Saturday, 16 January 2010


I have continued to do narrative, graphic image making, but wanted to experiment with adding more text to the images, and laying them out in the style of pages from a graphic novel.

To create a narrative, I thought a good first step would be to create a character, so I photographed myself with my face covered in sellotape like a mask, and edited the photos so they looked even more like another person.

This is the image I chose to further edit and work with. Because the face is partly shrouded in darkness I thought it created an air of horror and mystery.

To create an idea of setting I decided to merge other images over this one, and place them around the face, which I decided looked more effective as half a face.

I had thought up a setting, which was a factory, and wanted the character to wear red lipstick and be sitting in front of a full ashtray, smoking a cigarette. These are some of the images I incorporated to illustrate these ideas:

A photographs I took of an old oven parts-to give the idea of machinery.
Photograph of my sellotape mask, to overlay the image as it overlays the face.

A photograph I took of a cup full of ash and cigarette buds- for the ashtray.

A photograph I took of my own lips-for the character's lipstick.

I proceeded to add text to the image, choosing colours that were visible, but didn't draw too much attention away from the image behind the text. At the top, I added a shaded but slightly transparent shape under the text to make it clearer while still showing the image underneath.
I also added additional imagery to illustrate some of the text-keeping it simple, using white silhouettes which were almost a literal demonstration of what was communicated through the text. I liked this because it reminded me of children's comic books.

I made the silhouettes my editing these images:

Image of hair clips from the Internet.

Photograph I took of a padlock box.
Bingo card image from Internet.

I continued to make a second page, this type experimenting more with layout and the positioning of text. I decided to slit the page in order give the feel of different shots, like in a film.
I used the same images I had used in the first pages to give more congruency and make the narrative more fluent. However, I did incorporate two extra photos I had taken in order to illustrate the text better.

Photo I took of smoke.
When making these images I was again influenced by the work of graphic artists Dave Mckean, David Mack and Vaughan Oliver.

After making these I decided I wanted to continue on this path but would rather illustrate a different story, possibly a children's one.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


I plan to continue working on the same sort of images, possibly starting a new sequence of images or continuing the same one but changing it more drastically per image so that it gradually becomes a set of entirely new images. I am very interested in the development of a simple image,adding more and more things,changing colours etc. to give it a totally different meaning and then looking back on the set as a whole. I think I will also experiment with adding more type and maybe some figurative drawing-which I will need to practice first. I would like to find a way of combining one word with each image so that they tell a story without needing a full narrative text.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

More images in the sequence...

Some more of the images in the narrative sequence...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Other graphic outcomes...

Using the image of the two merged photos of me and a page from the chemistry book combined as a starting point, and later including the photos of objects,other drawings etc. I have begun to create a sequence of images using Photoshop, that develop as the sequence progresses. I feel that the images tell a story without words (or only using the few incorporated in them) and see them as a narrative with the subject of a dream, centering around the shape of a circle, which changes and morphs into other things-(a mans eye, a sun etc.) or is the background for different things but is always there. The sequence is supposed to be like a dream, which may start with one element of real life (the circle) and then change into many other different ideas or fantasies. I used rich color to enhance the feeling of a dream-like or hallucinogenic state.
I may add more words and framed images on top of the sequence later so that they become pages of a graphic novel but first I have to write a story.
A few of the images...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Vaughan Oliver

The graphic designer Vaughan Oliver was one of my influences while creating the first 3 graphic outcomes. His use of dark colours and sepia tones to create, dark, intriguing, often strange mix media images and his exploration of type and print along with his clever use of photography was what inspired me. His style of work is similar to the style I would love to achieve in my own work.

First set of graphic outcomes...

This is my first set of graphic outcomes using the pages from the chemistry book and the photographs of objects etc. I like these images because they are full of different images and they incorporate drawing and photography. I think they are quite atmospheric and I like the colour scheme I have used throughout which I chose to give an old fashioned, Victorian photograph feel, which I hope contrasts with the more modern aspects of the images.
However, I think the images feel unfinished in some way,especially the third one, but I am reluctant to add more too them since I already think that the amount of stuff in them makes them less eye-catching.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Merged Images...

I have started to experiment with merging some of the photographs of me together to create a more interesting outcome. This image is a result of this...

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Photos of me...

I wanted to add some photos of people to my 'image bank' but, lacking models, could only use myself. I didn't want the images to be self-portraits in any way so I shook the camera while taking the photos, making them blurry, and heavily edited them , changing the levels, hue, saturation etc. so I was less recognizable as myself but still recognizable as a human figure/face. This also meant that the colours in the photographs were more effective and more suitable for merging with other images which is what I plan to do. At a later stage I may use models for more photographs.

Photos of objects...

In order to make a graphic outcome with many layered images and lots of different elements I first need to collect images. I already have the photographs of the pages of the chemistry book but I thought it would be good to include some photographs of actual objects and/or people. I searched for found objects which were aesthetically pleasing or thought provoking, or just had something interesting about them,nice colours,strange shape etc. I have now photographed these objects and mean to use them as part of my graphic outcome. I also photographed things like patterns on clothes, collections of feathers, collections of jewellery,the inside of a lamp etc. just to build up a sort of image bank of textures, colours and patterns. I also included a few images from the Internet such as some photographs of The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania which has been a a really big inspiration in my work but which,having not yet been to Lithuania, I own no photos of myself.

Elephant ornament from India.

Padlock box found around the house.

Collection of feathers.

Flying duck wall ornament.

(Birds feature a lot in my work at the moment)

Rocking horse Christmas tree decoration.

Image of The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania.