Argh, WordPress!

So after spending ages rearranging my categories to try and make my blog easier to navigate, WordPress has decided to delete loads of my photos and this isn’t the first time either. I think next term I need to use a different site because I have wasted so much time rearranging my work after it’s randomly changed the format or even re writing things that have been deleted, for no reason. Waste of time!

Artistic Language

I decided to compile a list of words or phrases that I come across as the course progresses which could be useful when describing my work or the work of others.  Although many of them I  know already I thought it would be good to have them there to refer to when I get stuck whilst writing. I began this in the back of my notebook but am now going to record them here in my blog for easier access. I was going to add definitions but the dictionary definitions weren’t very relevant to the context in which I would use them.

  • Stimuli
  • Visually articulate
  • Aesthetic
  • Qualities
  • Expansive
  • Subjective
  • Versatile
  • Bourgeois
  • Ambiguity
  • Superfluous
  • Explicate

I also came across this website which may be useful if I come across something I don’t understand:

http://www.artlex.com/

Rough Designs Logo

For some time now I have wanted to be able to create a professional logo for my company but haven’t had the ability to do so but with my newly found confidence in photoshop I decided to give it a go.

I already had an idea of what I wanted it to look like, here is my hand drawn version:

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So my starting point was to find a text that suited the style of my upcycled and handmade crafts company and as none of the pre installed fonts were right I decided to look online. I found a website where I could download various font packs and looked for a section for ‘free commercial use’ fonts so that I was legally allowed to use it in all my advertising.

There was an endless amount available and I downloaded quite a few to see how they worked when spelling ‘Rough Designs.’ some didn’t have capitals and some were all capitals, others were exactly what I wanted but didn’t show the name clearly enough. Eventually I settled on ‘Beautiful World’ which is a scruffy looking font that comes all in capitals.

At this point I decided to change the logo from just saying ‘Rough Designs’ to the website ‘www.roughdesigns.co.uk.’ I wanted to use the logo on canvas bags and other advertising so it made sense to show the web address.

Now I needed to find a border, inspired by the image by Terry Winters that I came across when looking at the formal elements, I considered various methods in which to do this. I liked the hazardous, carefree style of Winter work but wanted to maintain a professional look and so opted to download a boarder that reflected a similar style. Eventually I found this ‘Brushed Boarders’ pack.

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I may have download items to use in this instance but this is still something I wouldn’t have know to be possible before. My end result is something I have been trying to create for a long time now and so am very happy to finally have achieved this.

roughdesigns screen print

Bake Sale

I was eager to get involved in fundraising within the college as soon as possible and so I decided begin by arranging a bake sale. Luckily I have plenty of cupcake images from advertising my cake stands that I sell as part of my crafts company. My selected image was chosen due to it’s excellent depth of field as well as the placement of the cake stand on the right hand side which left space for the writing on the left.

So I added the text and arranged it so that it fitted nicely, making some text larger to appear more eye catching and giving it an outline. I then decided to graduate the colour of the text going from light to light, this way all the text was visible enough against the background which also went from light to dark.

Although again this wasn’t the most adventurous or complex task I am feeling more and more confident with photoshop each time I use it.

Student Union Campaign

As raising money for charity is something that I am quite passionate about I decided to put myself forward for the position of Charities and Fundraising Officer as part of the Students Union. As part of elections I had to campaign for votes and so decided to use photoshop to create a poster for this. I wanted to make it relevant to charity but for a while I couldn’t think of anything I could use until I googled pictures of ‘charity’ and came across a picture of a collection bucket. It said on the lid ‘Please give generously’ which I thought would fit with my campaign if i changed it to ‘please vote generously’ and so I had my starting point.

I had a look through the carious images to try and find one to meet all my criteria. I couldn’t pick one that was too distinctively linked with a charity as I didn’t want to annoy anyone, it had to be a large file size to look good enough on an a4 poster and it had to be held at the right angle in order to look right.

Eventually I found this:

It was a large size, front on and wouldn’t be too reconisable as to what charity it supported (which isn’t so good for the charities brand recognition.)

So I needed to add my own text, for this I used the spot healing brush tool (which is my new favourite tool!) I used it to disperse the original text leaving it clear for me to add my own.

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I was originally going to leave some of the original writing but it didn’t look right compared what I had added so I just text boxes to add three sets of writing. The centre one has had the arc style added in wrap text to make it more interesting.

Charity Box

And so as you can see this is the finished result. With more time it could have been done to a better standard but I think it was quite effective considering the small amount of work and tools needed.

Deadline time

So it’s nearing the time to hand in my work that’s incomplete and a lot of it irrelevant! Although it’s a little late in the day I decided to take a step back and try and see what it is that makes it so hard for me to get my work done…

It’s been a struggle to manage my time when it doesn’t feel like I have any time to manage so I decided to reassess my commitments. Work will have to go but as it’s Christmas and the busiest time of the year I’m stuck with it until January. Working on ‘Rough Designs’ will have to take a back seat until after Christmas and I won’t be involving myself in the and Student Union activities for the time being. Logan on the other hand can’t be put to one side and has decided now is the time to become more time consuming and needy, working around him is near impossible. So this means I need to make the most of the time I have when he’s alseep, which isn’t great as by then I’m shattered but for now it will have to do.

Reading the briefs and not actually understanding them really hasn’t helped, also trying to focus on what is relevant and keeping on track can be challenging. Luckily I have an appointment through the DSA people to get me the help and support I need for my difficulties with Dyslexia and OCD. I have also been informed that I can get my personal tutor from the beginning of the term which means I’ll have someone to go through what’s required with me and to keep on top of goals that I’ve set myself and of course deadlines.

