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* The Commonplace Book*Introduction to Year 2‘Subject level 5: Personal illustrativeIdentity: Voice & Stance’Project Brief...
• In this module you begin to establish yourindividual ‘voice and stance’ in your creativework. This ‘voice’ will speak ab...
* What is drawing methodologies?* What is research?* What is visual research?* How do I research effectively?* What is my ...
* Sara fanelli *Artist/Illustrator/Typographer
„The title of this book, „Sometimes I Think, Sometimes I Am‟, promises much, and in itsambiguities captures the work‟s elu...
Louise Bourgois
‘The gates of hell are open night and day;Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:But to return, and view the cheerful ski...
* {Find ways of categorising and dividing informationi.e. heaven and hell, light anddark, red, blue, magenta, cerise, days...
„The collection here has a feel of a notebook, an album, ascrap book, a treasure drawer, an old shoe box filledwith much l...
Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locuscommunis (from Greek tópos koinós, see literary topos)which means "a ...
„Collecting is not about what you collect asmuch as it is about who you are.Possession somehow connotes transferenceof the...
„The pursuit (of collecting) is ambiguousbecause in the first place it does notnecessarily serve any rational purpose.‟Fro...
„ the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, in an essaycalled „Playing with Dolls‟, describesplay as a process of animation:“really, we...
From „The Wizard of Oz‟ Graham Rawle
„To the man in the street, who, I am sorryto say,Ins a keen observer of life,The word “intellectual” suggests straightaway...
*{Live the fantasy, become the artist. Make your ownrules}
„Special powers of synaesthesia are notreally necessary to feel that musicchanges colour when it changes key or thatmoods ...
„The impact of colours escapes words: theyare artists raw materials which work onlyin themselves, and each new state ofcol...
„The monster does not need the hero. It isthe hero that needs him for his veryexistence.When hero confronts the monster, h...
„As I was walking up the stairI met a man who wasn‟t there,He wasn‟t there again today,I do wish he would go away‟Anon
*Making your own cagesrestrictions and rules,taming the tiger!*
* Miscellaneous Collections *{finding an aesthetic throughpossible content.}
* Graham Rawle *Illustrator/Collage Artist/Writer
* Summer Brief *Drawing methodologies 2The Common place bookOver the summer I would like you to make your own commonplace ...
* Questions to ask your self:• What am I looking at and why?• What is interesting to me about it, what do I see when Ilook...
What I would like to see when you return:• A commonplace book (size no smaller thanA4): Which starts with an ‘I will’ and ...
„Enthusiasts of unloved things – itemswithout significant or establishedcollectorship – share the potent beliefthat most o...
„…a reality was not given to us and there isnone, but we ourselves have to createone, if we want to exist: and it will not...
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The Commonplace Book 2013

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Lecture/Briefing notes from Amelia Johsntone

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The Commonplace Book 2013

  1. 1. * The Commonplace Book*Introduction to Year 2‘Subject level 5: Personal illustrativeIdentity: Voice & Stance’Project BriefingAmelia Johnstone MA RCAYear 2 BA (Hons) Illustration CSAD
  2. 2. • In this module you begin to establish yourindividual ‘voice and stance’ in your creativework. This ‘voice’ will speak about what you areinterested in, and how you best communicate thisinterest.• In order to establish this unique ‘voice andstance’, you will explore individual workingmethods and areas of negotiated personal researchin order to identify and develop a personal visualidentity and establish your pursuit forcontent, with a corresponding visual language.This ‘voice’, or ‘personal identity’ forms thebasis of future modules in the latter half of year2 in which you will apply your own visual languageto a range of applications and scenarios withinyour discipline• This module will provide you with an opportunityto stand alone as a creative practitioner withinthe course, to define you as a unique individualwith your own ideas, tools and viewpoint which youwill use to make imagery without following anyprescribed working methods, or responding topredetermined themes.
