Thursday, 6 May 2010

Lone wolf or gang warfare

Otto Dettmer
Container Plus

Lone wolf of gag warfare?

the tradition of the illustrator working alone seems to be changing, increasingly illustrators are forming collectives and working together in studios, give examples of both practices (solo and collective) and compare and contrast. what are the advantages and disadvantages inherent in each method of working? Which approach do you feel would be most desirable for you?

The aim of this essay is to look at the pros and cons of working with a group of illustrators and also the good and bad qualities of going it solo. I have decided to explore this area as Im sure afew of us are at least thinking about which way to go. I am going to explore the work of Container plus and Otto Dettmer.

Otto likes to produce afew roughs before sending to the client and he says fees are negotiable. His fees are generally standard within the industry they are of two components. I read on his website "1. the effort in physically making the illustration (make fee), and 2. the license to use the illustration for a specific purpose (license fee)." Otto has a set way in which he works, no-one but himself and the client will have a say in the pay, not to mention the image. I suppose the main reason for going solo is the money. Otto is highly influenced by Polish poster design and russian constructive designers. This means if he was to work within a group he'd have to find a person with the same interests, if he worked with someone with different inspirations it could change his work too much and the style of working would not match up to the content as much as it originally does now.

Container plus on the other hand work in a much different way. They began life in the industry as a group of two, Louise and Nikola found that their styles matched up perfectly and they both had similar ideas not to mention they was already friends from their degree course. Louise and Nikola love to draw but over time they broadened their interests and took on three more people. Two set designers and a photographer at the time this must have seemed like a great idea but the two set designers was not as work committed as the rest of the group. As time went by the group of 5 went down to 3 despite this the group did produce some really impressive work when they was a five-some. This could be a negative reflection on groups of designers showing they do not always get on and ideas cant always flow consistently. The three girls find they work together so well as they have similar interests are of a similar age. Now the group is made up of Two illustrators and a photographer. During the lecture given to us by Louise she revealed they also use assistants this would bother me as Id prefer to do everything myself and not to pay anybody else. However their style involves a lot of effort and some of the projects they work requires extra help. "We just sit together and come up with ideas. Listen. Take care, proper conversations. Lots of their ideas come out of a conversation. Fresh ideas on your ideas help. We also fund our own self-promoted projects." - Louise Vormittag , container plus on generating ideas with the rest of the group.

Its hard to compare both Otto and Container plus as they are both totally different in working method and styles. Otto enjoys screen printing and works with flat images so would not need much assistance in his area of work, whereas Container plus combine illustration with set design and photography so the work understandably has to be spread out.

Myself when I first began this course I pictured myself going it alone after graduation. At the moment I feel I shouldn't rule anything out. I believe it is good idea to share a studio with friends that way you can split the cost of the studio space but also keeping your independence and profits from your your own work as its still 100% yours. I love bouncing ideas between friends but I cannot imagine working collectively. This may well because I never tried to work with anybody else. I have a set way of working, much like every other illustrator. Sometimes I don't have the greatest ideas but they are always my own and I have a way of working of which I find myself working around making my illustrations more about the composition than the idea behind it. When Im given a brief I like write key words down and do small sketches relating to the brief, sometimes Il go off to a computer and look up the key words I'l have wrote down and start start cutting paper up in to shapes before I come up with a stable idea. A lot of the time I find I get a lot of inspiration during my research and gathering resource can almost change my ideas all together. once I have my final cut shapes and other work I can start scanning in to photoshop. The most important part is putting together the composition. I can spend hours replacing the elements until Im happy. Personally I get quite irritated when others try to contribute to my work. Im private in that I like to finish my work until anybody sees it. Id have to seriously change my ways if I decided to work collectively.

Monday, 26 April 2010


Another example of the a text page along with my clock image. These two images work particularly well together. This is because the amount of negative space works really well in contrast with the scibblyness of the writing also the colours match up great.


Okay, here's the latest! Iv been working on my text pages, as in the text that goes next to my images in the finished product. Iv decided to hand write my selected quotes. At he moment there seems to be a bit of a dilemma. should the text be readable or not. that is the question?

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Compare two practitioners

Mark Pawson

Karl Bielik
Compare and contrast the processes and practices of your two chosen practitioners, to what extents are they defined by the external rigours of the market place/ industry they operate in? upon this analysis what lessons could be applied to your own practice?

