Sketchbook and Research and Concept Development Narrative Artefact

Initial Research was undertaken watching documents on Contemporary art, Still life and Baroque art.  Listing the documentaries and notes from these in my black book.  Further to this, I researched in books on Renaissance art, Still Life, Symbols and Allegories, making notes, which are above  and in my sketch book and the symbolic meanings.

I discovered that in the middle ages later still life depicted luxury goods, which depicted objects symbolising property and wealth.  They were displaced to arouse the viewers cravings and to fulfil the sensual needs.  In contemporary life, high-end fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar depict objects of desire to seduce the reader to buy objects that have no objectionable value.  In the middle ages Vanitas art depicted societies false hopes.  I have used element of Vanitas art in contemporary illustrations over the fashion magazines cut outs to depict the fragility of life excitences and that consumerism has no real value.


Whilst making notes for my research form the books I chose, I also started to save mixed media ideas on a mood board.  Reviewing the fashion magazines on what images and how  I could change the narrative.

The research notes I started to shorten the symbolic and allegory meanings, so I could visually see how these were going to work with my art work.  I put the notes on the wall.

Analysing the images against the symbolic meaning on the wall, I then tore out what I thought I could rework into a new narrative structure.  I cut out the images and pinned them up on the wall alongside the symbolic meanings to visually see how these could work.  I move around the images and combined images to get a visual concept.  Taking note of pattern designs and references to still life and middle ages art concepts throughout the photography of the advertisements.  Researching designing patterns from the book in the image below and fashion illustrations from fashion illustration books, thinking about how I can illustrated my patterns.


Whilst researching the fashion magazines I paid close attention to the form and elements of the illustration to understand how fashion ‘model’ illustrations posed and the graphic elements that made up the form.  I sketched out some designs of my own fashion model illustrations.  Further to this, I created illustration to add to the fashion magazine cut outs.  These illustrations depicted Vanitas art and also objects of desire in the contemporary lifestyle.


My first design A5, entitled ‘Love Doesn’t Last forever’ – the original image has a fairytale narrative.  I changed the narrative from a princess fairytale, I added lipstick on the mirror smudged with the words ‘Jill loves Jack 2016’.  This is to depict her love fading.  The twilight depicts the immense of death, the clock represents time is drawing to a close as the skull gazes at her, whilst the swan symbolises her love for Jack away away.  I have explained other elements to this design in my sketch book.



The original quote was taken from Vogue ‘I am Happy with who I am’, I reworked the narrative to depict the allusion of happiness through consumerism to fulfil happiness.



The original image is from a Prada advert, I worked the narrative to depict the immense of death and that no objects of desire have any objectionable value as they only fulfil happiness for a short time.  I added latin words taken from middle ages art.  Nihau Omne ‘all is nothing’.



The image is from a perfume advert, her pose and form offered me to change her into a hybrid creature symbolic for confusion..  A centauriod, half man/half horse, is know from lust and blindness.  Female centauroid’s in the Philippines are known as Aggitay, they are attracted to gemstones and jewels.



The original image has the column in solid form.  In Reinassance art a broken column represents the explosion from Eden and the inevitability of death.  To change the narrative I cut out the part of the column to depict the immense of death and inserted the clock to depict time is running out.  The models are now depicted as holding up the column in hope.



The model is depicted as an part of the elite world, with birds having symbolic meanings.  The world is depicted upside down and balanced on one finger to represent false values in society from the instability of life.  Balancing on the finger represents the powers that rule the world.



The models are depicted holding onto their love for materialistic values event to the point of death.  The poppies are sleep inducing symbols of death.



I was influenced by Vince Fraser’s Hugo Boss ad, which is featured in the Fashion Illustrator by Bethan Morris.  The headless model is set in the city, her thoughts and desires make up to her what only matters to her, she is a selfish sort.  She likes to get spoilt by lavish goods and is spoon-fed, ‘so to speak’ as she only dines out at restaurants.  She doesn’t have a sense of the world around, only wants on the high street.  She is the true city slicker.


For my final design, which is the poster design, I continue to follow the theme from my research on still life discovering that in the still life elements of the early paintings displayed luxury good to arouse the viewers cravings and therefore set off the urge to delight his/her desires and to fulfil their own sensual needs and to keep increasing the need for more.

Woman were depicted naked or half naked to emphasise an element of eroticism.   The mixture of consumerism and eroticism was particularly strong in paintings.  Paintings depicted precious objects (mirrors, musical instruments, flowers and fruits) amongst the aristocracy.  These object promote vice.

Examples I have shown in my sketch book are Jan Saenram The Five Sense 1565-1607 and Samualvan Hoogstraten Trompe l’oeil (Pinboard) 1666-1678 (?)

The five senses are Hearing, Vision, Smell, Taste and Touch.  Even in today’s advertising strategies at least one of the five is featured in the imaginary to connect with the viewers attention to allude the sense(s).

Later still life, which the five sense are represent in forms of objects has similar messages to that of the above paintings.  Objects are allegories of property and wealth as seen as vain.  This is signs of Vanitas art, which has detrimental effect to the persons spiritual well-being.  In contemporary life it would be viewed as selfish and ignorant, which many people in today’s society fit into this category ‘All is Vain’.

