Can’t sleep? Proof Read.

I have had this blog for quite some time now and I am fully aware of what it contains;

Spelling errors,
Grammatical errors,
Typing errors,
And general neglect.

This evening I have been struggling to get to sleep and one way to aid myself to a cringe worthy sleep is to read one of my own typed digital-verbal-diarrhoea.. And deary me.

So many people have tried to pull me up about proof reading and I am such a lazy being; after I’ve written something and done a basic spell check I lose all interest.
Bigger fool me, however I’ve noticed the greater amount of mistakes found in my typed blogs and usually because my hands aren’t warmed up – causing clumsy mistakes. Blog posts I have composed on my phone seem to be less drivel.

Graded Fury 2000+ words composed on my phone, did I wanna proof read a rant? Nope, I wanted to put the coffee down and move on with my day.

So! A couple of people recently mentioned my Christmas blog post and I was curious to see what it said… Oh dear. Clearly written in the moment as a vent, and apparently I revealed more than I should have. So to make a point, I want to write about last Christmas 2011/12.

And here it is:

It. Was. Awesome. ūüôā

I spent my christmas with my sister Gemma, she read my Christmas post and gave me the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

Gem and I had a ham which was too big for it’s pot. BOOM!

New year? Meh. There’s always next year.

As for the rest of my posts and mistakes.. It’s not like anyone wants to re-read them. Anyone who was going to read my blog already has.

But thanks for reading anyway ūüėÄ x

P.s. I have a secret to tell.. I’m not gonna proof read this one either.


Driven Mad with Ambition

From the beginning of the Border Crossing Module I wanted to remove myself from any comfort zone and attempt something different. I love illustration and it is a main element of Textiles however not usually expressed in a literal sense; usually quite abstract. In a way it almost creates a new definition of what the design was based on; to study architecture and your drawings or samples only holding a small element of the original body of research.

My aim was the same; to not focus on subject matter but to create something fresh, clear and ambitious. It’s far too easy to do something and claim you meant to if it was just a happy accident; I wanted from the beginning, something STRUCTURED¬†which would reflect the importance of line and repetition found in my secondary research.

From my last two inspirational little sketches I realised how difficult my task was to even draw out ideas! Not even considering how hard it would be to print!

Considering composition; every face an element and mood of my interpretation of Scotland. This was just getting into the swing of what I wanted to do, to see what lines I could find and use or what not to do. This was one of my first but I consider this one as important as this was the first drawing my ‘Pride’ face had developed horns. Giving birth to the nicknamed ‘Devil guy’.

A more refined study with the introduction of eyes and cogs; I wondered how I could print this as a pattern? Rather than just a mural or a fixed splodge pattern for a t-shirt.. How could I repeat this?

The Cogs set me off on an idea of cogs in your brain, how you think. This project was all about how your culture influences YOU. Therefore all of these elements I was researching and sketching must be in my head.. An Epiphany!

Project all of these aspects within a silhouette. To save time and effort I thought before I finish my detailed piece I could represent faces with this cog idea and see how the different layers print!

This also gave my an excuse to play with the¬†dyes¬†I had mixed. My colours were influences by different tartans from different clan’s across Scotland as well as the¬†Pantone¬†blue of the Scottish flag which had been so heavily laboured on us from our lecturers. I quickly dropped the green but loved the caption red amongst my 3 turquoise¬†blues. This would also make a great final idea, obviously if it was lined up properly, as a uniform homage to 60’s Pop art.

After playing around and finally getting into the print lab I was motivated more than ever to get my design finished so I could print! I was influenced by my small head prints by one aspect alone, SCALE.

I had been working rather large which made the idea of pattern difficult, so I stepped back to have a better look.. If the subject matter was smaller it would be more difficult to distinguish unless you know it was there and from a distance you would only see overall pattern! Another eureka moment.

Smaller images more line and hidden detail as an overlay of my silhouette to get a better idea..

But then..

Ambition Struck.

I could make a repeated pattern and connect my emanating lines right?

It would have been a lot easier to do on a computer but after hours of tracing and back breaking work I finished my DIAMOND BLOCK PATTERN!!!

Each line tailored to fit into itself.

Why a diamond block and not a square? – Because I was driven crazy with ambition.. It could have been a square but where was the fun in that?

Why wasn’t it a perfect square on a point? –¬†Where’s the fun in that?

My biggest problem was lining everything up and to make matters even more difficult for myself I had an underlay block as well which would have to lin up perfectly with the detail lining.

This was my scanned design printed onto paper and fitted together to see how it would look.

 Bottom left corner is the under lay block for a lighter colour.

Difficulties printing? Oh aye.

Project 2 cont. – Doodle Madness

The importance of line?

