Chris Corr

I’ve started research for my FMP (Final Major Project(s)). I’m currently working on two projects, the first combines a number of my different loves; photography, design, writing and travel. I plan to create a travel guide to Amsterdam (where I shall be visiting at the end of this month). I’m currently working on ideas, and plan to make it unique to the photography or design lovers. Picking out keep places to visit, and walking tours etc.

Chris Corr is an artist who combines travelling and illustration. His work is inspired from his travels, and protrays not only scenes but the often colourful atmousphere.

Christopher was born in London and studied at The Royal College of Art.
His round the world travels provide much inspiration for his work. His first trip to India in 1986 resulted in a one person show entitled “Wel-come To India” which was followed by a book and a short BBC TV film of the same name.
Commissions range from book jackets, posters, the World Aids Day 1996 campaign, artist for Qantas, artist for Windstar Cruises.
The Royal Mail sent him to Bosnia to paint SFOR ,the Peace-Keeping troops for a commemorative stamp in the Millennium Stamps Project.

His work gained my intrest as it meant he could travel to these countries and bring back so much insperation for these paintings. He would ispire others to go out and do the same, whilst informing people of these beautiful places. Have a look at some of his images, I just love how colourful they are!

        

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DotSignature

A talented artist that I stumbled upon on Deviant Art. Her page is here.

This is the piece that really stood out to me, but he work on her Deviant Art various between photography and similar oil paintings. I’m a sucker for bright, abstract paintings, and this one is just beautiful.

What is Design?

A few weeks ago we had a lecture delivered to us by Marc Jackson, the head of design at Newport University. The lecture is entitled ‘What is Design?’ but focus’ on both art and design. Created to make us ‘design’ students think about the art and design world at current, are both still as important as each other? What is design now? Will is change in the upcoming years? He began the lecture by asking us to think about the differences between ‘art’ and ‘design’, which before now, I’d never really thought about.

What Happened to Art?
“A designers job is to problem solve” Mark stated, explaining that art doesn’t really have a purpose any more like it used to, and that designs have a “belief in making things better, creating improvements and progress”. I feel art is now more of conversation starter, or a thought provoker rather than a ‘problem solver’ like design. He spoke about the last piece of art he truly enjoyed, Michael Landy’s “Breakdown” – an exhibition where Landy made a large statement about the current capitalist world by shredding every single item that he owned (pictured left). He went back to square one of having nothing, just to make an impact and make people think about how much we rely on materialised goods. Mark stated that this was the last piece of art that truly made an impact of him. Perhaps we’re just immune to these now more common acts of display?

We’re all stuck in a post-mordern time, where most of the population don’t believe in anything, Mark being a key example as he explained he doesn’t believe in religion, politics, art etc. This means we have less of a need for ‘thought provoking’ art and exhibitions – we a much more practical nation, out to make things more simple and effective.  He told us he was “proud to be a designer”, a problem solver, someone who helps the community. Art is no longer seen in that way, and sometime causes more bother than a help in society.

“Good Design”
There are a number of examples of ‘good design’ that has been created to make our lives simpler, or easier. Helvetica is something that we all see, everyday of our lives, often without noticing. It is the font used for hundreds of different companies (such as orange, M&S etc) sign posts, advertising, posters, it’s everywhere. It’s used of it’s easy to read style, simplicity, and aesthetic values – everything ‘design’ was described to us. (However as a side note it’s now becoming outdated as it is so over-used, see image to right).

The second main example of good recent design is the London Underground maps. Something that has become an iconic design. Created in the 1960’s the design still bears a strong resemblance to current modern-day map. It was a design that made near hundreds of thousands of lives so much easier – travelling the London Underground was made easy, for British and International visitors.

When presented with these two iconic design pieces, no one could name the designer. Something I find strange about design. The people behind it don’t become figuratively famous, as designers don’t tend to put a name to their work. Everyone can recognize a piece of Banksy artwork, or a Mondrian painting, but when it comes to knowing the main designer behind the Bic Pen, we all go quiet.