For my design I wanted to create a poster on the reserve of my zine to depict the five sense and objects from a woman’s contemporary lifestyle.  Again, using cutouts from the fashion magazines.

I started with layout out my cut out objects on my A2 template, having already cut out the heads of the Chanel and Gucci models and illustrated their bodies replaced from the photograph to create mixed media.


There are many allegories and symbols in this design.  The composition is laid out on a pinboard to depict a woman’s life in the contemporary western world.  The five sense make up her sense on her actions.  Full description is laid out below and in my sketchbook.


Completed video of concept design

Narrative Structures – Research

For the film analysis, I wrote out the elements and placed them on my wall to analysis when watching the Devil Wears Prada.  Having these in front of me helped me identify settings and camera shots when watching the film.

Including the preparation and following on from my narrative artefact proposal I research contemporary artists and designers who work with vanitas objects and art and with style of highlighting consumerism.  On 9 October I watched various documentaries on Damien Hurst these included the following:-  Damien Hurst – Relics; Kirsty Wark meets Damien Hurst and Jeff Koons BBC Newsnight; Damien Hurst at Tate Modern; Jeremy Paxman interviews Damien Hirst BBC Newsnight; Jeff Koons, BBC Imagine Documentary (2015); Who’s afraid of Conceptual Art BBC Documentary (2016).  From these documentaries I took notes on the objects depicted.  It was interesting to learn that Damien Hurst collects Jeff Koons’ art as well as the use of vanitas art, which I have wrote about in my proposal.

To research on Baroque art and still life, I researched into various artists from the Baroque period, which included Caravaggio.  Again I wrote about this in my proposal.  On 11 November I also watch a dvd from the university library on Baroque Art and Music.  I also research still life artists online and including watching documentaries; on 5 September BBC documentary on Apples, Pears and Paint : How to make a still life painting.  This analysis still life through the ages and contemporary still life art, which I found useful and extremely interesting.  Documentary on Still Life Painting – Renaissance art and paris – Louve.


Title Sequence Film Analysis – The Devil Wears Prada (2006) 9.11.16

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 15.38.22.png

Narrative Overview

The film is based on the book ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ by American novelist Laura Weisberger.  Weisberger wrote the book in relation to her time spent as assistant to Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

The film’s is about a college graduate Andy, played by Anne Hathaway, who graduated in journalism.  Andy doesn’t have a taste in fashion and isn’t a materialistic person.  Whilst she is seeking a career in journalism, she gets offered the opportunity to work for editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly played by Meryl Streep.  Miranda is ruthless, Andy initially works as Miranda’s 2nd personal assistant, she is frowned upon in the office by her co-workers because of her lack fashion dress sense, but her dedication to getting the job done pays off and she takes the job as Miranda’s first assistant off her co-worker.

In the meantime, because of her dedication to the job, her relationship starts to fail with her boyfriend and they eventually break up, so does Miranda’s relationship.  Andy eventually comes to her senses and realises she is lost in the world of materialism and has lost all of her friendships and relationships because of this.  She manages to get back her boyfriend and moves into journalism though a source she met whilst working for Miranda.  It’s a contrast of personalities, materialist women in the fashion industry who are career-driven that put their careers first over relationships and Andy, an intellectual who values work and relationships, more than looks and money with a more balanced mind set.

The Target audience for this film is women who like designer brands and fashion.

Shortened Summary of Title Sequence (full version in attached link)


The film credits names are shown in the typeface Didot and the other typography featured is a script typeface.  Didot and Bodini are rooted in the topic of fashion, not only do Vogue and Harpers Bazzar continue to use it, but so do other magazines and brands.  The forms are skeletal in parts, which are an ideal overlay for photography.

In the credits Didot is used as a more formal structured typeface whilst the Script typeface is used in contrast to the serif typeface. Creating a handwriting style, which is a looser and more casual typeface.  This depicts the contrast between the Andy’s life and the formality of fashion world.

The words ‘Devil’ and ‘Prada’ are depicted in the colour red to connote Italy.  Red being the iconic colour used in Italy; and Prada being an Italian designer brand from Milan.  The words relate to beautiful woman who have ugly personalities in the fashion world.  The other coded meaning in this film’s title, refers to Christianity, as the word ‘devil’ is used in Christianity religion to depict someone who a sinful, and often the devil is depicted in the colour red in paintings.

The Film is shot in New York, It’s a long title sequence of three and a half minutes. The rhythm is fast and uses jump cuts to change every scene, this highlights the pace of the film, fast and actioned packed, which is true to busy city work life.  There is clever indirect links in every scene, to link to the next scene.

The music begins synchronised with Andy wiping the steam off the  bathroom mirror, with the lyrics ‘Suddenly I See, (Suddenly I See), This is what I wanna be’.

Occasionally, camera angles are positioned high and tilted down on Andy to depict her smallness of character in the film, whilst more frequently camera angles are positioned lower and titled up to the career-driven women.  The camera often uses tracking and pan shots to move through scenes, to link to the next scene, which offer the viewer steadiness to follow the narrative throughout the jump cuts.