GLASSES! I’m getting new glasses that aren’t so scratched I can’t use them and with an up to date, stronger, prescription! This will help with computer work, reading and stop my eyes feeling so tired, thank goodness. And they’ll be ready in a week!

So to summarise, when I start the new term I will…

  • Have more time as I won’t be working
  • Have a personal tutor to talk me through briefs and to help me stay on target, as well as other DSA related support
  • Have new glasses so I can actually see what I’m doing properly

This may not help me right now but at least I know it will be easier next term… for now I just need to work, work, work!

Trip to Looe, Classic Sculptures

Our trip to Looe to recreate classic sculptures

“The Discus Thrower” Anon

We gathered in our group and were instructed as to what we had to achieve. The task to me seemed a daunting one as it was a large scale project unlike anything I had done before and as we had been given ‘The Discus Thrower’ by Anon we had a challenging piece to recreate. It was clear that it would require a level of accuracy and attention to detail that was similar to, but not quite as in depth, as that found in the piece “Sun Tunnels” by Nancy Holt.

Despite all this I was keen to give it a go, unfortunately a few of our group were also eager to get stuck in but with little communication were doing different things in a rather scrambled way. There were people pouring buckets of water on the sand, people digging to get to the  wetter sand and people levelling out the surface but right next where others were digging their holes. The rest of us looked on a little confused so I suggested that marking out the space we would need to work on would be a good place to start. I was upset to find I was ignored several times before another group member repeated my suggestion and finally it was acknowledged.

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As we were marking it by using peoples actual feet two guys with similarly sized feet began counting out steps, one doing the length, the other the width. This gave us a rectangle but it was a rather wonky one. I advised that the person who had measured the width re walk the 8 steps several times along the length of the rectangle, this way we would be able to get the two lines of the length parallel to each other. Again I was ignored, several times, but after another team member picked up on what I had said and repeated it the guy eventually did this and we were able to get our rectangle.

By this point I was left feeling slightly disheartened, and a little stressed, as I felt that I was unable to contribute to the group and so I decided to take a back seat and let the two dominant members to continue to lead the way. Meanwhile the group next to us were using a plank of wood to smooth the surface of the sand. This seemed to be an effective method and so we asked to use the plank after they were finished. As they were also using it to mark the lines of their grid it was taking a while and a few groups were also waiting to use it so I saw the opportunity to be productive and went to find another plank to enable us and all the other groups to use this technique with less of a wait.

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I returned triumphant with my plank of wood to find we had finally been passed on the original plank and it was being used to smooth our surface, I double checked that we would no longer need it and was told we wouldn’t, so I gave it to another group. After our space was level the original plank was also passed on but without the lines being marked. This meant that our hand drawn lines of our grid turned out wobbly and quite uneven whilst all the groups around us had very neat looking grids as a result of using the planks. I tried to rectify this by reclaiming a plank and going over to straighten up our lines but it was still far messier then it had needed to be.

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People started to mark out the outline of our figure whilst myself and Byron dug a hole nearby to create a pile of wet sand to use to make our sculpture. Then as the outline was completed we opted to all take a section of the figure to build. After Myself and another girl attempted the face and found it challenging we decided it was time to take a break to be able to return to our work refreshed.

After my break I found the face that I had been working on had been destroyed as the other members who had continued working weren’t happy with it. I felt annoyed that they couldn’t have waited and talked to me about it when I got back as they all had other areas to keep working on. Nevertheless I carried on for some time but kept finding it was out of proportion or not at the right angle, I also struggled with keeping the sand wet and so it was prone to falling away. We had other issues with the proportions of an arm, a leg and the torso. We all thought that the angles the sculpture was positioned in was what was making it very challenging to translate into sand. After a while we realised that standing back to take it all in as one was a good idea as we had been so focused on our own little areas.

Eventually I conceded and offered the face to someone else, I didn’t feel that I had the ability to get it right and as it was one of the last parts left uncompleted and time was running out I thought this would be the most beneficial thing to do. I then began to focus on the presentation: clearing the surrounding area, digging away, levelling sand and giving it a tidy up. I encouraged other group members to help with this who weren’t already keeping the sculpture damp or involved with still working on their chosen areas.

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I feel that If we had begun with a more accurate grid that it would have made this stage easier. Also if we had assigned roles to people as specific ‘sand dampeners’ and worked from one end of the sculpture to the other, rather then individual areas, it would have looked more consistent. Aspects such as whether the edges were curved, which is and integral part of a realistic sculpture, weren’t really talked about and were done at the last minute. Overall I think our problems were a result of a lack of communication and a non effective team work.

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As the judges came around we stood back and took a look at our finished piece, I then had a look around at the other work around the beach. I thought that ours was not as aesthetically appealing as the others, I particularly liked the Venus De Milo and how the shapes created by the folds in her robe worked well in the sand, also Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant sculpture caught my eye with it’s smooth, rounded curves. It was impressive to see all of the finished pieces spaced across the beach, so much so that there were a lot of members of the public gathering around and inspecting them as if they were in an art gallery. The completed sculptures reminded me of Robert Smithsons ‘Jetty’ and how using natural materials can enable the work to blend with it’s environment.

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“Alison Lapper Pregnant” Recreated by PCA Students

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“Venus De Milo” Recreated by PCA Students

When the judges announced we had come third I was genuinely shocked, I still don’t necessarily think we deserved this but I think they must have taken into account the complexity of our figure. I was exhausted after the long day that had been consistently hot throughout and was glad to be finished. I hadn’t realised just how achievable yet stunning working with sand could be and so although the day hadn’t gone as smoothly as it could have sand sculpturing is something I would love to try again in my own time, in a more relaxed manner.