Archive for the 'notes' Category

thoughtbubble anthology – tula lotay & various

October 30, 2011

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The ThoughtBubble Anthology, from which the above pages are taken, is due out from Image Comics. The latter two pages are unlettered (you’ll have to buy the book to see what the story- by Rufus Hound and Tula Lotay after a Lovecraft story- is). The work is by some of the countries’ best creators, who will be in attendance at the Festival, as well as a cover by New York’s finest, Becky Cloonan, who we welcome back to Thought Bubble again this year. Links to ThoughtBubble’s own pages are found by clicking on the above images, as well as directions about how to get your own copy of the Anthology.

ThoughtBubble is perhaps the United Kingdom’s finest and most inclusive festival. Spanning a full week and culminating on the weekend of the 19th November in Leeds, the festival includes workshops for children, an academic conference and film screenings as well as a very substantial turnout by the best artists and writers in the comics industry, for the Saturday and Sunday, at the Saville Hall and the Royal Armouries. An offshoot of the Leeds film festival, Thought Bubble truly has the feel of a City festival and can provide opportunities and inspiration for anyone who turns up, whether familiar with the medium or not. If you live in the UK and have not been to a comic convention, but have an iota of interest, this might be a good place to start.

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ten things for 2011

December 24, 2010

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Rather than picking a single person or thing to end the blogging year with, I’m leaving you with ten headings for 2011 (and a few things I’ve liked, some links). Have a lovely holiday and please feel free to take a stroll round the couple of thousand plus posts from 2010 on this site (every image is a link to something else). See you in 2011.

1. Made in Japan

It’s not what you expect, is more accessible than you’d realise. From Birdsong to The Whale to the drawings of Heath Robinson, Paul Pope and Emma Vieceli, ideas that originate in Japan (deliberate or inferred) are increasingly prevalent in the art we see and enjoy. What can we learn? What can we take and use?

Pic:  from the snows of Northern Japan, in January.

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2. Drawing

Was everywhere in 2010. Thank you to everyone whose work features on this blog, or let me have bits of their original artwork, for being inspirational. Oliver East doesn’t feature here (yet), but his work is worth a look, as is the work of a whole raft of young artists who are doing their own thing in the UK. Honourable mentions (and a big thank you) to Philip Bond, Jock, Duncan Fegredo, Sean Phillips (above), Stuart Immonen, Ryan Kelly, Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Lee Garbett, Declan Shalvey, Sean Murphy, Marc Ellerby, Rob Davis, Paul J Holden, Jamie McKelvie, Jeff Lemire, Guy Davis, Paul Pope (again), Ben Templesmith, Dylan Teague, J H Williams III and Colin Dunbar, for their original art. It’s much appreciated (sorry if I missed anyone). Also, thank you to everyone who contributed to our sketch club this year and for Comic Twart for inspiring us to start. You know who you are. Hopefully this next year I’ll be doing more drawing, with more time for it, in a more structured way. And drawing better (obviously).

Pics: A panel from Kill Your Boyfriend by Philip Bond, Sean Phillips draws Zack Overkill, Sketch Club.


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3. Humour.

Humour is important. End of.

Pic (above): New York, by Kate Beaton, click on the image to read the awesome Hark A Vagrant.

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4. Colour

I’m looking forward to seeing more people doing more interesting things with colour, or picking up where they left off (I’m looking at you, Sean Azzopardi, amongst others).

Pics (above): Daredevil cover & Swamp Thing painting, Jock

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5. Buildings

This is a year for seeing if the kind of work that appears on this blog can make more of an appearance off the pages and within the built environment. There is a lot of scope for this: all publicly funded buildings have public art programmes, and that money has to be spent. The support can be well used by comic artists, illustrators and people who make drawings, graphics, paint, colour and letter. In return the artwork will get a kind of exposure which could feed back into the page-making industry: with the non-reading public. Public projects always need art, even the cheapest: schools, hospitals and landscape projects can all benefit. It isn’t just the art itself, but the process of engagement, the experience of creators and the possibilities offered by those with experience in working with drawing, design, narratives and stories which may be of use. I’ve started a register for the interested (please let me know if you want to be on this). With one project already in the pipeline (which I can’t talk about), I hope we can do more. If you are interested let me know, if you’ve got a project in mind, let me know. Let’s see what we can do.

Pic: Rumble Strip, by  Woodrow Phoenix; Painting, Simon Gane, click on the images for links.

