Tracing Leopold Blooms steps the next location is O’Connell bridge. As he crosses he buys two Banbury cakes from an apple seller on the bridge and throws them to the seagulls.
The idea in this image was to show how this bridge looks today with desperate homeless people begging and a stream of people going to and fro. I took photos of this scene from many angles, deciding on this ‘across the road’ perspective, bearing in mind to maintain different viewpoints on each page. To create the sense of movement and time in some ways, the figures overlap and are cropped at the edges (to be drawn complete on the adjoining page). Adding to this sense of place is Wellington quay and the Ha’penny bridge in the background. Inside page 10.
This image is taken from a bus window where I took a number of photos. Utilising different visual reference material like photos, my drawings in sketch books of people I made a collage to draw from. The perspective from this height worked well but to give the interior impression I emphasised the window frame when at the colour stage. This was an important feature to have distinctive exterior and interior views in the book.
Selecting a particular room to represent my idea of the everyday was a challenge, after some initial sketches I settled on drawing my studio, a converted box room in my home.
This first colour study used muted tones to contrast with the detail in the drawing. I was concerned with capturing the mood of this space using a selected colour range.
This image shows muted browns and blues with spaces left blank for text. The feel or mood of my studio wasn’t quire resolved at this image.
This third colour study shows the space in pink and magenta hues, again not quite there in terms of showing the mood.
This final colour selection I felt represented the atmosphere of my studio. I selected brown, blue and purple tones repeated throughout the illustration which gives the image a sense of movement. There was enough information in the drawing to allow for a selective colour range. Although this could be developed with more varieties of colour selection.
The final image for Practice 1 included hand written notes describing the history and purpose of various objects. The reason behind this was to show how a personal illustration could act like a visual diary. Plus to demonstrate how an illustration can interact with an audience. This piece was my first real enquiry into visual essay and certainly sparked many ideas for future projects.
Gary Embury ‘The New Visual Journalism’ VaroomLab, vol. 1
This text is a response to the online journal set up by Gary Embury called http://reportager.uwe.ac.uk in 2012. He states that reportage as visual essay and documentary illustration is something which is experiencing a renaissance. For example the form of visual essay within the graphic novel genre. This article examines how the drawn image can compete with the photographic image. He raises the question here if society can accept photographic journalism why not in drawing?
Throughout this article Embury makes a convincing argument for the role and purpose of visual (drawing) journalism. Examples of reportage illustrators’ work and interviews supporting the central points give authenticity. Essentially the main point is that reportage illustration is unique in its depiction and approach to social issues and experiences. Steven Heller in The artist as illustrator, The illustrator as journalist (1992) wrote, “despite our current reliance on photographic, electronic and now digital media, for the transmission, and reception of objective information, the artist continues to be a valuable interpreter of critical events”(p.1).
This is particularly interesting to my research enquiry as it offers a new approach to drawing the everyday in terms of social content. Importantly it helps situate my practice in the wider illustration field. The concept of illustration as a visual essay has informed my research enquiry and certainly influenced where my research into this field has focused on.
The theme of the everyday is very broad and can have a multitude of meanings. In order to tackle this huge area I decided to focus on everyday spaces and daily experiences, like urban space, living space, working spaces and non spaces (like motorways, petrol stations). This decision was influenced from my research on the aforementioned theorists that sparked ideas.
The concept of ‘Place-identity’ in The People, Place, and Space Reader was of particular interest in terms of how the everyday is experienced. This text is situated in the field of environmental psychology. It argues that identities are formed in relation to the environment and consist of knowledge and feelings developed through everyday experiences of physical spaces. This concept is called ‘place identity’ and it is argued, is an essential part of a person’s self-identity.
The ideas discussed in this collection of essays build on previous cultural theorist that I have encountered in my research, like Pierre Bourdieu. He argues that space can have no meaning apart from practice; the system of generative and structuring dispositions, or habitus, constitutes and is constituted by actors’ movement through space (1984). Social practice activates spatial meanings, they are not fixed, but invoked by actors who bring their own knowledge, culture and intentions (p. 145).
