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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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