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Sunday, 28 November 2010

ITAP: Critical Commentary

(Level 4) Lecture 7
This week I had a lecture on ‘Development of Creative Thought and Structure in Illustration and Graphic Art’. The key principles were:
1. Overcoming Mindsets
2. Getting Rid of Assumptions
3. Restating Problems
4. Developing Ideational Fluency
5. Managing a Creative Environment  
I would be discussing Principe’s 3 & 4 pacifically today.
Restating Problems
Restating your problems basically mean finding an interesting way to redefine the problem. Designers/artists often have to imaginatively challenge problems from different angles. The designers or artists develop an idea and within an idea, the possibility of designing the one original idea has variety of possibilities/outcomes.
If making a visual list of 50-75 ideas. The first 20-30 would be those you are most familiar with, but the bigger the list the greater the probability of achieving original insight as a result of the fusion of two or more ideas.
You could also think of ways of producing it not going for the obvious thinking outside the box or even breaking the rules of design.  For example my recent project I am working on at the moment is to redesign a guide for new students coming to BIAD next year. I considered using graphic illustration because it felt that playful, handmade to feel personal for the target audience which is students. Also thought of using colour because it’s more attractive and would catch the eye of my target audience rather than black & white. I wanted to look at other ways of presenting this information, for instance I could design a mini animation, print campaign or could be web-based this is me thinking outside the box and looking at the design from the audiences point of view.
Developing Ideational Fluency
Ideational fluency can be defined as easily produced ideas that fulfil certain requirements and this can be achieved through tools such as classification, brainstorming and mind mapping. Ideational fluency refers to the quantity and diversity, but not necessarily the quality of ideas.
Classification is where ideas can be organised by recognising both obvious as well as hidden common denominators, sometimes removing artificial boundaries and generating diverse connections.
Brainstorming is an opportunity to develop impulsive thinking and generate more ideas.
Mind Mapping allows you the ability to organise the thought processes as a network, encouraging associations between different thoughts.
Below is my final major project (FMP) brainstorm image from my sketchbook. When brainstorming it helped me drop down my idea when inspiration came.

Image from Kawsar Ahmed

Rob Ryan is a British artist who majority of work is papercutting and screenprinting. He had designed illustration for books, album covers, greeting cards and magazines.

When recently reading the October issue of Computer Arts magazine, I fell across a page on how to make ‘stunning papercuts the easy way’ and found it very useful in fact so much that I consider doing it. If you are interested in learning the technique it’s on page 64.
Written by Kawsar Ahmed
Image courtesy of

Monday, 15 November 2010

ITAP -Production and Outcomes

(Level 4) ITAP lecture 6

This week I had an integrating theory and practice (ITAP) lecture about production & outcome. The five key principles of this lecture are Interpretation, Delivery, Medium, Testing, and Methodology. And today I will discuss the principles of Testing your work and Delivery.

Testing your work
Illustrators can gain feedback and reaction of their work from the public through galleries, websites, blogs, social forums and many more. This information is then up to the artists to improve or adjust the work to suit the needs of their target audience.
For Instance when reading the recent issue of ‘Computer Arts’ magazine I came across ‘Yuta Onoda’ is a Japan illustrator and painter based in Toronto, Canada. After a year from graduating he has been very successful winning several awards and having commissions from magazines like Eye weekly, Ez Magazine, How Magazine, Beehive Design, Imagine Native, Ink Publishing and more. Onoda was published in Computer Arts magazine as a upcoming artist. Being featured in the magazine is promoting himself and his work is becoming known from a globally. The magazine spreads had images of his work and this would engage the audience. To read the full interview of Yuta Onoda then visit He has a blog that he can receive comments from the public.  

*Pictures courtesy from Yuta Onoda blog.

You can get feedback and reactions from the art professionals by entering art competitions for example the annual D&AD.

There has never been a better time for the potential applications for illustration. Creative outputs now include collectable designer toys, fashion clothes, plates, furniture, etc.

Many illustrators today will simply not wait for markets to emerge but instead find other ways to get there work across for example self-publishing fanzines and magazines; launching own-label products, flick books and stickers, badges, T shirts as well as promoting self initiated limited edition artworks through the use of online websites and more traditional gallery shows.

For instance ‘Diggy Smerdon’ is a contemporary artist & illustrator. Her expressive raw lines and distinct forms make her work unique and mysterious. Her talent also extent into further realms as she has unleashed her quirky and beautiful creations on to everything from album covers, to T- shirts and surfboards.

Below are pictures from one of my favourites and a link to a video clip showing Diggy creating custom art surfboard. This clip also shows her process from painting the artwork on to the blank step by step of glassing the board and finishing it off ready to wax up and to use. The board was commissioned by Panda Eye surf.

* (video clip at bottom of page) 

To conclude I believe that there are many ways artists and designers can present their art work do gain valuable feedback from the public. This enables the designers to improve and adapt their ideas to satisfy their chosen target audience. Also I feel that particularly Illustrators have a range of platforms to express their work on, a big improvement from past years experiences.

