Ishtar An Immortal Book Jacket (210mm X 145mm)
For the Narrative book project I designed a short illustrated book entitled Ishtar. It is written as a poem in the first person narrative of Ishtar, Goddess of war and love. Each illustration is originally drawn in pencil, scanned and then taken into photoshop to be make into a digital collage. The book is sixteen pages long bound into a hardback book with a cover jacket. Eight pages are laid out to fit onto a single sheet of A3 or A2 sized paper and later folded and cut to size.
Video of the completed book.
I also designed a symbol/sigil motif unique to the character of Ishtar. It is employed in the creation of a pattern of two different colours in different variations for the book wrap covering and inner binding of the book. These can be seen in the inside cover.
The motif is also used in the different illustrations inside the book.
After settling on which of the original drawings to use I edited the colour, composition and texture of each illustration in Photoshop. Below is an animated Gif of page 10 and 11 showing the process I used to create the illustrations.
Welcome to today. In comparison to the past, life has become even more contextually complicated than before. And almost everything is dissected and then viewed in shades of grey. Very little is found within the spectrum of simple and straightforward.
No longer do we have beautiful objects to admire. I think that these works involve a kind of response that depends neither on laws of perception nor on a feeling of beauty. Postmodern art, it seems to me, works in an altogether different way.
Where Modernism was born in the age of rapid progress and industrialisation, Postmordernism came about when the massive production of goods went on a decline and more emphasis took place on the service industry. Social and economic value shifted from the literal object to the immaterial representation.
Every once in a while; Everything changes.
Especially when the world is going through a rapid stage of industrialisation. And even more so when there are so many wars going on right alongside.
And during a time of external – sometimes – chaotic change, a massive reorganisation of thought, attitude and behaviour happens. This period I’m referring to in particular is called Modernism and it was one historical movement that we covered in our last lecture.
If I may interject with my own personal opinion at this point; I dislike change. I may be aware and accepting of the fact that changes big or small are inevitable and often necessary yet it is hard to make peace with the major changes in one’s life that often come about- and not in the way you plan or hope.
Modernism marks a revolution of change in art and it’s history. From the late 19th Century and well into the 1970’s there was the breakaway of traditional thought and cultural views. Modernists within the arts and science community rejected almost everything that was once valued in the past and re-established their own intellectual philosophies.
Modernism had it’s own set of goals and aspirations that the movement was determined to realise. The ideal goal of a society stripped of past restrictions and over reliance on religion to act as a divine barometer and dictate one’s worthiness as a human being. Artists, scientists and philosophers turned the tide and paved the way towards what they believed to be a more organised, rational and utopian society.
Artists began to express themselves through the abstract, focusing on the concept of human thought and perception and expressing that exploration in art form. As opposed to simply painting a pretty picture with no obvious deeper meaning. They wanted to explore the inner workings of everything and how human thought and rationale, the human body and the external influences could affect the surrounding environment or even the whole world.
Modernism was a time when people experimented and explored the different ways on how they, either as a single individual or a group can influence change through the written word and through art in it’s many shapes and forms.
As Bob Dylan said and then immortalised in song; The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)
Another topic that we covered in our lecture last Thursday that interested me were the numerous devices invented to display animated images like the Folioscope (otherwise known as the flip book) which was the first form of primitive interactive media that I was exposed to. I was surprised to discover that it had not been patented until 1882. The Thaumatrope (1825), Phenakistoscope (1832) and the Zoetrope (1834) predated it.
Whilst there were many devices that was mentioned during the lecture. I was interested in the zoetrope in particular and especially in the video of a 3-Dimensional zoetrope that was presented.
A traditional Zoetrope is basically a device that spins so the viewer can animated images and or/objects with the aid of visual isolators which enables the human eye to ‘catch’ the animation in progress instead a blur of spinning images.
A zoetrope is most often found in the form of a spinning cylindrical barrel contraption (or toy as some would argue) that contains a series of artwork inside; each contextually and sequentially related but differing slightly from one other. The Zoetrope is then spun quickly so the illusion of animation can viewed through the cut out slits at the sides that act as shutters.
The aforementioned 3-Dimensional zoetrope was created by Pixar Animation Studios and it featured the characters from the Toy Story universe. Interestingly enough, it was itself inspired by a sculptural Zoetrope built by Studio Ghibli of the characters from the much beloved animation My Neighbour Totoro from 1988.
The 3D zoetropes presented differ from the traditional zoetrope in a few ways. The ‘images’ themselves are in fact 3D sculptures of each animated character and are not confined within a cylindrical barrel or drum. Multiple character sculptures are placed in sequence on a rotating disc. When the mechanism is rotated and spun at high speed, a strobe light is used to make the sculptures persist and ‘stick’ to the human eye.
Giving the appearance of movement and animated life.
This to me, is definitive proof that an idea, however simple; will never fail entertain, inform and mesmerise audience when executed wholeheartedly.
Animation has a extra special place in my heart and I was taught the basics of 2D and 3D animation production whilst getting my Digital Media Design diploma in Singapore. Unfortunately for me, I came to the realisation that I am better suited to be an audience and appreciator of animation than an actual animator.
So today is my 3rd day of lessons and my first lecture at Dundee. I have to admit, a university doesn’t feel like a university unless there are lectures. And to my pleasure today’s lecture focused on the history of Animation.
Animation to my understanding is a rapid display of sequential independent images and somehow by some sort of accidental trickery in the human eye (i.e. persistence of vision) brings those images to life. It’s the simulation or illusionof continuous movement in an otherwise stationary object within those images.
Anyone above the age of 2 has most probably already been exposed to animation. From Saturday morning cartoons, addictive Japanese anime imports, ambitious animated masterpieces from the numerous studios all over the globe to penniless student projects, video games and even advertising to name a few. Animation is everywhere and for the most part; easily accessible yet the history of it’s revolution is not common knowledge. And at today’s lecture I acquired a lot more interesting facts to add to my own knowledge of animation and it’s history.
The most common presentation of animation may be in the form of motion picture but it had humble beginnings. It seems that humans have always had an artistic interest (or obsession) in conveying motion. An example presented during our lecture is a 5,200 year-old bowl found in Iran almost 30 years ago that researchers have only recently discovered depicted a sequence of images of a goat leaping to chomp on the leaves of a nearby tree that becomes animated when the bowl is spun. This makes it perhaps the world’s oldest zoetrope.