Sunday, 28 March 2010

Word and Image

Charlie Parker.

Early on within this unit I researched into compositions using word and image, discovering references of high relevance and represented what I think is good practice. This in-turn allowed me to move forward with my own work acting as artistic inspiration within my individual awareness, helping me to then go on and create four final outcomes related to my group's selected music artist Charlie Parker.

My initial instinct was to look into jazz vinyl's with Parker's in particular. I came across a historic Illustrator called David Stone Martin. He had produced cover art for Parker and many other jazz musicians, incorporating text and image in a highly individual style. Martin had clocked onto Parker's nickname 'Bird' and images of bird's appear in a colourful and animated style like in 'The magnificent Charlie Parker' but he also produced less 'cartoon-like' compositions that appear to use more of a traditional style. I respect Martin's art it gave me insight into use of word and image related to musicians.

After looking at Martin I decided to look at several font website's such as '' and '' both website's show diverse style's of font's that were great to look at and I believe helped me make a choice about my use of word and the way I applied digitally manipulated hand-drawn text to my final images. Whilst looking at font website's I also came across a contemporary illustrator's called Alan Kitching. It was very insightful and I found that his images were very experimental, lots of use of colour and his dynamic manipulation of text within his composition's was also a good source that I found motivating.

I wanted my images to represent and relate to Parker in a positive light also trying to avoid the obvious. I selected text from my sketchbook's; that covered song lyrics, nicknames, quotes and more, that i feel were the right selections and acted as wide selection to chose from. The imagery chosen in my final outcome's is entirely relative. Jazz and the art surrounding jazz at the time all contained structure and expression, I found that the experimentation with imagery and the techniques used reflected expression whilst the underlying palette (blue, red, yellow, black and white), the built up of layers in each image and the emphasis on dynamic forms juxtaposed against stark lines and shapes acted as a structure. I experimented with print techniques, pencil, paint, pen and more, exploring the visual possibilities. But when It came to my final images I decided to finalise them digitally, as this also coincided with the outcome my group collaboratively decided upon. I wanted to manipulate my hand crafted imagery to make them to make the overall appearance look clean and emphasis colour and shape. Looking into cover art gave me an idea about format and that the images would be square. My images are not meant to be too obvious, I wanted to give hints that referred to Parker, but most of all I wanted the images to be positive, with vibrant colours with quirky imagery and text. When it came to selecting three of my final four images, I kept these elements in mind, also asking for my groups opinion on the images and decided to discard the bird image as it seemed obvious and didn't work as well as the rest of them.

As a resolution to this project I feel I have explored a diverse and an interesting array of references that exploited the association and juxtaposition of text and image that inspired my visual development throughout and helped me respond to the brief very positively. Whilst my final images try to express what I have learned and considered to represent Charlie Parker and my preparation work up to the final images show methods of illustrative practice that I have newly discovered and some that I have explored in previous projects but have all have been considered and used thoughtfully. There are aspects to this project such as how I structured my project, e.g finding artistic references early on etc, getting other's opinion's on my work and different technique's of practice I have used that I would like to carry forth into new projects.


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