Thursday, 30 September 2010

Artistic Book Review no.2: Art and Fear

This was supposed to be published on August but Life ate up my time!

Art and Fear: Observations on the perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
By David Bayles & Ted Orland

ISBN: 978-0-9614547-3-9
Pages: 122 pages
Dimensions: 20.2cm x 13.9cm x 1.1cm
Price: Around 12 to 13 dollars

Personal Experience: You know being a booknerd such as myself, I have encountered far too many books about art and how to do this and that or books that will give you an in-sight about several aspects about this design and that art-piece. This is not one of them.

Many have praised this book and funnily enough, I never found one negative comment about it. Not even a zlitch, which made me curious for months until I got it lately in my hands. Not a fancy cover at all as if it is a reading book. Well to my surprise it IS a book to read it all from cover to cover. Literally. Let me just describe how much value this book has; this book does not sit on my shelves, this book sits on my bedside table.

Personal suggestion? If you can fetch it personally rather than waiting for the Library to fetch it for you will be much better because it is one of those books that will truly stay for life, no matter what artistic path you pick. An important piece of underground text, rarely heard of since it does not discuss some Mozart or Leonardo Da Vinci.

In a nutshell:
This book knows no age, no fixed occupation and no walks of life: it only knows the artist. As long as you're on the path of art-making this book is for you. The ONLY book you will really ever need to read from cover to cover; it's not long and even if you are inpatient in reading, a safe guarantee this will not be a waste of time. Other books are just trinkets no matter how big or informative they are. This book can be also classified as "philosophical" in a way, give or take. Don't get fooled though; this is no old Socrates philosophy, it's very much contemporary.

This piece of text targets areas such as: the outside world; how normal people see Art, how academic schools tackle Art, how a lecturer of Art can easily lose the time for art-making due to teaching art-making itself and so on. Even if you go beyond those feelings, what's the worth of making art? It also goes onto a personal level, such as the artists' fears, purposes, quality vs. quantity issue and so forth. As the book implies at the back of the cover in a good non-missable bold font: These are questions that matter.

Accompanied with good sarcastic humor, examples and thorough research from a hell lot of people the authors met and discussed the book's topics with, it will either be a huge boost of motivation if you are passionate in what you are doing or it will shoot your fleeting artistic muse down if you are taking your dedication for art too lightly. Do not expect this book to sugar-coat the world of art; on the contrary, this is a book packed with reality.

Bluntly put, this is the portal to the real world of Art & Design.

About the Authors:
David Bayles and Ted Orland are two artists that have written a number of books about art-making, but they are mostly known as being photographers.

Abigail Daker's Illustrations: Nemnem & The Giant

Oh WOW it's been a while!

While I was reading the 11th issue of "Digital Artist", I stumbled onto a very interesting article entitled "Successful Illustration: Leading illustrators share their best secrets with Poz Watson". However whilst reading the interest in previous writing dimished greatly as I laid my eyes on a particular paragraph:
"Abi Daker
Children's illustrator

The relationship between children's illustrators and authors is really important. Based in Cyprus, Abi works with authors from all over the world and has to achieve the unity of purpose needed via email. "Some authors have very specific ideas about their characters, others are more interested in seeing what I visualise after reading their test," she says. But al the authors she's worked with have been helpful: "John Betts (who wrote Nemnem And The Giant) provided me with aerial photos of Malta and went to photograph one site so I could get the background right."
Digital Artist Issue 11th, page 36

With that being said, below is one of the three pictures shown on her website regarding such a project. Blogger is being a retard on picture sizing so here's a direct link for the rest:

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Exclusive glimpse at Film Props

Pretty soon I will be posting some shots of drawings that my friend and colleague, Ruth Ancilleri designed as props for the film Agora when she worked as a junior drafts person. Very excited :)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

After Effects Formats, Presets and Codecs

I've wasted a lot of time changing render settings in After Effects; here's hoping you won't! (First presented during Interactive Media Lecture - Animation Techniques)After Effects Formats and presets
View more presentations from Moira Zahra.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Jen Stark

You know how it happens, first you're on Digg looking at some article on the strongest colours in the world, then you're directed to where you stumble upon an article on someone called "Jen Stark". So then I do a few googles and suddenly I'm in love with her work, check it out:

More 3D

This time from one of my ex-students, Daniel Spagnol.

And check out this water render

Thursday, 9 September 2010

3D Food

So I'm not much of a 3D kinda person, in fact I have been fighting 3D for a long time. I used 3D Studio Max at MCAST, then Maya at UKC where I even went as far as to model a whole realistic looking character and painfully  creating a UV map for it! So now I got this Cinema 4D software which has so far been the easiest out of the 3 I have tested.

Have now had intense training thanks to my employers and I can now honestly say I love 3D. The great thing about 3D is that you can create abstract visuals and control lighting, shadows and cameras in such a flexible way. These can then be incorporated with other graphic elements such as posters and illustrations; gotta love mixed media. I might be posting some easy Cinema 4D tutorials here soon.

Here are a couple of my test newbie renders that I did during my training:

The Lonesome teacup with an expensive looking teabag
Terracotta biscuits? Yes please!

Cakes, tables, lathes, splines, architecture materials that look like food

Capsules and Arrays make beautiful Jello

Volumetric lighting, just can't get enough, and some cloth introduced

Global Illumination and Depth of Field.. and now the modelling is starting to look crappy :)

Anyone hungry yet?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Back to Work

Electronic Sketchbook might be slightly on halt in the coming days since I will be writing up some new Units - back to work! Would love to post some student work here in the coming months as I'm planning some exciting projects..
Other contributors to E.S will hopefully post something in their own time although they will also be busy getting ready for one more year of graphics/fine arts.

In the meantime, have a look at these 16 Classic Movie Posters

"Pumping Iron is a 1977 documentary film about the run-up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition. The film focuses on Arnold Schwarzenegger and his competitors, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu. The documentary was co-directed by Robert Fiore and George Butler. It was based on the book of the same name by Charles Gaines and George Butler (Simon and Schuster, 1974)."