Archive for March, 2010

As part of the Media and Techniques module I was required to sketch landscapes from life, and to familiarise myself with landscapes in general I firstly took photographs in various locations. I  later used some of these as reference photographs for my work and my printing. I thought I would include some of my favourite photographs in this blog.



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What is the role of the designer?

  …. a difficult thing to define that’s for sure. Everybody seems to have different ideas and opinions about what exactly the role of the designer is, and that is hardly surprising. Researching this question has led me to discover many views on what the role of the designer actually is:

One interesting view is that of  Tucker Viemeister

  We designers use our hands, heads, and hearts. We get to invent things and then make them into real things–things that we want. We use our heads for strategy, tactics, science, and thinking ahead. We actually make things with our hands: drawings, models, and samples. And we use our own emotions to connect with the hearts so that people will want what we created. The combination is what makes being a designer so interesting and valuable.


This view is similar to my own … I see the role of a the designer as a creative one, creating something which has meaning either to somone else or to the designer. Designers may be motivated by different things: financial reward, fame and recognition, personal satisfaction, meeting the expectations, needs or requirements of others etc. but it is the need to create something which has meaning which inspires me as an artist.

Quotes relating to the role of the designer:

A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.
R. Buckminster Fuller

Providing, meaning to a mass of unrelated needs, ideas, words and pictures – it is the designer’s job to select and fit this material together and make it interesting.
Paul Rand

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For this project we were required to choose a toy or ornament, which we then had to use in a poster to communicate an issue associated with Climate Change. Following initial group discussions about the issues associated with climate change, I decided to design my poster around the theme of the carbon footprint. I chose a small plush mouse as my toy, as I wanted to show how small changes could make a big difference, and a mouse, having only a small “carbon” footprint could be used to demonstrate this point.

Here is my mouse toy:

I researched the meaning of the term ” carbon footprint” and looked and ways in which the carbon footprint can be reduced.



I then looked at posters relating to the carbon footprint:

The first two posters are from www.awarenessideas.com

The poster below is from  http://www.gurseva.org/envirosave.html

The poster below is from; http://www.zazzle.co.uk/carbon_footprint_poster_print-228315868458472490

Most of the posters are eye-catching and they have a clear, effective message. The majority of posters relating to carbon footprints refer to the size of carbon footprints or  reducing carbon footprints, and they show images of human footprints to make the message personal and directed at the human population. The language used is clear and direct.

For my own poster I aim to demonstrate the importance of reducing the carbon footprint, but will use the footprint of the mouse as the main focus, as it is just a small footprint, but the main message of the poster will be that a small step or small change can make a big difference, as all the little footprints add up to make a big impact. I will make the image on the poster simplistic and to the point. 

After working on rough sketches I produced three concepts; the other two concepts I produced for the poster are shown below:

( Please ignore the spelling mistakes ….. whoops )

The final image I chose as my final poster was the mouse painting a tree with green paint on it’s paws. The green footprints represent the carbon footprint, the tree represents the significance of reducing the carbon footprint and the fact that the mouse has small footprints represents the message that the small changes can make a big difference.  I wanted to keep the idea simple but wanted the message to be clear … I hope it works.

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This is the piece I created for the digital brief 1. in university. I had to create a piece of work using just two colours; I chose black and white, then added in texture using a grunge brush. The character is my own, a victorian named Melanie Lantern.

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Well, since my computer was acting up through most of future’s week, I couldn’t type it up day to day, so here’s one big post of my thoughts and feelings of how it went.


Monday I went in not really knowing what to expect; we were split into teams, and given a box filled with art materials, ranging from canvas, crayons, mat paper, e.t.c; then asked to create a piece of artwork to sell on Ebay using these materials and anything we can buy/trade for.
Now our group began by discussing ideas, what keywords to choose, e.t.c. And finally settled on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ since it was current and should gain a lot of searches on Ebay.
Me and one member of the group went off to collect a book I had which featured illustrations of the characters, leaving the rest of the group to discuss ideas.
When we returned, everyone had sort of fizzled out on enthusiasm; I really wanted to create some nice artwork, but I soon realised the rest of my group were just too tired to really spend a lot of time on anything; so we decided to create the  ‘mystery box’ and make anything to go in it.
As much as the idea of the group work held potential, perhaps it would have worked mid week rather then right away, after the inspirational lectures.


Tuesday began with a lecture hosted by Abi Whitehouse, about her partnership in the mini magazine she helped create called ‘Doodlezine’.
This was an interesting lecture, and it was inspirational how something so small can become much bigger then you thought it would be.
Me and my friend Heather however missed the second lecture, as we went out to buy a birthday present and forgot the time.
The third lecture was primarily about working with schools and communities in workshops; it discussed tips on how to get involved, and where to get potential work experience. This could be something to look into for the summer!


Lecture one on Wednesday was centred around Graphic Novels.
I found this lecture to be the most informative, and it held my interest throughout. It was inspirational, to the point where all I wanted to do was to go home and draw! I was glad  the lecturers showed that you didn’t necessarily need a degree in Graphic Novels to go into that field of work.
They also provided lots of informative tips on getting yourself known, and how to work with professional companies, as well as a few little tips on how they produced their work.

Lecture two was on Illustration, and offered mostly the same tips as the previous lecture. I found looking at the lecturer’s portfolio interesting.

Lecture three was on Graphics and video game design. This was again inspiring, and I enjoyed watching how every aspect of a cinematic sequence was put together. The bullet point tips at the end were useful.

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Hello world!  Welcome to my first ever attempt at a blog. Producing this blog is a requirement of my professional development module. I cannot promise it will be amusing, interesting or exciting, but I aim to highlight some of my artistic influences and show my professional development through my own work, my views on other artist’s work and visits to galleries, exhibitions, films and conventions. The specific requirement of the professional development module is to discuss the role of the designer and become more informed on the following three themes:

1. Sustainability

2. Boundaries and borders

3. Ethical Issues

To do this I am required to examine contemporary practitioners from a variety of fields and consider their philosophies in relation to the three themes above.  From this I then need to produce a body of work which communicates my own philosophy on one of the themes. Wish me luck : )

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