Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Good tutorial today, I think everyone was a bit baffled with my project in that it's based on some crazy concepts that are quite hard to explain, and my illustrations are also a bit random without a good explanation, which I find hard to provide without writing it down. That said, I got some good feedback and I especially like Pauls idea of having some sort of 'key' like a map legend, to let the viewer know which illustration applies to which ocean 'realm'. It was mentioned that the tracing paper wasn't the ideal material as it is quite thick, and it has quite a high 'memory' in that it still has the curve set into it by being on the roll for so long. I hope that once my book is made I'll be able to press it flat for long enough to take the curve out of it - this just depends on my timing! I have to use this paper really due to time constraints and cost, but I think as long as I can press it properly it will be fine. I like the thickness of it, as it adds a nice tactile element and makes the finished book slightly thicker, giving it a more quality feel.
I forgot to say in my last post that while I was at my dads over the weekend I made a couple of changes to some of the illustrations to make them look a bit better in the context of the book;

The rest of this week will be spent planning for my mammoth printing session this coming weekend, and thinking about covers etc...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Cracking On Pt. II

I also had time this weekend to try out a few things in terms of booklets. I thought as I had the use of an AO printer I would go for a simple fold out booklet, as on the plotter I can make the page size as long as I need it to be in order to get the number of pages needed. The only problem in this is cutting it out, especially at three in the morning after a bit of a cider session...

The one I'm cutting out in the picture above is only AO long, so if I do a really big one it will be interesting trying to get straight edges. Anyway, I really like the way the fold-out booklet works, the mechanics of it are quite satisfying and I like the way you can make a whole book out of one bit of paper. I managed to get a version printed on tracing paper to show in our tutorial and I love the way the images layer up - I think this could definitely be the way forward. I'm going to come back later in the week and get on with the final piece. I have found in the past that the design of the book itself will be quite a fluid, intuitive process, and the design will evolve while I'm working on it. It will look really good with some covers and maybe some text, I also need to consider some sort of cover or case... I've now got just under two weeks left of this project, and things are finally coming together! Better late than never I suppose.

Cracking On

I'm lucky in that my Dad is an Architect, and he works from a sweet office in his garden, which is fully decked out with nice printers and computers which I get to use and abuse for my work. So, I spent this weekend at home taking advantage of the facilities, and doing a bit of printing on the A0 plotter. I did my final illustration as well, although this one took a bit longer than the others....
Here's the first couple of versions;

This image is about the 'The Hidden Boundaries' - this means the seafloor and it's sloping margins. This environment is constantly changing, often due to human factors such as drilling for oil and building oil platforms. These, and other factors such as earthquakes etc, cause underwater landslides or open up rifts that another earthquake may close, so the whole seafloor is constantly changing. As the ocean floor is so deep in places it's extremely difficult and expensive to explore, which results in much of the exploration being carried out by people who stand to make a profit from any discoveries that are made - namely, the oil companies. I've tried to represent this through making my photo of some ink look as oily as possible, and putting it in a square. The square, I feel, is the opposite of the natural circle, therefore showing the human element of the equation. The map shows how underwater currents also affect this environment, bringing nutrients from the deep ocean to the surface and enriching the sealife in the upper layers.
However, I just wasn't happy with the image as I don't think it goes with the others, so I made some more changes, below.

I wanted to keep a square element as it represents the human effect on this realm nicely, and I tried playing around with some lines to represent pipes carrying the oil. The main change though is obviously putting the 'oil' in the circle like the other illustrations, and adding the coloured ring. The most effective bit was removing the top of the inner circle to represent the sloping margins being unstable, and the whole underwater landslide thing. This works well in the final image (below), where it is more fractured which hints at it rather than saying it too obviously. Also, as in some of the other illustrations, placing the image off the page slightly shows it's at the edge of the ocean, and our knowledge of the oceans. The white space is also important to represent that there is much we don't know, and have yet to learn. I should point out that the crosses by the words in the illustrations are a subtle map reference, and I think they act like compass bearings, to plot the lack of knowledge for that area on the map so to speak. It makes sense in my head anyway...

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Had a wander around the Russle-Cotes Museum today which was cool, especially the Japanese items which were pretty inspiring. Unfortunately they were setting up the exhibition that we really went to see, even though on the website it said it was open...