Experimenting for the fun of it!

Last week, at college, we had a guest lecturer in, Carlos Garde-Martin (click the name to visit his website), to talk to us about experimenting, especially through illlustration, as experimentation will be a very important factor to the Design Factory brief I am working on at the moment. Supplementing this with a trip to the Kurt Schwitters exhibition at Tate Britain as well as a few others potentially, will hopefully provide me with the inspiration needed for this project.

First of all, I had the chance to experiment with some mark-making. With us having been asked to bring in some some random stuff to make some marks with it, I decided to find some weird random objects around the house, which I’ve pictured below. Noticeable objects included a ping-pong ball, a window sucker, a champagne cork etc…

And with some ink supplied, I was able to create marks! The finished ‘piece of art’ 😀 is pictured below, thanks to Emily for taking the first photo of me working on it as my skills don’t extend to me taking photos without using my hands!

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I also thought I would take a few up-close photos of some of the marks, as I learnt a bit about how different textures make different marks. First up, a plastic ‘sucker’ which would normally be used to stick notices to glass etc. I thought it may be quite interesting with the plastic being flexible and the chance to put pressure on it, to create different effects. I had no idea though how interesting it would be, with the results really reminding me of an iris of an eye, something I explored at length for the Portrait project I did.

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The next texture that I thought was interesting was a random mark that to me, reminds me of a comet, but with a cocktail stick, it was interesting to ‘scratch’ away at the ink, which left a very fine textured surface, reminding me of the grain that can be seen in wood.


With the ink used being rather thick, marks could be made within that as can be seen in the below image:

DSC_0585I also found it interesting to see the gradations from starting with something that was saturated with ink, and using it up as I went along.DSC_0596 Combining these marks together with other brushstrokes allowed for imagery to be created. If I had a specific purpose for an image in mind, rather than experimenting, and the time to create it I reckon some rather interesting stuff could be done.


From there, I moved onto collaging, which is not my favourite form of art, but I wanted to try different effects. So the aim I had was to mix different strips of colour and texture together and see what could be created. I also placed it on some tracing paper rather than normal paper, as it could be held up to the light, and also could be viewed from behind, which would be a completely random look, as I would only be focusing on the front.


The above image shows the work in progress, and below is the final result. I have also looked at the back, which could be seen as I used transparent paper, which allows a totally random pattern to be created. Interesting to note how the majority of the back is monochrome.



The final thing I did in the last few minutes of the session, was an attempt at printing. Pouring some ink out (on a great improvisation of a plastic wallet taped to a desk!) and rolling it, I could then draw a pattern in it, press some paper to it, and a magnificent image should appear. Ok, well, not quite in my case, but I guess I could have done more, with more time. Oh, and I forgot my ‘design’ would reflect when printed.


Overall, it was a rather interesting session, and it opened my eyes as to what could be achieved with different materials and processes to which I would normally use when creating work. It also helped not being pressured or having a rigid structure to the session as I could experiment without being criticised or asked for ‘the hidden meaning’ behind what I have done! I also enjoyed a few hours away from looking at a computer screen as that can get quite tiring during a project.

As for what this means for my Design Factory project, I am going to re-read the brief, but it has given me ideas that I can hopefully build upon…