Third Year Project Proposals


Through many carefully spent hours of exploring my own interests I believe I have decided upon a route in which to follow for my Final Major Practical Project. I am going to create an A-Z encyclopedic-type facfile on creatures of cultural mythology and explore their heritage in depth whilst giving my own stylistic illustrations of how I believe they would look given from the information I gather.

My intentions with this proposal are to uncover greater detail on mythological beings and bring more understanding to our own culture of other culture's ideas. The beauty of looking in to this subject is it's vast pool of inspiration. Almost every country in the world brings different cultural heritage and ideals so it is very interesting and rewarding to explore this as I believe this range of ethnic differences will bring a wider appeal and draw enthusiam from readers as well as allow me to be influenced by different cultures creative identities.

Conceptually as an illustrator, my proposal, I believe to be very inviting to showcase my skills and creativity, as it provides an editorial-style focus in regards to creating work to fit a certain specification, but also creative freedom within the barriers of the ideals of a 'myth' and it's more unspecified design criteria.

The first initial hesistation I had when deciding upon this project was the availability of a creature for every letter of the alphabet, especially the more obscure letters such as 'X'. I felt if the project was created missing letters then it would tarnish the overall relevance and poignance of the idea. However, to my amazement upon studied research I discovered more than enough creatures of mythology to fit every letter, with most having up to 10 choices - which also lead me to consider whether I should choose more than one creature per letter if possible but due to workload concerns and design consistency I am going to opt for one creature per letter/page. I have compiled a list of mythological creatures for each letter, which is accessible via my website. (click here) 

In terms of physical design ideas and materials I have left alot unresolved, due to the fact I believe inspiration will often change my mind throughout the creation progress. However, certain aspects I have a firm idea of how I may infuse my own interests and ways of working. I will most likely work using a limited colour pallette which will translate well to print, as well as incorporating other techniques like a halftone dot which is a skill I have been aiming to refine. I have created a range of studies exploring a limited CMYK colour pallette with some also involving a halftone dot technique - the use of overlaying to create different colours in printing is something which I am also striving to further my understanding in and I will do so as this project draws on.

The style I have chosen to follow to create my work in I believe to be my strength, using harsh, bold lines and a comic-influenced tone structure. Stylistically there are three illustrators I will constantly refer to for inspiration, being: Tallboy , Ben Brown and Brian Romero . All of which follow an American, 'Skate Punk' style culture - which I feel perfectly holds it's hand to creating mythological creatures. These artists will provide me with a constant reference to effective use of linework, i.e thicknesses and how it can be used descriptively, tones and contrasting and creating the illusion or alternative to a gradient/ halftone, Manipulating an image to create more interest i.e. adding paranormal areas of interest like melting and flying body fluids...

Alot of mythological artwork is very dated and from a certain era. Such as, George Federick Watts' 'The Minotaur'[1] Has been described as 'terrifically ugly' [2] and to me, although brilliant teh art may be I feel there is a place for a more modern interpreatation, which is what I aim to create.
'Medusa'[3] by Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio is a prime example of capturing a mythological creature through art.
Examples of work I have completed exploring the 'Skate Punk' style. 
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Research Project

When deciding upon what subject I would look in to for my research project, I firstly assessed my main interests and what I believe I would be most inspired in to study and create a more fulffilling successful piece. So with this intention in mind, I have decided to look deep in to the skate art culture - which is something I believe has a completely understated depth and complexity as well as a completely unique identity and scene sepereate to most other art movements but also cleverly incorporating other ethnic backgrounds and culture movements and sattire

The intentions of my research will be to study the whole skating culture and how the art refects it, what it stands for and how it has evolved over time whilst retaining a firm identity in modern popular culture. I think exploring deep in to the reasonings behind the design trends, its link to fashion, music and other elements that make up a whole moevement will be a very fruiful and enjoyable excercise for myself in developing myself as an illustrator. 
Although I think it's fair to suggest that the audience for skate/punk culture has become very broad with the emergence of popular clothing brands like Santa Cruz and magazines like Thrasher as well as Proffesional Skateboarders like the ever popular Tony Hawk, the core and original market belongs amongst American teen culture so this will be an area I study deeply in to. I am planning on purchasing some Magazines as well as trying to emerse myself more in to groups on social media to uncover more artists than just the ones I am currently aware of.

As I have already familiarised myself with the art form, I feel I have a rough understanding of the stereotypical basic credentials of the art form. Having heavy influence from pop art, with heavy black line work and high contrasted tones, with little use of gradient.

As a project I plan to produce a number of studies exploring the techniques used within th eskate culture as well as in partiucular creating some board and t shirt prints. I'll do so by enfusing influences and ideas I've gained from studying the art form more thoroughly.

In terms of materials, i will be looking in to experimenting more in to different surface materials to create work on, from skateboards to items of clothing and more rugged surfaces i could combine with more unusual medium such as spray paint and combining it with stenciling and cut outs.

 For my first experiment looking at Skate art I plan to create a selection of board art designs, ranging from rough to more refined, and hopefully blogging every stage of the creation progress I will look heavily at artists like; Jimbo Phillips and Brian Romero as well as any other new artists I discover, which I may find looking at resources such as magazines and books I am going to order such as editions of Thrasher magazine as well as scouring the internet intesively.

For a second smaller experiment I plan on working on refining stylistic elements like linework and creating tone though popular techniques like blocking and dotting, again Jimbo Phillips and Brian Romero are great examples of this but also other artists not necessarily strictly linked with Skateboard culture, like Ben Brown would be a great example and of interest to me.

Furthermore I will experiment using different materials and mediums to apply the drawig techniques I will hopefully have learned. Such as painting on to a skateboard or printing on to materials.

As a proposal I feel, this idea will work very well as the illustrative style links in to my FMP and the products, i will create should link well in to concept idea I have for my portfolio and promotion project that will begin in the third year.

In my opinion the most interesting initial prospect of studying the skate art movement is immersing myself in the culture more, with it's multiple social platforms, ideal for upcoming artists such as Thrasher's 'upload your own work' sections which will also provide me with an opputunity to expand my range as an artist. 

The 'Santa Cruz' 'Screaming Hand'[1] is a perfect example of skate art done right. Jimbo Phillip's piece has become an iconic trademark of one of skating and surfing's biggest name brands. Bold block colours and sharp jagged halftone effects make this piece so iconic and a perfect starting block to learn what skate art is all about.
Examples of Jimbo Phillips board art[2] No copyright infringement intended. 

Again two key examples of combining strong block tones and bold lienwork to create powerful graphics from dark subject matters.
Examples of Skate style graphics I have created, for T-shirts and other uses as experimental practice.
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Examples of my T-shirt prints I created to experiment/trial created graphics for clothing.
FMP Proposal
  1. 'The Minotaur' Watts, F,G. 1885, oil on canvas, 1485 x 1254
  2. Atkins,E. 26/10/2013 (
  3. 'Medusa' Caravaggio, M. 1596. Oil on canvas, 480x 550mm
Research Bibliography
  1. 'Screaming Hand' Phillips,J. 1985
  2. 'Unnamed' ( Phillips,J.