Reporter: Letterpress 1

in order to add an additional media and outcome to this project I am going to be using letterpress to create the title page for my boxed set of prints. I am unsure what my project outcome is going to be at this stage and what the title is, however a day experimenting in the letterpress room might help me get my ideas going and learning more about layouts.

I began by brainstorming what it is I have covered so far in this project, which is exploring place and one of the key words is reportage.

The majority of my drawings on location and photographs have been taken from brick lane. I thought the term ‘reportage lane’ would be quite well suited to the project and could be applied to a variety of different themes that I am yet to come up with.

With that I began planning the layout for these two words and the typeface I might wish to use. I selected the typeface ‘cheltnum condensed’ as thought it was the typeface most similar to that of the iconic Brick Lane road sign. I first began laying out the letters in a conventional manner. However, it did not read as exciting and lacked colour.

This is going to be the first thing people see as they open my boxed set, therefore I need to make it more exciting. I played around with cutting letters and placing them slightly out of line or having one letter in another colour.

I also have to bear in mind that my prints are most likely going to be A5 and I needed to text to fit satisfactorily in this space.

Once I had placed one word over another, similar to a game of scrabble, I began to see a pattern forming, almost like a map. This works as a good symbol for lanes and mapping. It also adds another dimension to the text,

I tested different colour variations and eventually re-organized the spacing until I was completely happy with my title page.

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Dialogue: Using mixed media

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It was really interesting approaching a variety of different techniques in one day. After the process of collecting images we continued on to look at some practitioners and collage artists to get some inspiration. We looked at the work of

George Douglas,

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George Douglas. Collage and illustration

I particularly took inspiration from his use of ripped paper and confident approach. The us of block color against black and white works beautifully and is incredibly easy on the eye.

We also looked at the work of Hannah Hock:

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Hannah Hock. Collage Portraiture

I have in fact been interested of Hannah Hock’s collage work in the past within other projects as her style automatically appeals to me. The use of surrealism works really well in her pieces.

Ladislav sutnar:

Ladislav’s work is far more minimalist, however this works really well. His use of white space adds so much to the mixed media pieces. This is a new dimension of collage that i had not thought about before.

I did feel motivated and inspired by their techniques, especially from those mentioned above.Their  use of colour and their confident approach towards a page is what captured my attention the most. I took from this that i shouldn’t hesitate and need to change my attitude towards collage and creating large quantities of tests to see what works best.

Four Corners Books, a studio visit

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Four Corners Books website photograph

Four Corners Books was establishing in 2004 and is run by Richard Embray and Elinor Jansz. When visiting their studio, I learnt something about the way in which they work and work as a team. Their studio is within a grade A listed room from the 18th century that maintains all its historical features. As a result of this they are unable to make many changes to the room such as sticking things on the walls. This may have made it difficult for them to create their own creative space to work in, however the room is incredibly beautiful and has a great sense of calm due to its neutral colours and tidy appearance.

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18th century ceiling

This could be seen as features that enhance a calm working environment. They have been in this studio space for 6 years which appears to have worked well for them. Un-like some practitioners, Richard and Elinor do find that they don’t gain much of their ideas and inspiration from being within their studio space, instead they tend to find getting outdoors and visiting different places, and seeing what’s out there is their main source of encouragement and they then take back all this ideas and research to their studio space and use it as a place to tie everything together. Ultimately a light, spacious and neutral studio space will cater to this.

Their website runs with this theme of clear and simplistic and you should find it is easy to navigate. Visit their website Here.

They began working on one book together at art college about adventure playgrounds and how they exist as inner city spaces and their partnership built up from there. All their books take on a different style but they all push the boundary of what is common in some way or another. For example, their edition of ‘A picture of Dorian Grey ‘ does not even display the title or author on the front cover.

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‘a picture of dorian grey’ edition

 

Katie Hardcastle, A case study

Katie Hardcastle is 22years old and currently studying illustration at The John Cass Art School, London Metropolitan University. She feels the East London area has huge energy about it which she finds is perfect for her as a creative environment.

Q: So Katie, tell me about the influences you use in your work. In your poster pieces you seemed to use influences from the people close to you, would I be right in thinking that family is a key stimulus towards your work?

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Brother: Katie Hardcastle 

A: Yeah. I find I naturally turn to my personal life as it is the best way to bring passion and a connection towards my work. When starting a project, I automatically turn to memory and past experiences.

Q: Are there any practitioners in particular that have inspired you within your creative field?

A: Katherine Asher is an illustrator that works with water colour and ink and her use of portraiture is really appealing to me.

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Fashion illustration: Katherine Asher
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Ink Painting: Katherine Asher

 

Q: What would you say is your preferred way of working within illustration?

A: Within the Past year I discovered a new interest of mine. Screen Printing has been an extremely enjoyable practice for me. The satisfaction you gain at the end of a long process is really fulfilling. It Is also a particularly colorful way of working as well, which I love!

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Screen Prints: Katie Hardcastle

 

Ian Gabb

 

Image – letterpressmonster.com

Ian Gabb works as a technician at the Royal College of Art whilst also being a master of his craft. He creates wonderful and well executed prints. I am particularly drawn to his use of color and the effects he created through layering.

In an interview with ‘Its Nice That’ he stated that printing “can be time consuming” and that is part of the reason he thinks “its so good, because it forces people to slow down, it forces them to think about the words in their hands and the rhythm that they have.” I find this a really interesting way of looking at this particular creative field. Looking through images of his work definitely encouraged me to explore this field further.

The use of bright colors that are sometimes very highly contrasting with one and other seem to work really well together. This messy, yet neat style is very appealing.

 

Walter De Maria, New Yorks earth room

 

Walter De Maria is an american artist/ sculptor/ illustrator. He deals alot with
conceptual and land art. I visited the Earth room is New York City with it being one of his most famous pieces. I was sceptical about how much a room filled purely with dirt could make your feel. Before my visit i thought the idea was slightly too conceptual for my liking.

However when entering the room i was surprised by the power in which the room had. As you first walk in you feel like you are just entering someones home. A normal apartment in the centre of Soho. I rang the buzzer and waited for the door to open before walking up a perfectly ordinary narrow staircase. Once entering the apartment you walk through the hallway and as you turn right there is a sight so unexpected. Simply the sight of earth in such an unfamiliar surrounding. 280,000 pounds of dirt is an impressive sight in itself; when contrasted with crisp white walls in such a conventional indoor space it is somewhat perplexing and mesmerising at the same time.

I thought it would make it more interesting if one was able to walk through it or be among the earth in the room. Nevertheless i realised that there was a certain untouched beauty about it.
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Sara’s talk

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Today we had a talk from Sara including background context about herself and influences on her work.
It is really interesting  to see the work of someone who we try to impress using our own work.
I discovered more about the processes one goes through before becoming successful. It is important to do more than what is expected from you in order to grow and become recognised as a designer.
She also gave us advice on planning ahead and to begin thinking about what kind of designer we would like to become.
I have a lot of respect for Sara in that she chose happiness over wealth and turned down work for begin company’s such as cigarette company’s as they do not promote happiness.