Urban Beat; Experimentation with Illustrator

I wanted to depict Urban Beat through my potential design idea. After looking through the pantones I decided on the colours in the image above. The colours I have chosen are dark which is definitely what I was going for. It’s grungy and depicts urban beat in a way of being rebellious.  I added the yellow hue from the inspiration of the railway. I wanted the pop of colour to give it a feeling of vibrant energy. I think these mix of colours are inevitable for the trend as they fit the values so well.

The brush strokes are also significant as the ridged outline gives it a wild and energetic feel as some of the strokes are never ending and expand in different angles and directions. The second image is where I experimented with shapes, the hexagon  shape is taken from the inspiration of the bolts that have been apart of my research. Again, using the colours from the pantone I expanded the hexagons in various directions, angles and made each one a different size. This conveys the rebellion and straight structure of the hexagon implies urbanisation.

Urban Beat; Finalisation of mood board

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Above is my final mood board for the trend ‘Urban Beat’. I believe that this board portrays the aesthetic of the trend and what I want to produce for my final design, which is something with energy, a sense of rebellion, and a grungy over view. It is also a cool approach to design, showing street strength and graffiti. From this, I will make colour swatches by choosing pantones to create a palette digitally, as well as gathering imagery that fits the colour scheme and trend.

Urban Beat; Mood Board Development

Final

Above is my mood board for ‘Urban Beat’ after developing my Photoshop skills. After creating my first mood board I was really unhappy with it as it looked very ‘cut and paste’, like I could have produced it by hand. So with my following mood boards  I wanted to utilise Photoshop and really show my full potential of using it. So I focussed on cropping and cutting the images I had. The girl on the left was completely cut out of the background and the Railway station to the right was cut in half, by doing this it really does make the image stand out and the aesthetic is more pleasing. I really enjoyed utilising the magic wand tool and selection as it enabled me to for fill my goal of manipulating the images. The three lights I found to be most difficult as I didn’t realise how time consuming it was. I got there eventually as I wanted the roundness of the light to keep its circular shape, whereas before I made it really angular and straight edged. I also found a perfect background image to fill the mood board so it didn’t look plain. I then changed the opacity and added graffiti in the background and also at the top behind the lights I added a graffiti sofa. I absolutely love this part of the mood board as it really stands out, the contrast of the light and dark images create a great effect for Urban Beat. Overall I am happy with this, and for my next steps for this project I need to work on producing a colour board that will show my colour scheme for my upcoming designs.

Constellation PDP

The first term of constellation I studied Smells Like Teen Spirit: Subcultures and Street Style which really interested me when choosing our options. I enjoy learning about subcultures and their style and how they originated. I’m also a fan of Goth and Punk, so learning about those gave me a better understanding. I found the learning process to be fascinating as I was amazed to know why they wore the clothing they did and what significance it had to them. The first subculture we explored was Goths. I learnt a number of things I had been oblivious to before. They took elements from the Victorian era and used it to fit their needs and exaggerated their makeup with black eyes and a pale white face. This wasn’t unfamiliar to me as I have seen what goths looked like, however I never knew the meaning behind it. They also changed the concept of objects. They also considered Gothic Literature and novels that signify their subculture. Which are Dracula and Frankenstein. This conveys the ‘undead’ and horror in which they dressed and looked. This subculture then evolved into many more, as they borrowed ideas and combined features from Goth to link to their subculture.

Punk was my favourite subculture to learn about, and after the lecture I found myself wanting to actually be around in the 70’s to witness it for myself. I can imagine it must have been a culture shock to the society as punks really did want to stand out and challenge the system. I learnt punk enabled women to stand up for themselves and challenge establishment and how women should dress and behave.  It was interesting to learn that the punks were so rebellious, and they would have safety pin piercings, which shocked the public along with their crazy dyed hair, Mohawks and dramatic makeup. What I love the most about this subculture, is that it originated in Britain and how fascinating the punks were by standing out from the normative and making a statement to prove a point to the world. Another subculture was Hip-Hop, although in comparison to the others I didn’t enjoy this one as much, although they had similarities to punks. This was clear when learning that they would exaggerate their gold chains and steal the car symbols to wear as a necklace also to signify rebellion and lack of care for society.  Hip Hop subculture was also similar to the goths, as they weren’t shy of breaking rules to make a complete statement with their clothing. They changed the function of sportswear and used it as part of their everyday attire.