I have chosen to evaluate and compare the practices and processes of Mark Pawson and Karl Bielik. I decided to compare the two as when I met up with each of them during my time in London I couldn't help but notice the similarities as well as difference between them both, working methods and illustrations.

To begin I will state both designers are worlds apart, Karl Bielik sees himself as more of an artist (even though looking through his portfolio this seems a shame as his work is really impressive) but its clear his passion lies with fine art but in my opinion its great that he can do both and make a steady amount of money as he can juggle both trades. He owns his own studios and flats to rent, this is how he funds his art. He claims that he is not precious about illustration and he usually goes about it quite quickly. Mark seemed like his illustrations would quite a lot of time as the subject matter is mostly collection which have been built up over large periods of time. Karl believes in good research in the client before producing work for them. He says its really important to have a website before meeting any clients as it so important in the industry and this way they can look you up..otherwise you wont be very memorable. He has been involved with few agencies and recommends eye candy. He also thought using editorial piece in our portfolio is a good idea so that art directors can see what they get. he advised me to make my website minimal, simple and personal. Karl doesn't tend to look at blogs, he says they are time consuming.

Mark Pawson unlike Karl works from home, hes uses a print Gocco to print his post cards on. He is very much a collector so a lot of his work revolves around his obsessive collections similarly Karl is inspire by signs, old books and tickets and this is reflected in his work as its quite rustic. Another observation of mine is that Karls portfolio is typically professional and well layed out whereas Mark Pawson uses a box as apposed to the portfolio with plastic sleeves (we all know and love) I found this quite unusual, although the quirkiness of the box matches his work as a lot of it it prints on small pieces, the box included different sized home made booklets, badges and such likes.

Mark makes money through his hobbies. he says he has 4- 5 serious hobbies. He makes his own books and badges, when hes not making art he writes comic reviews and book reviews. He also makes his living by teaching. Mark doesn't have an agent hes confident enough to make his own books and never works to briefs unlike Karl (and a lot of people in the industry) he doesn't pursue doing work for anyone else. He is not artistically educated, he took a degree in sociology. where as Karl Bielik has a degree in graphic design, although he did not pursue this career path. He didn't give a lot of feedback or advice but he stressed that I should do what I want to do. He put facts with his work and sells a lot of it online, its more about selling the work which is important rather than having an amazing site this is a very different approach to Karls minimal, clean looking website. Looking at some of Mark Pawsons work I noticed there could be issues with copy right he talked about crediting the typefaces in his book and things like this, Karl Bielik would have this problem as the text and images in his work is always his own.

Mark Pawsons has a lot of friends who are graphic designers and illustrators he finds them supportive as well as influential. Karl is influenced by Cy twombly, Julian Schanabel, Joseph Cornell.

Both Mark Pawson and Karl Bielik are strictly illustrators per say. they both have different passions and go about earning a living in very different ways. Karl need a lot of space to do his work, he also is in a band and rehearses in his studios. Mark Pawson does not need a studio at all as his work can be produced mostly in the comfort of his own home.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

fmp - pills

I have produced two ideas for this section of the book about anti depressants. I'm trying to portray in this image the large amount of people taking the pills but mainly as they are so addictive..its almost as thought the pills are taking control of us.

I changed the colours of the head and body of the figures, this way they represent pills more instead of just looking like people being eaten by a giant pill bottle.

I keep playing around with the colours in this one..


Lately Iv been finding appropriate quotes that link with my images to go next to each other for when I'm putting together the final thing. It was a quick process but it made me see I had to make changes to the 'housework' section picture [the last one I posted] I couldn't find a suitable quote to match up with the work. I realised this could be resolved by changing the aim of the picture, the chapter talks quite a bit about machines and how they don't do all the work..we are the ones who have to place the dishes all the special tablets, also most of the time they don't even wash the pots properly!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

fmp - cups

Iv been working on a piece about housework, the chapter talks through afew alternatives we could use to washing up and tells that when we clean we should find pleasure in it. What I took from the chapter is we shouldn't be ruled by housework, we should do it when we want not when it needs doing.

I tried to think of a way to show someones mess, without making an image about pointless clutter. I came up with the idea kitchen utensils and washing the pots. I decided to have a sink in the image that way we can see the pots will be washed...just let them pile up and don't worry about them...they will get done but we are in charge of when.