Happy New Year! As we begin 2012, FUSSED take a look at the stuff we’ve got to look forward to from some of 2011’s featured illustrators, artists and film-makers.
FUSSED featured Sophie’s ethereal illustrations back in October. Sophie tells us a little bit about her print above ‘(It) was for European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA). (It is) An editorial piece (A4 full page, colour) which highlights the role of older traditional doctors who administer prescriptions to their patients from their ivory towers, remaining quite distant from the personal and intimate help the patients should receive. I really loved coming up with a solution to get the ideas in the article across without losing my personal touch on the print and the processes I use’
As part of The Paper Jukebox, Sophie is currently working on portraiture. ‘(The Paper Jukebox is) a collective of 12 unique and talented Illustrators all graduated from Bournemouth. We decided as a little New Years project to each do a portrait of a fellow member of the collective in our own individual styles.
It’s really great to test our skills and have some fun accentuating people’s personality traits within the portraits’.
Next in the pipeline for the talented film-maker is another feature film, this time, an adaptation of the novel, ‘School’s Out’. ‘I thought it'd make a brilliant film but never really considered chasing it up. After we made The Harsh Light of Day the producer asked me what I was thinking of doing next, so I handed her the book’.
‘It's about a group of teenagers trying to survive in their old boarding school after a virus wipes out most of the Earth's population. It's not a 28 Days Later kind of thing, (as) the virus is long gone when the film starts. It’s more about these children trying to survive in a savage new world and the choices they have to make. I loved it because it works as a hyperbole for trying to survive in the real world too, especially today - do you give in to the way things are (the dog eat dog of modern capitalism), or try to maintain some kind of morality? The question is especially relevant when your subjects are coming of age’.
Ollie is currently on the 2nd draft of the screenplay for this incredibly exciting adaption, and also hopes to bring out another film in 2012 entitled ‘Blue War’. ‘It’s an original screenplay I wrote which I'm very excited about. I thought of the story during the long months (years) of trying to get The Harsh Light of Day finished, living in a half-built house on my own... so its a loner story and pretty grim!’
Ollie also hopes to bring out some new short films this year, after the success of Speechless.
Last year FUSSED featured Mehtap’s interpretation of the video game, Okami. However, there is a lot more to Mehtap than fan art. ‘I'm currently working on a Synesthesia project, where I'm painting music - it's all about trying to explore the emotional and visual representation of the music we listen to. I'm a composer so I compose pieces of music and then paint my inner visual responses to them, kind of like a hybrid visual/listening experience. The paintings are like snapshots, because when I listen to a piece, I'm inundated with so much information, that my brain becomes overload. So I try to culminate everything into like, a mood or a certain colour scheme or shapes, and try to represent that in the painting as a whole’.
The piece above is called Amoni. You can listen to the music Mehtap made this painting to here.
At the moment, Mehtap is doing her second painting for the Synesthesia project, entitled ‘Ghost’. She is also working on her very own website and a blog for all her progress, which will be up ‘very, very soon’.
You can read FUSSED’s blog post on Mehtap Omer here.
You may recognise Max from yesterday’s FUSSED’s Favourites From 2011. He has been up to a lot since then, and has much to look forward to this year. He is currently in pre-production for his next short film, ‘Thyme’. Max tells us a bit about it: ‘Thyme is about Shaun whose grey, bland job dominates his time and overshadows his friends, family and his main passion, cooking. Shaun is forced to reconsider how he spends his time after discovering a mysterious Kitchen Emporium full of unusual ingredients’.
‘When I first read the script I immediately envisioned the film in the Coen Brothers fairytale 50’s world of The Hudsucker Proxy, which became our starting block for devising the world where Thyme is set. Since then taking references from films such as Brazil, The Trial and Magical Realism style of Kaufman. We have started to create a world that was frozen in 1950s Britain both artistically and architecturally, but everything thing else in life continued. Much time has been spent creating A.I.R. Industries the company where Shaun works. Currently we are in the process of finding an old factory in Dorset to set the HQ for A.I.R. We are also in the process of designing a set for the 1900’s inspired Kitchen Emporium we intend to build in the film studio at the Arts University College at Bournemouth. Filming will commence at the end of February 2012’.