From what I’ve learnt during the first term is that it’s okay to break the rules within reason, and make something unique to stand out. I have always had a desire to challenge my art practice, as I like combining things and putting things together that wouldn’t usually go. From this study group it has enabled me to make that happen even more so than before. Also how looking at things from the past can be great inspiration as you can gain more research and make old ideas modern. Punk has also been a great influence to me in the way that they combined an object or idea to change the meaning. For example, they changed the meaning of the safety pin as they weren’t using it to hold something together. Punk taught me about ‘Bricolage’ the ideology of putting together two things to combine and change the object/idea and meaning, the punks did this by using objects like tampons and safety pins as jewellery. The Hip Hop subculture also reminded me of that certain colours have a meaning and can link in with cultures and being a textile student colour is very important.

The second term of constellation I studied The Body. I found this to be really challenging as the questions and case studies we were given were complex and really made us think. I enjoyed the challenge and liked learning about identities and body modifications. We discussed how people are always wanting to modify their body in a particular way to fit the way society and the media portrays the ideal body. We also discussed the idea on how when we upload our pictures on social media, we are making ourselves an object. This was really interesting to think about, we then had to upload one onto our blog and talk about it. The lectures were also enjoyable as there was a lot of group interaction which was nice to hear other people’s opinions and views.  I also learnt a bit of history of the body in the 19th and 20th centuries. I was fascinated by all of the new information I was containing. During the lecture I also enjoyed the many debates that occurred when we were asked ‘Why don’t men wear skirts?’ and how we are being controlled within contemporary society.

I found all this really interesting and chose to combine The body with Smells like teen spirit for my final summative essay. The process of completing my final work in December didn’t go as well as I hoped due to difficulties I encountered.  I didn’t understand how to read academic texts, as admittedly it is daunting picking up a book and the thought of having to read through it all made me less ambitious for the essay, however I then learnt what to do ready for the final constellation submission. I also found it hard to reference correctly within my writing and not to talk in first person, as it makes it less professional. I overcome this by double checking with the handouts on Moodle on how to reference in the right way and making sure I wasn’t referring to myself when writing the essay. Also having a one to one tutorial with the tutor helped a lot and the academic librarian. I now feel confident in writing and I really enjoyed writing this essay. My confidence has grown with writing and reading through academic’s to back my argument and especially finding them on metsearch. Constellation overall has been challenging, learning all of the new theories was difficult at times, but still enjoyable as it enables you to think differently and put yourself in another perspective.

Photoshop; Cartoon

During this session of using Photoshop we were taught how to make a cartoon of an image and this involved using tools such as, pen tool, the pipette, and learning how to make a selection, choosing a colour from the image and then applying it. I chose an image of myself and started to use the pen tool. I found it difficult to get the pen to curve around the circular shapes, so parts didn’t work so well as I wanted it to. However it was my first time using it so I will definitely practice more to gain the skills. After you make a selection, you use the pipette and click on a certain colour, then press ‘alt + delete’ so it fills the selection with the chosen colour. Below is my outcome from using this technique.

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Urban Beat; Womanby Street

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When thinking of Urban Beat, at the start I imagined Womanby Street in Cardiff to be perfect for imagery as it’s a grungy alley filled with rock clubs and indie clubs. It gives that grungy, rebellious vibe to it with lots of energy. I took this image when walking through town. I think the way the shadows from the building create a dark tone contrasts with the top centre of the image which is bright. I like how the dark and light tones show juxtaposition as the buildings lead the eye down the middle of the image.

