Project Evaluations

May 25, 2010

Here are my evaluations for the 7  projects this year….

1. Troedy

Troedy is a piece about a local folktale which I have been fascinated with since I was a child. The name Troedy comes from an abandoned small village, nested in the South Wales mountains. It was once a small mining town, and was claimed to have one of the highest recruits for military service for WW2.
The tale surrounds the event of a landslide, which threatened the village. Both Troedy and the event, have been told to me by many people from the village, and also my mother who was in school at the time.

I became interested in each persons response to the Troedy, peoples memories and tales, each person had their own idea of what happened over 40 years ago. This made me think of how peoples memories, opinions and storytelling can distort facts and events. Instead of this being a negative thing, I became even more fascinated with the stories themselves, each one embellished with the persons own thoughts and feelings.

Here’s an example of this..

Fact: “Troedy was a small Welsh mining town, where a landslide threatened'”

Memory: “Troedy as it was called, what a place! The Old Library, don’t know why it was called that, there were no books inside used to be a snooker hall, The Church and the Chapel like chalk and cheese, Fifteen shillings for a ton of coal dropped on the road outside the house to be carried through in buckets and stored in the outhouse and not a trace of it left on the street, The school seemed huge then with a big bell on the roof, the school yard with the grass banking and the steps leading down to the two classrooms, infants and juniors, huge fireplaces in each room, Aunty Mattie the school cook she was scary with her white apron always appearing to have a knife or some other lethal looking kitchen utensil in her hand. The playground opposite where we once tied a long piece of cord from one of the swings to the bell on the school roof.
The road down behind the Pub ‘Sebastopol Hill’ leading to the big Oak tree, there was always a rope swing on the tree, hours upon hours spent here, Troedrhiwfuwch! so much going on in such a small place, it was our World”

I wanted to bring to life, this once living breathing village. I think the project went extremely well. I had spent most of my time exploring a lot of techniques and narratives to create and often got overwhelmed with all the ideas  came up with. I firstly wanted to create a bold, vibrant piece bringing to live a typical daily Troedy scene, however creating the entire village and finding a suitable narrative proved very taskly which almost jeopardized the whole project.
I later decided to use metaphor to recreate my own version of events, using the idea of folktales and bending truths.

The idea of using metaphor came from a conceptual film by artist Yoshitaka Amano, called ‘Angels Egg’ which is heavily embellished with symbolism and signs.

I had used many programs and techniques during the course of finding the right media in response to Troedy, I had learnt and tried; Illustrator & Flash, 3D, 2D traditional animation, storytelling. Through all the process I had decided to use very simple animation technique and combine it with my visually rich illustration style. This is the first time I had come back to hand-drawn illustration techniques for almost a year and I was so happy to be using them, as it was my main method of creating when I was in art college and the first year. This new re-acquaintance and confidence with hand drawn illustration lead me to the style of my future project; ‘Where Will All The Tigers Go?’

2. Where Will All The Tigers Go?

I had the idea for this piece in a master class from a member of the design company ‘fuel’. He made me challenge my idea about why I like things. I chose the tiger as one of my favourite subjects. After brainstorming for some time, I realised that it wasn’t just the aesthetic quality of the tiger I liked, but what it represented to me. I used this idea of representation as the basis of my film. The tiger represents the king of the jungle, the head of nature, a symbol for all wildlife. For the inspiration behind the aesthetic and the mood of the jungle, I looked to french primitive artist Henri Rousseau. Rousseau’s paintings have been an inspiration to me for a very long time and I am very pleased for this opportunity to make visually rich, vibrant work.

The project overall was a giant learning curve for me, after several attempted animations, I believe this project to be my first highly successful animation, both aesthetically and technically. In several past projects, I have never achieved the balance of a visually rich animation or a highly technically – i have always sacrificed one aspect for another. However, this time, I had made a highly detailed production schedule, which allowed me plenty of time to spend developing the visual elements, whilst practicing my advanced animation techniques, such as quadruped walk and run animation.