Looking into artists like Milton Glaser and other Pop + OP artists shaping the world of textiles/fashion during the 60’s I loved the idea of uniform structure and intricate pattern to achieve the desired¬†Optical Illusion (which gives OP art its name). I also looked into several street artist such as Nathan Bowen with his intense use of line to express mood and intensity.

– I¬†also looked into the importance of composition and ‘fit’ of street murals; what they were made of and how they were organised.

All wonderful aspects that this mere mortal in a half assed fashion couldn’t quite muster.

So I started playing around with one line drawings, how to create the illusion of 3D in monochrome or the inverted use of colour to depict shade.

Apparently don’t have many photos of the later things in my sketchbook which were more appropriate to my theme.. I’m sure you get the jist. I was more interested in how to tie any of my images together and manipulate the thickness of line to steal focus from the figures

– Making the design more about Pattern than Subject Matter.

From these two small sketches I found my way and I was ignited with inspiration and motivation as it was clear what the rest of my project would lead towards. Reintroducing my emanating lines my composition was a collaboration of Pop Art and Modern Street Art.

Project 2 – Scottish Culture

Project 2 started with a BOOM of inspiration; after having a conversation with Texan student about what they knew or wanted to know about Scotland it was clear people seemed to be aiming for a Scotland the Brave theme.. I wanted to, not show it in a bad light, show Scotland in a realistic light. I aimed to highlight all negative aspects of Scotland from drinking, violence, obesity towards other traits which could also be deemed as negative like pride.

I began my research by looking at how all these things could be depicted; as my underlying idea was to not do anything obvious.. How could I convey all these different points without drawing a bottle of Buckfast?

So I began by drawing a bottle of buckfast. Boom Boom.

This character emerged while I was thinking of what the hangover does to you.. Then I refered to my earlier blog post about how easily people are influenced by body language and change of facial expression; negative, positive or indifferent.

From this I found myself drawing distorted portraits to show difficult expression -not just happy and sad. I was seeking a challenge! How do you depict Pride? Indifference? Discontentment? obesity?

Here’s what I came up with..



Faceless ill-health

From this I went onto looking at Secondary research and the importance of line within graffiti and Pop + OP art.. How I could translate these images into a more ‘textile friendly’ way.

Border Crossings Module – Break Down

Hello WordPress, it’s been a long time. From the beginning of the second semester we started the Border Crossings module which is split into three parts;

Project 1, Study yourself – I’m a miserable git.

Project 2, Study your culture – Surrounded by drunks

Project 3, Study someone elses Culture with the same techniques used when discovering your own – Slovenia, Ljubljana.

Since I’ve been neglecting my poor wee¬†blog I thought I’d update with what I’ve been up to and why I’ve been so busy. During the start of this project I was ill and missed a weeks worth of work but luckily I’d done quite a bit before hand. I struggled with what I could draw that would define me? I am a rather feathered brained character with a short attention span. So I began by doodling anything and everything I could think of and doodled around¬†them as a way of connecting the images. This made me think how things react off others or ’emanate’; I was interested by how distorted the lines became and the strange shapes formed and the borders.

A few initial sketches and a couple of mixed media fabric samples of my lizards scales.

Beginning to play with lines emanating from different aspects of me.

While playing with this idea of emanating line I was reminded of Pop + Op art design of the 60’s¬†as a way of¬†putting these sketches into context, I also was interested¬†in looking at modern graffiti murals; this would be an excellent way of combining all aspects of Scottish culture I would come across in project 2.

Border Crossings – Stop Judging Others

After a spiffing start to the year I am trying to hit my stride as far as burying myself in work goes. A welcome distraction if only I could find a glimmer of the motivation I had when given the Border Crossings brief. My enthusiasm was prematurely stunted with bad feeling so perhaps the best way to deal with this is to create the project around it?
For this project we were told we were to define our own identities and how our culture has influenced us; if you are from Scotland or where you consider home. The idea of ‘home’ is an idea I would struggle with.. I have moved A LOT throughout my life making it difficult to connect with one place. Some would say this would benefit me in this project however it has become evident from last semesters project that I research too many different ideas which would make it difficult to chose and develop one idea.

What to chose?
What defines me?

This brief is to be split into three projects, I have come to understand it as; Project 1 : Who am I? Project 2 : Who am I within my culture? Project 3 : Looking at students research of Ljubljana culture and creating an outcome.

I began by, as suggested, mind mapping all the things that make me, me. I came up with all the obvious nonsense you learn to bore people in a foundation french class..

I like skiing, going to the cinema and la bibliothèque.. Blah.