Written by Kawsar Ahmed


This video clip was sponsored by Avalaan.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

ITAP; Development of Ideas and Structure in Moving Image

Analysing the structure of Twilight movie

This week I will be discussing about story development in a three act structure, and I would be expressing these key points why watching the movie ‘Twilight’. I will also show how ‘The Sarah Jane Adventure’ (TV series) extended the platform to engage audience.
Principe 1; Story Development

‘Twilight’ is a vampire movie originally based upon the famous book series by author Stephanie Meyer. This is the first movie of the Twilight Saga. So this movie is split into 3 sections Beginning; Middle; End.
The movie is told by Bella point of view. The beginning (30 minutes) of the movie, she moves to ‘Forks’ a small town in Washington DC to live with her father ‘Charlie’. She gets used to her new surroundings, and starts high school. Bella meets Edward Cullen in biology class and she starts noticing little odd habits. Then later Edward saves Bella’s life from a car accident and it’s from here that she becomes drawn to him. And questions Edward on how he came so fast to her from a length of space.  

Then a series of events happen to Bella which ends up of Edward saving her again and their relationship progresses.
The Middle of the movie is mostly about Bella & Edward and James (a nomadic vampire). It starts off by Edward inviting Bella to go play baseball with his family. This is when they meet ‘The Nomadic Vampire’ who killed Charlie good friend. The three members of this group are Laurent (who seems to be the leader), Victoria (James girlfriend) and James (a tracker- who harms Bella). The Cullen family plans to kill James to save Bella. Bella leaves Forks to protect her father from the situation she’s in. The family splits up two protecting Bella and the other half trying to stir James on a wrong path. However this plan backfire and James makes a call to Bella threatening to kill her mother. So she agrees to come to James alone to save her. But later finds out it was a trap. James twists and bites her wrist.

The ending, Edward comes to Bella rescue and kills James. Then Edward sucks the venom out of her system. After a couple of days Bella goes to prom with Edward. The end shot is of Victoria watching them dancing of which they are unaware. Victoria plays a big part in the next movie ‘New Moon’ from the Twilight Saga.  
Overall I found the movie enjoyable and good to watch. You could watch the movie on YouTube (but they aren’t in HD) or you can buy the movie. I would say the protagonist in this movie would be Edward Cullen. In his past he admitted that he killed people however in this story we see him as the Hero.    

Principe 5; Digital Storytelling   

‘The Sarah-Jane Adventures’ is a TV series following the show of Doctor Who but its targeted for a younger audience. When going to their website I notice a variety of clips and episodes to engage and increase the audience. I’d seen beautiful illustrated comic strips, exclusive videos, games, character interviews and much more. The website layout is also straight forward. I was worried before because i wondered how they will put all this information in and still make it look clear and simple for kids to use.
The use of colour and pictures enhance the target audience to o to the website and even watch the episodes.
Here’s a link to their website,
What do you think of it?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Integrating Theory and Practice- The Brain

Draw. Work by Hand & Utilise Your Creative Brain 
(Principle 1&2)

      Right Brain     
      Childlike, Playful, Experiments, Creativity
These two painting created by Merello presents emotions and has variety of colours. By the brush strokes, as well as the pictures of sun, houses, and fields indicated that the artist had a playful mind whilst created this. The image at the left reminds me of my childhood when I drawn pictures of a house and the sun in the corner. I could instantly tell that the artist used the right side of his brain, because it's more childlike, playful and curious. 
The painting below shows that it a portrait of someone. I consider he used mixed media for this. I like the use of colour presented and how he drawn straight onto the canvas without over analysing things.

Left Brain

Analysing, Clarifying, Structure, Editing and Evaluating.

Jonathan Burton (Illustrator)

This is a look inside Jonathan Burton sketchbook. I can see that here he has started to analyse his idea a bit more, by explaining this process (reflecting). This shows that he is gathering his thoughts into paper. I believe that he used the left side of his brain to work out and solve problem.

As well as expressing his thoughts into paper some might not like mass of writing so to keep it visually interesting he added some thumbnail sketches. The sketchbook has his ideas on how he will design this final outcome.

There are 2 illustrations below. One on the left is showing his end illustration result and on the right is the final computerized one (added with colour).

To conclude I like to say that both sides of the brain works best together. The awareness of using these two can support more effective creative process. I found this week that information graphics is one example of this. So you get a mixture, one side is visual artwork which engages with the eye and second the analysis that connects with your mind.

This is Jonathan Burton work showing the process of how he got his end result. He began by trying to solve the problem of how ‘showing 8 people together in one room all facing each other’. He then created a sequence to help him establish different ideas to make it happen. Jonathan had drawn his ideas and notes on the page. He used pencil because it is simple and easy to be erased when making a mistake. The sketch presented tells me that he translated different ideas to solving the problem and ideas from his head to paper.

When completing his thumbnail idea sketches. He moved on experimenting using his right side of his brain.  His experiments are mainly detail pencil drawing of the characters at different positions. Here I can see Burton working out how the characters will be arranged.
Once solving this problem, when observing his end result i fold that the 6 suspect are in colour and this is the hierarchy I’ve noticed. Also noticed that the view was sketch from above, this made it clear how each person looks at others in this illustration. Jonathan Burton said that ‘The project was so rewarding particularly when piecing together all the scene and characters’.