Here are the pictures of the development and preparation of our workshop and exhibition. For the workshop, we printed rat silhouettes onto postcards so that people can come along and customize it in anyway they like, then they are able to post it to anyone they know which shows the idea of spread information as well as describe the infestation of rats. We wanted to do something with a simple concept but just as enjoyable and meaningful. One of our group members had also created a small note that was well written and informed what our workshop was about in a clear and precise way. This was also a great way to interact with other people, students and lecturers.
For our exhibited work (top middle), our groups work had to be matching colours so we all chose to print them as black and white onto light blue paper. We did this because each of our work is so different in terms of not only colour, but has different uses of medium and tone as well.
These are the thumbnail sketches that started, which are of some ink drawings that I had made then edited afterwards. For research I looked at more graphical cartoon type work, mainly because of their boldness and simplicity. I first looked at an artist named Alex Gamsu Jenkins. What I like most about Alex’s work is the colour he uses as well as the use of marks and line work. I also very much like the way things are drawn and how the bodies are often changed or abstracted to tell a story or convey a feeling, which may inspire me for future projects. Similar artists that I can think of are Robert Crumb and Steve Girard, whose work is often grotesque but definitely creates a bigger impact.
I tried carrying one of my thumbnail ideas further by making a quick ink drawing on paper, trying to make it more detailed but I don’t think it worked very well. The reason for this I think is because it isn’t clear enough despite trying really hard to show what is actually in the picture.
I then started to create simple ink drawings that symbolise the events of the article – Man V Rat. With these drawings, I wanted to show a clear message that the rat problem is a human problem, which is explained further in the article.
I had also played around with texture by taking photos of rubbish and then using them to fill in the images, which makes them look more interesting.
I had decided to base my spot illustrations on the article – Man v rat: could the long war soon be over? This was where I based one of my spot illustrations on a part of the article where it mentioned a lot of links with a Hawaiian setting, with things like decorations in the scientist’s office and the Hawaiian shirts that half the people wore when they came to the scientists backyard for a celebration with their investors and staff members. Here are the paragraphs that mention this –
Where Mayer is tall and voluble, Dyer is short and broad-shouldered, quiet and succinct. She seems most comfortable behind the scenes, if only because it is easier to get away with wearing Hawaiian-print shirts and no shoes. At SenesTech’s headquarters, Dyer’s windowless office is right next to Mayer’s, and if Mayer’s office evokes Zen, Dyer’s evokes an island paradise. Scenes from Hawaii cover her walls, hula (and rat) figurines line the shelves, and on her desk sits a small wooden sign, which says, “WELCOME TO THE TIKI BAR.” There is also a widescreen TV, on which Dyer likes to watch old movies on mute all day.
There were perhaps 25 people – investors, board members and SenesTech staff – gathered on the back patio, eating tacos and drinking from Mayer and Dyer’s impressive liquor collection, but they made noise for 50. They were boisterous and loving, hugging each other, teasing each other, shouting old stories to roars of laughter, and clinking glasses. About half the room seemed to be wearing Hawaiian patterned shirts.
Because of this, I started to look at Hawaiian shirts and artistic patterns on pinterest. One of which was an image of a Hawaiian shirt that came from a clothing company that had many different types of floral designed clothing, the other was more specifically a freelance print designer named Marisa Hopkins who is based in London. These bright floral patterns had inspired me to create some patterns myself, which could be re-imagined through my own thumbnail ideas later on.
This was my first go at recreating Hawaiian patterns. I created silhouettes on paper which were then scanned and edited on Photoshop. Although I wasn’t fully happy with how it looked, it still gave me more of an idea on how it can be repeated to make a pattern and what other uses of materials I can use to make the designs look less messy.
The second time I went for a more realistic approach, using a mixture of paint and felt tip pen. I recreated the pattern in the same way as the first.
Here are some ideas that I came up with when I was making the flower patterns. I wanted to create a fusion of the Hawaiian related themes and the more important issues that were from the article. The concept that I had was that at first glance, people would think it is an aesthetically pleasant pattern, but the more that they look at it, the more they realise it isn’t as nice as they thought it was. This hopefully makes them more aware of the issues of rat infestation and how easily it can be ignored.
I then began experimenting with colour on Photoshop, trying to see what looks best as it only had to be in three colours. I excluded different shades being counted as different colours as there were so many tones in the artwork.
This is the image that I was happy with the most because it seems the most natural in terms of colour and lighting. The pink and green makes the rats and objects look more like flowers and less like a bright coloured pattern.
Here are two GIFs that I made from scraps of textures and paper. The first GIF that I made (the the rat hole/ train tunnel) was a prototype of what I though I was going to create for a final outcome, but I soon realised that it would take a long time to get each frame perfectly timed so that it would run naturally and smoothly. So then I decided to work on my second idea where I played with lighting. Both of these GIFs are based on the rat infestation problem of New York which was told by the article – Man v Rat by Jordan Kisner. The second and final GIF that I created was made from collaged bits of paper, which I then re-arranged together for different frames on photoshop. I then put the frames in order into a gif maker online.