Our class has had two Creative Reviews this year which have been a way sharing things we find interesting or inspiring. For these sessions we each had to bring a recommendation for a book, an article, a film and an exhibition. At the end of the meeting we could pin up our suggestions for other people to look at. They've been a useful way of finding out about new things and it's been nice to see everyone's individual interests. These are the things I recommended at the two reviews:
The first book I chose was Print & Pattern, a bible of all things colourful, cute and patterned. It's created by Marie Perkins aka Bowie Style who is the author of the wonderful Print & Pattern blog. It's such a great reference book for inspiration on colour, ideas or technique. It's also just a really nice book to flick through, there's something detailed and interesting on every page. To anyone who loves a bit of pattern, I can readily recommend you look at this book.
The book I brought to the second review was ABC Is For Circus by the wonderful Patrick Hruby. This chunky book demonstrates exemplifies Patrick's love of geometrical shapes and bright colours. Technically it's a children's book, but adults will probably appreciate it more! Again, it's a great book for inspiration and it's all the more impressive when you realise Patrick only graduated in 2010.
One of the films I recommended during the reviews was Black Swan. I watched it because I'm doing it for the Little White Lies competition and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a clever film which was full of suspense and plenty of unexpected twists. Some of the scenes were very freaky, especially the ones where she 'turns' into the swan. Having seen the Swan Lake ballet I really liked the fact all the characters in the film mirrored the story exactly. It was skillfully shot, I don't know how they did all the mirror scenes, and Natalie Portman was surprisingly good as the black swan alter ego.
I didn't actually mention this film during the meetings but having watched it recently reminded me how much I love it. Up is, in my opinion, one of the best Pixar films (though they're all brilliant). The stand out character has to be Russell, an overly enthusiastic wilderness explorer.
Apart from the great characters it's also a beautiful film to look at. The South American scenery is so different and vibrant and the colourful house is picture perfect. I was so excited when the house is first lifted off the ground by thousands of balloons! It's a great little film and everyone should watch it at least once!
The article I brought to the first Creative Review was Illustration: The Art of Ornament from Computer Arts. It's actually quite an old article being from 2007, but it still made for an interesting read. It examines the history of decoration and how when modernism came along, ornamentation in art was in danger of being lost. Various illustrators also talk about how they use decorative qualities in their work and what processes they go through to achieve it.
The second article I chose was Make Digital Projects Seem Handmade from Digital Arts. In this current Little White Lies project I'm experimenting with adding texture to a part of the image, so I thought this was quite a relevant article. It talks about the new trend of trying to make digital work appear to be hand crafted. Illustrators such as Ben Newman talk about their opinions on the matter and also discuss their individual working methods. It's a really interesting debate and well worth a read.
The first exhibition I talked about was the V&A Illustration Awards that I visited over the summer. Although the work on display was really good the actual exhibition space was so difficult to find! It was tucked away at the back of the gallery and was nothing more than a narrow walkway around a room. Anyway, there was some great work by Laura Carlin who illustrated 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes - I liked the simple shapes she used and all her work was displayed really nicely.
The second exhibition I chose is one I haven't actually been to, but would if I got the chance. The Indiscipline of Painting is on at Tate St Ives until 3rd January and it explores post-war modernist abstract painting. Artists such as Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley and Frank Stella are featured in the exhibition, which looks at how abstract art has continued to develop over the last 50 years despite the modernist movement decline. It looks like it would be great show and I would love to go, but with the combination of Christmas and the dissertation, it looks unlikely :(