'What am I doing in my work? that's has been a tough question these last months, given that the reason for the MA is to explore new visual languages and ways of working.
This summer I have spent drawing, that is how I make images for the most part. I don't often work digitally, preferring the tactile pull of chalk/ pencil on paper. I am aware of the limitations of my 'usual' medium - pastel, chalk, pencil; you have to work big, it's tricky to scan, it smudges easily, but it is good for 'on the spot' drawing.
Recently, and in preparation for the MA, I started using other mediums, a Wacom tablet, coloured pencil, collage, in a bid to extend my visual language and to better describe my intentions.
Movement, controlled accidents, and layering are typical of the way I have been drawing. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, I draw a lot in my sketchbook. The pencil line is searching (not always 'correct'), but it does wander over the subject, and tries to express form and emotion or character. This quality, gives a truth and immediacy to the drawing, and it's a quality which I try and capture in my illustrations.
This doesn't feel like an aquired 'style', because it's come from a lot of observational drawing. It is more a shorthand visual language that has developed as a way of working over a long period of time. Louis Netter, a reportage artist who is currently studying for a PhD/MPhil at the Royal College has written about his illlustration practicehas said that "drawing from life is a process of invention and modification of drawn marks that collectively imbue the work with an individual voice" (Netter, L. 2014). Some of my work, particularly the buildings, start with a chaos of marks, or an underpainting of colour which has an engineered randomness.
I'll then pull together detail, and emphasise some of the accidents. It is a technique that works well with the medium.
My first degree was in Graphic Design, and my tutor was Terry Dowling. Varoom claimed him as a founding father of radical contemporary illustration (Shaughnessy, A.(2007),'Abusing the Process', Varoom (5) pp 72-85. He introduced me to illustrators like Sue Coe, Anne Howeson, Chloe Cheese, and animators the Quay brothers (who came and taught a bit of animation). George Grosz was another influence.
NETTER, L. (2014) Drawing and Visualisation research: Brief notes on reportage drawing, visual language and the creative agenda of the artist.[online].
Available at: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/19890/1/Louis_Netter_TRACEY_Journal_DIS_2014.pdf (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Shaughnessy, A.(2007), 'Abusing the process' Varoom, 5 pp72-85