8 illustrations, perhaps a page on people of the houses, a page on items in the houses... I'm not sure yet!


I had to rethink my city visit as Lincoln was quite the fail! So i decided to go to Durham. As a city it is quite like Lincoln, just easier for me to get to whilst at uni. My idea about the houses went down well so I think I'll follow that route.

These are photos of some cute houses I found. I've created descriptions of the people I imagine live there. Done in first person as a personal approach but also third to represent someone looking on. Couldn't quite decide which prefer, thinking of doing typographical piece, but perhaps hand drawn type like this:

(obviously not using such words and appropriate to the houses/ house occupants!)

Woman, late 30s. Slim. Blonde. Small dog. Likes to shop
Man, Early 60s. Chubby. Balding. Works a lot, suited and booted type.

"This wasn't quite what I had expected if I'm being honest. I met my husband a few years ago. I was working at a bar and he was visiting for a few weeks. He swept me away, a life style I had never dreamed of let alone experienced. He is older than me, but it doesn't bother me. He promised me the world and I fell head over heels. You could say I have everything I wanted, pink house, infinite shopping money, stress free, job free life. Sometimes, I miss my old life. Sometimes, I wish I'd asked for more."

This wasn't what she had envisioned when he promised her the world, her deepest wishes and desires. "A pink house?" she said, thinking a Paris Hilton inspired Barbie Dream house. "A walk in closet?" She asked, picturing a room filled with shoes, neatly lined up in designer order. She stands at the window in her 6 bedroom house looking out at his old bike, one of his brief attempts at "keeping fit for his younger model". Just another false promise...

Young family.
New to the house
2 young children, baby and toddler
husband commutes

"The house was this colour when we moved in, the same curtains were hanging. I hate them, but we have barely had time to sleep, let alone decorate. We moved in a few months ago, just after we had our daughter. Bringing up two children under the age of five is a lot harder than we had anticipated. My husband works in Leeds and commutes everyday. He's tired. We're both tired. But we love each other, and we love our family. Thats all I ever wanted, so the colour, the curtains, they don't really matter."

They run round the house, to every crook, to every cranny. They have only lived here a few months but they have seen every centimeter of it, playing games, making memories. He returns home ready to tuck them into bed, she watches complacently at the door. How did she get so lucky?

Family with older children who have perhaps gone off to uni or to work and live away.

Man; Tall, dark haired, slim. Beard, looks older than he should but still quite attractive. Wife considerably shorter, slim for her age. brown hair, apron, house wife style.

"We've lived here all our lives really. Well, all our married life. This was our first house. My husband carried me over that very door as two fresh faced newly weds. We should have probably got a bigger house when we had the kids, but money has always been quite tight. Edward works long hours and I'm alone a lot now the Annabelle and Simon have grown up and got their own lives. We've made this place our home, it's small, but its home..."

She stands idly ironing another one of his shirts. She loves him, but every shirt she irons, the more she resents him. The house is quiet now the kids have grown. The only sound that fills her day is the quiet lulls of "This Morning" and "Loose Women". The sun beams through the window and she stares out, longing for the days when she could walk hand in hand with him down summer lanes, happy in each others embrace. That was enough.

Man alone.
Old, rich. Dicky bow type. chubby. Short. Westy dog.
Old man, used to be quite the casanova, lives alone, never settled.

"I don't spend a great deal of time at home. I sleep here and thats about it. I work a lot then enjoy nothing more than a beverage down the local. The land lady is a delight and often gives me a free whisky, I think she likes me. They always like me... I did think I would settle down one day, but when you get a reputation, sometimes its hard to shake it. So here I am, me, my dog and my money; all I need."

He rests at the edge of his bed. Another hard day. His dog licks his face eagerly but he can hardly lift his hand to return this affection. Maybe thats why he never married; Too selfish. He convinces himself he's happy alone, he's always being "his own man". He's married to his work and he's grateful for that when he feels the leather of his mercedes seats, or he slips into his gucci suit. "Why limit yourself to vanilla when there are so many flavours out there" he smiles as he drifts into slumber, remembering the "golden years", chocolate one night, strawberry the next.

Little old man. Hunched. White hair. Widowed. Likes trains. Grandkids.
Well dressed, smart, clean.

"The kids got us this house a few year ago, just before my wife passed. It's a lovely little place, not like our old one though. Easier for me to keep it clean and tidy, she liked it that way. I'm retired and like nothing more than to sit with me trains or see the wee bairns. Sundays are the best, thats when the kids and the wee'uns come round, and I cook em all dinner, keep them fed up, thats what she always told me."

He potters round the little green house lining up the knives and forks and dusting the his model trains. His wife liked everything to be neat and tidy and almost keeping it this way makes it feel like she's still around. It's mid afternoon on a Sunday when two young children launch into his arm as he answers the door. The smile that spreads across his face illustrates just how much he enjoys these moments, moments spent with the ones he loves. Thats what really matters now.

Young family, 5 kids all under the age of 12
cute, very good looking family. wholesome.

"My house is the tallest on our street. There are lots of colourful houses but ours is white. My mum thinks it looks better but I want to live in the pink one. Pink is my favourite colour. We are eating tea and Daddy comes running in because he's late. He doesn't like being late so he brought us all sweets and my Mummy flowers. They kiss. Me, my two sisters and two brothers all say "errr" but secretly I like it, like cinderella, I want a prince like Daddy and to be as beautiful as Mummy one day."

"To an outsider the scene looks like chaos. The mother distributes each of the meals to each of the children, 5 to be precise; 3 girls, and twin boys. She looks frazzled and tired but beautiful none the less. She's still young herself and her skin has that healthy glow. Her cheeks gleam as her husband walks in brandishing flowers and sweets. He apologizes for being late, but 8 minutes is hardly late at all. She greets him with a chaste kiss to which the children giggle. The eldest sits on admiringly as the rest eat their food in some what, ordered chaos."

