Wednesday, 25 October 2017

First Years, Second Project - Old School!!!

It's been a very busy last two weeks for our first year students as they completed the visual and technical 'assault course' that we call Old School...
Manual skills still underpin much of any working Graphic Designer or Illustrator's life. Think of all that packaging that needs to be mocked-up or presentation boards that need to be professionally assembled.

Great Illustration is not only underpinned by an ability to draw well but also by great technical skills. The reality here is there are no 'quick fixes'. It takes years to become a really good painter, or pen & ink artist, or printmaker or...

'Old School' is our opportunity to allow the students to find out how good, bad or ugly their making/drawing/gluing/painting skills actually are right at the start of their course. It helps them identify what they're good at and much more importantly focusses their attention and concentration on working hard to develop those areas that they're not so good at.

Some students are a little camera shy...

This is what stretched paper looks like

The construction of a 3D letter 'R' is revealed

How many students does it take to use a guillotine?

Happily, we can report that the overall standard was very good. For a generation who hasn't done any technical drawing or that much painting, we were particularly impressed with their ability to handle constructed letters, draw straight lines, wield a compass accurately, understand the complexities of oblique, isometric and orthographic projection and produce impressive copies of great illustrator's work.

Here's a small selection of what they did...

Window mount a postcard.
Use the correct tool (knife) and this can be achieved beautifully (left). Use the wrong tool (hamster) and the results can be a little disappointing (right).

Cut a perfect freehand circle

Stab stitched book with elaborate, hand-cut graduated square hole motif. Tidy!

JJS celebrates achieving perfection in the task to flat mount six postcards by adopting the classic double 'thumbs up' gesture and shouting "losers" at his fellow students

Construct a classic, Roman 'M' by following a devilishly complicated set of instructions

Cut-out letters carefully spaced

Colour wheels and tonal scales

Create a perfect cube from thin card - at the bottom we see what perfection looks like

Embossing geometric shapes, two excellent, one not so excellent

Graphic Design students were given freehand pen and brush tasks. Pictured at the bottom is the hand of destiny brandishing the Parker pen of doom

Constructed 3D 'R's and two more bashful students

Draw a 52mm square in the middle of an A4 sheet of pristine layout paper. The overlay shows where it should have been...

Oblique, Isometric and Third-angle Orthographic projections of the 3D 'R'

Graphic Design students had to recreate a poster by the German designer Emil Pirchan

Illustration students copying a dip-pen drawing by the great illustrator Mervyn Peake

Illustration students used scraper board to recreate a wood engraving by Clare Leighton

Here are the illustrators having a go at doing a 'Brad Holland' using acrylics

N.B. Once the tasks had been completed the students were advised to have a lie down...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

First Years, First Project

Working in teams of two, we asked the students to produce a digital magazine that attempted to capture something of the essence of a location of their choice.

The idea here is to point out from the start (N.B. we would never use the phrase 'get go' because we hate it...) that design and illustration are not impersonal, neutral activities. 

Having passion and something to say are central to the production of memorable, communicative work.

Here's some of what they produced:

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Getting to Know You Grillust Style

Problem: Your students have come from all over the place and don't necessarily know anyone else on the course. How do you make them feel welcome and make new friends within hours of starting?

Answer: *Fun in the studio™!

*Fun in the studio™ is a Grillust™ product guaranteed to get students talking, laughing and sharing information within 60 minutes.

It may involve pub quizzing, throwing games, poor quality 'prizes' and a geographical challenge (see the previous post). WARNING: may contain nuts - check before consuming.

Introducing our new students.

Order is the prerequisite for rational observation, imagination, understanding, and peace of mind. 

This is the human prefrontal cortex at work and is why all animals (and some teenagers) seem content in the chaos of the wild (e.g. dirt, filth, socks left strewn around the room) and yet we (adult) humans strive to arrange our music collections alphabetically and by genre: Acid House; Afro-Cuban; Ambient; Barbershop; Beatbox; Bluegrass etc.

We at Grillust Towers take it to the next level by lining up our new students by where they come from, carefully ordered  from North to South.
Here's a sample of this year's findings going from North to South (obviously):

Glasgow; Ayr; Dumfries; Carlisle; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Workington: Darlington; Teeside; Thirsk; York; Skipton; Blackburn; Bradford; Chorley; Manchester; Liverpool; Nottingham; Shrewsbury; Leicester; Poland; China and South Africa.

Quite a cosmopolitan crowd...

Tuesday, 3 October 2017