The soundtrack of our lives: Crit and sort of a final concept, maybe?

Focusing on my concept of trying to fully express my feelings individually for each song (Mr Blue sky, Love roller coaster and Year 3000), I found this task to be particularly difficult. I spent most of my time brooding over how I needed to show this, and how I could make this clear to others. I came to the conclusion, that if someone can easily pick up on emotions from colours used, or a simple mark made, it may provide a fascinating result if I were to apply this same or similar strategy towards each poster.

Personally, I see that this method has worked, as during our crit presentation on the project overall, there were a few that were able to grasp the sense of ‘raw emotion’ with in the posters; which goes to show, that my technique was successful, but I feel that there’s so much more that I could do for this project that may be beneficial towards it. I have in mind right now, that I may want to consider creating a animated projection of the posters instead and it’ll show the brush strokes gradually making their way on to the screen as the animation runs.


Besides the quality of the print out, I’m a little disappointed with the text. When I look at it from afar, I’m unable to see it clearly, so if I’m going to come back to this in future, I may need to consider working on it by making it bolder. Though, if i made it any bolder, it may distract the viewers attention away from the outcome.


The soundtrack of our lives: Poster talk with Bill.

Another useful talk about how we can present our poster, and how we must always think about the ways in which we present and reflect our ideas. I briefly mentioned before that I’ve started to play around with those ideas and yet, I’m not so satisfied with what I have at the moment.

Not only did he talk about this, he mentioned that the poster needs to communicate what we want it to and he gave some rather interesting hints in how we can do this. It could be done through the use of words? it could also be done in the use of shapes as well. Shapes and colours are quite good examples when I think about it; just by squashing a square together, it could resemble pressure? gluttony? tightness? anger, maybe?

Continuing with the talk, he gave us some examples of posters that stood out to him, or had influenced others. There was this particular one that had struck my attention when it popped up; I was later able to find it in a book I found at the library and it was about Japanese poster designs.

The palm of the hand is so detailed; it’s incredible. It must of taken a lot of patience and time to be able to create something so delicate. I also adore how subtle the poster is, it’s not flashy or too complicated.

When the talk was finished, we arrived back in our studio to continue working on the poster designs. I had a little one to one talk with Bill, and he suggested about making the text bigger, as the songs are quite bold and they’re different in terms of style. The names of them speak for themselves, but  I took this in to consideration.

I started off with a base template, it was just to draft out a vague idea of what the style of the font could look like. I wanted something scratchy, messy and not so neat and yet, this didn’t exactly resemble that at all.

Tried again. It was better this time; I wanted the text to be bold, big and striking. Though, I need to remind myself of what I stated previously about having the title being a bit quieter, as the names of the songs are prominent. The textured tones that marker creates are pretty fascinating, so I continued to use them, but instead of using one colour, I mixed up two colours that were dominant with in all three of the posters.

I was keen to the result of this outcome, as it was nicely blended in and I’m fond of how the colours smudge in. It would’ve been a better outcome, if I had a bit more practice with this technique previously, but as I needed to get these all done in time for the printers, this was what I ended up with. Nonetheless, this isn’t a totally bad finish over all. I was happy with it, just I could of played around with it a bit more.

The soundtrack of our lives: Testing out and process.

Slipping in to our final week of preparation for the poster project, I did mention in my previous post that I was going to update sooner, but hey, it’s been a pretty hectic week. From receiving my feedback on what could be my considered three final ideas; I was slightly taken back. I was expecting bad feedback as I wasn’t particularly confident with the ideas that I had. I did have a feeling that something was quite off about them, but couldn’t figure it out by myself, so the response was very helpful, as I didn’t think I would be able to continue and just say ‘Oh, yeah. This is my final set of posters’.  Taking the advice further, I started to experiment with ways in which I could use brush strokes to cover up a few of the swirls that appeared to look like roses; I think they may of appeared to look this way, due to the colour pallet chosen.

As I was particularly fond with those set of colours, since they reflect not only the feelings of tingliness and awkwardness that I feel from the song ‘Love rollercoaster’, but they strongly reflect on the word ‘love’ as pink hues are typically the first tones to associate with it. I also used the swirls in this poster to link in with the ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ poster, although, the swirls are also a symbol of the loops that a roller coaster ride would make.

To the left, I’ve highlighted the changes I’ve made to the poster. While the paint marks are rough and there’s some over spill, this makes the overall image appear to look messy. I strongly believe that leaving the marks to do whatever they want, after I’ve made my own is their own representation in the change in feelings for the song I’ve chosen.


