After compleating the drawings at the end of week 3 and putting them into InDesign, sending them to the printer, I picked them up in the morning and went to university to trim, cut and bind.
While I was thinking at the beginning to use a ring binding method or a spiral, did I change my mind about it and decided to perfect binding due to its simplicity and clean, minimalistic look. I will leave the spine open, the single paces only hold together by the glue and three pieces of white thread. In a way, you can trace the making process through this open spine.
The finished resul is the 6×6 cm small book with a with of 1.5 cm, the spine allows me to bopen the book easily compleatly:
Flip through the book online on my Instagram page:
After last week (week 2) when I had 25 little drawings finished, that showed “traces”. I worked since then on the series of 50 little drawings up to this week (week 3). I finished the series, and after the weekly tutorial I figured out that I will bind the drawings in a small book not wider than a smartphone screen of an iPhone 7. This would mean the book would be 6cm wide and since I paid to make it squared that would mean each page would be 6x6cm. I scanned all of the drawings and place them on the 6x6cm square centred in a 2x2cm square with a 2cm wide free on all sides around it. This would be similar to what I posted on my Instagram account:
This step does have a specific effect on the drawings, the images have not only more space to breath on the page, but it also connects the seemingly random picked objects and things with each other through the consistency of the format, positioning and spacing. Another thing is that It seems to make the images more precise, due to that they think the human eye is connecting the marks on the paper and makes the things look more real in small/miniature than in their original drawn size.
Once I decided on the book idea I had to pick a title and even if titles such as “Left behind”, “forgotten”, “never forgotten” all seemed appealing did they not really fit each and every illustration. Everything looked okay, but the actual title of the project appeared to be the most accurate one, it described the project enough without telling too much/ giving too much away from the content of the book.
After a talk with my tutor Charly and the tutor group I decided on using no actual words in my book, I decided to draw words, as I did on the post-it’s, newspaper etc. but not to actually write. So I made another illustration of a clouded window on which “someone” wrote traces with their finger and to add my name to the book, I wrote my name on the “Hello-my-name-is” sticker to added it on the back cover of the book.
When I started thinking about the order of the images of the book did I first thought I would order them chronological the order I drew them. However, would that mean that similar topics would come after each other (3 post-it’s, a grave, candle and a bone, a lost glove, a lost and found box and a missing cat) but I did not want this. So my next idea was that I tile each of the images, organise them alphabetical which worked better than chronological but did another problem occurs: 5 images in primary red after each other, 2 post-it’s very close to each other. So I decided to follow the advice of my tutor coup and tutor and order them randomly so that those problems won’t occur.
Binding why was I thinking about perfect or ring binding, however, I will decide this once I receive the prints from the printer on Monday the 29th at 2 pm. I used the printing facilities from digital art in Greenwich that do professional Colour Managed Fine Art & Photographic Giclée Printing. I decided to print my images on A2 Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm (smooth matt finish) and then to cut the pictures in the right format. The prints are onesided, and with the white border, I have the freedom of choice with binding.
After my decision in week 1 that I want to focus on those ” objects that stood for different things that were in some way connected to the term: TRACES,” I started to draw those with the Polychromos on paper.
I took my inspiration from many things, be it the lost pink single glove I found outside of Highbury and Islington tube station, the frustration over my dissertation and the books I had to search to find that one specific quote I forgot to note, or the cold, miserable weather in London mixed with my deep wish to feel the sun on my skin and sand between my toes.
After around 10 days I had a small collection of about 25 little drawings, showing and describing all kind of things, negative and positive. I figured that if I work at the same place, I could make it a series of 50 little drawings at the end which I then create an end result/outcome for the crit.
However, a problem occurred concerning the paper I was using. Since I started my project technically in Germany, I used paper that I found in a cupboard. Back in the UK, I was not able to figure out what kind of paper I was using, and when I used the paper that I used for my previous projects, using biro, I realised that this was not the right paper to use for coloured pencils.