  3. 3. * What is drawing methodologies?* What is research?* What is visual research?* How do I research effectively?* What is my question?* What is my aim?* Does research have a preconceived outcome?* How should research bepresented/formulated/assessed/used?
  4. 4. * Sara fanelli *Artist/Illustrator/Typographer
  5. 5. „The title of this book, „Sometimes I Think, Sometimes I Am‟, promises much, and in itsambiguities captures the work‟s elusive, riddlingpleasures, poised between wryness and high spirits. It has been borrowed by the artist from PaulValery who was himself echoing a famous statementabout consciousness and existence. There are manymore thoughtful, apt, and loved quotationshere, and so there is really no need for somebodyelse to add anymore words to the images. Still, (I) am very happy to come out for a moment ortwo from the enchanted ring of listeners andreaders and offer by way of thanks – a fewthoughts about Sara Fanelli‟s work.‟From the introduction to „Sometimes I Think, Sometimes I Am‟Marina Warner 2007
  6. 6. Louise Bourgois
  7. 7. ‘The gates of hell are open night and day;Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:But to return, and view the cheerful skies,In this the task and mighty labor [sic] lies.’Virgil
  8. 8. * {Find ways of categorising and dividing informationi.e. heaven and hell, light anddark, red, blue, magenta, cerise, days, hours minutes, ab c…d e f g (if you are perhaps collecting letters or byletter)}
  9. 9. „The collection here has a feel of a notebook, an album, ascrap book, a treasure drawer, an old shoe box filledwith much loved items. It resembles a so called‘commonplace book’ in which children and adults used tokeep quotations and adages and cuttings and mementoes;originally, when someone like the great scholar Erasmuswas urging people to keep such records of their thoughtsand readings and experiences, the objective wasimprovement… but gradually „Commonplace books‟ becamestores of memories and pleasures, and turned intoidiosyncratic personal hoards of private – even secret –instants of recognition and delight.‟From the introduction to „Sometimes I Think, Sometimes I Am‟Marina Warner 2007
  10. 10. Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locuscommunis (from Greek tópos koinós, see literary topos)which means "a theme or argument of generalapplication", such as a statement of proverbial wisdom.In this original sense, commonplace books werecollections of such sayings, such as John Miltonscommonplace book. Scholars have expanded this usage toinclude any manuscript that collects material along acommon theme by an individual.Such books wereessentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind:medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables ofweights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas.Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students,and scholars as an aid for remembering useful conceptsor facts they had learned. Each commonplace book wasunique to its creators particular interests.(Wikipedia)
  11. 11. „Collecting is not about what you collect asmuch as it is about who you are.Possession somehow connotes transferenceof the object‟s virtues to its owner.Collections are about recollection.Collections exclude the world and aresymbolic of it. Writing about why onecollects what one collects is a bit likeself-psychoanalysis; its hard to beobjective.‟In Flagrante Collecto(Caught in the act of collecting)Marilynn Gelfman Karp (Abrams, New York 2006)
  12. 12. „The pursuit (of collecting) is ambiguousbecause in the first place it does notnecessarily serve any rational purpose.‟From Introduction to Creators Collectors and ConnoisseursSir Herbert Read(Thames and Hudson London 1967)
  13. 13. „ the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, in an essaycalled „Playing with Dolls‟, describesplay as a process of animation:“really, we invented the doll,”hewrites, “a doll was so abysmally devoid ofphantasy that our imagination becameinexhaustible in dealing with it”. Playingbreathes life into playthings; it animatesthem. The effect is a kind of magic, whenthings come to life, or take on the lifeof the person they represent. Drawingsthat do this have power, the power tocharm‟From the introduction to 5. The AbsurdMarina Warner 2007
  14. 14. From „The Wizard of Oz‟ Graham Rawle
  15. 15. „To the man in the street, who, I am sorryto say,Ins a keen observer of life,The word “intellectual” suggests straightawayA man who‟s untrue to his wife‟W.H. Auden
