Friday, 4 May 2012


My final piece is inspired by Jason Travis and Rankin, and their separate projects - Travis' 'Persona' series and Rankin 'Destroy'.
Travis' ideas, which I used the most, was to ask people to empty their handbags and pockets to 'see what they deem important enough to carry with them everyday.' The way he had set out such a simple idea really showed me that anything can be beautiful is photographed properly. I also liked the way the portraits of the people above, show their own individuality, by having different backgrounds in each one, and each person is either smiling or stern.

I realised that I couldn't simply copy Travis' Persona Series, so I needed something that would make it different. I liked Rankin's work and wanted to incorporate it somehow. His 'Destroy' series features people, albeit celebrities, 'destroying' their image, but have it still be recognisable. I thought this was an interesting concept because it shows how that person views themselves.

For my final exam piece, I photographed my family and friends, (and dog), and asked them to empty their bags for my photo. I tried to feature different backgrounds and tried to set out their belongings similar to the way Travis did. I needed to create mock-ups to see if the photos look good together so I edited the photo images together on Photoshop to merge as one and I started to edit the colours. Something that I really noticed in his work is the bright colours, even the darker and less appealing colours shine.
I practised some Rankin-inspired techniques on the image of my mum, and found that paint and added images make the photo more interesting as it gives it an extra edge.

In the exam, I edited the images from scratch. I made them darker and with added kitsch-like colour schemes. I then printed them out and started to paint, add images, collage and cut out the photos. After changing 7 images, I mounted my images onto 2 pieces of large white card.

I am quite happy with my final piece, but if I could change anything, I would have printed the images out onto card rather than white paper, because it would have been less flimsy. I also would have added extra Rankin-inspired techniques other than just paint and collage, as some of them are not as inventive as I had hoped.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Final Pieces

These are images of some of the painted/3D parts on my final piece photographs in the style of Rankin. 

The impasto style paint I used on my mum's coat.

I again used thick paint on my dog's collar.

As Rankin did in his 'Destroy' project, I added extra things to some of the images so they were 3D, as he did not just use paint.

Some items I painted from my friend's handbag.

My mum's purse. I like the way the white makes it look like light is really shining from it.

I made my friend's shirt really impasto to draw your eyes to it. I also went over some of the posters in the background with a black marker.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Jason Travis Experiments

I experimented with some works of Travis by photographing my friends, family and people I know, along with the contents of their bags. I started off with my Photography teacher Jess.

This next image is of my dad. I tried to shoot different backgrounds for each portrait like Travis did.

I did the same thing for my mum.

I took quite a while to decide whether to do a dog image in Travis' style. I thought it might look slightly amateur, but I decided to experiment and try it. I think the fact I managed to get his cage in the background is relevant to the way Travis works - with the person's personality shown in the background of their image.

I am not planning to do a self portrait, but it depends on how many people I can photograph, as ideally, I would like as many different people as possible, with all different backgrounds and possessions. I did a self-portrait just to try it out for my mock-up experiments.

I edited these in Photoshop by dragging the two separate images onto a new page. I then changed the sizes to fit, the levels of colour and darkness, and occasionally the hue and saturation.

I make my ideas slightly different to Travis, and not completely copying, I am going to use Rankin's 'Destroy' project as inspiration. I am going to paint and draw onto different elements of the photo to add a different effect and it also stops me from simply copying Travis.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Final Piece Mock-Ups

I am soon going to shoot a 'mock-up' of what I intend to do for my final piece. I am going to photograph my mum, dad and brother and the things they carry around in their pockets or bags, in the style of Travis. To begin with, I am going to do this on my SLR - which means the images would be black and white, which is kind of defeating the object of Travis' works: bright and each picture has a different colour scheme but I will develop my roll of film and see how the images turn out. The black and white could work quite well - but I anticipate I will have to photograph them using either my digital camera or a coloured film.

I am also thinking about doing a mock-up of Viriginia Echeverria Whipple's works in my own style, as I haven't completely decided between those artists which I am going to try and recreate. For these images, I would use my friends because almost all of Whipple's images are female and they all seem rather young and slim. There is a definite effect on the image, it has been made to look old and vintage looking. I will probably follow what she has done, by using beads and sequins etc because I think it looks really effective.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Have you collected primary visual research relating to your exam theme such as observational drawings and photographs? Are these on your blog?
I have collecting lots of different types of photographs so I have a broad range to choose from at the end. Photos I have taken from my digital camera are on my blog, but the photos taken on my SLR are not all on there as they are on a roll of film which I haven't scanned into the computer yet.

