Art, reviews and thoughts from a young artist in Plymouth, UK.

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

My new flyer for the next Zine Workshop

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This is my newest flyer for the September zine workshop.  It is based on an illustration I did on my first day of college last Monday!

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My Kitwatch game cover, based on the Overwatch cover

So I have started college now!  DID I MENTION THAT I HAVE STARTED COLLEGE YET?!  I am studying Graphics Illustration and Game Arts at Plymouth College of Art!

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NatSatClub Summer Show 2017

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Last year I was a member of the National Saturday Art and Design Club at Plymouth College of Art.  We got to experiment with different media and artforms throughout the year, and take trips to local exhibitions as well as two trips to London for bigger NatSatClub shows featuring our work alongside work made by other groups.

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It was really early so at the services I grabbed an iced coffee..

Our final trip to London was on the 17th of June.  We met up really early to catch our coach just after 6am so we could get to the exhibition at Somerset House around 11am.  It was really busy as hundreds of young people from NatSatClubs around the country had come to see their work on display.  We were greeted and each given goody bags of art supplies, water, and snacks, and shown in to the first area where all the Masterclass work was on display.  Our Masterclass was in making word drawings with Barnaby Barford.

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Plymouth College of Art’s NatSatClub word drawings done in a Masterclass with Barnaby Barford

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Next we went upstairs and had a look around the different clubs’ work.  Plymouth sent in a lot of our work, and the pieces that were chosen for display were our beach glass jewellery, and our glass houses which we made in a class led by our Student Ambassador Ben Lintell.

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Some of the members from Plymouth College of Art National Art & Design Saturday Club 2016-17 stood next to our display at Somerset House.

This video shows our glass houses lit from below with a torch to cast shadows on the white wall.

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My glass house – the design is based on my home and it was etched by sandblasting

 

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Our beach glass jewellery on display

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My piece of jewellery is the one in the centre.  I found a piece of glass and transferred an image  lighthouse onto the back of it, then encased it in silver.

We were all called into a large room filled with benches for a speech by the National Saturday Club founders, Lord and Lady Sorrell.  Then we were called up one by one and received our Certificates and Yearbooks.

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The Plymouth NatSatClub group holding our Certificates

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A sneaky picture at the podium when noone was looking..

After the ceremony some of our group went to the National Portrait Gallery, but I stayed to look around the exhibition for a while longer.  There was a huge amount of different types of work on display by young people from the many clubs, including zines, puppets, film, fashion and ceramics.

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The first projects of our year were self portraits.  We saw these on display on our previous visit to London but smaller versions had been put together into these huge wall displays.

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Self portraits from NatSatClub members

At the end of the day, we met up with the rest of the group to get back to the coach.  Unfortunately, the coach had overheated (it was a really hot day!) and was broken down, leaving us stranded in London!  Our group leaders brought us all water to drink and we took a walk around Covent Garden watching a clown and looking in the Moomin shop.  The coach was fixed in an hour or so, and we headed back on the five hour journey home.

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Me at Somerset House

I was sad that some of the work I was most proud of from our many projects wasn’t put on display, but I hope to be able to put photos up of those pieces here soon, and I did have a really good day.   It was really amazing seeing so much work from young artists all in one place and I was really inspired by all that I saw.  I would recommend joining the group to anyone aged from 14 to 16 who likes art and really wants to try different things.

Below are some photos of work from National Saturday Clubs all around the country.  I have included lots here so that people who didn’t get to go on the trip can still enjoy some of the work we saw.

