Tuesday, 11 January 2011

When and how was the first ever book in Europe printed? and Who is your favourite expert? And why?

The first book ever printed in Europe was done so by the use xylography (art of engraving on wood, block printing) in 1423.

“Xylography is wood engraving, and the oldest known relief printmaking technique. The discipline was first practiced in China, then picked up in Europe centuries later. Using a block of wood in somewhat the same manner as a rubber stamp, a xylographer cuts and/or carves wood away from those parts of the design that will not be inked. The "sticking up" parts that are left form the final print.”

This was then followed in 1440 with “German inventor Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press process that, with refinements and increased mechanization, remained the principal means of printing until the late 20th century. The inventor's method of printing from movable type, including the use of metal molds and alloys, a special press, and oil-based inks, allowed for the first time the mass production of printed books.” 

The first book in Europe was printed with the intention of spreading ideas to many people. A larger audience could have access to books like bibles and religious text. 

Who is your favourite expert? And why?

Katsuhiro Otomo

Goseki Kojima

 Jamie Hewlett

 Simon Bisley

Frank Miller

My favourite experts are Goseki Kojima, Katsuhiro Otomo, Frank Miller, Simon Bisley and Jamie Hewlett. 

These artists influenced my still developing mind and have shaped the way I think, view the world and interact with the rest of you.

Over the years I have tried to find out how to draw like these artists and never been very successful, partly due to the fact that they are such amazing artists and I just don’t have that level of natural ability.

It is difficult to choose who is my favourite expert. They have different attributes that I greatly admire. Each one has made a massive and resounding impact on my life and the way I create artwork. Without these artists my world would not be quite as cool.

I like Katsuhiro Otomo and Jamie Hewlett’s ability to define and create elaborately constructed subcultures. They manage to identify with peoples need to be rebellious in a very stylish way.

I like Frank Miller’s unique stark graphic style that creates an incredible intensity, Goseki Kojima beautiful drawing style and Simon Bisley’s epic, larger than life characters.  

Thursday, 6 January 2011

How text can changes the meaning of a photograph

When presented with a photograph, the content that is being depicted is subject to conjecture and the personal opinion of the viewer.

With the introduction of text to the image, the creator of the photograph can attempt to influence and manipulate the way the viewer perceives what is relevant, consequently creating a meaning according to the context.

Documentary photography and photojournalism are clear examples of this. If the photograph were clearly depicting a famous and historic event it would be next to impossible to not have some prior knowledge off, text would be mostly unimportant with the content speaking for its self.

If the photograph were extremely obscure it would become enhanced by being given a context that may have been excruciatingly difficult to fathom with out some form of text giving a written explanation or clue.

This photograph by Paul Lowe is intended to depict the humanitarian and political turmoil that people around the world face on a daily basis.

Paul Lowe has worked for lots of newspapers and been to many war torn countries delivering images like this to audiences across the world.

The signs in this photograph, the child with hands over his eyes, the open car door and the man with his hands behind his back suggest an uneasy, tense situation.

The use of text in this photograph changes our perception of the context. Without the words United Nations this would simply be people on a street, just a man holding a bag with no more meaning than your own imagination wishes to put on it. The introduction of text plays a vital role, making the photographs relevant. 

How text influences our emotions?

Text can help to engage the viewer of a photograph by taking a difficult subject matter and making a statement that challenges our mindset.

The photographer Michael Ensminger uses a heavy dose of irony to make this statement about how we view homeless people.

"Some people were very indignant about what I was doing," he says. "They'd yell things (at the photographer) like, ‘You fucker, leave him alone!' And these were generally liberal people. I found them as narrow-minded as anybody, because they had these pre-formed ideas about how to approach the homeless."

"I wasn't trying to be something I'm not," he says. "I'm not that courageous. I wasn't ready to walk away from my life and my business. I was aware of the options of what I 
can do, and at this point, I'm not trying to illuminate something about the homeless. I'm trying to wring the irony out of it."


Development of Creative Thought and Structure in Illustration and Graphic Art

Over coming mindsets

By looking around us and gathering visual information we build up a personal picture of our environment. The little things that we notice as individuals, and find important, are often discarded by others as irrelevant and visa versa.

In order to be successfully creative we need to have a skill set which enables us to overcome our normal conventional ways of thinking, gathering information, idea generation and ways of representing these ideas creatively.      

By understanding the way we usually think and attempt to solve problems we can deconstruct our mindset and try to challenge conventional ways of working.

As well as looking inwards, we should also gather as much information as possible from the world and the way others produce creative work. This will help to give a platform from which we can assimilate new ideas, enabling the potential of fresh perspectives that were previously out of creative reach.

This is a painting by Kozyndan, it depicts a rabbit on the shore peering at a bunnyfish. The intention in this image could simply be to challenge conventional mindsets regarding fine art.

The painting was made for a ‘Holiday Group’ show at a gallery in Toronto. The audience would be people who like art.

The frame gives the painting an antique look and is also a sign that Kozyndan constantly develop new ways of thinking.

The rabbit has been taken out of context from its normal habitat in the real world and placed along side the surreal bunnyfish.

The media used is gouache on wood paper.

This painting by Kozyndan is also a good example of overcoming mindsets. Mixing cultural and religious images to create interesting and new ideas.  

Managing a Creative Environment

Shawn Barber

The studio of Shawn Barber, he has a collection of tattoo machines on the wall. Artists often have collections of some kind. 

He has a large collection of paintbrushes. Its a good idea to have your tools close to hand, in varied and plentiful supply.

Shawn Barber surrounds himself with inspiration, things that he likes and his own work.

The studio is very dark and has lots of random objects doted around the space, some of which light up the space – fairy lights/fruit machines.

Alexis Mackenzie

Alexis Mackenzie work overflows from her desk. She has a collection of books that she gets from estate sales and various then uses them as inspiration for her work.

Her workspace is a light and relatively ordered place. Her collection of ornaments and images are in neat rows. The space in general is not over crowded with objects or furniture. This is reflected in her work, which is neat and takes great patients. 

It is noticeable that the studios pictured here are organized and designed to reflect the personalities of the artists occupying them and this is reflected in the work they produce