maandag 5 januari 2015

MATS Bootcamp {January - week 1}


DAY 1:
Before starting today's MATS Bootcamp, I got to meet my fellow classmates in our online 'classroom' and private Facebook page, which was great! From what I've seen so far, I'll be having over 400 classmates here, that's a lot of people! Graphic designers, illustrators, professionals, newbies... from all over the world. Pretty impressive!

On every first monday of the month (which is today) we'll be given our first "MINI" assignment, which is a small exercise to loosen up a little and have fun with a certain subject. I guess it's some kind of warm-up for the rest of the month, where we'll receive a (larger) assignment about the same subject.

The subject for this month: 

Last week, while sorting out my collection of jewellery, I found this beautiful old brooche that once belonged to my grandmother. I think it's gorgeous (and a great inspiration for this assignment)!

This week is all about brooches. Draw draw draw!

DAY 2:
The second day of Lilla Roger's MATS Bootcamp. It was another fun day. :) I found an empty sketchbook (my closet is full of surprises) with dark brown pages and somehow that just got me started. At first I used a black fine-liner and drew the Edwardian Brooches; it was lovely to do, but... a bit too careful, you know? This 'Mini' is about playing around, doing crazy stuff! So instead I grabbed my Cont√© Crayons (I absolutely love those things but I barely use them) and started drawing some brooches I liked. 

I realized I liked the round(ish), detailed and symmetrical brooches the most. This one, for example:

Yet, drawing those details over and over again (no matter how lovely it is), is pretty time consuming. And one of the "problems" I had with my work so far, is that it just takes up too much time. I'd like it to be commercial appealing and illustrations that took over a decade (ok... I'm exaggerating a bit) to finish can't be commercial appealing, can they? It'd become way too expensive, in my opinion.

A while back, I tried combining one of my illustrations with stamps, to quicken the proces and I loved doing that! 

For this 'Edwardian Brooche' assignment, I realized I could use this same technique.

Symmetrical (round) brooches are basically created by repeated shapes, merged into each other. This aspect fascinated me and I started cutting two different stamps that'd make great 'repeat shapes' for a round brooche design. I used simple craft foam and glued them onto wooden toy blocks. Here's the result:

DAY 3:
Third day of Lilla Roger's MATS Bootcamp! It wasn't my intention to make this a daily thing, but I just couldn't help myself.

This morning I took a walk through our local park, which is actually very lovely and only a three-minute walk from here. I had given myself a small assignment to start the day: collect a 'souvenir' and do something with it. I ended up with three souvenirs; a photograph, a rock and a piece of wood.

Okay, so I got the souvenirs. Now I have to do something with them. I had to experiment, just like I did with the stamps yesterday.

A part of me was afraid of this. Weird right?

A while ago I'd have loved to experiment with different materials and techniques, but back then I didn't care about having a style of my own (it was all over the place). Ever since I've been obsessed with finding my own style, I'm afraid to get 'lost' again. I had to remind myself that this was all part of the process and that it'd be good for me to loosen up a little.

One thing I've always been passionate about as an illustrator, is combining my work with products/objects. For example; painting a tabletop or developing prints for a lampshade.Yet, looking back, I barely did any of that so far. I'm not exactly sure why that is, hopefully I'll figure that out later in this course.

What I did know, was that I wanted to try it. Right now. I collected some objects I wanted to paint; my souvenirs from this morning, a small tray and a couple of wooden toy blocks. Then I put on my favorite music and just... did it without giving it much thought. And guess what? I enjoyed it A LOT. :)

Materials used: the rubber stamp I made yesterday, two pencil erarers, a large paperclip (for the small dots), and white blockprint paint.

DAY 4:
Fourth day of Lilla Roger's MATS Bootcamp!

It rained this morning, so the photograph I took during my morning walk is a bit gloomy:

It was nice nonetheless! I also brought three other souvenirs; a dried flower (looks like a mini tree!), a rock and a stick.

I tried out some new stamps today! This time, instead of using the wooden toy blocks, I glued them onto plastic blocks, so I could see what I was doing. This made it a lot easier and more fun too!

I really like the complex shapes these simple stamps were able to make.

I was having a great time, but that little voice inside my head kept telling me that, for the main assignment (that'll be released coming monday) these shapes probably aren't useful. It also said that, like everybody else, I should sketch some 'real' brooch inspired shapes, because Lilla had posted a message about how the sketches can be scanned and used for the main assignment. Although I know that little voice should be shutting up, I still did some 'real' sketchwork, inspired by brooches I found online. I also played with adding a character in the mix, and typography.

Yes, this was within my comfort zone and all, but it was fun.

Slowly, I'm starting to see these brooches as bodies; with limps (the main shapes), a heart (gems for example), ears (shapes on each side) and/or a tail (a lot of brooches have a 'tail' pointing down). A lot of classmates like to draw large gems and these are awesome! However, I like drawing brooches with small 'hearts'.

DAY 5:
Another rainy morning walk and only one found souvenir:

What I did with it: