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Final Major Project – What Is An Icon?

Icon
Noun

1. a devotional painting of Christ or another holy figure, typically executed on wood and used ceremonially in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches.
  2. a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration.
  3.  a symbol or graphic representation on a screen of a program, option, or window.
  4.  a sign which has a characteristic in common with the thing it signifies, for example the word snarl pronounced in a snarling way.

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Final Major Project – Testing/experimentation – Under the influence

Fitting in with the ‘acid’ trend that dominated the 60’s — 1967 in particular — and the reason in which ‘Psychedelia’ began to make its appearance, I wanted to test and experiment and see what type of art I will create.

When I was researching psychedelic artists and where they got their inspiration, I came across a very interesting article in which an artist was given a specific dose of LSD (each dosage given within in an hour) under a controlled environment. The art work he created was interesting the longer the day went on: his first piece of art was normal as the drug did not take affect, the patient saying he felt ‘fine’. However, when it is 2 hours 45 minutes into the experiment, his art takes a completely different turn, creating something that looks very surreal and unusual.

As I am not going to take LSD (due to it being a Class A substance) I decided to go with a different, more legal substance, that can still affect the functionality of your brain: alcohol. Yes, alcohol does not have any psychedelic qualities like LSD — none that I know of, anyway — but it can still affect the way your drawings are created. Similar to what the artist had done, I created a drawing while sober so I can see the difference when a substance slowly alters the way your mind thinks.

Every 20 minutes I will take two shots of Jack Daniels, waited for a couple of minutes to let the alcohol affect my system then create a drawing.

The results I came out with were not as ‘inventive’ as the LSD patient, but it is still interesting to see the way my drawings drop in quality with a sip of alcohol. Comparing the drawings I did under the influence with the drawing I did sober, you can definitely see the drop of quality the more I drank alcohol.

This experiment was definitely unusual and unique to what I have ever done for art, but it was definitely very interesting in the way you brain’s functionality drops when you take a substance.

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Final Major Project – Secondary Research – Summer of Love Art of the Psychedelic era

As I could not go on the Yorkshire trip, I decided to go into Manchester City Centre to visit some of galleries and libraries we have situated throughout the city. The most useful site I visited was the Manchester Central library which has a floor filled with books that could help with the progression of my project. One of the most important books I have found – and took majority of my time to find – was a book central on art from the Psychedelic era – the Summer Of Love from 1967.

The Psychedelic era is one of the main themes for my projects due to the unique usage of complementary

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Explosion (Jimi Hendrix) – Martin Sharp, 1967 
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‘Steel Man’ Photograph of a Shop Mannequin, King’s Road – Robert Whitaker, London 1967

 

 

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V-Vietnam Courier from A-Z Box – Joe Tilson, 1969-70

 

 

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Phenomena, Yonder Near  – Paul Jenkins, 1964

 

 

 

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Untitled 9 c.1968 – Paul Himmel

 

 

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Final Major Project – Evaluation – Wes Wilson inspired poster

As I mentioned several times throughout my blog, Wes Wilson is the main inspiration for why I decided to change my idea of my FMP. So, as I did with Andy Warhol, I decided to do my own interpretation of his work. However, what I have decided to do instead of his normal convention (in which he draws a character/object in the middle and use his famous free-flowing writing to fill in the space) I decided to to a collage of magazine clippings of artists that give me the most influence. I thought this task would be challenging as it can be quite hard to find the clippings you want, but fortunately for me Eve had a collection of music magazines that contained articles and pictures of artists that have given me influence.

When I found the pictures I wanted to include of my collage poster, I began positioning the pictures in a way that was aesthetically pleasing to me and to other before I began sketching where I will be writing the name of the artists.

Instead of doing the large rectangular font that Wes Wilson does, I went for a much simpler block text that would be easy to sketch and will be less time consuming as I have to try and fit everyone’s name who is including on the poster within the black spaces surrounding the clippings. However, I should’ve wrote the names before I began to use the sharpies to replicate his vibrant colour palette as I accidentally spelt John Lennon’s name wrong, putting one ‘Lenon’ instead of ‘Lennon’. This isn’t a big problem as you cannot see it, but it is the fact I didn’t spend time making sure I wrote the names correctly before tracing and filling in with the sharpies.

What I would’ve done differently, if I were to do this poster again, is to include less magazine clippings as it seems too cramped and gives the Wilson inspired poster an unprofessional look. I may also changed the colours of the sharpies I have decided to use as Wilson intends to use colours that are more ‘flamboyant’ (pinks, greens, oranges…etc) while I had decided to use a dark plum purple that doesn’t really match his sort of style.

Overall, I think my poster was successful and was one of the better pieces of practical work I have created for my FMP due to the mixture of medium I have use; collage is so simple, yet very effective when you combine it with typography

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Final Major Project – Research – Alton Kelley

Fitting in with the psychedelic theme, I wanted to select artists that helped influence the psychedelic movement of the 1960’s. Alton Kelley was one of these influencers with his use of slanted text and vibrant colours – similar to that of Wes Wilson and Bonnie MacLean.

Just like the psychedelic artists of the 1960’s, Alton Kelley also too influenced by the popular movement of Art Nouveau and Pop-art – and you can see that evidently throughout his work. What I particular enjoy about his work is the unique twist he adds – most work from the ‘psychedelic movement’ seem to follow a similar theme: the text giving a look as if it is moving (a very popular theme during this era of time) with very vibrant colours that will catch the viewers’ eyes.

What Alton Kelley is most well-known for his his illustration work for rock concerts and gigs – his most popular clientele being the band ‘Grateful Dead’, which he created a few posters for during his time as a psychedelic poster creator. As my theme is closely related to music – mostly music from the 1960’s – his posters are definitely one of the key influencers for my project has that has the most relevance to my project.

But it seems – unlike other artists that produced posters during this era – his style changes as you look at the range of his work: sometimes his work takes on a neat exterior that is pleasing to the eye and continues to take your interest, while others are a jumble of words with an image placed in the middle that make your eye follow the words as if it is moving.

A Grateful Dead poster by Alton Kelley
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Final Major Project – Research – Art Nouveau Movement

Art Nouveau is a style of decorative art, architecture, and design prominent in western Europe and the USA from about 1890 until the First World War and characterized by intricate linear designs and flowing curves based on natural forms.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt was definitely the most interesting piece of work from the Art Nouveau movement as it contains interesting decal on the outfits, along with the hair, to make it stand out against the dreary background.

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Final Major Project – Evaluation – Silkscreen

Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. This method was used by Andy Warhol, a famous artist that uses this technique to create a mass amount of his work; he was the main influence in which I wanted to test this method due to his Beatles and John Lennon work.

To start off, I got a simple image of John Lennon and began to draw a simplified version to make it easier on myself when I go into the screen-printing process of

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