Due to health issues and generally being unable to update stuff as I normally would, I’ve not been posting my 365 photo project photos. I promise I’ll update my blog with them soon, but at the moment it’s just not a reality
At the start of the year I decided that I was going to give the 365 Photo Project since I got a new camera phone for Christmas (with a proper camera, not just a phone camera). This shows some of the photos i’ve taken so far, including all 18 daily photos so far. It’s quite interesting to look back over the weeks and see what I’ve been up to, or not up to, since some of these photos are the result of not doing anything and needing to take a photo of something!
I’ve decided that I’m going to run a monthly Artist Spotlight blog series so that I can keep my feet firmly planted in the creative world. The first artist I’d like to talk about is:
The Ruins of Roebling’s Works – Kevin Weir
Monty Python Animated gif – Terry Gilliam
Kevin Weir is an Art Director for Drogo5 in New York City, who takes old archival photographs and transforms them into animated gifs. His work is very reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s work on Monty Python, but thanks to Photoshop, Weir manages a subtlety missing from Gilliam’s manual masterpieces.
The Flux Machine project began life as a digital media exercise and as a way to pass the time between semesters at VCU Brandcentre, where Weir was studying for a Masters. Now, attracting up to 50,000 visitors a day, his website The Flux Machine showcases an online gallery of weird, wonderful and sometimes downright spooky animated archive photos. He sources his photographs from the Library of Congress, and spends a few hours, sometimes even a few days looking at them to discover their stories. They become snapshots of time, in a way like no other, showcasing a narrative you wouldn’t expect to find in such photos.
Weir has also developed his techniques for his work, now often including traditional methods and more photography. One of his more famous and eerie pieces – “French 42cm gun” was created using 80-100 drawn frames in photoshop, whereas his “Princess Julianna”piece was created by burning a copy of the photo, recording the process and feeding it back into the animation.
“French 42cm gun”
Weir’s inspiration comes from the books he read growing up, particularly H P Lovecraft, and the quality of the photos. He doesn’t force a story onto an image, but allows it to reveal itself to him. There is definitely something about these photographs that makes them work as gifs, whereas photos from our time and culture wouldn’t work in the same way. The photos he uses captures just that moment in time, and nothing else. We know nothing about Juliana, or why the soldier was standing next to the gun. We don’t know where these photos were taken or with what context – we can’t tell that just by looking at them, but today’s photos tell a different story. You can tell who the people are, context, emotion, where it was taken, when and every little thing about those people. The photos both Weir and Gilliam use are shrouded in mystery.
Gilliam’s animations are a little more humorous, odd and sometimes slightly unnerving in comparison to Weir’s, after all, they were mainly used in the Monty Python show. Weir’s animations tell splintered stories, and you can easily spot his Lovecraft influences. My particular favourite animation is the ‘Ruins of Roeblings works’, which shows a bombed building shrouded in smoke and mist. Out of the mist walks four alien machines – very reminiscent of The War of the Worlds (the Jeff Wayne version), in particular the scene where everyone is just going about their daily lives whilst the aliens are building their fighting machines. It’s subtle, eerie and yet fits the image perfectly.
I discovered Weir’s work whilst browsing through Tumblr one day. Whilst his work is often opinion dividing and downgraded thanks to the popularity of Gilliam’s work, I find myself respectful and admiring of both. Art is not original – people take ideas and techniques from each other all the time. What matters is how you inject a little bit of yourself into the work, and Weir has successfully done that.
With a new year just around the corner, and the old one demanding that I remember it in some way, I have decided to do over my blogs. 2014 has been the year where I’ve actually made somewhat of an effort to write down things that have happened to me, but for one reason or another, my efforts quickly fell by the wayside.
Starting today, I will be consciously making an effort to update my blog with new and interesting articles, news and images. I’m not entirely sure what form my posts will take yet, but that’s something I’ll be figuring out over the next few weeks.
– My new blog planner, all set to make this year super awesome! –
2014 has been a rollercoaster of a year for me, but one that will always be fondly remembered. I started and perhaps have ended the year acknowledging my depression and how it affects me, but I’ve also finished my final year at Uni, graduated with a 1st Class honours degree and started an internship. My most wonderful memory of 2014 however, is the relationship I finally embarked upon with my long-time friend Phil. Nothing has made my year more enjoyable and fun filled than being with him. Whilst I do not know what 2015 will bring (aside from the end of my internship), I do know that with him by my side, I can handle anything, and still come away smiling. I’m grateful for all that my family have done this year, and I’m happy that we’ve finally reconnected with our cousins after nearly 7 years of silence.
– Graduation day, and a photo opportunity with the one I love –
I don’t particularly like New Year – never have – and I won’t be one of the millions going out and celebrating it, but for once, I’m not worried or anxious for the unknown. In fact, I’m rather looking forward to it.
And so, with every new year comes new goals. I don’t do faddy resolutions which will never keep. Instead I choose to try new things, to make an extra effort with others, and to plan events which I wouldn’t normally do.
In 2015 I plan to:
- Complete the 12 month Money Challenge (my own version of the 52 week money challenge)
- Begin blogging seriously on both Tumblr (http://evi-illustrated.tumblr.com/) and here on WordPress
- Read more and write more reviews
- Introduce a series of posts entitled Artist of the Month in order to keep myself firmly planted in the creative world
- Complete a Project Life scrapbook
And all of the things written on the post-it notes in the photo below.
These are just a few of the things I plan to do this year, and hopefully they will soon become second nature to me. I plan on making 2015 interesting.
So, Happy New Year everyone – hope that whatever happens, you can still find something to make you smile this coming year.
Ok, so a bit of an update time..
I’ve been busy making lots of lovely papercuts ready to go live on Etsy and on Big Cartel – and so that is all going lovely. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be taken on board by an agent for Cherry Red Creative and am currently busy working on my first speculative brief.
Also…I interviewed for an internship at Wolverhampton University Monday and Tuesday of this week – a job which involves dealing with UCAS, going to schools and colleges and giving talks on University life, organising activities and summer schools and a whole host of other lovely things, and I got the job!
I’m looking forward to being a fully paid up member of society again and not having family members/friends on my back for owing them money or not being able to go out.
I think i’m going to be ridiculously busy, and have to juggle that with family life and seeing my boyfriend etc. Eh, it’s all fun and games, i’m just grateful and feel so lucky 🙂
Check out my new portfolio, courtesy of Arts Thread. This is part of my exhibition at New Designers London 2014!