The People, Place, and Space Reader brings together the excerpted writings of scholars, designers, and activists from a variety of fields upon which we draw in our teaching and research to make sense of the makings and meanings of the world we inhabit. They help us to understand the relationships between people and the environment at all scales, and to consider the active roles individuals, groups, and social structures play in creating the environments in which people live, work, and play.
Similarities can be made with Relph, E. (1976) Place and Placelessness, it states that different groups are distinguished by place identity. However this paper develops the enquiry by stating that physical environments can change rapidly and no longer correspond to place identity (p.79).
‘ …every individual must deal with a changing society, with unexpected events, with advanced in technology, with social upheavals…have an impact on the physical world of the person.’ (p.79)
This concept of ‘place identity’ can be applied to illustration reportage where issue based content aims to explore personal experiences or responses to location.
Relph gives a detailed phenomenological account of how places are experienced and how they are changing. He argues that place is a fundamental aspect of people’s existence in the world. Explored are how and why people engage and identify with particular places. He agrues that spread of modernity is causing a sense of ‘placelessness’ destroying ‘distinctive places and the making of standardised landscapes that results from an insensitiveity to the significance of place (preface).
This was one of the first major studies that examined the idea of place in terms of the human experience. However, it is important to note that this study conducted in 1976 may not apply completely in today’s global world. It is included here as it provides a background to this topic and is supported in part by contemporary studies like ‘Place-identity’, The People, Place, and Space Reader.
List of Figures:
Fig.1 Author’s own work, Pen drawing of everyday objects
Fig.2 Book Cover ‘Place-identity’ The People, Place, and Space Reader
Gieseking, Jen, Jack, Mangold, William et al (ed) (2014) Proshansky, Harold, Fabian, Abbe, and Kaminoff, Robert, (1983) ‘Place-identity’The People, Place, and Space Reader, pp.71-81,London: Routledge.
Relph, E. (1976) Place and Placelessness, London: Pion.
From the the selection of illustrators previous, I’m interested in experimenting with line variations and block colour to create a tone or atmosphere in my images. I started here with a pen drawing of a kitchen cabinet. The clean crisp lines appleal visually and could work well combined with pop colours. Its interesting to learn that the heavier indian ink drawing has a retro feel or tone, certainly less of a contemporary impression. I wanted to see how the mood of the image changes with colour. The colours used in the third image give a very different atmosphere, much livelier. This is interesting to see, however I think the pen drawing is a stronger image without the broken lines.
Photographer and art director Vanessa McKeown makes colorful pictures of everyday objects combined in interesting, playful ways.
This is a really good example of how everyday objects can be transformed into something completely different by juxtaposing two objects in unexpected ways. Visually the bright pop colours and the unexpected visual twist make for a compelling image. This is evident in her increasing popularity on Instagram.
I find the work of Japanese illustrator and painter Juriko Kosaka interesting in term of approach to the everyday. These examples show typical Asian food, I particularly like the simple refined line and application of watercolour. Its interesting to see the cultural differences of everyday items too. My drawings of similar items would look completely different.
This is work of illustrator Lyndon Hayes. He beautifully captures the energy and vibrancy of the everyday in this series of work about people of London. He states that;
The people of the capital city play an essential role, some of whom are seldom seen or noticed. Young & old, skilled craftsmen & small business owners, tailors to publicans. Here are just some of London’s inhabitants each with a story to tell.
I particularly like the mix of lines and weight with a splash of colour. I first came across Hayes in the Observer magazine where he illustrates on the dining out articles. What interests me about his work is how he turns the ordinary into beautiful everyday observations.
For the Practice 1 project I decided on the keyword everyday. This might be specific daily objects and things in the environment or depictions of urban scapes. I have started here with a wide range and will see through this blog how my own work responds to the research. Here are some examples of my own style. Also at this starting point, I want to show some examples of other illustrators work on the theme everyday. Through discussion with my tutor, I decided on the research question- How the everyday is depicted in illustrated diaries?