Monday, 28 March 2011

Charon: Painted Faces and Character Development

Here are the finished roughs for my characters. I started using these as a starting point for development and created a really simple collage by photographing these faces and placing them on a basic shape (body) made from scanned in black fabric:

After placing the photograph of the face onto a simple body shape, I decided that I actually quite like the look of this technique. I then tried photocopying this to make the tone slightly darker which I think has worked pretty well! This has surprised me because it was so simple to create. The only trouble with this is that the red tie didn't show up on the photocopy of the second character, but I could easily collage further over the photocopy?

I'm still going to do what I originally intended and make them into full puppets, this way I am able to photograph the characters from 3/4 angles etc to make them a bit more 3D looking. After this I could always photocopy those photographs as well to gain the dark tone of these little experiments here.

Not sure what the bodies will be made of yet...they need to be heavy enough to stand alone so will probably make them out of fabric and fill them with small sandbags or something...


Charon: Rough Designs For Character Faces

Here are some rough designs for the faces of my characters for the story of Charon the Ferryman. These roughs are just made of salt dough coz I'm not sure about the style of character yet.... but I think this is pretty much what the final puppets will look like..

Inspiration for Charon is coming from the character of No Face from Ghibli's Spirited Away. Just waiting for them to hurry up and dry so I can start painting them! :)

I want the characters to look quite melancholy and haunting. The theme of money and wealth is the main focus of this illustration and the fact that everything in the world today seems to revolve around money somehow. And I think it's sad. I want it to be a sad, dull piece - yet intriguing and magical at the same time. Will need to get the right lighting and filters when photographing the puppets to make this happen!

Update with painted faces to follow!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Cheltenham Illustration Awards: Tree Time Tales

Finally! A new uni brief to work on! And a brief totally dedicated to illustration thank god, so no branding or advertising! *wipes brow*

I was going to enter the Cheltenham Awards this year anyway so having it as a uni brief is great as I'll have more time to work on it. The theme this year is "Tree Time Tales" and basically the idea that tree time is longer than human time...a bit confusing as apparently it doesn't have to have anything to do with trees at all but to show a narrative of an old story that can still be applied to today's society.

I had a few ideas to begin with about including trees anyway, but I started doing some reading online about old folklore, fairytales and their origins - which are actually pretty gruesome! I also looked into greek mythology, but wasn't until talking with friends that I learnt about the character of Charon. Basically the story goes that when someone dies, greeks would bury them with a coin placed in or on their mouths so that when they went to the underworld, they could pay Charon the ferryman to take their souls across the river Styx. Those who could not pay or were left unburied are said to be forced to walk the bank of the Styx for a hundred years. I think some Romans did this sort of thing as well, and I learnt from a friend who's from Hong Kong that the Chinese do it too.

I'm not telling you my contemporary twist yet! You'll have to wait and see!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Flatpack Festival

This year I volunteered at Birmingham's Flatpack Festival in order to gain some experience in working as part of a creative environment. So far I'm enjoying it, met lots of nice people and some of the work being shown is really interesting, especially the animation.

And here I am looking gormless..

Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Fair @ Somerset House

On wednesday I went to London to see the Pick Me Up exhibition at Somerset House, which was really interesting! I booked my tix as soon as I heard Polly Becker's work would be in it! <3

There was loads of diverse styles which was really nice to see, some had a more "fine-art" approach to the images which I found the most interesting. There were a few collectives exhibiting their work and they had pretty much moved their studios across to the venue so it was really great to see the artists working and their processes.

The last image is one of my favourite pieces by Polly Becker - rapidly becoming my new favourite illustrator!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

New Designs for Japan

After hearing the horrifying news about the earthquakes and tsunami etc. about Japan, I felt so sad and strange. I walk about the city here and see everyone walking about as normal and can't help but think..what if it all got washed away and destroyed in the space of a few minutes. It feels so strange that elsewhere in our world, lives have been lost, homes have been ripped away, and land has been jolted about and destroyed....and we didn't even feel a thing. 

I was sat in my room feeling sad about the whole thing and was wishing that there was something I could do...

