Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Hypothetical Clothing

Sunnyside Rural Trust are celebrating their 20th anniversary, and so with that to come in September we thought that simply selling vegetables, eggs and apple juice we should create something that would be available all year round.

Everyone had liked my sketches of the different sites and the illustrated vegetables too, so now that we've sourced some blank t-shirts and screen-printing facilities I got the task of coming up with some designs. Using a handy t-shirt template pack I found online, I created a couple of different potential shirt designs, including a 20th Anniversary logo on the back of the neck, since a huge logo isn't that appealing personally. We'll also be looking into making tote bags with similar designs, particularly using the vegetables, maybe colouring a few of them in too, but for now we're focusing on the shirts.

At the Northchurch site we have about 200 chickens who live in the orchard where we source our apples for the juice we sell, not to mention their eggs, and occasionally they like to roost in the branches which led me to this idea…

In addition to this I'm working on an LED lighting website, a short film about the history of the charity (including some animation) and utilising my illustrations in several different projects.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Studio 4ºC

I've been meaning to write something about the wonderful animation company in Japan called Studio 4ºC ever since I saw Tekkonkinkreet last month. They are responsible for many animated shorts that I have enjoyed greatly over the past few years.

When the Matrix sequels came out an accompanying series of animations set in the universe of the films, imaginatively titled The Animatrix, was released on DVD. Several different studios with varying styles created and told stories that ranged from being tied to the plot of the films, to the history of the Matrix, or even just showing what happens when there's a bit of glitch.
In Beyond, one of Studio 4ºC's segments, a woman loses her cat in a crowded shanty town and stumbles across some kids playing in what they deem to be a haunted house, but is in fact a glitchy area of the Matrix. Gravity isn't obeying the laws of physics, time slows down and even more obscure things happen within the grounds of this house, it's a fun piece with a thin storyline but has very beautiful and textured visuals.

Another sequel and another tie-in animated DVD, this time around it was The Dark Knight in the cinemas and Gotham Knight at home, a collection of tales set in the Batman universe though not strictly in that of Christian Bale/Christopher Nolan's reinterpretation.
Here Studio 4ºC contributed two tales; the first "Have I Got A Story For You" being my favourite, possibly of the whole set, and shows some kids telling each other stories of their encounters with Batman and what they reckon him to be; a smoke creature, a robot or even a really large bat!

They have since also worked on a similar DVD release based on the Xbox's Halo series of games, however I have not played these a great deal and haven't been too interested in their story.

Tekkonkinkreet was a feature film based on a manga called Black and White, and follows two kids in a sprawling Japanese city who try to act as guardians when gangsters and strange ninja creatures come to town. I had been meaning to watch it for quite a while after hearing about it some time last year and then I'd spotted it and recognised the title after the local library held a Japan/Manga promotion with the usual Studio Ghibli fare. The backgrounds are unbelievable and show a staggering amount of detail, in contrast to the simple and fairly flat colours of the characters that help them to pop out of the scene, especially when they are moving about at speed performing swift parkour moves through the city.

This year it was announced that the studio has been tasked with bringing back the cult-loved Thundercats series for 2011, for now though I shall leave you with my attempt from the end of last month of emulating Studio 4ºC's style with a depiction of the Eleventh Doctor... hmm, a Doctor Who animation DVD, now that could work.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

North by Northchurch

Northchurch Site, Berkhamsted
(Black Fineliner)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Sketch From Above

Sunnyside Activity Centre, Berkhamsted
(Black Fineliner)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

About time...

Well, it had to happen eventually, bound to if you think about it long enough really... I have a job again.
Despite my best job-hunting efforts, all it took in the end was the secret list in the job centre's vaults of positions that were local and suitable. So for the foreseeable (read: 6 months) future I shall be working as a graphic/web designer, it's like a less Heat-worthy model/actress career.

And who was this company that willingly took me on board, well that would be Sunnyside Rural Trust, a mid-sized charity based in Berkhamsted (home of the UK's busiest Costa Coffee) who help adults with learning disabilities get out and about, working on the allotments and several acres of land they own as well as selling fresh produce in their shop and summer market stall.

At the moment I'm working on a website that is a side project/collaboration of the charity as well as trying to promote their eight-trained up PAT-testers by designing an interesting postcard (above) full of information on the back, not to mention a couple of hand-drawn plans depicting the two sites; to improve upon the simple coloured squares of Word it is currently made from.

So that's great that I get to work on several mini projects all as part of my job, and for the time being I'll mostly be working from home but they will be getting me my own laptop for when I come in to the office and as I'm doing just 25 hours a week I can still work on my own things as well as being available for other projects if needed.