August 6th, 2011 Comments
Hello, been away from blogging for a while, busy creating a new life for my play. I will be performing it next January and February, more about that another time…
So, with new life comes a new image and even a new name!
My play, previously called Dance Beast Voice Monster – Mooing for the Soul is now called, (drumroll…)
Obviously my simplification brain-lobe has recently been activated.
You can see the previous posters here and earlier versions here. I was really happy with the posters I made first time around, but when I arrived at the venue last February they didn’t stand out at all. I thought all the colour would make them pop out, but instead they made a beautiful blended backdrop for all the other posters. On top of that I needed to make the artwork look less like children’s theatre. Although I love childishness, and I use a child’s persona in the show (amongst others), it is definitely a show for adults, with a darker edge.
Would you like to see how my poster has evolved over the past three weeks of blood sweat and tears?
I started with one idea – a close up of my face with costume from a scene I’m using in the trailer, to be surrounded by painted artwork… somehow.
(Here I am using my mum’s solar cooker as a light reflector.)
The problem was, having seen my artwork on the walls of the theatre not working, it had shifted my confidence in my own artistic judgement, this made it quite hard to follow my own ideas, as I didn’t know if I could trust them. Instead I listened to other people. Which is good too of course. I’m sure there’s an ideal balance to be found between listening to other people and to yourself. I spent a week brainstorming and sketching pages of poster ideas. I studied great cinema posters and National Theatre posters (they have a fantastic archive). I realised that in no way am I a graphic designer.
Deciding on one idea whilst not listening enough to my own judgement was… interesting. But decide I did.
Something a bit like this:
We did a photo shoot and I chose this photo:
(second choice would have been this, in which I have somehow managed to capture the jaunty angle of ‘being on a ship’ -
inexplicable, but true.)
Next came painting the artwork, learning a bit more about typography by copying fonts I like:
(this was the most fun thing to do). After that came scanning everything and assembling all the pieces. There followed two gruelling days of sitting in front of a computer for 12 hour stretches trying to make the material work together in time for my deadline. And here are all the fun things we made!
the wrong proportions version:
the version that was closest to what I was aiming for but in real life looked hmmmm:
the ‘My Little Pony’ version:
I may point out that after many hours of staring at your own face it starts to lose all meaning – like saying the same word over and over again.
The Polar Bear version (brilliant, not my idea, also no Polar Bears in the show (yet…)),
the wings version (I like it – but snow angel isn’t really the look I’m going for),
and finally the one I ended the night in despair on:
Overnight I racked my dreaming brains for a better idea. I like the red theatre curtain poking out in the original photo, so I bounded to the computer the next morning to try this:
A crude first attempt, but it didn’t inspire me to continue with the idea. Undeterred I started listening more to myself about what the play is really about, what the nature of the play is. ‘Theatre’ as a theme started to make sense, and I wanted something more fun and less pastel purple.
Two more days of painting and research produced these ideas:
which I liked on paper but just didn’t fit together with the photo.
I felt so frustrated at this point. I wanted something that would genuinely reflect the show, be strong, eye-catching and adult as well as fun. Finally I decided to go back to the colour scheme of my previous posters, but even that was all wrong. I needed a black background, not a white one.
Aha! Then, as if by magic, everything slotted into place. I made some more artwork on black paper (in an hour, not two days). Oh yes, this was also the day I began learning how to use the graphic design software (Xara if you’re interested). Learning curve set to steep.
I assembled this, entitled “finally something that might work”:
I then spent far too long handwriting the copy for the back only to find it was unreadable. So I stayed up late making my own handwriting font with Scanahand (I recommend). More interminable hours in front of a screen tweaking ridiculous minute detail has finally brought this version, now winging it’s way to me from the printer (another drumroll, if you please)…
So there you have it.
And if any of you dare to suggest that one of the previous versions is actually ‘your favourite’ then someone may have to play me the grumpy song, because I will need it.
(I’m actually really pleased!)
May 25th, 2011 Comments
(For those of you you tried to watch this video and got the ‘private’ message, this is a new version and should work.)
Can you tell I’m excited?
May 14th, 2011 Comments
November 25th, 2010 Comments
I finally have a time and place to perform my first solo show, something I have been dreaming about for years, at least since I was 9. It’s funny how when it becomes real it’s more… real… less of a dream. Less awe-inspiring. Because there’s certainly a lot of work to do (sound of sleeves being rolled up).