After fixing that issue, I did some more research on type styles, but I focused more on handrawn writing instead. This was indeed done for the titles, I admit that I still have a long way to go when it comes to typography, anyway, I planned on putting in the songs titles in to the posters because it gives them a little bit more context to what the posters are about.

I started to play around with the positioning as well, I found that sometimes the text would distract my eyes from the image itself, so I needed to find a way of having the text presented on the sheet of paper, but wouldn’t be too eye catching. I had to bear in mind that, the choice of style needs to depict the mood and would also have to help pull the three images together.

Here are a few examples of the ones that I thought worked well with the images:


These were some styles I started working with by hand using promarkers, the images here are test drafts that I was working with by hand also. The technique that was used to create this process was with masking tape and with very light acrylic washes. I’m hoping that next time the paint will be a bit thicker next time because I really want those marks to stand out. As for the text, these four were the stronger outcomes as they emphasise energy, happiness (which can be seen with in the bright yellow used) and boldness. It would’ve been good if I was able to capture a face-on photo of these, but the pen marks used to create the letter forms are quite effective. They appear to link back to the research and mark making practice that I’ve been doing, so I’m quite pleased with that.

Over lunch time, I spent some time photocopying the draft images as a4 to test out a concept form idea for a considered presentation for the poster, which I would like to state again, that I mentioned about this in my previous post. I was keen on having another option in the presentation, for example a poster that folds up in to a leaflet. I went ahead and tested this out and tried folding the paper up in many different ways. To be honest, I wasn’t pleased with these at all, I wanted to do something unusual to back up how quirky my feelings were for these songs in particular, but there’s always time to come back to this and play around again in future. I have learned from this, that I shouldn’t rush in to the first idea that pops up in to my head first.

What is a poster?

In the previous week, we had two talks that were mainly focusing on the question, ‘What is a poster?’.  The first talk was with Matthew Caley, which I found to be both benificial and interesting towards our current project: The Soundtrack of our lives. He began to give a brief run down on how he started off, which led in to the kinds of music and groups that became known, due to how odd they were at first. This fed back to our project in many ways; it allowed me to think about how much impact did my chosen songs, or even the bands that created them, what kind of appeal did they have to other people? Some people may of seen them as…–excuse me for the use of this word, but ‘lame’ or would stir other opinions. The opinions of others may have a consequence towards how popular the group was or depending on what was seen as ‘the norm’ could also have an affect.

After leaving that small lecture, he began to show us some examples on how the poster could presented, which led me to realise that I could play around with the idea of not having a poster that is flat.

When returning back to the studio on Thursday, we had a small presentation by Sara on what a poster could be. She gave us so many examples of how they could be presented, who they were created by and quite a few of them had a function to them, which allowed people to interact with.

And this is the part of the blog post, where I get to tell you all what I did to reflect in these talks. I thought I could possibly take this poster project a bit further by looking at different ways I could present my poster; I photocopied some final poster ideas and began to test, whether or not they could have a function or not, such as a poster which folds up in to a flyer, or perhaps, a poster that can be turned in to a jigsaw puzzle, seeing as the bold chunks of white on my posters seem to link together. (I’ll update with photos of these later) I’m starting to think, I could possibly try out making an animated prejection as well. However, due to time limit, I’m not sure that will be achievable, but I’m hoping to try it out over the weekend to see how that goes.

Although, getting back to the presentation, there were some interesting ways in how you can apply a function to a poster and seeing if it’s effective or not. I found the posters that were presented by a prejection or with lights to be a very fascinating concept because it’s a new thing to me.

The soundtrack of my life- 4/?

Returning to another talk about The Soundtrack of my life project, I will now present you with my thoughts, ideas and any other little adjustments that have been made.

With the song ‘Mr. Blue sky’, I mentioned previously how it kicks up these psychedelic images that have blobs of shape, or even lines that wiggle across? I continued to work with this concept in my book, but I found myself with testing out the lines which I originally thought would appear to look good, if they were to be laid on top of the first layers of colour.

It took a lot of effort at first to try and get the lines just right, but what I found fascinating was the textures the acrylic paint created while it was being pressed against another sheet of paper.

Looking back at it now, the lines remind me of the change in feelings for the song, or they could also reflect the change in the beat during the song. Below,  are the other two examples of the ideas I came up with while listening to the songs over and over. The one on the left is for Mr Blue sky and the right is for Year 3000. I attempted to make subtle hints to the music videos, such as the question mark and the game’s ship, but as I reminiscence on this, the use of circles and other shapes that go along with this really aid the emotions I want to depict, which are: energy, happiness, excitement and the other ones I’ve mentioned before.  Besides, the thought of the songs being energetic, and creating a psychedelic sensation; the word ‘retro’ registered with me, this may be due to the fact that in Year 3000’s music video by Busted, it starts off with an old game screen and with this thought in mind, I looked in to poster designers who used pixels.