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There was a “We Want To Be Heard” banner above the exhibition

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Work from Cornwall College

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Work from Cornwall College

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Work from Cornwall College

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Work from Cornwall College

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Work from Cornwall College

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Zines from Kingston University, London

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Work from Cleveland College of Art and Design

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Work from Cleveland College of Art and Design

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Work from Cleveland College of Art and Design

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Work from University of West London

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Work from University of West London

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Work from University of West London

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Work from University of West London

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Work from Standpoint (a collaborative Masterclass between Ravensbourne and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College)

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Work from Cove Park

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Work from Ravensbourne

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Work from Ravensbourne

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Work from Ravensbourne

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Work from Ravensbourne

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Work from Bradford School of Art

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Work from Nottingham Trent University

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Work from Highbury College

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Work from Highbury College

 

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Work from Havering College of Further & Higher Education

 

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Work from University of Huddersfield

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Work from Coleg Sir Gâr

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Work from Bolton School of the Arts

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Work from Bolton School of the Arts

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Work from Banbury and Bicester College

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Work from Banbury and Bicester College

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Work from Banbury and Bicester College

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Work from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

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Work from Cambridge School of Art

 

 

 

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Work from Cambridge School of Art

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Work from Cambridge School of Art

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Work from East Coast College and Time and Tide Museum

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Work from Goldsmiths

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A frame from an animation by University of Westminster NatSatClub

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Zines by University of the Arts London

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Work by University of the Arts London

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Work by University of the Arts London

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Work by University of the Arts London

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Zines by University of the Arts London

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Work by University of the Arts London

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Work by Grimsby Institute

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Work by Victoria and Albert Museum

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Work by Victoria and Albert Museum

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Work by Victoria and Albert Museum

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Work by University of the Arts London

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Work by Cleveland College of Art & Design

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Work by Cleveland College of Art & Design

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Work by Cleveland College of Art & Design

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Work by Cranford Community College

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Work by Cranford Community College

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Work by Hull School of Art and Design

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Work by Hull School of Art and Design

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Work by Hull School of Art and Design

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Work by Hull School of Art and Design

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Work by University for the Creative Arts Rochester

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Work by University for the Creative Arts Rochester

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Work by University for the Creative Arts Farnham

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Robots made by University of Westminster National Science & Engineering Club

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Work by Kingston University London National Science and Engineering Club

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Work by Ravensbourne Science & Engineering Club

Here are some links to previous posts I have written about NatSatClub:

National Saturday Club Part 1

NA&DSC London Trip

NatSatClub Devon Dialect Project

 

 

July Zine Workshop

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My flyer for the July Workshop

Next week will be my fourth Zine Workshop!  Here are the details:

ZINE WORKSHOP

Saturday 29th July, 1 to 5 pm, £2 entry

@ THINQTANQ, Central Plymouth

Book online at: tcnv.re/zineworkshop

You can read about previous zine workshops here..

 

About Zine Workshops and Gurt Noodle

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Flyer for my third Zine Workshop on 24th June

 

In April, I set up my first Zine Workshop in collaboration with MESH at ThinqTanq, Plymouth.  I didn’t charge a fee to take part because my intention was to introduce zinemaking to people who hadn’t tried it before as well as attract current zinemakers, and I thought it would be more likely people would want to come and have a go if it was free!  I created a  “zero” issue of my zine Gurt Noodle (issue one is in its early stages) to give out as a simple guide to zinemaking for people who had never done zinemaking before.  In this issue I included a brief history of zines, some ideas for new zinemakers (zinesters) and instructions on how to make a minizine.  You can look through my portfolio for this issue in the video below:

I chose to do my zine in a comic style because I am an illustrator who loves reading comics and drawing characters!  One of the characters is a comic version of myself and the other is one I invented.  I knew I would be printing in black and white (because of the costs involved) so I used different crosshatching styles to provide texture, shade and ‘colour’.  On the back cover I included a folding guide to make a minizine.  I packaged an A6 copy of Gurt Noodle Issue Zero with a minizine I had made earlier (each pack got either Robot Ads and Odd Creatures or The Tale Of The Girl Who Ordered Zelda: BOTW But Could Not Play It Because The Console Broke) and a handmade Gurt Noodle badge in a clear plastic envelope.