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6. History

Many people have made so called ‘influence map’s this year. These, if they are truly about influence as opposed to inspiration, are really about history and it’s uses. What they show is that history does have a role to play in the creative process and that we can all learn by looking back, as well as looking forward. The maps are a simple and brilliant teaching tool. I’ve been needing to look a lot up. I’m singling out Rob Davis, whose map is here and Ian Culbard, for their quality history lessons, as well as Francis Vallejo. Much of my creative impetus to date has come from Walter Benjamin‘s writings, and at the start of those, One Way Street (which is recommended reading, as is On Translation). Benjamin advocates that artists make ‘new’ work: One Way Street is a series of aphorisms, which can be taken as instructions to the young artist (or writer). My influence map, such as it is, then, is listed in the ‘about me’ part of this blog. There have been lots and lots of inspirations, though.

Pic: Rob Davis, influence map.

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7. Maps and diaries

Maps: Yes. I made this map for Simon Gurr, very quickly after the Thought Bubble festival, really just to let him know what I’d enjoyed. The blank and quick style (graphemes?) seemed appropriate for a map. These can also be seen here (by Glyn Dillon, click on ‘shop’) and below (drawn by my uncle, the publisher and writer, JL Carr). I’d like to make another map.

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Diaries: No. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I’m not going to continue or publish my work diary. There’s three reasons. 1. I’m too old to be complaining. 2. Disclosure is a problem in the private sector and when your work is made out of melodramatic lies, this may be a further issue. 3. My professional life needs to stay at the office. A fourth, too: I’ve got better things to do. I do like the work  and approach of artists like Thom Ferrier, the welsh doctor and printmaker. Maybe some day I’ll come back to tell people what architects do and think.

Pic: Thoughtbubble Map

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8. Publishing

The small press has been around for centuries, probably. Uncle Lloyd’s Quince Tree Press sold hundreds of thousands of the little books, so I’ve seen what can be done from a shoebox- literally. With the internet and with new art forms pushing through there are new ways of doing things, documented much better elsewhere than this blog. However, I’m proud to say I helped sponsor two books this year: Kody Chamberlain’s Sweets and Howard Hardiman’s The Lengths, both through crowd-sourced fundraising. This seems to work, at least as seed money. I’m also interested in what up and coming publishers like Blank Slate and Tom Humberstone (with Solipsistic Pop) are doing, working with the form as much as the content. They’re making a space for people to create within. That’s brilliant, helpful and a spur to action. As Uncle Lloyd said: ‘but have you built anything yet?’

Pics: From The Quince Tree Press; Blank Slate Books; Interviews with the Comics Bureau and UK makers of comics, including Kenny Penman, proprietor of Blank Slate. Click on any image to get to the links

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9. Writing

I’m wanting to be giving over a bit more time to reading and writing this next year, possibly at the expense of updating this blog every day (Space In Text will still be updated regularly). I’ve discovered and enjoyed the work of Matt Seneca (click on the image above), as well as whole host of other works (nb. Roger Langridge should have another Marvel project).

Pic: Matt Seneca

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10. People

Have been helpful. Thank you. Your support means a lot. I was going to say a whole load of things here about how community is important (especially to someone like me who feels like they have been on the moon, artistically), about how important it is to look what is happening socially in this country at this time and so on, but this post needs to stop. You came here for art. Here it is. Scroll down.

Pic: Jeanie.

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rsa animate: drive – dan pink

October 7, 2010

 

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An illustrated talk, via Eric Canete. Click to watch.

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sick – lucio fulci

July 10, 2010

 

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I’ve not been too well this week, hence the lack of blog. It wasn’t quite this bad, but bad enough to make me think that the usual 3am activities were not such a good idea. Hopefully all’s better now. Gut-puking scene courtesy of Jock (and Lucio Fulci, from City of the Living Dead). Click on the above image to see it.

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d.i.y. – the body

May 1, 2010

 

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Via Deborah Hustic.

(Thanks Deborah, that follows up the Sean Phillips post really nicely.)

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miep gies – r.i.p.

January 15, 2010

 

Jan and Miep Gies in the Secret Annex next to the bookcase that closed off the entrance, around 1988.

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Miep Gies (1945)

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possibilities, new year

December 19, 2009

 

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This is a piece on the possible future of comics.

In the New Year there is likely to be a lot more consideration of the kind of medium that is looked at in the above sequence (click on the image…), and I’d like to think that the ideas will spread into other areas of work, as well.

Architecture has always involved non-sequential narratives and storytelling. We have our own ways, but we have a lot to learn. There’s a lot of learning documented here and if you are dropping by, I hope you find something good to read (I’ll try and update some of the blogroll, and you can follow up on the posts by clicking on the images).

Thank you to everyone who has helped me this year. You know who you are.

Here’s to learning and being willing to change. Here’s to the unknown future. Here’s to making new stuff and new stories. I’m taking a break from this blog-making (it is quite intense) over Christmas and I’ll be back in the second week of January. Happy New Year. See you soon.