Analysing the historical connotations, there is a lot of reference to Italian culture.

The red sole shoe is a famous design by French designer Christian Louboutin, this links the French designer brands in the film, but the colour red connote Italy, red objects are depicted is many of the scene to the link scenes.  Leather handbags and leather gloves are commonly associated with Italian fashion.  The white coffee cup and saucer connotes Italy’s coffee shops.

The street signs are of Broome St and Orchard St, these are streets located in Little Italy in NYC, the place is known as a community neighbourhood, but also quite poor, where Andy lives.

The men in the photograph sit outside a small business in Little Italy, outside Andy’s apartment, the man’s expressive hand gestures shows signs of his Italian culture as Italians tend to use their hands when talking to express their passion in what that are saying.

Mosiacs are shown in the the subway and a roman planter outside the career-driven woman’s apartment which are also connotation of Italy.

The bowl of fruit, relates to the still life work of the ‘Basket of Fruit’ by Caraveggio, who was a painter from Milan in the Renaissance period.  His painting ‘Basket of Fruit’ has decaying fruit as a sign that nothing will last forever, the transition of life, we consume but nothing is of value because we will all face death.  The hand mirror next to the Prada perfume connotes the career-driven women’s vanity, as hand mirrors were painted to depicted vanity in Renaissance art.

Furthermore, Caraveggios Baroque paintings applies chiaroscuro, which is a treatment of light and dark tones known in the renaissance period for give dramatic effect, chiaroscuro is used in this film and is also a link to the painting ‘The Calling of Matthew’  by Caravaggio.  Again, the strong relation to Christianity is depicted in hand signals, the woman use their hands in signs of action, but also this relates to Caraveggio’s painting showing strong uses of hand signals, which are sometimes referring to God.

Narrative Structure – Changing Narrative 27.10.16

Collectively these images portray celebrities who have mental health issues or who have undergone plastic surgery.  These celebrities aren’t living in the real world, hence the reason I have combined these still images with the song by Blonde – I’m not living in the real world. Relating the images to the audio that they aren’t living in the real world, but neither are we when we look at them as what we see isn’t how they really are.  They are a fake image of who they are.

Crush a Story – 10.10.16

Pictograms were introduced in the 1930’s Otto Neurath as an alternative to text in a graphic to communicate information.  He believed pictograms could be the world’s first universal pictorial language, which are still used today as an international universal pictorial guide for information.

Using a pictogram to tell a story using as few icons as possible, roughly sketching the idea of a favourite film, drawing on A3, with pencil then fine liner, using 3 colours black, white and yellow.  Taken a photo and uploading to Illustrator, then digitally creating the artwork in Illustrator using various elements such as shapes, lines, colour and the pen tool to make an A2 portrait.

I researched the typeface used in Eddie the Eagle film and the closest is Boxed Heavy font.  However, as this is not free I used the closest to this which was Helvetica Neue Condensed Black.  I chose the colour yellow as this is also in the film title, however as it is sitting on a white background unlike the film, which is sitting on a black background.  I put a black stroke around the text and a black drop shadow.  The colours in the text relate to the fun and comical feel in the pictogram/film, with the drop shadow in the text making the text levitate like Eddie himself as he flew through the air in slow motion.

Below film cover and footage

Saving as a jpeg to upload to this blog and saving as A2 print ready in PDF.

Final below Cropped for blog upload

eddie the eagle

Hand rendered work – rough sketch and final piece for upload

This slideshow requires JavaScript.





Betsy and Jerry are good friends, Jerry has a motorbike, Betsy grabs it for a ride and loses control. EEKKKKKKK BANG!  Betsy crashes it into a tree.  Jerry runs to help.  Betsy says she’s really sorry and is so happy she has a friend like Jerry, and to make up she buys them yummy ice-cream.

I wrote the above short story in 55 words, to successful lay out this simple plot I researched Aristotle, from The Poetics ‘Plot’.  My story constituents of a plot, characters, diction, thought and spectacle.  The plot has been constructed in an arrangement of incidents to flow, take the reader on the journey, the plot is the body of the story and characters are in second place.  To make the plot successful it must have a beginning, middle and an end.  A good plot must be thought out and must not start or end in unplanned or disorganised way, paying attention to the order of incidents is important so the plot has unity, for instance if an incident within the story was taken away it would effect the plot as a whole, if it doesn’t, then it’s not part of the whole and lacks amplitude.  Tone and sound is a fundamental part of the story-telling, it adds amplitude as well as tragedy within the story.

The nature of the characters is made up from what they say, their actions and expressions. The dialogue is the medium of the representation, within this I have expressed the actions of children to give a vision to the reader of innocence and this is a form of beauty.

By the order of incidents within the plot comes tragedy and is a representation of an action that has an attention of amplitude itself, in the above the crashing of the motorbike and the sounds which is makes, adds emotion to the height of the dialogue, the spectacle within the event.  To follow tragedy and to bring the story to an end, enters the heroic fortune, which is distinctively different between the tragedy and what happens after as a result of tragedy – the kindness and friendship.