You can read FUSSED’s blog post on Max Lincoln here.
Faye has much to look forward to for 2012. ‘One of the projects for 2012 is 'Edit’ which I have put together featuring near 30 artists, who like me, contribute Editorial illustrations regularly. We hope to exhibit the best from our portfolios from the past year in London. I also hope this will turn into an annual event which will grow and grow’.
2011 has been an amazing year for creative talent. Before we embark on 2012, FUSSED take a look back at some of our favourite designers, illustrators, artists, film-makers, and photographers from this year.
Fashion Design: Emma Lundgren
FUSSED featured Emma’s designs back in November. Her use of bright colours, exaggerated lines and innovative design mark her out as an accomplished and original designer with many prospects in front of her.
You can read FUSSED’s blog post on Emma Lungren here.
Photographer: Rudi Geyser
Rudi’s exploration of what it means to be human is photography at its most daring. He captures man at his most vulnerable: stripped back and naked, surrounded by nature. Rudi’s photography is the perfect concoction of innovative concept and stunning execution.
You can read FUSSED’s blog post on Rudi Geyser here.
Illustrator: Darren Cranmer
Since Darren’s feature in FUSSED in October, he has been commissioned two double page spreads in new publication, Gallery Magazine. His work enjoys a surrealist edge while delivering an aesthetic colourful and distinguished.
You can read FUSSED’s blog post on Darren Cranmer here.
Artist: Su Blackwell
Su Blackwell creates art out of books, quite literally. Her work is beautifully intricate and imaginative. She was recently commissioned to create the set-design for ‘The Snow Queen’ at The Rose Theatre in Kingston. If you’d like to see her work in real life, you can still catch the play, which is running until 8th January 2012.
You can read FUSSED’s blog post on Su Blackwell here.
Film-Maker: Max Lincoln
Back in October, FUSSED featured Max’s short entitled ‘The Chair’. It is a comedic tale about a chair with a life of its own, and a painter with artistic-block. If you’d like to find out what Max is up to now, check out the blog tomorrow for ‘Stuff to look forward to’.
If you’re an avid E4 watcher you may have seen these animations before, but you probably didn’t know the man behind them. Included in the video above are five animations, all under ten seconds long. Matt’s Christmas animations all follow the same pattern. There is a transformation in colour, from muted whites, blues and browns, to the entire rainbow spectrum. The storyline follows a similar structure, from the boring and humdrum lives of reindeers, woodcutters, Santa’s elves, families and carollers to colour, destruction and evil!
They are dark, comic and parodic - that’s an awful lot to fit in to just an seven second animation.
I think it’s safe to say that Scarlett Veith takes a rather satirical view of Christmas. They have that innocent, but ironic sense of humour, reminiscent of Pixar’s style of illustration. Her images are effortlessly cool and visually stunning. Produced with a digital dry ink method, colours remain vibrant and animated. If Pixar were ever to do a Christmas film, I can’t help but think their characters would look something like this.
The character in the first image resembles a Christmas tree. However, it appears to have grown legs, feet, arms, horns, and a suspicious row of teeth. Tied up in Christmas lights and attached to some turquoise and yellow baubles, this Christmas tree monster appears not to have succeeded in his naughty disguise. The real Christmas trees behind him frame his discontent, while the green colour scheme marks his failed attempt at camouflage.
The second image bears the playful words: Stay Cool This Xmas. The globe-encased Snowman is the epitome of ‘cool’, both as the signifier of cold, winter days, and as the top-hat, bow-tie-wearing embodiment of style. The third illustration is altogether darker than the cool Snowman and Christmas tree monster. The black and red colour scheme makes for an interesting contrast, developed by its Robo Santa concept. He has the long arms of Mr Tickle and the body of a tubby robot. He appears as a villain rather than the red-faced, cuddly, loveable Santa Claus we have all come to know and love. This is Scarlett at her satirical best, ridiculing Christmas’ commercial greed by taking its most famous motif (Santa) and turning it into a mechanical robot.
