Thursday, 19 December 2013

It's what the internet is for...

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Year 0 Students Carpet Studio

Our plucky Year 0 students have just completed a module that had them experiencing and exploiting a wide range of The University's technical areas.
Featured below for your edification is graphic evidence of their creative activities in our Silkscreen Workshop.

'Year 0 Supremo' Zoe Garnett-Scott was so impressed she is thinking of having them turned into Amtico* for her kitchen floor. Lovely!

* Amtico™ = posh person's Lino.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dear Santa, I'm an illustrator and I would like...

It's that time of year when thoughts turn to selfish wants and desires, when we think of all the great stuff we can convince other people to buy us. For the illustrators amongst you we'd recommend that besides the xbox ones, ugg boots and sugar mice on your lists to Santa, you make room for these two books. We've got a copy of each in the office if you want to peruse before (get someone else to) buy but both are full of essential information on the profession of illustration. Certainly essential for third years and a very good idea for anyone following an illustration pathway.

Becoming a Successful Illustrator by Derek Brazell & Jo Davies. Amazon Link
How to Create a Portfolio & Get Hired: A Guide for Graphic Designers & Illustrators by Fig Taylor. Amazon link

Monday, 9 December 2013

First Years, Sixth Project

'You have to understand it before you can design for it' is something we say a lot around these parts. That's because design is all about considering what you want to communicate to your audience and if you don't understand your subject, you won't have much to say about it!

With this in mind we asked the first year students to produce a digital instruction booklet that explained how something worked.

The 'somethings' chosen were mostly things that the Grillust™ team themselves don't understand. We are continuously looking to learn new things and thought in this instance the 'young pups' (students), could teach the 'old dogs' (tutors), new tricks.

Examples of things we don't understand include: how bats navigate; fracking; why we blush; the alleged 'popularity' of Nick Grimshaw and why people would listen to (let alone buy) the music of Mumford & Sons.

Have a look at the following, you might well learn something that you can later use to impress, perhaps in a social context (like the pub) or perhaps in a more formal context like a job interview (for a position in telephone sales).

First up we have Zac and Liam (both former students of Bury College) who sadly were not aware that Bury's most famous sons Elbow, had written a moving ballad called The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver. Tut, tut!

INCOMING!!! Linu and Hannah show you how a Mills Grenade goes bang.

Watling Street, Fosse Way and Ermin Street are all lovely, long and straight. How did the Roman army manage to achieve these magnificent feats of civil engineering? Sophie and Vincent explain...

Some 50 million of Thonet's No. 14 cafe chair were sold between 1859 and 1930, and millions more have been sold since. What was so revolutionary about this design? Let's ask Peter and Amy.

'It's a lot less bovver with a hover...' Catt and Molly explain the workings of the hovercraft.

What's you view on fracking? Have you ever fracked? Is it good for you? Let's find out (ably assisted by Jessica and Hannah).

Who doesn't love Plate Tectonics? Nathan and Ben both love 'P.T.' and have a wide range of 'P.T.' related posters on their bedroom walls. This is a mighty mechanism responsible for some very sexy features: the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; subduction zones; Iceland and... ...of course, volcanoes!!!

The hard-working and amazing world of the ant is uncovered by Drew and Rebecca.

Paper! Paper! Read all about it! Proclaim Louis and Tanya.

If you follow this link you can see many more wonders...

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The whiff of Switzerland

Stuck for a Christmas gift for one of your Shoreditch designer chums? Then look no further

We have created the ultimate Modernist perfume – a scent distilled down to only the purest and most essential elements to allow you, the content, to convey your message with the utmost clarity.
Air. Water. You.
  • Numbered limited edition
  • 24k gold printing on bottle
  • Typeset in Helvetica Bold
  • Letterpressed exterior packaging
  • Contains 2 oz of distilled water
  • Shipped ready for gifting

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Last Supper. Grillust Style.

Some days a happy band of staff partake of a standard tony* and crumble in the studio. We usually try to evoke a Renaissance atmosphere to aid digestion.

*  A standard 'tony' = beans and chips
    A 'tony-lite' = beans and chips (half portion of each)

The "Captains Last Crumble" Triptych

    1. Sizing up the task                      2. 'ere we go                                  3. Get in there

Monday, 2 December 2013

Captain Davies - A brief 'Blog'raphy

Now that The Captain has finally left the port of Grillust and sailed off into a golden sunset of his own making, we thought we'd pay tribute to our beloved, former leader by looking back over just a few of his more memorable blog highlights. Just click the date to read the original post...

Friday, 17 December 2010: The Captain decides to commute to work by boat. What could possibly go wrong?!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011: The Captain combines studio-based, still life drawing for illustration students with a rather neat money-making idea. What could possibly go wrong?!! 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011: Radio 1 comes to The University of Cumbria and leaves their studio unattended and unlocked... Soon The Captain is Broadcasting to the nation. What could possibly go wrong?!! 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012: After reading 'Cloning for Dummies' The Captain creates his own 'Mini Me'. What could possibly go wrong?!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012: The Olympic Torch Relay comes to town. The Olympic Torch Committee think it would be a good idea to let The Captain take part. What could possibly go wrong?!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012: Sponsored by Greggs, The Captain takes on the likes of 'Cav' and Sir Wiggo by entering The Tour of Britain. What could possibly go wrong?!! 

Friday, 13 September 2013: The Tour of Britain returns and The Captain needs to settle old scores. What could possibly go wrong?!! 