 

 

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My Gurt Noodle Issue Zero package

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My flyer for the first Zine Workshop was based on the cover for Gurt Noodle Issue Zero

Around 14 people took part in the first workshop, including some professional local illustrators and a number of young artists.  A few participants had made zines before but others weren’t completely sure what a zine was.  Everyone seemed to like my Gurt Noodle package (I have now given away around 200 of these all over Plymouth!).  At the workshop I demonstrated how to fold a minizine and helped some of the participants to come up with ideas.  I also made a few minizines myself.

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Minizines and tiny zines that I made at the first Zine Workshop

As we worked, we shared and passed around the zines we had made or were still working on.  Everyone made at least one design for a badge, and I used my badge-making machine (a birthday present!) to make those into badges that they could wear home.  At the end of the workshop the feedback was really good and everyone wanted to come back again.  Most of the participants had made minizines on topics as diverse as The Short Lived Life of Hairyworm John or How To Function As A Human BeingWe left with bundles of minizines and ideas for our next projects and I felt the entire workshop had been a huge success!

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My illustration for the second Zine Workshop flyer was based on the design of my Tippa typewriter

In May, I organised a second workshop, again supported by MESH. This time, I had to charge a small entry fee towards the (discounted by ThinqTanq) venue hire, MESH provided snacks and drinks, and I brought all my zinemaking resources from home to share (vintage typewriters, white paper, black pens, scissors, stapler etc).  I made a new flyer (above) and this time I drew a typewriter as I was hoping to entice some writers into coming along, to hopefully provoke some collaborative work between them and the illustrators who were already planning to come.

Again there were around fourteen participants but not exactly the same people – a couple of different professional illustrators came to take part and a couple of new young people came to give zinemaking a try, but for the most part the participants from the first workshop came back again.  Although I was intending to introduce some teamwork exercises, unfortunately I didn’t have a very good plan to encourage work crossovers and collaborations, and no new writers came along.  It didn’t seem to matter though as everyone seemed quite happy with the work they were doing and with the workspace. I have also collected quite a decent collection of zines (mostly perzines or comic style zines, and many are by local zinesters) for my Zine Library (available to browse at the workshops) and the participants seemed to really enjoy looking through those.

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Some minizines made by participants at the second Zine Workshop

This time the (many!) minizines made by participants included Perfect Pairs, The 90’s: Yay or Nay, Spider and The Many Artstyles Of Me.  I made some more minizines of my own including Link Responds To Things and Periods Suck. My brother also finished his first solo zine Sweet Tooth that he started before the first workshop and I added a copy to the Zine Library.

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My flyer for the June Zine Workshop

 

 

The next Zine Workshop is on the 24th June (TOMORROW!).  I plan to take along some short creative exercises for anyone who would like to try those.  I would like to collaborate with some of the other participants on a project, so I am taking some ideas for how we could do that. I hope that previous participants come back and that new people join us!

There is a fee of £2 towards the venue hire, but there will be tea, coffee, biscuits, and zinemaking resources (such as paper, spare pens and pencils, scissors, and glue) all there to use for free.  I will also be taking my badge machine (making a badge will cost 50p to cover the cost of the materials) and more copies of my Gurt Noodle Issue Zero for anyone who doesn’t have one yet!  If you or anyone you know may be interested, you can find more details and book on the MESH Eventbrite link or you can contact me via email or Instagram.

 

Thank you to:

MESH and ThinqTanq for supporting these workshops

The Art Side, Final Frontier, Make, PCA and the Peninsula Gallery for allowing me to put flyers in their windows or flyer displays

and to Everyone who has participated in the workshops so far!

 

 

 

 

Animation at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

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PCA BA (Hons) Animation – Poster

This is my second post from the PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17 and is about the work on the display in the Animation room.  My previous post was about the work in the Game Arts room.

**I am sorry about my bad quality photos but it is hard to take pictures in the Animation room as there is not much light so that visitors can watch the films!  And I only have my phone camera so..**

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

 

BA (Hons) Animation

When I visited the Animation room I was lucky to speak with graduating students Tim Howe and Bram Whitford.  They explained to me that the first year of the degree course was quite experimental, in the second year they started to specialise and took part in a big project with the other Animation students, and in the third year they specialised further and worked on their final projects.  Tim said that students can “start from zero on this course and develop their skills” and Bram explained that students are “encouraged to experiment on this course and explore their strengths”.

