The other week, I went along to a screenprinting workshop hosted by one69a at Z-Arts in Hulme. It was a lot of fun, and I actually found the whole process quite therapeutic. Pretty chuffed with the results too. Love the fluorescent orange/red ink used on the very first one I did. It just instantly popped out at me, when I lifted the screen up to see what it was like.
Toying with the idea of possibly selling some of these prints, after one friend said he’d like one. :D
Been working on this iPad/digital publishing brief. It’s for a trendy arts magazine called Grade. You can see the route I’ve taken with the branding and choice of name, repeating the slash motif throughout. I wanted to use these to link the pages, giving them a sense of cohesiveness. I took inspiration from looking at Parallax scrolling websites in my research, and how they used overlapping elements to make the transitions seamless.
Been refining the small business logo I did a while ago for the bar, Core.
It’s really weird when you reverse it from black to white, because it looks like the spacing and gaps are different sizes. I’ve not changed anything other than the colour, but the gaps appear narrower on the white logo.
I picked up an iPhone 4S before I went away on my travels. I’d been stuck with a Windows Phone (Samsung Omnia 7) for the past 2 years. Whilst the interface and OS design is undeniably pretty, the appeal wears off after a while. Especially when you feel left behind and everyone else is engaging in communities, using apps that just aren’t available for WP.
So years after things like Instagram were seen as the cool, new thing I’m only just getting round to seeing what all the fuss was about. I’ve been messing around on Vine recently, and saw that some people were using it for stop-motion stuff. Gave it a go myself creating these rough snippets.
This was just me and my friends goofing around after football a couple of weeks ago. The photos weren’t even intended to be taken in sequence (the fighting one definitely wasn’t) and I’d only just discovered how you can make animated .gifs in PhotoShop. These are the results.
Balance & Symmetry
I’m back in the UK after spending a wonderful week in Berlin for Pictoplasma, an annual character design, illustration & animation festival. I watched lots of amazing animations, and inspiring lectures by a variety of speakers from all over the world.
Also got to chat with a few of them too, at individual exhibitions on the character walk tour and the parties in the evenings. Everyone was really nice & friendly!
Took a ridiculous number of photos, which you can see on my flickr set. There were moments where I felt almost overwhelmed by the sheer amount of visual stimulation around me—Neurotitan gallery in Haus Schwarzenberg, where every surface seemed to be covered in graffiti/street art. Places like that and Urban Spree have a dilapidated, knackered look but they’ve been reclaimed by artists, musicians etc in interesting ways.
I had a bit of an inebriated twitter rant about the differences between Berlin & Manchester. About how similar spaces would just get swallowed up & turned into a Tesco. It would be a massive shame for it’s identity and rebellious, free-spirit if these parts of Berlin were gentrified to the extent that some parts of Manchester have been. I’d still definitely love to visit Berlin again though.
Anyway, I had fears that I’d return to the UK with a bit of an identity crisis. Would I have second thoughts about studying Graphic Design and want to do whimsical cartoony stuff again? It hasn’t really been the case. 2 hours after I landed back in Manchester, rushed home for 10 mins then had to go straight back out to college for the evening. It was hectic, but pretty much business as usual.
I think that what I’ve taken away, is that I can still appreciate animation, illustration and other art forms (like I always have) and these influences can still find their way into my work in subtle, discreet ways. I just need to use them sparingly, appropriately and it goes back to the whole Balance & Symmetry thing.
For the past 7 months I’ve been working a 9-5 office job full-time, just so that I could pay the college course fees. It was a lot of money, and I’m just thankful that I even had a job that could let me do this. There were times I really struggled financially, but managed to find a balance again. Sacrifices had to be made of course. I don’t really go out as much these days. Only regular social activity is playing football in the park every week, and that’s free.
It was difficult trying to find the time to do college work outside of the 2 nights. I was always exhausted going into classes on evenings, when I already worked a full day. Well now that I’ve managed to pay off my fees, I’ve decided to cut my hours at the day-job to 3 days allowing me to devote more of my time to designing & creating.
That’s not the end of the story though. I had a (again slightly inebriated) chat with Karl at Pictoplasma, when he mentioned that the guy he was sharing studio space at Islington Mill with, had left. His eyes lit up when I explained my newly freed up 2 days, and my interest in possibly checking the space out.
I went to check out the space yesterday, and it looks pretty good. Needed somewhere quiet where I can concentrate on work, that isn’t my bedroom (too many distractions!). So… interesting times possibly ahead! Haven’t found balance in all aspects of life yet, but I think this could a good starting point.