Final Major Project- Practical Part 1

The practical part of my dreams project hasn’t had much progress in the past 7 weeks. All I’ve managed to get done so far is establish a few sketches from the dreams I’ve had recently, and I even found that part difficult!
I think the main reasoning for this might be that I’m still uncomfortable with the fact that everyone around me has settled on their own techniques and styles and I’m still not ready to make that step. It’s put me off the main part of the project—the “doing” part.
I started off with some sketches from various dreams and put them together to see if there were any stories that looked more interesting than others. Then I set out a few of these stories in rough compositions, making them a little more like comic book stories. I also tried adding bits of texture in them, just to see if they looked any more pleasing at this stage. It was just experimenting really, which was pretty fun and gave me some interesting results.
When I reviewed the work with the tutors, they helped me to realize that just making them into comics would be pulling the dream idea away from itself; dreams are stories in non-linear format, they don’t always make sense, and they blur together to make new dreams.
I feel like what I have so far is a decent starting point but it should have been the starting point for work from about four weeks ago so now I have quite a bit of catching up to do. However, after a week of feeling confused and demotivated, I feel like I can get on top of this quite easily by looking at it from another standpoint. I’m trying out a style I used a long time ago with my James and the Giant Peach book cover, as people always seem more drawn to that than other pieces in my portfolio. There will be a lot more shape than line, added textures, and it will have a more playful and jointed feel about it.

Creative Review- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

In retaliation to my final major project I’m delving into some films that deal with dreams and the subconscious so I have a richer understanding of the world I will be creating. I’d heard a lot of hype over this film and had wanted to see it for a while so I gave it a go.

I walked into this film not knowing anything about it, which made it a lot more fun. I really wasn’t expecting a story about a man who undergoes an operation to get his thoughts of a woman he loves removed. It was a very interesting concept, seeing the story in backwards of significant memories that made up their relationship.

There were some scenes in the film that I think were particularly beneficial to my research. About halfway through the protagonist decides he doesn’t want the procedure any more and tells his girlfriend, who is, of course, just a memory at this point. They have a few scenes where they try to run away from the memory deletion by going to a hidden memory in his mind, which almost works, and it’s great watching his reactions to the memories. The feelings he had are still there, he knows it’s a memory but at the same time he plays out what happened. He questions why certain things happened the way it did before he’s whisked away to the next memory and the process almost starts over.

I quite liked this film, it is thought provoking and it tells a really good story. I think if I watched it again I would definitely pick up on points I missed the first time round. However, there wasn’t too much that I could add to my project at this time, apart from the notion that memories can be changed, replayed, altered and that they are not always what they seem.


Portfolio Visit- Lucy Wilson

Lucy came in again on Tuesday to teach the 3rd year graphics her bookbinding class so I took the opportunity to catch her afterwards and ask for a quick portfolio visit. I know Lucy’s work is nothing like that of mine in the portfolio but I had a feeling that I’d be able to get some valuable information off of her anyway, and I was not wrong!
Lucy gave me quite a few good pointers that I will take on board. The most basic one was to keep my portfolio clean, which is obvious but necessary, and that she didn’t think that my best piece was at the front. I need to do a bit more work to get a decent piece at the front but I know where she was coming from. Maybe I should do some more editorials and see where that gets me.
One piece that she was particularly drawn to, and it’s a piece that a lot of people seem to get drawn to as well (it is quite different to the rest of the work inn the portfolio) is the James and the Giant Peach book cover I made last year. She said that I had a good concept going on with my main typeface on there and it’s a strong point to move forward with. She also liked the texture o the piece. There was some points that she said could have been improved upon, like composition and my handwriting type, but she couldn’t see why I didn’t work on this a bit more.
I’ve been getting told to “just make stuff” for ages now and I think after Lucy has shed light on this piece it’s time I listened to what everyone around me is saying and jump in. I think I’ve just been a bit worried, my confidence has gone out of the window a bit but after the advice I’ve been getting this week it’s high time I got it back!