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Still from Jerome by Time Howe

They both said that students are able to practice at different roles to see what suits them, for example directing or creating assets, and they are encouraged to collaborate with students from other departments in the college (some collaborated with Plymouth University students too).  Bram said that the course covered a lot of different styles of animation as well as business and practical skills.  Now that they have finished their degrees, Bram plans to focus on running his own illustration company, and Tim is hoping to do more CGI animation work.

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Model from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

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Models from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

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Poster featuring stills from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

Jessica Mehler is a 2D and Stop-motion animator.  For her animation Catawampus she has created beautiful models, she has even hand sewn the clothes worn by her characters.  Jessica’s attention to detail is incredible and she has put a lot of her models on display at the exhibition.  There is a whole miniature house to look inside, with tiny food and crockery and furniture, and faces featuring different expressions for her main character.  Jessica collaborated with filmmaker Julia Claxton on the design and building of the set for Catawampus.  The story is about a young girl who gets lost in the woods and finds a mysterious cabin.  The animation is of extremely high quality and was one of my favourite pieces in the Animation degree show. Watch a trailer for Catawampus here.

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Still from Goldi And Red by Larisa Cleaver

Larisa Cleaver has put a twist on the stories of Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks in her animation Goldi And Red.  The style is really cute, using paper cutouts and split pin joints.  The movement of the characters and scenery are really exaggerated like puppets and this makes the animation seem playful.  The story is fun and I think that younger girls especially would enjoy it.  Watch a trailer for Goldi And Red here.

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Still from Ava by Libby Durose

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Badges and illustrations by Libby Durose

Libby (LJ) Durose is an illustrator and animator and her work on display includes badges and her animation Ava.  In Ava a young girl is chased by bullies and thrown into a well, then is befriended by a mysterious girl, who might be a ghost?  Ava was another of my favourite pieces in the Animation degree show and I would like to see a longer project or even series of shorts based on these characters.  The style is sketchy pen in black and white, it looks influenced by anime and the shadow work is really good.  Watch a trailer for Ava here.

Libby’s badge designs are closeups of pen sketched faces and I plan to get one on my next visit to the exhibition.  She also does ink portrait commissions and her artwork is in a detailed comic style, contact her by email.

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Still from Jerome by Tim Howe

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Models from Jerome by Tim Howe

Tim Howe originally specialised in stop-motion but is now working in CGI.  His animation Jerome is a stop-motion animation about a man and his dog.  Sort of.  It has a really unexpected ending which young children might find a bit disturbing, so beware!  The story is strange but darkly humourous.  Tim’s models are made from oven hardened clay and wire and have a lot of personality.  He has also used action figures in parts of the film.  Watch Jerome here.

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

Sophie Oliver is a 2D Animator and her animation Migaloo has painted backgrounds and uses flowing fabric to create a wavy effect.  The story is based at sea, a young diver is carried away by the current and helped by a giant whale.  The style reminded me of Eric Carle’s story books and the animation was gently flowing.  I really enjoyed how the music began smooth and calm and picked up pace and became more frantic when she was swept away.  Watch Migaloo here.

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Still from animation by Bram Whitford

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Still from animation by Bram Whitford

Bram Whitford is an illustrator and animator.  His animation is about a young person who finds an old top hat in an attic which attaches itself to their head.  It seems like an origin story for a crime-fighting hero or villain.  It was a funny short animation and I like the simple but cute artwork.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link to it to share here!

There is more to see in the Animation room and even just seeing the models used in Catawampus and Jerome are really worth the visit.  Allow at least half an hour to watch all the animation pieces which are being shown on a loop projected on a large screen.  The PCA Summer Show  is on until the 22nd June and the Animation room is on the first floor, next door to Game Arts.  The Tavistock Place campus is also having an Open Day this Saturday 17th June so if you are interested in their Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses you should go.