So I have decided to create a series of japanese inspired designs which will be available to purchase at ...

The commission I make on each of these designs will be donated to help fight the devastation caused by the disasters in Japan, so PLEASE check it out if you have any birthdays coming up or other "card-sending" occasions! Or if you just like the designs or want to help out...

Above is the first design in the series. I want to show all the beauty of Japanese culture and help rescue it from these bloody bastard disasters!! :(

Friday, 11 March 2011

Some Amazing Urban Murals...!

I was just googling about as you do...came across this blog with some amazing photographs of huge-mungus urban murals - amazing!

Incredible Giant Treehouse Mural by Swiatecki, Poland

Trompe L’Oeil Murals of John Pugh

Abstracted Figures by Damon Ginandes, Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Eric Carle - One of My Favourite Illustrators!

I just watched this video of Eric Carle; an illustrator who is most famous for his children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

The Hungry Caterpillar was one of my favourite books when I was a child and I still love it today as a 21 year old. Being older, I can now appreciate it on a different level and admire the absolutely stunning illustrations, full of life and colour. They are so fresh and inspiring, the texture in the collage brings a beautiful artistic element to children's book illustration which is so often very flat and boring these days...

I had no idea the story was so old! It's so wonderful how it has helped children to learn throughout the generations and still admired by children and adults alike.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

...An Afterthought...

I was reflecting upon this 'ere illustration and I am actually (very surprisingly) happy with it! I  produced this in about half an hour in a random trial-and-error-moment, but in this short space of time I have produced something that has given me realisation of how I can use my new found love of assemblage art for more commercial based projects.

I think this piece looks beautiful in black and white; when I look at this, I can see hints of inspiration I have from all my favourite artists that perhaps wouldn't be so obvious to everyone else and in a way that works without having completely ripped off their work.

Perhaps I should try and bring this technique into my current animation project? Feeling confident about this approach to commercial and issue based might even have cured my phobia of owls!

...naaaaah O_O

Assemblage - A New Found Love!

I've recently discovered this new form of art called "assemblage"...

Basically it's all about using found objects - often discarded objects - to create unique and enchanting pieces of artwork. I first discovered this technique when visiting and exhibition called The House of Fairytales at Walsall Art Gallery. I was absolutely in love with every single piece in the exhibition which consisted of all sorts of wondrous things from small illustrations and paper sculpture, to the sculptural art that I have now learnt to be assemblage.

Here are a few photographs I took of the pieces that really intrigued me..

I absolutely love these pieces - to me they are illustrations in the form of sculpture which I think is something you don't come across everyday. I would love to develop my work to include this technique and to work with it commercially as well, as I feel it would add another dimension to the mainstream illustration/art that the mass majority is so used to seeing everyday. 

I think the reason I am feeling really creatively frustrated at the moment is I really want to be producing this sort of work, but my current project has gone down an entirely different root that I don't feel comfortable with. I know the creative industry is all about challenging yourself and pushing boundaries, but I think I've pushed it too far in the opposite direction. I seem to have gone back to a way of working that I so desperately wanted to get away from. It's time to turn it back around! 

[If you're diggin' assemblage - there's tons of cool stuff to look at and buy at! And a few cool books that show you different techniques and how to use materials etc!]

New Designs Available at Create Today!

Hi guys,

Here is a brand spanking new design which you can view and purchase at! These are a little more experimental than most of my designs on there, this time using collage and mixed media rather than flat colours.

Odd content to illustrate because I have the biggest phobia of owls since sliced bread, but they seem to be everywhere at the moment so thought I'd keep up with the trend!

This design is available in both full colour and black and white!

New Products Available for Purchase!!

Some of my older, more commercial work is now available to purchase in the form of greetings cards! All the designs below (and more) are ready to be customised and sent to loved ones! You can purchase the designs at!

Developing Animation

Well here is another version of my animation which is slightly developed from the last one. I basically had to learn how to use Flash in less than a day so it's still quite shitty! I'm not very confident about this project but hopefully a Eureka moment will occur sometime soon. Hopefully...


About Me

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Hi my name is Chloe, 21, currently based in Birmingham and studying Illustration at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.