Most exiting are the lovely friends who have agreed to help me on this journey, and with their permission I may profile them here later on… Hurray!!
Here are some first stages of artwork to go into the programme. The poster will be different again…
I always do a first draft which I love but is not perfect, in an irreverent, unthinking messy way. Then I try to improve on it in the second draft by planning and plotting and trying to make it ‘good’, but these things are unrepeatable and I get so frustrated with myself. The best drawn lines are ones I look at afterwards and can’t fathom how I made it – it doesn’t look like it’s mine. Or that they’re just random flicks of a wrist that I didn’t care about at the time but now are perfect. Or perfectly imperfect.
And the final version:
Right, now I’m off to bed, was up til 4am doing that last one…
November 12th, 2010 Comments
I had a birthday recently and some lovely things happened in the world of nature to make me smile…
First I woke up, looked out of the window and watched this seagull standing motionless on the smoking chimney stack. Funny.
Later on I had a delivery of one Birthday Rainbow,
with accompanied ridiculousness attached:
(just imagine it was coming out of my mouth and you’ll get the picture),
then the starlings did some magic, which completely distracted me from my dinner – photos taken through restaurant window,
Then after going to the circus (ish), I saw a beautiful pale ring around the moon. No photos – too dark, you’ll just have to imagine the feeling of wonderment I had throughout the day. (also nice; presents, friendly messages, and threats to throw me into the sea at 6am not undertaken (the sentiment was greatly appreciated)).
September 7th, 2010 Comments
I got upgraded to first class!
Here is the first class view,
and the first class emptiness.
And the first class me – just to prove I was there.
From here on in, I do declare, that bragging shall be a sanctioned and encouraged activity. Brag brag brag.
May 16th, 2010 Comments
I’ve been making a costume for a short film, and I’ll leave that particular herculean task to a separate entry. It’s not finished yet. And so I haven’t made that film yet. And I got fed up with not filming anything. So at Easter I gathered some patient family members (and film artists), rushed around town all day Saturday finding ingredients, made a costume, and filmed on Easter Sunday and Monday.
I ended up diving first into a swamp, and then a bog. It has been an incredible learning curve. It’s my first time making my own film, and I had almost no plan, just an idea, brilliant people with me, and a great adventuring spirit.
- Don’t film walking on lumpy, grassy, tufty ground wearing backless Indian slippers you have never worn before.
- If you wade waist-deep into a swamp be prepared to leave your new indian slippers behind in the mud.
- Don’t film in a bog
- Don’t stand on a log, blindfolded, with your legs tied together, and expect to be able to dance without falling off, if your log is stationed on a sinking bog.
- Be grateful you miraculously prepared by bringing extra sheets, towels, dressing gowns and coats (not to mention sandwiches and welsh cakes), to mop up the swamp and bog.
- Make a storyboard
- If you are running around in a forest wearing tiny ‘sideless’ flat shoes, be prepared for nasty bramble stratches that will take at least a month to heal.
- Be prepared to let go of your ideas when you arrive and discover that the location is far more beautiful and interesting than you remembered/expected/could possible imagine.
- If you are acting, directing, styling, and freezing, make sure your friends will carry your bags and hold your coat for you
- Take many takes.
- If you are acting and directing, look at takes during the shoot.
- Mark the space so you don’t wander around thinking you’ll be one size, when actually you are tiny and in the corner.
- Bring extra batteries. And extra memory. And extra daylight.
- Remove cliches. At least get them out of your system.
- Be thankful for patient family members who don’t mind you stinking out the bathroom while you defrost and rinse off swamp.
- Ultimately, pay people (next time, fingers crossed…)
That said, here are a couple of pictures taken by Puffalicious.
November 12th, 2009 Comments
I bought a dress for my birthday, and had an idea for it, This is what became of that idea. You’ll also see the shoes I allegedly said goodbye to, which in fact lived to tell another tale.
Each of these pictures expresses the idea in a different way.
the waves -
Then my favourite -
Finally, incredibly, we managed to capture a rare, curious gremlin, who turned up to discover what all the fuss was about…
Thanks to the loveliness of Rob who took the pictures.