Have you explored and developed your ideas imaginatively? How have you demonstrated this?
I have researched many different artists and photographers relating to my ideas and the photos which I have already taken. I tried to be different and not do the obvious. 

Have you researched a diverse range of artwork and completed this on your blog? Who have you analysed? Is your analysis in-depth?
I have researched a diverse range of artists to find which idea I would like to take further. I have looked at John Thornqvist, Geraldine Georges, Jason Travis 'Persona' series, Rankin 'Destroy', Jill Orr and Virginia Echeverria Whipple. I think all these artists have a similar style, they use writing, drawing, [adding things to the images etc], editing parts of the image, and using kitsch and fun ideas [Thornqvist, Travis].

Have you experimented with a wide range of techniques both handmade and computer generated? Which techniques have you used?
I have tried to edit some of photos using Photoshop, and I have tried to increase my skills in using it. I layered images, added colours, removed colours and changed to black and white. Handmade experimentation was my paintings on some images.

Have you refined / developed your outcomes through experimentation? How?
I have experimented with my images by using Photoshop. I also used my own examples for Rankin Destroy by painting and cutting up my photos.

Have you written in detail about your experiments and developments on your blog and used this information to help you improve?
I have tried to analyse my experimentations on my blog, but I have not added all the images which I experimented with. I have also analysed lots of artists, but some I am not looking to take their work further. 

Have you taken imaginative leaps/ shown a sense of discovery/ willingness to take risks in your work? If so how? If not, how can you do this?

I think I have tried to take risks in regard to editing my images or changing them with the artists I have researched, in mind. I painted a photograph of myself with Rankin's Destroy series in mind. I have also taken images of lamps and city features which I anticipate drawing little figures and characters on, in the style of John Thornqvist.

Have you shown enthusiasm and imagination in your work? If so, how? If not, how can you make changes to do this?
I think I have shown imagination in my work, because I tried not to focus on artists that have been used by many students before, or that are obviously well-known for a particular style. I also think I have shown enthusiasm by reviewing and researching lots of different artists before I decide which one I will link to in my final piece.

Have you created work that is exciting and original? If so, how? If not, what can you do to improve this area?
I think I have definitely created work that is original, as I researched artists that are not necessarily famous or well-known, apart from Rankin.

Have you annotated your blog thoroughly throughout?
Yes, I have labelled everything so it's clear.

Have you practised with your exam outcomes by creating mock-ups? Are your outcomes skilful/ well constructed?
I haven't attempted to create a mock-up yet, as I am still unsure which artist's work I am going to replicate. 

Have you created an exam plan?
Not yet.

My Minimum Target Grade is a C. My predicted grade is currently a C. I think I can achieve this and hopefully achieve a B.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Final Piece Ideas

For my Final Piece exam, I was thinking about taking an element of the project theme further. One aspect of 'Encounters, Meetings and Experiences' is 'Memories'. I think this is quite a good idea for my own photographs, as it is very personal, but people are still able to relate to the images.

For instance, I could photograph a sort of 'Timeline' of my life; things I remember doing as a child, places I used to like visiting and all the places I have lived.

Another idea is relating to 'Memories' is Jason Travis 'Persona' Series. He photographs a person and then in a separate photo beneath, he has all their favourite objects and things that represent them. His aim was to find out what people feel is essential enough to carry around with them everyday.  The photo's backgrounds are similar colours to make sure they relate well and each one is different, showing each person's individuality.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Rankin Destroy

Rankin is a photographer who is most famous for his portraits of celebrities and famous icons. His most prestigious subjects were The Queen and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
He photographs celebrities for magazine covers and advertising campaigns, most famously Kate Moss.

His recent project 'Destroy' yet again features famous faces, but it has a different twist. The celebrities were encouraged by Rankin to 'destroy' their photos in any way possible, but with it still being possible to see who and what the image is of.
Some people chose simplicity, and simply drew or wrote a slogan on their image (Example and Florence and the Machine) ...

Others decided to smear make-up, rip, pour ink and stitch & sew their photo. I think this is more creative and fun which is what the project is all about. An interesting idea which I saw on this project, is the effect the photo has after it's been ripped and placed back in a similar (but not completely the same) shape. This works particularly well when the shot is very close-up and the features are clearly visibly altered.