So far, these two posters are portraying what I want them to, nonetheless I continued to take this further by drawing these again, but on A4 paper outside of my sketchbook. I always enjoy working on these kinds of pieces of work outside of the sketchbooks, as it helps me to develop different ways of presenting them.

Acrylic and drawing ink. I drew out the Mr Blue sky  idea out, it was going all swell until I was met with how I was going to test the mediums out on the page. The ink was terrible. It was utterly useless as the darker tones were always so lousy at blending with the brighter colours; I was disappointed. It was also a rush job. I used a large, flat brush for this and I couldn’t get the separate sections, also when I placed the paint down, the lines from the betrol finetip pen kept showing all the way through.

Brooding over how this was such a horrible test and what a big mess it was, I recalled another method, which was the linograph way? well, I’m not sure on what it was called, but it involves a little thing called ‘Masking tape’. It was an easier process as I was able to section off neatly the lines I wanted and got the first few tones of colour in place.

Testing it, I was ecstatic with the results! I even went as far as to test out the different kinds of patterns I could do with it and another thing I was quite fond of was the way the paint creates a bumpy layer, so it’ll help encourage the idea of a poster having a touchable surface, perhaps? Once again, I had to consider the song Mr. Blue sky, this emphasised an array of blue tones to lighter, more bolder ones, such as yellow.

Sara mentioned that the blank spaces involved were a nice aspect to it, and now that I look at it, I agree. It exaggerates that feeling of change with in the emotions and the music being played.

I’m planning on continuing this process, but in a larger scale to see how far I can go with these.

Looking in to abstract and contemporary artists.

I wanted to strengthen my research in to other artists for ‘The soundtrack of our lives.’. Thanks to a book called ‘The best of British contemporary illustration 2008’, I was able to obtain a few that has helped to broaden my ideas for the future, if I ever plan on coming back to this project (which is most likely going to happen).

I had several more that I looked at as well, but I only found them before I found this book and started looking in to contemporary and abstract art.

Jill Calder:

Jill Calder’s been working as an illustrated since 1993; she also deals with digital art and she lectures with the love of drawing, ideas, colour and ink.
She’s worked with numerous amount of clients globally.

There’s many reasons as to why I have chosen to talk about this illustrator; there’s something so vivid, colourful and original about her drawings that she’s produced so far. I was really admiring the bright tones she uses in specific illustrations, they create a gentle touch of emotion to the image that can be seen clearly; the lines used as well help convey that.

Observing closer, I would like us all to focus on the image with the cliff and the rabbit for a second. They’re quite blocked? as in the colours are solid ,but each shade is sharply built in to the picture to create curves, or to help highlight other aspects.

When regarding the progress I’ve made so far,  particularly on the poster tests with the mediums, I start to think of this illustrator, in terms of the lines that she’s used or how the edges of some of the objects in the image have this textured look to it.  I’m starting to believe that depending on the brush strokes used, they can assist the poster with depicting the emotion, for example, fast brush strokes could portray a sharp and edgy sensation?

Becca Thorne: While being another illustrator and also a print maker, Thorne’s illustrations are both bold and graphic.

Some examples of her work can be seen at:

I have thought about using lino as a print method for the making of the poster, but it’s time consuming.

Back to the subject,  I adore the fuzzy lines that are an outcome of this printing method, they appear to be very unsettled.  I must admit that for the same reasons I’ve selected Calder to look at, is the same reason as for why I chose Thorne. She’s able to use colour and make it work well with lines and shape.

Takashi Murakami: Thinking back on Mr. Blue sky and Year 3000, he was the first artist that popped in to mind at the time. He’s a contemporary artist.  During the time I was re listening to these songs specifically, they create these mind-blowing visuals of colour and elongated shapes that emphasise this futuristic vision. I strongly think that Murakami does just this i n his arm work by using a varied use of bold, bright and contrasting colour.

All right. This is the last one, I promise.

Francoise Nielly: An abstract artist this time, and I didn’t find her in the book, but I went out and made a search of ‘Abstract art’, then found her work to which reminded me of another artist who did similar, though I cannot remember their name sadly.

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It’s quite interesting to see how just a few mix of blocked in colours is able to bring out so much with in an image. Not only that, but the colours used are able to change the mood of a picture, as well as the brush strokes used.

I may have to consider this further with in my planning. I want to start testing out the kinds of colours I can use to link my emotions to them ( I’m going to use Photoshop for this after the first poster drafts are created), this will allow me to further my practice.