Thursday, 11 February 2016

BAIL302: Creative and Professional Development: Reflective Stage: 'I Wish I'd Done That' Case Study Presentations

Artist Case Studies: October 2015.

These case studies are an exploration of icons in the illustration industry that are relevant to or inspire my current practice. 

Presented as a PowerPoint presentation which lasted 6 minutes, we had to look at 3 icons (Artist/Illustrator/Studio/Collective/Director etc.) aiming to answer the following questions:


  • Why have you selected this case study and how did you discover it? 
  • What is the theme/narrative/concept/message in the case study? 
  • What is the application or purpose of the case study (genre/context/audience/function)? 
  • How was the case study produced (materials/techniques/processes/team work)? 
  • How has the creator benefited from making this piece of work (commercial gain/award or commendation/viral following…)? 
  • Has this case study inspired/informed/influenced your own practice? If so, please include and explain a visual example. If not then how could it inspire/inform/influence you as a BA (Hons) Illustration student? 


Case study 1: Viviane Schwarz - information from her website: (http://www.vivianeschwarz.co.uk/) and Varoom Issue 21 

Slide 1:





Name: Viviane Schwarz
Project: Welcome To Your Awesome Robot (2013)
Client: Flying Eye Books (Nobrow)
Genre: Publishing, Children’s Book, Graphic Novel, Activity Book, Craft Book.



Why have you selected this case study and how did you discover it?
I found Viviane whilst researching picture books as part of my dissertation studies. This book was part of a feature in an issue of Varoom.

What is the theme/narrative/concept/message in the case study?
Narrative: A cardboard box arrives, empty except for instructions on how to build an awesome robot! The engineer (the child) and their assistant (the parent) work through the book to create their own robot.
Concept: Through this narrative Schwarz presents a healthy model for how the parent and child should work together – avoiding injury on the child's part and molly coddling on the part of the parent . Promoting a healthy environment for creativity.
Schwarz also uses the narrative to brighten up the typical ‘do this, do that’ nature of a craft/instruction book – suggesting ideas rather than enforcing them.

How was the case study produced (materials/techniques/processes/team work)?
Collaborative effort between Schwarz and Sam Arthur of Nobrow.  Content – particularly the workshop rules, was also informed by friends and their children who often undertook craft projects.

The physical book is printed on decent card and paper stock that is environmentally friendly and printed with vegetable inks.  It also bears in  mind that the book is going to be man handled in a craft environment.

Artwork: Sketched out simple roughs and then worked digitally in photoshop to generate the finished work. This was a step away from her usual way of working, which she describes as ‘usefully awkward’ and ‘encouraged others to join in creatively.’ Some digital collage elements produced with a marker pen. Limited palette of red/blue/brown/green.
 Skills involved: Colour separation. 

Slide 2:



Rough concept for a narrative recipe book.



How has the creator benefited from making this piece of work (commercial gain/award or commendation/viral following)?
‘Welcome to Your Awesome Robot’ was the first book of Nobrow’s new children’s publishing imprint Flying Eye Books., something it will always be recognized for. Working with Nobrow allowed Viviane’s work to have international exposure. She received acclaim from Varoom, Comic Book Resources, Washington Post, Forbidden Planet and the International Board on Books for Young People.

She also received a lot of fan mail from those who had purchased and used the book, a nice bit of gratification from seeing her work in action. 

Has this case study inspired/informed/influenced your own practice? If so, please include and explain a visual example. If not then how could it inspire/inform/influence you as a BA (Hons) Illustration student.

Encouraged me to think more creatively about how to use narrative as a tool to present complex ideas or to encourage interaction with a typically mundane format, rather than just to present a ‘nice’ story. It has given me ideas for what kind of project I will look at when I have to write my own brief later in the year – perhaps a narrative driven recipe book or textbook.  


Case Study 2: Eric Carle - information from his website (http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html) Wikipedia: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Carle) and 'The Art of Eric Carle' by Philomel Books. 

Slide 3:



Name: Eric Carle
Project: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969)
Client: World Publishing Company
Genre: Children’s book, Educational, Toy Book

Why have you selected this case study and how did you discover it?
Best selling children’s book, most internationally renowned, Has a place in almost everyone’s childhood. Really clearly demonstrates the image making process that Eric uses in most of his books.

