Wednesday, 5 October 2016


1 comment:

  1. OGR 06/10/2016

    Hi Sam,

    Okay - Zirma for you. I have a feeling that you're feeling rather pleased with yourself after your Zirma-inspired thumbnails received positive feedback etc - good - but I also feel that maybe you've come to a bit of stop and that those rows of tall buildings represent your final word on the design of Zirma - I hope not. I also want you to give no more thought to the characters or putting silhouettes of them into your compositions; these always look a bit rubbish and detract from the paintings. They're not necessary.

    So, the big thing about Zirma is that it's all a bit 'Caligari' somehow, in so much as its described as if it might be some kind of madness-induced hallucination. After reading it, we're left unsure as to how real Zirma was... not that it matters. What matters I think is for you to find a way to communicate Zirma's expressionistic quality - i.e. that it might be a place of paranoia and unhappiness. This is not a happy city! What I'd like to see you do is look at expressionism and expressionistic painters and get a sense of how the actual 'style' of the painting can communicate unhappiness or distress.

    Caligari you already know - that link between the built environment and the inner-mind, but check out these other examples:

    Lino-cuts and prints are often used to create expressionistic effects:

    I can see from your other thumbnails that you have a tendency to get stuck doing the same technique over and over regardless of the suitability of that technique to the subject - for example, the 'egg shape' silhouette that features in Argia (even though Calvino describes a city where such symmetry and clean lines isn't appropriate).

    What I'd like to see you do is experiment much more so with some of the techniques Jordan has shown you so you can develop a greater variety of mark-making and textures, because I think that the 'way' you construct your final paintings will be as important as 'what' you're drawing - just as the linocut technique effects our response to the image they present.

    So - in summary, I think you need to look at expressionism as a visual way by which you can communicate the madness of Zirma. In order to do that, you've got to take on a greater variety of drawing and image-making techniques in Photoshop, because there's a slight sense you're stuck doing the same thing over and over again.

    In terms of thinking about your 'interior' space, I'm wondering if you should consider thinking about a sort of airship 'airport' - so a space at the top of one of Zirma's towers from where people travel: for example, look at this space which is inside the top of the famous Chrysler Building in New York:

    and also:

    You need to push Zirma - and yourself Sam - lots more to think about here and lots more to design!