  16. 16. *{Live the fantasy, become the artist. Make your ownrules}
  17. 17. „Special powers of synaesthesia are notreally necessary to feel that musicchanges colour when it changes key or thatmoods are tinged grey or golden or thatanger flames red and irritability sort ofbrown; the blue‟s singer‟s voice tenses tothe edges of lament and turns deep purpleon the low notes; military marches matchthe bright brass and scarlet of Hussars‟and guards‟ splendour, and drab and dismalstates come in the livery of dull days.Black and white is the natural habitat ofthe documentary dealing with harshrealities. Monotony is monochrome.‟From the introduction to 3. ColourMarina Warner 2007
  18. 18. „The impact of colours escapes words: theyare artists raw materials which work onlyin themselves, and each new state ofcolour, like the fresh retelling of astory, has to be experienced in itself andnothing can substitute for its materialpresence: light in action on the stuff ofour world. Stuff of our world.‟From the introduction to 3.ColourMarina Warner 2007
  19. 19. „The monster does not need the hero. It isthe hero that needs him for his veryexistence.When hero confronts the monster, he has yetneither power nor knowledge, the monsteris his secret father who will invest himwith a power and knowledge that can belongto one man only,and that only the monster can give.‟Roberto Calasso
  20. 20. „As I was walking up the stairI met a man who wasn‟t there,He wasn‟t there again today,I do wish he would go away‟Anon
  21. 21. *Making your own cagesrestrictions and rules,taming the tiger!*
  22. 22. * Miscellaneous Collections *{finding an aesthetic throughpossible content.}
  23. 23. * Graham Rawle *Illustrator/Collage Artist/Writer
  24. 24. * Summer Brief *Drawing methodologies 2The Common place bookOver the summer I would like you to make your own commonplace book in a traditional book format.This Commonplace book is to enable you to bring togetheryour thoughts ideas drawings and things which you noticein an analytical, diary/sketchbook type fashion, butmost importantly, as a library for your ideas.It is to develop your aesthetic and your stance to helpyou find your unique voice as an illustrator. It is notabout you but of you, it is at this point that your workneeds to begin to speak ventrilloquillistically, on itsown. This book will be a resource for your narrativeprojects and drawing projects next term
  25. 25. * Questions to ask your self:• What am I looking at and why?• What is interesting to me about it, what do I see when Ilook at this thing/these things?• Where will I find what I am looking for, do I need tomake a journey, to go somewhere new, to put myself in astrange situation, to wear something different?• How am I going to record this information, am I going tofilm it, draw it, write it? How can I make the thingmore intriguing?• If I am collecting objects what am I collecting themin, are they in a format, photographs filed in dateorder? Are they 3D objects or replicas kept inboxes, cabinets, envelopes? Do I need to make a vesselto collect the objects in, can I find one that isappropriate, what is appropriate?By asking these questions you will begin todiscover, do not just think of a thing and collectit, analyse, absorb and exchange information thisway it will grow into something else, not justremain a collection of things. The things may notbe tangible, they may not even be in existenceyet…
  26. 26. What I would like to see when you return:• A commonplace book (size no smaller thanA4): Which starts with an ‘I will’ and ‘Iwill not’ manifesto• It will be compiled of your thoughtsideas, drawings, collections, observationsphotographs theories quotations etc,designed in a PROFESSIONAL, METICULOUS,CATAGORICAL FASHION.• Back up work, research and workingsketchbooks to support this.
  27. 27. „Enthusiasts of unloved things – itemswithout significant or establishedcollectorship – share the potent beliefthat most of the world is blind to theirsingular perception. It doesn‟t matter.They may be correct and, in the end, theircollections may redeem them from theirsocially flawed posture. We live andyearn.‟In Flagrante Collecto(Caught in the act of collecting)Marilynn Gelfman Karp (Abrams, New York 2006)
  28. 28. „…a reality was not given to us and there isnone, but we ourselves have to createone, if we want to exist: and it will notbe the same one forever, but willcontinuously undergo infinite changes.‟Luigi Pirandello

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