I really struggled to keep up my stamina during this project as the long timeline tested my patience and concentration, sometimes to its limit. Despite it not being my most successful outcome, I am however pleased with the final book.
I fully believe the time and attention to detail I took with the perfect bound and experimental Japanese stitch versions of the narrative made a big difference in the overall readability and visual appeal of the story. I had some problems with printing as usual, as my subtle colours did not come out quite the way I’d hoped, so I will make sure I start print testing more faded colours early on in image making so I don’t lose details in final printing. I’m really enjoying making use of my new skills in book binding and am excited to further my practice with each book I bind.
LO1 – Demonstrate your understanding of the qualities and potential uses of narrative in visual communication through your selected context.
The original text I chose to work from is very descriptive and other worldly, which I accentuated even further with my own interpretation. In telling the story through invented characters as metaphors for the two half-cities of the text, I elevated my narrative to a further abstract dimension. Despite the fantastical nature of the tale, I was still able to bring empathy to the characters by touching on human experiences; through exploring the themes of loss and relationship through visual language, I was able to create a connection between reader and fiction.
LO2 – Identify the meaning and intention of a narrative through critical, visual and/or textual analysis.
I always enjoy the research process of any project, and this unit was no exception. As well as learning more about contemporary illustrators and their practice, I also enjoyed learning about the differences and similarities between literature and art – as well as how they influence one another. I used my skills from English Literature A Level to critically analyse my chosen text to fully understand the intentions of the author, and in turn used that analysis to compare against my visual outcomes. My growing skills in Photoshop allowed me to quickly edit and alter my images so that readability of the story and wider meaning and themes of the text remained strong.
LO3 – Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key historical and contemporary critical theories and contextual issues in relation to your practice.
I have gained a greater understanding of narrative theories, and how illustrators can use theories from all sources to enhance and add dimension to their practice. An awareness of broad theories such as semiotics and death of the author can make contemporary artists’ much more perceptive to the world around them, as well as how to communicate a message to that world.