Christmas jumpers: tacky or cute? We’ve probably all fallen victim to the knitted clichés. They mark little more than a convention, begrudgingly worn by millions every December. But, when can traditional tat turn into fashionable must-haves?
Knitwear graduate, Esther Phillipson’s design incorporates stripes, fairisle and fluff. Quite a combination; however in these days of colour blocking and texture clashing, somehow, it works. Far from the norm of Christmas jumper exploits, Esther manages to be innovative and unique, tapping into the latest trends while keeping her look altogether individual.
These are menswear designs by Lauren Harris, who goes tribal in an attempt to put her own twist on winter outerwear. The design on the right combines hoody with woolly hat with bobbles. The design on the left combines scarf with Aztec jumper. The all-in-one aspect of Lauren’s knitwear gives them an unconventional edge, and is a sure-winner for practicality.
Korina Kyriakou’s take on the Christmas jumper is a little more traditional. She sticks to the festive colours of blue, white, red and green, mixed with stripes and fairisle. The white knitted detail on the front however takes it from traditional to quirky. Its size and thickness could almost be mistaken for a woolly scarf, and would certainly keep you warm during these cold, winter months.
A Christmas jumper doesn’t have to be a guilty secret you keep in the wardrobe only to be taken out on certain days of the year. They can also be a fashion statement, a way of being individual in a sea full of reindeer jumpers.
Elle Moss’ photography captures winter at its prettiest. The twinkling lights and snow-covered ground signify a blank canvas from which our fresh start in the New Year can begin. Her photography is captured with a slow shutter speed, which creates blurring and focus at the same time, adding to their surreal charm. Light is daubed as if painted. Colours are muted. The images appear as something out of a Beatrix Potter novel. The use of blur with sharpness affords these images a narrative which is altogether ambiguous. However, the emphasis, stretching and blurring of light suggests these stories have a somewhat mystic and magical undertone. Perhaps there is an element of the fantastic within her photography – an alternate world and talking animals. Elle’s photography tells a barrage of words, and Christmas is just one of them.
Favourite Things About Christmas: stuffing, mulled wine, brie, snow, singing, old friends, the three wise men, and of course the main man- wee baby Jesus.
David Fleck’s arrival into the world of illustration was an unconventional one. Having always enjoyed Art at school, his passion for drawing wasn’t reawakened until his trip to Delhi. He was entrusted as a teacher in a class of 7-11 year olds in India’s second highest populated city. ‘To avoid boring lessons I did a lot of crafts and art with them, and their creativity, once unlocked, was astounding. It was a small group of kids in that class who I owe my illustration to really- they were drawing their families in class one day and their characters were so innocent and quirky that I had to get my drawing pad out and start drawing again- but now suddenly free from the 'expressive realism' that had clung to me after doing art through school. I did a few drawings of 'everyday life' in India throughout my stay there, and it put me on the road to illustration’.
Also passionate about Architecture, David has spent the past couple of years experimenting with what he wants to do. He has worked with Tee-shirt company, Threadless; and ‘gained a bunch of freelance work, won a few competitions, dabbled in doing some screen print editions, and run a couple of exciting exhibitions which have melded together illustration and architecture’.
Asked to describe his style of illustration, David replied that ‘There are lots of things I'd like it to be, not so many which it actually is. (I’d like it to be) Intriguing, naive, friendly, mysterious. (I’d like it to be) Something that tells a story’. David revealed that what he enjoys most about illustrating for this festive period is knitwear and wintery cities ‘It's a good time of year- winter is a lot more mysterious than summer, and with the time off I have a lot more time to sit down and either read or draw, which is great creative fuel’.
For the moment, David is ‘working slowly through a whole load of drawings for an amazing story that my sister and some of her friends came up with (they study costume at art school), so I'm looking forward to putting all that together and maybe getting a book out there at some point! It has a leopard in it, and a city high in the mountains on lots of stilts, so I'm very happy’. Another of David’s projects for the future includes drawing his way through ‘Invisible Cities’, a novel by Italian writer, Italo Calvino. ‘I know it's a bit oxymoronic to illustrate something invisible, but his city descriptions are so tantalising that I can't help myself’.
