lets just say that graphic design isn’t really my forte, even though I am not very good at making things look uniform and linear and straight, I always have a very specific vision in my head of the aesthetics oh how I want things I create to look. On this particular zine I really struggled on the layout when arranging how I wanted the image, text and type to look – I really wanted to experiment with negative space, with a quite minimalist composition of image, photos and words on each page, I often find a minimalist composition harder to get right that a more visually busy one, so I spent a lot of time making sure things where Simi straight. In hindsight I probably should have used Indesign, instead of Photoshop to orange the actual pages of the zine and it would have been a lot less time consuming . I thought my decision to use so much negative space in the layout was a good one, as I think it focusses the audience to notice the small details of the image or photograph.
I wanted to create some imagery to represent the tube in London, and the stops I was familiar with when I would take this weekly journal. I have bit of an obsession with collecting Sanpellegrino drink labels, as I really enjoy the bright colours, and when I was arranging them in my journal I was listing to a song by the cribs that mentioned the circle line, and I liked the idea of the labels representing these specific stops on the underground. I also think that the design of the drink labels are reminiscent of the underground symbol anyway.
I had a disposable camera that had half the film used up, half with photos I had taken in London of the journey in question I wanted to depict in the zine, I decided to fill the rest of the camera with imagery from train stations and other landmarks on the journey. I thought these photos would not only be good to feature in the zine but also a good premise to draw from.
As I was not going on the Newyork or Barcelona trips, I was a little worried that the imagery ect.. in the zines I would make would not be as interesting as everyone elses , despite this; rather than making my zines about a specific location or journey, I set out the aim of the project to address a current metaphorical journey of my own. (lol this is me saying I’m basically making more art about a break up). I wanted to combine and explore a literal and metaphorical journey in this zine. For the literal side of the journey I wanted to depict the weekly journey I would make to London to see my ex boyfriend, and the interest I have in travelling to London, as I am from a small rural market town in the midlands, I would always associate travelling via trains (or any means of transport really) very exiting, as for me getting on a train would always mean escaping a boring town I very much hated living in. This is why I decided to call the zine ”Escaping the Cave”, which is of course also a reference to (Philosopher) Plato’s dialogue of ‘The republic’ in which he outlines the analogy of the cave. Plato’s Cave is essentially a metaphor to explain how Plato believed human empiricism is flawed, and how the world we reside in is a mere shadow of the truth that is supposedly in ‘The realm of forms’, which in his analogy is outside the cave. I thought this was a good metaphorical association with the current journey I wanted to depict in the zine, as I wanted to explore how I had experienced a similar period of enlightenment after the relationship break up, and how sometimes our judgement of things can be flawed by our sensory knowledge.
I started experimenting with compiling the ‘Memory Patterns’ I had made, on a larger scale digitally. I liked how the compositions that just had a singular colour conveyed quite a specific feeling or effect, and the compositions with a multitude of different colours and marks had a more chaotic feel to them, whilst still painting the child like aesthetic that I wanted.
after the workshop, I wanted to think carefully about the medium and colours I wanted to create my work in. I think when depicting memories and senses choice of colour is very important, as it helps create atmosphere and memory and sense association. As it was a memory from childhood I wanted to illustrate, I thought about the medium a child would conventially use to draw – this for me was crayon, I also incorporated this into my mark making, the marks turned out quite abstract as I didn’t want to create anything that had to much of a refined sense of pictorial quality, as I wanted to emphasise the fact that this was a hazy memory from childhood.
I feel like I got a lot out of the workshop with Esther Cox, Surface pattern design has always been something I’ve appreciated and been interested in as my twin sister (my biggest Inspo in life) is a surface pattern designer, and I can see many parallels between my sisters work and Esther Cox’s. I really liked the way that Esther explained the importance of representation of images, especially when dealing with representing memories, and I really enjoyed the drawing excersizes she ran in the workshop.
As I am a long time fan of the various musicians Andy Vella worked with, thus found his talk really interesting, I really liked his emphasis on process and experimentation in his work, and also the importance of visual play, it really made me think about ‘making my work my own’, and not always creating work I know I can create. I also got a lot out of the talk that Miriam Ellis did, as I like to use a satirical or humorous element in my own work sometimes, I also liked how she explained her idea of having the freedom of speech to satire whatever we want.