3. Alive Records California & Henry’s Funeral Shoe

Is a project for a poster design I made for the band Henry’s Funeral Shoe who are signed to Alive Records, California. This design was created for their 2010 European Tour. The brief was to make a visually striking poster for the promotion companies to display in various venues across Europe, which included:

France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

The posters were printed in sizes A3 & A2. They proved so popular that fans were taking the posters down off the venue walls and asking the band to sign them, after the concert. I was very pleased to hear this, as I wanted the poster not just to perform the function of containing a lot of information, but I also wanted it to be similar to a piece of album art or merchandise. I also wanted it to be eye-catching and universally attractive, to both male and female fans.

Whilst I was creating concepts, I would arrange them onto digital prep sheets, to show U-Turn touring, what ideas I was coming up with. I found them to be easy to use, less time to send by email, because it is one .jpeg file, rather than 5 or 10. I labeled the poster designs by number and band reference, which made it very easy to pinpoint a design that they liked.

4.The Vagrant & The Masquerade [Vagrant process Blog]

Is a collaborative project, between myself, David Thomas, Will Chestnutt and Ben Jones. It is set around an UK town in the Victorian era. The story surrounds a homeless man (vagrant) and hypothermia (personified by a woman). I was involved throughout the whole process, as was the other members, which involed:

Narrative development

scene development

idea generation

animation tests

storyboard design

time period

character development

scene setups

style development

sound design

constant editing

prop design

costume design

research on the Victorian period

character and scene animation (2d traditional)

Title of the film

My main responsibilities were; character design and development, vagrant rejected animation, costume design, and sole animation direction over the character; Hypothermia.

5. Hero: Brigitte Bardot

When thinking about an idea to represent Brigitte Bardot, I had the same problem as with the previous thoughts about why I liked tigers, I had to look beyond just the aesthetics of Brigitte Bardot, and find out what she represents to me. I did several brainstorming exercises and came up with numerous ideas of what she symbolized. I read many articles about her and her role in cinema and french culture during the 50’s and 60’s. The main subject that stood out was her sense of post-war liberation of woman. She was not just an actress or a model, but an example of a sexually liberated and confident woman, controlling men with her sensuality and not constrained to looking to men for admiration. Aesthetically she was known for her envious body and also her trademark style of big blonde hair and lots of black eyeliner.

I wanted to feature her unique trademark blonde hair in my design as that was a huge part of her image, but I also wanted to capture seduction and sensuality, without actually showing an image of her, as that would be too obvious. I wanted it to be a kind of code to Bardot fans, as they would automatically know what I mean about her blonde hair and seduction (having several marriages and affairs)

The piece was incomplete because of the production schedule for ‘Where Will All The Tigers Go?’ had to be considerably  extended, thus cutting time off developing my illustration.

6. Sons Records

Sons Records (Soul Of North Staffordshire)

Soul Of North Staffordshire is a record company based in Stoke-On-Trent that deals with recording, promotion, sales, management and touring. They deal mainly with indie bands and have a strong brand/image.I was in charge of the promotion of the bands online, album artwork, logos and band image.It was a great learning curve working directly with a printer on album sleeves and CD Covers. I was involved a lot in the printing process and learned a lot of new terminology and about pantone colours, onbody etc.. I was asked to go to Stoke for a trial day, to see if I was good enough for the role. I got on very well with everybody there and was so excited and grateful to be working in a record company, as I have often thought about it. After the initial trial, I was asked to return, because I had ‘won’ the trial test. I worked on 3 bands artwork: The Novellos, Tommy Turbo And The Tubervilles and This Is Seb Clarke. I enjoyed the experience very much, I would love to go back there again!

7. Professional Context Dossier

I have found the professional context module extremely helpful to my decisions, after university. It has helped me decide my gap year and I have gained considerable amounts of research for choosing my post-graduate study. It has made me attend numerous masters open evenings/days and I have learnt alot about myself, and what I would like to start labeling myself.

For more information, please go to the dossier section. Thank you.


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