In other news, ‘we're trying to raise money to complete the construction of the new school in India which I helped design- if all that money comes in sometime this winter there is the distinct chance the building could be finished this summer, in which case I might be heading out to help cover it in murals with all of the kids! Fun times’.
‘Tis the season to be jolly… and explore the array of Christmas themed art projects going on this festive season.
Until the 11th January you can enjoy the fine selection of festive shows and events that the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival has to offer. For a true Christmas experience the award-winning Slava’s Snowshow brings the audience into a ‘dream-like world that will touch both your heart and funny bone, culminating in a breathtaking blizzard leaving you literally knee-deep in snow!’. This seems like the next best thing if we don’t have a white Christmas this year.
The performance Murmers takes you on a journey of illusion, theatre and dance, with ‘city confusion, undersea encounters and dining-room debacles’. Directed by Victoria Thierreé Chaplin with a cast including Aurélia Thierreé, this intriguing and beautiful tale is definitely one to go along to. For more information and tickets see southbankcentre.co.uk.
Heading up North this Christmas?
Then head to the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. In its own way this exhibition is quite Christmassy. What is the last thing right at the bottom of your stocking? An orange. Either that or coal. I think we’d all prefer the first option. Everyone who attends the United Enemies exhibition is invited to take a piece of the art home with them by picking an orange from the sculpture formed of 6,000 oranges. Edible art, yes please. The sculpture known as ‘Soul City’, designed by South African artist, Roelof Louw, will gradually disintegrate as the exhibition continues. The exhibition looks at the sculpture produced by a range of artists in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s, a period when the very notion of sculpture was strongly contested.
United Enemies runs until March 11, 2012…whether there’ll be any oranges left is another question.
For those of you doing your last minute shopping in Bristol on Christmas Eve…
Check out The Pop-up Department Store at Cabot Circus. Amongst the great selection of local artists selling their work you’re bound to find the perfect presents. Freelance Illustrator Emma Garner’s designs incorporate surface pattern design and typography to produce individual prints and greetings cards.Another interesting stall, ‘Built in Bristol’ brings together beautifully detailed drawings by Lisa Malyon that explore the interesting architecture of Bristol, both the traditional and the modern. The exhibition runs until the 24th December so this literally is the perfect last minute present stop!
No Two Alike: Snowflake Photography By Kenneth G. Libbrecht
‘No two snowflakes are alike.’ It is a phrase repeated so often that most people accept it as fact. Kenneth G. Libbrecht, a famous snowflake researcher and photographer, mentioned that ‘it is indeed extremely unlikely that two complex snowflakes will look exactly alike. In fact, even if you looked at every one ever made you would not find any exact duplicates.’ Certainly, there are no two photographs of snowflakes alike, but they certainly can be beautiful.
Kenneth G. Libbrecht’s photographs of snowflakes show the features of winter’s secret beauty, but also capture the intricate detail of the science behind their capitavating aesthetics.
Many people think snowflakes are white, but a closer look reveals that they
are transparent like glass. Why do snowflakes look white? Kenneth G. Libbrecht indicates that snowflakes appear white because light is scattered from the edges of the clear crystals. Hence salt, sugar and crushed glass appear white for the same reason. In addition, a snowflake may encounter many different environmental conditions, sometimes melting, sometimes causing growth, and always changing its structure.
Snowflake photography is ideal for delighting your family and friends at Christmas time.
Here are some tips of shooting snowflakes:
* Get close towards the snowflakes, hold the camera steady and shoot from as many angles as possible
* Shoot on the early morning or late afternoon so sunlight can bring out details. Falk adds ‘Do not shoot in full sun or quite full shadow, best shoot is to find flakes in the 'twilight zone' areas of the snow.’
* Large soft flakes photograph better than small, bright ones.
* Nearly windless days are ideal for snowflake shooting.
These photographs were captured by Kenneth G. Libbrecht using a specially designed snowflake photomicroscope.