There were a few more far-fetched ideas, such as Basement Jaxx's. They decided to completely fantasise and changed half their faces to animal heads. The background is filled with jewellery and beads in front of a blue sky with clouds. I think this is quite interesting because it shows they have big imaginations and because you can see half their faces, I think it works quite well. 

I think my favourite 'Destroyed' image is of the band All Saints. Their idea is pretty simple but really effective. They decided to change themselves to caricatures, with them looking powerful and like Superheroes. Despite the simple idea, I really like it because they are all standing in exactly the same positions and stances but they look so different; which was the desire of Rankin when he began this project.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Final Piece Inspirations

Geraldine Georges - Her works of illustration/paint on top of a cut up photograph is really interesting. I like the way her models are very emotive and their really pale skin. Some of the images are black and white, and some show a simple flash of red in the lipstick/nail varnish.
I think I could incorporate this style into my work because I like drawing over the top of images and I think different patterns - like Georges has done - could work really well.
The simpleness of the left image's black and white is really stylish and plain, whereas the near lack of colour in the right image is still as eye-catching.

I like how the model looks like she's dripping in ink and the patterns and lines make the photo a lot more interesting to look at.

I think this is my favourite work of Georges, the pale blue background contrasts with the small amount of red on the lips and nails and the pink flowers make the colours pop even more.

John Thornqvist - His work involves elements of American cities such as water hydrants or lampposts covered in made-up worlds and tiny little created cities with lots of small features and characters. I think I could incorporate Thornqvist's works into my own because I have access to the elements of a city that he uses to create the tiny cities on. I could photograph the material things such as a light or bus, then draw or photoshop in the small characters.
I like this image because it shows a small made-up city, on top of a man-made feature that we are so used to seeing.

This is similar to the one above, the illustrations are seen in a human world.

This looks like a fairytale or cartoon.

Rankin - Rankin's work is mostly celebrities and famous faces but I am planned to make it more personal and shoot my friends of family. I would keep the ideas pretty similar to his 'Destroy' project, by writing, drawing, painting, ripping, making patterns and inking the images, by showing a 'before' and 'after' shot. 
I like how this photo is quite weird and not necessarily a photo of the two members of Basement Jaxx. It's interesting to see what other people's ideas are and how they like to portray themselves, which I could take and bare in mind when photographing my friends and family.

This 'Destroy' photo is quite simple, but is effective and shows what she wanted to get across.

I love the colours used in these separate photos of singer Robyn, although I also like the plain and simpleness of each one and the different facial expressions.

All Saints wanted to create charactertures of themselves...
I like these drawings because it shows how they wanted to portray themselves, and shows individuality.
I like how this photo of Example has informal writing and shows a more fun side.
Jill Orr - An Australian photographer who predominantly works with a lot of writing in her images - which I am intrigued by. However, her work tends to be quite dark and humourless, which I would probably steer away from, although I could take her ideas and change them into more happy subjects. 

This is probably not the most technically correct photograph, (intentionally), but I like the writing on the floor in chalk. (Similar to Rankin 'Destroy').

Virginia Echeverria Whipple - Her images are quite similar to that of Rankin, but in a more playful and tongue-in-cheek way. She takes photos of people in differing positions, and then 'destroys' them, by adding hair, sequins, feathers, beads and background pictures/drawings.

Similar to Rankin, but more vintage looking and something I could relate to more easily.

A few cut-up photos and placed back together in a different order, but it is able obvious as to what the image is. I like this idea and am thinking of taking it further towards my Final Piece.

Similar to the one above, but the face is different and I like the effect of the random placement and slightly irregularity.

The added hair and sequins add a fun mood to what could have been a rather dull image.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Destroy Rankin: My Interpretations

After looking at some of Rankin's work for his 'Destroy' Project, I decided to try destroying my own self portraits. I took self-portraits on iPhoto of me feeling different emotions. I did happy, bored, surprised and in thought. For the first one, happy, I just cut it up into different shapes then put it back together but with gaps. I found this a good starting point but quite dull and boring.

After looking at Rankin's images again I realised the celebrities he photographed changed themselves very drastically. I started to paint my 'bored' photo in quite an abstract way. I was planning on painting the whole image but after just doing the hand, I thought the minimalistic tone could be more effective. 
I painted the background just to make it look more changed than before.