Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Scientist Illustrations & Text

New Scientist Brief

To illustrate any of the questions you choose in the book ‘Does Anything Eat Wasps?’ as if they were commissioned to accompany the article. Record your ideas, roughs, thumbnails and work in progress as part of the progress.

Choose to work on either of these 2 formats:
Landscape – 19cm x 10.4cm
Portrait – 12.3cm x 16.7cm
Media – Any/Full Colour

Illustration 1 – ‘Received Pronunciation’
Media – Pen & Ink
Question: ‘How do accents develop and change? More specifically, how do new accents form, such as those that arose in Australia & New Zealand? Presumably these are no more than 200 years old.’

Deconstruction – The question posed another question of we react and relate to differing accents and how person, place and position construct them. The illustrated head of the piece shows a tongue-tied multi coloured individual; this represents the mixture of culture and difficulty in that mixing of cultures and more importantly understanding of each other’s cultures. Look at the head as a country (Australia or New Zealand) and then see the tongue as the language that is being produced. The style of the illustration was influenced by the writer’s particular interest in Australia & New Zealand accents; I kept the illustration stylised and pattern based just like Aboriginal Art from Australia.
The writing of the question on top of the head and tongue delivers the question to the reader difficultly and it takes time to decipher the text and understand the question posed; this adds to the question as it enhances the query as one with the illustration. I don’t think that this is particularly pleasing to the eye and I am not very fond of the work, but I think that it does cover the question well.

Illustration 2 – ‘Thunk!’
Media – Pen, Ink & Spray Paint

Question: ‘Does beheading hurt? And, if so, for how long is the severed head aware of its plight?’

Deconstruction – The heading inspired this illustration ‘Thunk!’; it reminded me of the old Batman Series on television starring Adam West, it planted the rather tame fighting scenes in the series and the over the top text that used to accompany each one. Words such as ‘Thwack’ and ‘Bang!’ would be put onto the screen as Batman or his sidekick Robin punched one of the villains of the show.
I think that the design is rather garish, but I think that the word and the subject matter deserves it and it works well as a piece; the style of the illustrated eyes and mouth is cartoonesque which again links to the old Batman show from the 1970’s. I did not want to put too much detail into the head, blood or scene of decapitation as I believe that the word is powerful and strong enough to stand by itself; with just the suggestion of the beheading and the text ‘Does beheading hurt?’ striking through the neck area I believe that the reader can read into it quite easily and read the message in the illustration.

Illustration 3 – ‘Splat!’
Media – Pen & Ink

Question: ‘The following paradox has puzzled me since I was a child. A fly is flying in the opposite direction to a moving train. The fly hits the train head-on. As the fly strikes the front of the train, its direction of movement changes through 180o, because it hits the windscreen and continues as an amorphous blob of fly-goo on the front of the train.
At the instant it changes direction, the fly must be stationary and since, at that instant, it is also stuck on the front of the train, the train must be stationary. Thus a fly can stop a train. Where is the logical inconsistency in this (or does it explain something about British railways)?’

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