Graphic Guru- Portfolio and FMP

On Tuesday I had a quick meeting with Ben, my Graphic Guru, because I’d not seen him in quite a while. I showed him my portfolio; he’d seen most of the work before but not seen it in a portfolio style so thought it would be good to get his opinion on it’s presentation.
Overall I think he was quite positive about he layout of the portfolio. The main points he had to make that I should change were factors that I’d heard before in portfolio visits, so I’ll definitely take them on board. He liked the work that was presented in context and said he’d like to see a little more of that, and general layout was fine. A couple of other point’s he picked up on was that I should be careful when presenting landscape/ portrait mixes, because the presentation has to flow, and make sure that it’s clear what the project was for.

Then we moved on to my current work, for my final major project. I told him the idea of interpreting my own dreams and that I was a little confused with where I should go next with my work, and he cleared the air a bit. Ben agreed with the tutors in creating something that isn’t just a comic, but mixes elements, shapes and textures together, so some images might fade and others might stand out more. He liked the concept of some of the stories I’d come up with but thought that by keeping to a more non-linear path the book would look a lot more sophisticated.

I think I agree with this way of thinking and did from the start, but Ben managed to put the idea across a little clearer than the tutors for me (not that thy were explaining it wrong, more that it simply wasn’t sinking in for me). Next time I speak to him will be more fun because I’ll have a lot more work to be showing him.

Creative Review- The Science of Sleep

As part of my research for dreams within the art world there are a few films I want to watch. One of these was The Science of Sleep, which I watched yesterday. I have to say I loved it, I have no idea why I didn’t watch it before because it helps explain a lot of the subconscious so well.
The main character, Stephane, is an illustrator who is fascinated with the dream world (already there are two huge similarities between the main character and me) and this film helps show the relationship between the way he acts in real life and what goes on in his sleep.
The introduction of the film is interesting; in his sleep, Stephane is teaching how a dream is made up. He adds to a potion- a person’s wish, things that they’ve reminisced about that week, memory and feelings amongst other things. This helps show why dreams are so hard to work out—there are so many things going on!
The relationship between the dream and real world is supported by the imagination. Stephane always thinks of creative ways to make things look more fun, he wants to be an inventor, and when he analyses real life events in his dreams he more often than not turns the dream into something he wants.
The reason I love the film so much though are the small bits that a lot of people might or might not pick up on. I have a heavy interest in dreams so feel like I connect with the character quite a lot. There is a fear of rejection, which he uses his dreams to escape from. He can create new worlds in his dreams, which I like to do. He begins to dream when he should be listening. He tires easily because when he dreams he uses a lot more energy than you should. He sometimes has to do little tests to work out if he’s dreaming or not. All of these are me!
There is a lot of inspiration I can draw from this film, both personally and in the creative world. A lot of great techniques were used to portray dreams that I might be able to use in my work, like the exaggeration on hands to show how heavy they are, or a car crash and him not moving when he’s feeling drunk. I give it a 9/10.


Last Tuesday we had Lucy Wilson come in to give us a fun little workshop on bookbinding! I have done book binding before and enjoyed it so was excited for this, especially since the last time I did it was about three years ago and I knew I’d have forgotten most of the basics.
In true classic fashion, I was late, so had to play catch up a bit, so it was a good job I knew a little bit of information beforehand. The technique she taught us was a nice basic one, that can be applied to any size really, as long as you get the measurements right!
I made an A6 sized book with a card front and back cover, and folded paper inside, giving me about 40 sides to write or draw through. The basic principal of this technique was to fold each sheet in half, put measured holes in each piece, and then sew them together, before finally gluing the spine together and pressing for good measure. The trickiest part of the process was remembering to go back on yourself, to the page below to bind those two sheets together, and then trying the loop at the end, but once you get into the rhythm of things it was quite soothing.
Lucy herself was a great help in the workshop; you can obviously tell she has a passion for binding her own books and she brought some great ones with her. She also gave us a quick demonstration on hardback bookbinding (which takes a bit longer and is a bit more complicated) that I might try out myself.
I’m quite proud of that little book so I’m definitely going to make more of them in the near future and experiment with the paper, cover etc. I’m going to use the ne I just made to jot down all my thought’s, because I’ve been told to stop bottling things up, so it will be my catalyst for release!