Game Arts at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

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Andrew Cole – Hero Brawl – Concept Art

Last weekend, Plymouth College of Art opened their main campus to the public for a huge exhibition of work by their students.  The college holds a Summer Show every year to show work from the students who are graduating that year.  I try to go and see as much of the Show as I can because it is great to meet the artists and talk to them about their work, to learn about what the courses are like, and to see so many different styles and forms of artwork.  I will be trying to cover as much of this year’s Show #BreakingThrough17 as possible this year but as there is so much I will be doing it across different blogposts.  This one is about the Game Arts room on the first floor.

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Sarah Damo – Wonder Seekers – Artbook and 3D printed robot

BA (Hons) Game Arts

The projects on display range from interactive VR prototype games to character design work and projects with more focus on story development.  I wore a VR headset and experienced being in a virtual spaceship as it flew around a space station and dodged meteorites as the creator, Jake Kay, piloted it using the keyboard.  Jake’s simulation of being in space felt realistic and I could look at stars and a planet and asteroids all around me.  I felt a bit unbalanced when I took off the headset but I would like to try out more VR projects because they really can give the sense of being in a different world.

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Jake Kay – Back to the Station – Render art

Jake said his project took around four months to model and code and was inspired by other games he enjoys like Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen.  He said he had “lots of fun” on the course and he hopes to find work as an environmental artist in the future.

There are other environmental modelling projects on display in the room.  One is an interactive VR experience called House Vr by Lucy Kisielewska, where the player is able to move around with teleportation (in a similar way to Google Streetview) and pick up and throw objects like cushions and cans using handheld controllers which show up in the VR simulation as a pair of hands.

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Lucy Kisielewska – House VR – Monitor view

I also watched video of a 3-dimensional courtyard built by Amy Watson complete with houses, wagons and a well.

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Amy Watson – Unlockable Dreams – Full display

One of my favourite projects in the Game Arts room is Sarah Damo’s Wonder Seekers.  She has some beautiful concept artwork on display as well as a 3D printed model of a robot, an art book, and a video of short animated scenes.  Sarah told me that Wonder Seekers is about “the story of a girl and a parrot in a post-apocalyptic world full of marvels” and that she wanted to do something “a bit different” by creating a post-apocalyptic world that “isn’t dark”.

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Sarah Damo – Wonder Seekers – Artwork

Sarah explained that her work is inspired by many things, including Romanticism, Impressionism and 90’s cartoons.  She works using Photoshop and creates short animations with After Effects.  She showed me how she had deliberately placed a three-dimensional robot character on a two-dimensional background drawing in order to make the character stand out.

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Sarah Damo – Wonder Seekers – Full display

Not all the concepts on display are for video games.  Jack Challoner has created bright and colourful artwork for his card game design project The Art Of Restrict.  I read through his detailed explanation of his decision making and artistic process designing monsters.  He thought about real creatures in our world and incorporated some of their anatomical features into his invented creatures to make them more believable.  He has thought deeply about colour, shape, environment, movement, and behaviour.

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Jack Challoner – The Art Of Restrict – Artwork

Another project I was really impressed by was Hero Brawl by Andrew Cole who has designed characters for a “team brawler” video game.  Andrew has carefully explained every stage of his character design process in an artbook, including how he attempted to emulate the style of Norman Rockwell’s character paintings and how he has combined elements of  Steampunk, Samurai, Medieval and Nazi armour and clothing to create his character designs.

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Andrew Cole – Hero Brawl – Page from the Artbook

The artbook for Hero Brawl really showed how much work goes into character design – Andrew identified an aesthetic style that fits the concept, did lots of drawing and painting exercises using stock images to get a feel for that style, studied history for ideas and inspiration, and painted characters and costumes from all directions.  I would like to see more books like this one published regardless of whether the games are made or not as they are a really interesting insight into how the artist works and into character design.  I hope that PCA is able to keep copies of these Artbooks for their library because I would like to have a much longer look at them.