Captain Davies,  the Grillust™ empire (past & present) salute you.

why does ice float?

If you had recently been charged with making an animation that explained how something complex worked then you might be interested in seeing how the people at TED do it. You know, if you had been asked to do something like that, that is.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Cheerio, CaptAIN dAVIES


Friday, 29 November 2013

First Years Fifth Project - 30 Second Movies

For this brief we asked the students to research basic film making techniques, then study a specific movie genre (pulled at random from a hat) and then finally create a 30 second visual 'distillation' in film of said genre. Oh; they also had to produce a detailed storyboard before they started shooting any live footage. We generously allowed them two whole weeks in which to complete this massive challenge.

But hold on a minute we hear you shout (N.B. we don't really)... Graphic Designers and Illustrators making films? Are we mad?

No, quite the opposite. As technologies merge (these films were all made in Photoshop by the way!?) and, as TV and streaming media expand exponentially, who will be there at the cutting edge, producing well designed, intelligent content? Designers and Illustrators, of course

This project marks the start of a journey for those students who have a strong interest in exploiting video, film and animation as their chosen media. We'll be exploring further aspects after Christmas so stay tuned.

In the meantime; put you feet up, turn down the house lights, open a carton of Kia-Ora and smear Nachos down your front as you enjoy the fruits of their labour...

Maddison and Peter give you their take on the Spaghetti Western format.

Vincent and Sarah produce a 30 second tribute to the 'Swashbuckler' genre set in our Design & Illustration studio.

Mollie and Ben produce a 30 second tribute to Pathe News

Nathan and Laura give us 30 seconds of German Expressionism.

Rebecca and Zac proudly present a short Action Movie

Tanya and Iinu produce a 30 second tribute to 'Film Noir'

How Do You Design a Great Book Jacket?

Well, a good place to start would be by listening to the greatest book jacket designer of his generation, Mr Chip Kidd...

Friday, 15 November 2013

an american werewolf in london in cumbria

Second year illustrators have been busy illustrating film posters but instead of using traditional 2D methods the brief asked them to work in 3D using lighting, projection, paper construction and camera. Here's some of Jenny Read's work for An American Werewolf in London (a film which incidentally caused this grillustrator to live in a sleepless state from Autumn 1986 until sometime in 1991). We were looking for atmosphere and mood thought that Jenny had done a bang on job of showing just that.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Resolution problems?

Enlarged an image to make it fit the page? Stretched it in photoshop? Is it blurred?

Original image and enlarged image (one minute portrait by Damien Florebert Cuypers beautiful drawings all over his site BTW). See the difference?
Here's what going wrong.

9 pixels

Enlarge the image and the pixels are moved apart, leaving gaps that contain no information

Software such as photoshop calculates a best guess, using the existing pixels to create new ones, filling the gaps. The more you enlarge the more the software has to create. In this example there is more calculated information than original. Leading to loss in fidelity. This is what makes images blurry and poor quality.

Always make sure you image is big enough for your needs.

Friday, 8 November 2013

One to watch :-)

CYCLIQUE (version courte) from NOhista on Vimeo.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

constructed illustration

Year 2 illustrators are currently working on film posters. Nothing special about that we hear you grumble. But you’re wrong. They’re not illustrating them in a traditional sense. Instead, they’re building illustrations using paper, lighting and projection; the end result to be photographed. No photoshoppery allowed, all effects to be captured ‘in camera’. The results have yet to be seen but activity in our top secret bunker looks promising.


Still Life Still Fun

As part of their Visual Literacy module year zeros undertake a series of drawing exercises. This week they tackled still life. As old fashioned as it comes but still a valuable activity and still good fun. Encouraged to experiment with materials and approach they turned in some less than dull results – the Grillust ethos being that any chance to draw must be a good thing.

This is what happens when you draw whilst listening to Radiohead

0608Six strings, one line


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tables Turned on Notorious Portrait Artist!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Famous Artists (You've Probably Never Heard of) - No.1 Léon Spilliaert

The first in an occasional series.

Plucky little Belgium, for such a small country they've given the world so much!
Beer; more beer; Jacques Brel (no he wasn't French); chocolates; Poirot (fictional) and a whole host of exceptional artists, architects and designers.
Most importantly for the Grillust Team, it was the Belgians who first had the genius idea of combing chips (french fried potatoes) with mayonnaise (mayo), to produce a delicacy we truly consider Haute Cuisine (Hot Food).

However, we're not here to talk about fine food, it's the Fine Art (do you see what I did there) of Belgium that must concern us, specifically the haunting work of Léon Spilliaert.

The Essential Facts:
Léon Spilliaert (28 July 1881 – 23 November 1946)

Born in Ostend

Self-taught artist, initially worked as an illustrator

Sickly, unhappy and reclusive as a young man = his greatest work

Happily married family man later in life = less interesting work

At the heart of the Symbolist Movement

Mostly worked in charcaol with ink.

Produced some of the most haunting and subtly disturbing work of the twentieth century... 

See for yourself:

Vertigo (1909)

The Gust of Wind (1904)

Self-Portrait with Mirror (1908)

Self-Portrait (1906)

La Galerie Royale d'Ostende

The Persuit (1910)

The Moon and Lights (1909)

Figure (1905)

Self-Portrait (1908)

The Night (1908)

Digue D’Ostende Aux Reverberes (1908)

Portrait (1907)