What is the theme/narrative/concept/message in the case study?
Narrative and themes: A caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly. Naming foods. Counting. Time, days.
Concept: Educational, touchable book and readable toy. Helps with the transition from playing at home to learning at school. Pushing paper and print to their limits, whilst producing/aiding an experience for children.

How was the case study produced (materials/techniques/processes/team work)?
Materials/Process: Think we all know this- Watered down acrylic paint, applied to tissue paper. A variety of colours and textures are built up. Using these textured papers to create collage images.

His relationship with his editor was integral to his development as a children’s book artist, their collaborative relationship helped to generate an abundance of book ideas. – The hungry caterpillar was initially a bookworm when Carle first pitched the idea of the book.

Slide 4:


Personal work inspired by collage process.


How has the creator benefited from making this piece of work (commercial gain/award or commendation/viral following)?
Established a visual style that is universally associated with the artist. Spawned a whole host of spin-off educational materials. Helped him to become a house hold name.

Has this case study inspired/informed/influenced your own practice? If so, please include and explain a visual example. If not then how could it inspire/inform/influence you as a BA (Hons) Illustration student.
One of the first books that got me interested n pictures.
I visited the collage technique a few years ago on my foundation course.

More recently with Caroline’s workshop, I’ve found that collage is a technique that I enjoy. Especially producing the textures papers. I’d like to experiment more with them in future work.


Case Study 3: Mister Hope - information from his website: (http://misterhope.com/), blog: (https://www.facebook.com/MisterHopeDraws/?fref=ts) and Master's of Anatomy: Book One

Slide 5:


Mr Hope's Ideal Man





My self portrait.


Name: Mister Hope
Project: Masters of Anatomy Book One: The Ideal Male & Female Body (2014)
Client: Masters of Anatomy
Genre: Crowd funding, reference book.

Why have you selected this case study and how did you discover it?
Mister Hope has a really quirky style that he applies to work with a business web design agency MM&B. He also has a humble online fan-base, self publishing books, collaborating with other artists and attending comic conventions in his free time.
I discovered Mister Hope in the Canadian art study book Masters of Anatomy.

What is the theme/narrative/concept/message in the case study?
The book itself is a collection of human figure drawings from artists based across the world; ranging from animators, comic book artists and illustrators. The artists are asked to draw their version of the ‘ideal’ male and female figures in their own signature style; shadowing the work of Andrew Loomis. It is intended to be used by artists and art students to help them grasp an idea of individual styles and to practice drawing the human figure themselves in their own creative way.

His independent work ranges from contributions to books created by others, self publishing picture books alongside his wife and other writers and fore mostly producing images of pop-culture characters by commission or to sell on as prints.   

Slide 6:



Name: Mister Hope
Project:
Client: Self Published
Genre: Personal work, Commission, Fan art

How was the case study produced (materials/techniques/processes/team work)?
Mister Hope primarily works in pen and watercolour, though he also produces some wholly digital images, typically from graphite or coloured pencil roughs. He also dabbles in screenprinting.

How has the creator benefited from making this piece of work (commercial gain/award or commendation/viral following)?
With nearly 7000 backers, the book would have given Mister Hope some great potential for exposure. Through proper networking, creating illustrations of popular characters can be a sure fire way to gain followers.

Has this case study inspired/informed/influenced your own practice? If so, please include and explain a visual example. If not then how could it inspire/inform/influence you as a BA (Hons) Illustration student.

Mister Hopes work inspired me to play with exaggerating body shapes and using simple shapes to build up facial features. His work also encouraged me to play with water colour and digital line in the later months of year 2. (see triceratops above.)


Reflection:

It was a challenge to present all the content within the given time frame, but by familiarising myself with it I didn't have to worry about reading it all word for word. The actual presentation went really well, I think I'm quite a confident speaker and it helps that I really engaged with the content I was looking at. 

I found looking beyond the aesthetic value of the work was quite engaging so maybe writing about other practitioners is something I could consider doing in the future. It's interesting to find out how illustrations are made and to put the projects into context; providing some insight as to how I could do similar projects and what opportunities they could potentially lead to.
 I think there is a benefit to reflecting on your own work to see how other artists have influenced what you are doing too, to make sure you are putting your own spin on it rather than just ripping them off. 



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