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Andrew Cole – Hero Brawl – Full display

There is lots more in the room to see but unfortunately I can’t cover everything and some of the work is interactive so it is best experienced for yourself!  You can visit the PCA Summer Show until the 22nd June and the Game Arts room is on the first floor.  The Tavistock Place campus is also having an Open Day this Saturday 17th June so if you are interested in their Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses you should go!

 

EpicMakeTime with MESH

Tuesday nights at ThinqTanq is EpicMakeTime, a regular coding and tech event hosted by MESH.  MESH stands for “Make, Engineer, Socialise, Hack”.   I have been to EpicMakeTime twice so far.  It is a fun and creative space where people can come together and tinker around with cool stuff.  The people there are friendly and helpful and my brother and me have had support there from Marcus, Rob, Garry, and Matt from the Code Club.

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Our Shrimps

The first week me and my brother brought and built our Shrimps from the Shrimping.It kits.  A Shrimp is a buildable device which can be substituted for an Arduino Uno.  We brought all the components we needed for the first project, “Blink“, and put them together.  I enjoyed putting the components together and learning how it will work and what everything does from the project pages.  We also saw some of the other projects people were working on at MESH, including Steven, the little remote-controlled tank/crawler made by Rob (see him in the video below!) and a remote-controlled drone which flew my little sister’s toys across the room, held onto the bottom with sellotape!

The second week we went we brought our Shrimping.it kits again to program the “Blink” project onto them.  First I had to set up my mum’s laptop with the Arduino IDE, the drivers for the CP2102 UART and the Shrimping.it sketches.  I compiled and uploaded the “Blink” code onto the Shrimp and the LED started blinking!  I took a good look at the code and I edited it to make the blinking light faster and slower, then I experimented and programmed the Shrimp to transmit the S.O.S signal in Morse Code!

I was then given some advice by Marcus on how to make an LED fade.  The LED is set to flash so quickly humans can’t see it flickering, so it just looks like the LED has been dimmed because the light is on half the time.  You can also alter the interval between the light switching on and off to make it brighter or dimmer, for example if the light is on for slightly longer then when it is off, it appears brighter.  I had a go at coding the LED to fade up and down with Marcus’s help.  To just turn the LED on and off I used the code digitalWrite but to make it fade in and out I had to use the code analogWrite and give a value of between 0 and 255.

Next Marcus explained how to program an RGB LED to show and make different colours.  Before I could do it he showed me how to look up some information on the Internet to find the right pins for the three different coloured wires.  I took out the normal LED and plugged the three RGB LED wires in instead.  I made a new program file and identified the three different coloured LEDs.  I used analogWrite to control the colour of the LEDs by putting in different values for each one between 0 and 255.  For example putting 255 for the blue and 0 for green and red would make it glow blue.  If I put 100 for blue and 100 for red and 0 for green I would make it glow purple.  It is easy to make the LED flash in any colour you like for as long as you want.  It was a really cool project to play with and it also helped me think about how colours mix in the RGB system.

Marcus also gave a short talk about his own project and showed us how the Walabot 3D radar sensor works to sense objects around it, even through walls, and to sense someone’s breathing.  J (my brother) didn’t work on his own Shrimp this week but instead worked on his Raspberry Pi playing retro games and learning how to change different settings.  Garry gave me the RGB LED to keep and also a couple of other components to play with including a dimmer switch.  I will definitely go back to EpicMakeTime if I can and will be working through more of the Shrimp and Arduino Uno projects.  It is really fun and interesting making things happen using electronics and code.

USEFUL LINKS:

MESH website and YouTube channels from MESH and ThinqTanq

MESH, #EpicMakeTime and ThinqTanq on Twitter

Register for EpicMakeTime and other MESH events

Buy Shrimping.It kit and do the projects

Arduino lessons on the Adafruit site

 

 

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