Which is why I went into an art-supply-store and was lucky enough to talk to someone that uses Polycromus as well, recommending three different papers to me:
Paint On Multi-Techniques A5 250g/m2 – 115 lb from Clairefontaine
Heavy Weight Cartridge Pad 220gsm from Daler Rowney
Hot Sheet 185gsm 56 x 76cm from Arches
I decided to buy the first and second, since I wanted to stay in smaller sizes and did not want to buy a large sheet and cut it down.
While the Clairefontaine paper was a lot better than the paper I was using before it had still a too rough finish when I started drawing on it.
The paper from Daler Rowney however had the right finish, it allowed me to make the drawing as smooth as I wanted to, without looking like normal white printing paper since it is slightly coloured and thinker.
The Arches paper I will try another time, when I will potentially draw in a larger scale.
What do we leave behind when, for example, we leave our homes each day; Memories? A scent? Particles of shed skin? Unique energy? What ‘traces’ do others leave on us? What does a ‘trace’ look, feel, sound and smell like?
Explore the notion of ‘the trace’ through research, personal reflection and visual experimentation.
After I received the briefs I felt immediately drawn towards the traces brief, I thought the idea to draw things, we leave behind very increasing. For me the first things that popped into my head where kind of negative things, like the tea bags that my boyfriend keeps leaving on the kitchen counter, that then start to dry onto the counter, leaving marks and stains. So I started to write these down:
Urine on a wall
Used metro ticket
Flowers with letter
Message with lipstick on mirror
Post-it: I love you
Peel of a banana
Forgotten jacket in wardrobe
Bag on hook
Book with bookmark
Post-it: Lunch appointment
However, the more I thought about those traces, the more positive they seemed to me, even the tea bags seemed not as wrong to me as in the first moment, because they indicate that he was there, that the person I love so much is with me. It was, in fact, the first drawing in my series and set the mood and aesthetic for the project.
After the Self-Initiated Project, I set myself a little challenge to try colour and a bigger series than 3 – 7 but actually go at least over 20.
Before Christmas I started my research regarding pencils, I tried to find some that I feel comfortable with drawing. I tried:
Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils
My favourite, they are easy to blend, the intensity of the colour was not comparable with the others, they are easy to apply with not too much pressure, colour range with 120 pencils is the largest I found
Caran D’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils
I could only find a variety of 40 different Pencils, that were all quite intense in colour, but they were very easy to apply, smooth both in application and finish, but were they compared to the Polychromos even more expensive
Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencil.
Compared to the Polychromos less vibrant and intense but good in blending, but tricky in using watercolour since it was not what I wanted to do, and for the same price as the Polychromos not the best choice for me
Having the same amount of pencils as the Polychromos, are the Derwent pencils a good alternative, but where the Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils in the comparison stronger, in colour, smoothness and end result.
After Christmas, I bought the Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils together with my father and drew the tea bag on a piece of leftover paper. What was intended to be just a test for me left quite an impression, mark on me and I liked the aesthetic of the image too much. So I decided to continue with the same style thought the whole project, depicting objects that stood for different things that were in some way connected to the term: TRACES.
The day we went to the zoo with our course I expected many things to feel once I entered the zoo things like anger and sadness, but nostalgia and joy were things that surprised me.
I was nervous when I arrived there I did not wanted to be there seeing the animals behind the bars, restricted in there room and disconnected to their natural conditions and habitat. Even though I was trying to say open minded I was surprised about the nostalgia: remembering maybe one of my first visits at a zoo ever. Certainly I saw myself walking next to my mother, holding one of her hands, the other is carrying my little baby sister, passing cages with monkeys, tiger, Zebras and Lions. I was amazed that those animals really existed. I loved this magical place where there where my toys in real size and in life. I felt pure joy.
Today I have more mixed feelings about this place. Obviously there is the aspect of the nostalgia, the good memories of my childhood, the time I spend with my family careless and happy. But now I think of different things, I think about the ethnics of the zoo, the feeling of the animals that pass the metal bars every day, disconnected to their roots and real life.
I went though some change, however, I feel like the animals did not. In the zoo the time seem to stand still, animals walk in circles, lay sleeping on the floor and eat at the same time… I was sad. I felt deeply sad and could not help my self but enjoyed the stay at the same time. never have I ever felt to divided.