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the body in pain – elaine scarry

October 25, 2009

 

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the futurist – cities

October 21, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

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big content vs technology

October 17, 2009

 

big content

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exposed

October 16, 2009

 

ladies exposed

 

The processes that artists use are a matter of curiosity, for whilst one might assume that there are certain set ways of doing things, this becomes less and less clear the further you look.

We architects draw in a very broad variety of ways. Much of our drawing is done on the computer, with a mouse, keyboard and large monitor (with sometimes a laptop as well). Architects use all kinds of different programmes, many based on engineering software, and increasingly some based on Building Information Modelling (BIM). At DE, we specifically use Vectorworks, for it’s graphic advantages, and Macs, for their other benefits. We also use SketchUp too. It is this software in particular has genuinely eroded the tendency for hand sketches at the beginning of a project, and often with good reason (see the post below called living the dream for a link).

This said, hand drawing is often necessary, for sketching or line work, or where the computer just isn’t sufficiently quick, or fuzzy enough. This can be at any stage in the architectural process. The traditional process of pencil/ ink/ colour died out some years ago (perhaps with the last recession killing off most firms’ ability to manage this kind of frankly quite decadent process). The popular image of the office with a crowd of youngish technicians drafting perfect corners with Rotring pens and others scratching out (nostalgia alert!) has long gone.

Now, if we draw by hand, then it is usually straight into ink. Rotrings are out (too high maintenance), feltpens are in. We may go, if we are lucky enough, from first draft to final image in one shot (that is why we draw in ink). We do not draw directly from reference material, or at least we shouldn’t, unless it is to include specific components. Some practices (who will remain nameless) issue pens and directives on how and what to use them on to staff. Paper is a less of an issue: with less paper being physically used, as long as something will scan, it doesn’t matter what it is drawn on (- or weirdly, what colour it is drawn in). Times change.

At stages, the hand drawing finds it’s way back onto the computer again, for photoshopping, for emailing and so on, so the drawing process often/ always a hybrid of hand and computer work. You could forecast that all the work will become digital in the near future, and that may be possible, but, given educational tendencies, it seems the opposite is likely. There is a backlash against computer work in the Schools of Architecture, perhaps as a response to the homogenisation of the images students were producing (critics hate walking into a room full of bendy slick visualisations, and it happens often). Now more and more students are being encouraged to draw by hand again, and are liking it.

With the drawings we make, there are ways of mentally building up the drawing, for example, I imagine I’m actually constructing with my hands the thing I’m drawing together as I put the ink on the page. That seems to be nearly the only way of getting the image right in one shot, for me at least. If you work on large projects you have to be good at one shot drawings as you do not have time to linger- there are too many decisions to make. I also use a kind of strip cartoon format, with a single page telling a story, with a number of interlinked boxes/ images. This is just me. Different people have different points of view on how drawings should fit together on a project and how you use text and so on. We discuss these matters at work very often.

There are a therefore wide variety of drawing practices (and I’m talking about the hand drawing component here: bring in computers and there is a whole different thing going on). Ways of drawing are often subject to the age (not so much experience) of the person doing the drawing and the size of projects worked on and the person being communicated with. Even small things: how do you write 8? Those who were stencillers in their youth (i.e. were working at a junior level before about 1992) will probably still write out oo as opposed to the more conventional infinity symbol), for example.

So, revelation of techniques is a matter of great curiosity and often education. From one discipline to another, it would seem that drawing does not take place in the same way. This blog contains quite a bit of comics imagery and I’ve been thinking a bit about that kind of work.  Architects can certainly learn from looking at other people’s techniques.

I had always assumed that illustrators were so on top of anatomy that they did not use reference material, as this would compromise the composition. This is not so, it would seem, where even the best do use photographs. Sean Phillips describes his blog thus:

Every working day I’ll post an example of what I’ve been working on that day. a favourite panel or cover or sometimes a whole page of comics.

Through this kind of exposure (and there is a link to this blog under the cut, above), we can see the practice of making the work and how the composition is developed. Not everyone will put out their work in this way, so I’m grateful to Sean for clarifying how some of the magic is made and letting us see how his stories are built up.

There are always a lot of questions, but hopefully here, some of them will be answered.

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cut

October 15, 2009

 

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Tomorrow I go back to the hospital for an emergency operation (that I didn’t even know I needed this morning) and I will be cut open under general anaesthetic. This morning was the first hospital treatment visit,  ever, for me, and despite the kindness and evident efficiency experienced today, the whole experience was bewildering. Apologies for any weirdness in the posts. Normal transmission will be resumed shortly.

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