Old couple, George and Freda. Both short and looks like each other
Both chubby/dumby, the woman the chubbier of the two.
Argue constantly, no-one understands why they are together

"That bloody woman from next door came round again, borrowing sugar. Young and pristine even though she's more children than a bloody football team. I saw him gawping at her, so I told him off. He used to gawp at me like that, now all he does is shout at the Tv or tell me to put the tea on. Lazy old git. In hindsight, I should have left him years ago, now it just feels too late. I do love him, I'm just not IN love with him anymore. But at least I'm not alone..."

She slams the door shut having politely handed over the sugar to the young woman who lives next door. Struts back into the living room she notices him, still sat there, in 'his' chair, watching the Tv. "Put the tea on love" he says, not looking up from the screen. It happens again. He remains glued to his chair as she wobbles around flailing her arms. He nods, not really listening to what she's screaming about until finally she stomps into the kitchen and slams the kettle on. Contentment, leads to boredom, leads to frustration, to anger, to arguments. Constantly.

City Visit

My first visit, I went to Lincoln. I mainly went because it was close to where I live and I wanted to go home. I didn't really know what I was doing which is quite evident from the work I got out of it.

The main idea I had post my trip was the create a project based on the journey rather than the place mainly because I think the journey is always fun, road trips, mixed tapes and all that! Sadly I was not allowed to do this. My only other thought was that I like the house door and the blue house. I'd written a diary and created some quite vivid descriptions of who lived there, so perhaps I could do something like that, creating my own world...

Theatre Posters

I have been a bit MIA for a while but I've decided to get back on with the blogging. I had a project at the beginning of the year designing theatre posters for a Youth Theatre group.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Blood Brothers
Into the Woods

Initially hated Jesus Christ Superstar. It took me ages to come up with any kind of idea, then I couldn't communicate this idea for the longest time. Then I had a presentation looming and I sat down one evening refusing to sleep until I had something worthy (2am incase you were wondering which isn't actually too bad). This is possibly a new working technique for me, because in said presentation, this piece was definitely my strongest and most complete.

I used the quote from the play "Look at your blank faces, my name will mean nothing" and spent days and days drawing people with no faces and various other things that just didn't work. The only thing I had done that I really liked was the "my name will mean nothing" running down the page (a bit like blood, Jesus blood) that I really liked, so I decided to do the whole piece typographically. I portrayed the idea of "blankness" but creating a cut out idea, this being blank... I set the type on illustrator then created the imagery on photoshop. I think the piece works well to represent the play; giving Jesus Christ name the focal point which is evident in the play. The people in the play are interested in him for his name and what he can do for them, not for him... It represents typical biblical themes, type almost representing a crucifix and the use of colour, but applied in a modern fresh way that would appeal to the youths of Youth Theatre.

Cabaret was the piece that I felt was my strongest throughout the project. Again I selected an important quote from the play "Leave your troubles outside" and decided to do this again typographically. I created the title itself out of swatsikas literally illustrating the troubles being on the outside.

I also wanted the piece to portray the idea of night life, neon sign, thus the colour choice. I thought these colours worked well to express the characters emotions too, red passion and anger, blue; sadness, pink; excitement... The piece looks quite simply but has quite a lot of meaning to it which I think works really well.

The next piece I completed was Blood Brothers and though I felt I had this one cracked early on it has effectively become the one I've struggled with most, and like the least. After the presentation I liked that a lot of peoples posters worked as a series so I wanted mine to do this to. Having already done two pieces that appear quite different I needed to decide how to do this. 1. They were both type focal so I wanted this for Blood Brothers. 2. I needed to put the information onto the pieces so I set up a page with the details at the bottom in white which seems to work with all the pieces and ties them all nightly together.

The piece I showed in the presentation included an illustration of these characters placed on a wall to represent the theme of nature vs nurture but no-one really got this. This was the most important point of my poster so I thought about a better way to portray this. Money. I used a pound and a penny to demonstrate this, showing opposite end of the coin worth, plus I could use the Queens face to show them almost looking at each other, facing, fighting. I did a few piece which included a globe to represent coming from opposite worlds but I felt this A. looked too much like a sci-fi play which it is not and B. distracted from the money idea. I wanted the type to be the focal point so I found this one that I feel represents the story, the type wearing away, breaking down, like the characters. I then worked the imagery in and around this.

My final poster was Into the Woods. I had an idea for this early doors and ended up leaving it and working on the others more. It kind of got left behind and ended up being one of the weaker pieces in the presentation when intially it was my strongest. I started with a cut out of a tree which I placed into a woodland environment to represent the title itself, into the woods. But I simply used white paper and it didn't really have a reason for this so I looked at my use of material. In the end I used a photograph of fairy tale book placed in the woods and photoshop my tree and the title into this. I'd spent a lot of time editing a type face to give it a swirled look, fairy tale feel and used this as the heading for my poster. I wouldn't say the piece was bad but it just wasn't as strong as the others. I looked at it again and picked out what I thought worked the best. I liked the use of photography and placeing something literally in the woods and I thought the type (though it wasn't particularly good) worked well with the environment. So I put the two together.

I took the swirly type idea and hand drew one myself. I then made this out of card and took it into the garden and placed it in these leaves the photographed it. I got a nice crisp picture showing the leaves crossing and overlapping and working together, almost like the characters and they type itself working into the environment, into the woods. I used white card which was the main problem I encountered early on but I thought as the type is so prominently fairly tale type that it worked fine in white, almost as the papers from the book itself.