It seems to me.. It doesn’t matter who I am, what appear to matter is what people think about me. Doesn’t matter if I am not aggressive or being defensive is just the way I am, I will forever be labelled as a bully rather than forth rite. I could say anything about myself but people have already made up their minds as to who I am. So. My aim for this project is to look into all these small aspects of my personality which lead people to these conclusions.

Body language,
..Are these aspects manufactured to ‘build a wall’?

Or am I all these things due to my ‘culture’, upbringing or simply a response to peoples behaviour which I perceive as unfair?

I intend to research all these different aspects and find appropriate ways of depicting how this ‘wall’ or this ‘vibe’ is projected.

It would be arrogant to assume this project will make a fraction of a difference as to how people perceive and behave around others. Maybe it will at least remind people that not everyone thinks life is peachy, if someone is not bright and shiny -not to take it as a personal attack.

Can anyone think of an interesting way of depicting bad feeling? I think the key word I’m looking at is Emanating.


DamageScape 15/1/12 @The Swan with Two Necks

Every once in a while I travel to Manchester where I am always being introduced and confronted with charming new unsigned bands of various styles. I find myself engorged with the creative ethos which buzzes throughout the city and areas around. I find nothing but enthusiastic, talented, ambitious and delightfully gorgeous artists waiting for their opportunity to leave their mark on the world; a utopia for any to blossom in their specific skill discipline.

During my time in the beloved Manc-land I have been confronted with  a fair few alternative hotspot venues such as the mighty Grand Central in the city centre to the Hark to Towler in Tottington and the Swan with Two Necks in Macclesfield.

The main reason I visit is to experience and take part in my sisters world. My sister Gemma is an aspiring artist; branching over several genres from Classic Rock, Metal to the odd folk tune. It has been a privilege to witness the progress Gemma has made throughout her career. After being a well known house name across Scotland for her very popular folk gigs Gemma ventured to England in search for pastures new and her true passion -Metal.

She soon found a band which met all of her musical need; Collibus. After teaming up with extremely gifted guitarist Stephen Platt and charismatic drummer Matther Mills, Out-Foxed was born; an outlet for a bit of cheesie classic rock covers and a way of making money while composing music for Collibus.

This brief history of my Manchester experience leads me to my most recent of English musical adventures. Saturday 14th January was the debut performance of DamageScape comprised of;

Gemma Fox,

Matthew Mills,

Stephen Platt

And Sarit Black.

Supporting the powerful Gone Til Winter at The Swan with Two Necks,¬†Macclesfield. The first thing that struck me about this line-up was an almost ‘girl power’ theme. Female musicians seem far and few between but were represented in force on this occasion.

DamageScape is an outlet for Gemma’s own original music; revisted, revamped yet raw and tension building. A more personal side of the Collibus metal singer. With the added mastery of Stephen Platt’s ¬†incontrovertible discipline, accomplished rock drummer ¬†and teacher Matthew Mills with Sarit Black a successful female bassist; DamageScape are a powerhouse of sound and surely something to be heard.

The opening song of any gig,¬†especially¬†a¬†d√©but, is aimed to make and impression and grab / demand the attention of the audience however, due to a technical issue the majority of the crowd ¬†were left in bewilderment at the lack of vocals…

Drums? Check

Bass? Check

Guitar 1? Check

Guitar 2? Check

Vocals? Lost in the abyss of a sound desk.

DamageScape opened their set with ‘Falling Behind’, the crisp and technical sound¬†rang¬†through the venue invoking and¬†irresistible foot tap or nod of approval. Many members of the audience were frustrated for the band at the sound error, yet applauded¬†enthusiastically.

After the issue had been¬†amended¬†the set continued with the very thoughtful ‘My Crime’. This song highlighted the different between DamageScape and the other projects members are involved in. Soft and flowing, you felt¬†reliant¬†on every word of the¬†heartbroken¬†story, all emotion conveyed by a delicate melody. Not everyone’s cup of tea but good if you’re a sweet sentimental who can’t resist a ballad.

Next on the setlist; ‘Fictional Fantasy’, followed by a Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge) influenced ‘Refrain’, finally¬†concluding¬†on a highly polished high note; ‘Damage’.

Damage is certainly the strongest song the band has in their arsenal; confidently performed and it was good to see the members loosen up and find their stride. This was reflected in the audience by simple signs of appreciation; tapping fingers, nodding heads and donated drinks, as the infectious rhythm consumed everyone in the venue.

More of the same please.

Despite the obvious¬†d√©but¬†gig jitters DamageScape’s overall performance was well executed however.. a little shy. A little bit more eye contact and energy next time guys.

I am looking forward to the next time I see DamageScape, it’ll be interesting to see how they have bonded/evolved as a band and how comfortable they are playing together. All in all 7/10

Feel free to check them out and other relevant music pages;