Boys Village

Me and my two friends ventured out to Boys Village as we thought it would be really good for Urban Beat. We found the abandonded place really easy surprisingly. The entrance was over grown so we had to climb over some logs and a broken fence. Boys Village was a holiday camp in West Aberthaw. Thebuildings included a dining hall, dormitories, a gym, swimming pool, workshops and a church. I had always known about this area but never experienced it for myself so I was amazed and was enjoying taking photos of it. It had previous owners who had used it for a farm, but in 2008 it was taken over by airsoft enthusiasts but with no on-site security it soon became a target for graffiti, arson and vandalism. The future plan is to knock the buildings down and re-create a new site. I think demolishing this site is unfortunate for upcoming generations, as it’s always exciting going to a place you know is abandoned and you shouldn’t be there. It’s also good for photoshoots and to see what the area was actually like.

Photoshoot: 

Burn

This image is one of my favourites. I really like the colours within this piece. I edited it on photoshop to increase the levels and exposure. I find this image to have an impact as the meaning behind it is quite dark. ‘I watched you burn’ Is also ironic as the building had a collapsed roof due to arson and is now left so unstructured. I think this image has more than one meaning behind it and it can be interpretated in so many ways.

Building

This building was my favourite out of the six remanining. This was where the dorms were. The shower rooms were tiny and full of graffiti. Some of it reminded me of banksy as it was about conttevertial topics. Some of it was humurous. There were no windows, or any doors. Everything was crumbling inside and the stairwell to get upstairs had no wall on the left hand side. It was dangerous being in there but so exciting. I liked all of the graffiti, it was interesting and somewhat inspiring. I was trying to look for colours I can use within my Urban Beat project for digital. It was very eerie being in here.

Building2

This was the view inside of the building in the image above. You can probably see why this was my favourite building. Capturing and being in this moment was just very incredible for me as I havent visited anything like this before. The juxtaposition of light and dark through the long corridor makes the image really powerful. Also the doorway at the end which you can see, is so dilapitated which also gives it an overall feel of eerieness.

Dead

This image was taken in the Gym. I didn’t like the original image as it was dull, so I edited it on photoshop and made it brighter and cropped out everything else. I don’t know why but this stood out to me so  I had to photograph it. It actually said ‘Deadly’ but someone must have gone over it in black paint and got rid of the remaning words ‘ly’ so it now just says ‘Dead’. I found this to have an impact as well.

Handle2

This is very industrial, it was rusting and you can see the textures within the handle and brick work. I took a close up of this railing that was left on the wall, with no stairs to go with it so you couldn’t get upstairs from this side. I increased the colour to make it more orange as I think thats a colour I want to use in my own work. I also edited it and made it a dark pink colour.

Handle copy

I think both images give that grungy and industrialisation feel to it.

Rust

I am aboslutely so pleased with this image! I love the rust combined with the blue and red graffiti. The contrast of colours really appeals to me. You can also see on the right side of the image, there is some cracking of the surface. This was a close up of a boiler which was in one of the rooms.  This is also a possibility of a colour palette for me.

alive

I changed the colour drastically within this piece to try and match my colour interest. I just want dark and grungy colours mixed with a few bright, like this cyan colour. I found this piece to remind me of Banksy. Simply because within his work he is a political activist and anonymous. No one had marked their name or initial from their graffiti piece like I’ve usually seen in Cardiff City Centre. The unknown quality to it was very appealing and I just wanted to take a photo. Of course graffiti is illegal, so the sense of rebellion fits in with my values. There is also a sense of dark humour in Banksys work, which links in with most of what I saw today. ‘Alive’ written inside the shape of a human figure with the distressed paint strokes coming from it suggests something dark.

Rust Railing

I tried to edit this image on Photoshop, but I don’t think I’ve quite got there yet with completing it. I used the selection tool and magic tool to get rid of the greenery that was behind the brick walls. I didn’t want to include any of that in with this piece as Urban Beat focuses on the industrialisation, which clearly the rural area would take away that effect. I wanted the focal point of this image to be the rusting bar that was spiraling around in the centre of the brick walls. I love this as it’s just so grungy and industrial. Hopefully when I use photoshop more I can combine this image with another to create collage.

I had a really pleasant day exploring Boy’s Village. We must have been there for about 2 hours. Although the area was smaller than expected, there was just so much to see.