What is art now?
Personally, I believe art will always have a purpose in our lives. As I previously stated, it’s thought provoking and eye catching, often used to get a significant message across. A key example of this is the following photograph I found on a ‘Photo of the Day’ website [link]. It’s artistic, powerful and thought provoking, thus making a good and constructive use of art, but still not necessarily ‘solving’ anything, however it still makes an impact upon us.

Art will always be used to create emotion, draw attention and educate people. However in a world where we need change, and quick, perhaps design is the push we need to focus on.

In Summary
Once I have graduated I will see myself as a designer, I’ve never been an artist, it’s just not how I work. However right now, I feel I’m still a trainee in the design world, as I’ve not quite yet found my own feet (or design style). I think the design world is a much more exciting place than the fine art world, as it’s more-so based around logic and problem solving (I know this is a strong statement, but I’m thinking more personal than overall), we need to use all aspects of our mind, our creative side to attract attention, yet our logical side to make things easy to understand, to make our lives more simple – to design.

New problems will evolve for designers to solve. There will always be work as nothing can be made perfect, we can only predict so much into the future, and will never no what we need until the time arrives. 70 years ago we were designing to be cost efficient as we were in the middle of WW2, however the main current focus is to be environmentally friendly.We’ll come across new design problems such as the population demographic as we now have more over 40’s than under, the main market will change. Design will be forever alive, constantly changing, and although you can say the same about art, I believe design has a more important part to play on our homes, lives and world.

Future of Technology

We had a lecture the other day that was based on the future of technology, mainly focused on ‘apps’ for Smartphones. We were asked to question what would happen to technology. Loads of ideas were thrown around, including chips being implanted into newly born babies, smaller phones, bigger phones, the complete wipe out of phones! etc…

Our lecturer proposed that soon enough we will rely on ‘Apps’ for everything “There’s an app for that”. I was puzzled by this, because in my opinion, I’ve always seen Apps as a fad, something we will get bored of eventually, once the craze has worn off. I’m not sure whether this is because of jealousy in the sense I cannot afford a swarve phone full of these different convenient, time saver applications, or I genially believe it won’t catch on to everyone. I was given the example that my lecturer no longer needs to carry around a number of different train time cards because now he can just whip out his iPhone, open the correct application and they’ll all be there, in the palm of his hand.

In practice, it makes sense. A way of accessing a world of information from a few taps of your phone seems like a brilliant idea. But I think what I don’t like about it is the mass distribution of certain companies, and the power and control we would then be tied to. I know this isn’t the point of what the Future of Technology lecture was about, but I just can’t help but think it.

When I was in primary school my Dad had a Nokia phone that was the size of his palm. We made the assumption that this was the start of phones getting smaller and smaller, but it was only a few years later when touch screens started making an appearance that mobile phones started getting bigger. Which shows we’re not very good at predicting technologies future.

Personally I believe that smart phones will be around for a while, but then we’ll get bored, and want something bigger and better, 3D phones, with HD screens built in. The possibilities are beyond our current imagination, but as soon as it happens, we’ll hardly remember how we lived without it.

Ken Garland

We recently had a guest lecture by Ken Garland, notable as a British graphic designer, author and game designer. The lecture in itself was very interesting, the main topic being visual metaphors. He brought with him a number of slides and video clips, and did more showing than talking.

A small, excitable man, he was a joy to watch as he enthusiastically explained the different examples. I’m only going to mention a couple  of examples that I found interesting and managed to take notes on (I was more interested in listening than writing).

1. Pentagon Protests

The most lasting image from the last big march on the Pentagon, on October 21, 1967, survives in the collective memory as summing up an era. Carnations in gun barrels were the essence of Flower Power. This photo was taken as a document of the moment, and lesser for the inner meaning.

2. Witnessed (Movie)

During this film there is a scene of a barn raising by an Amish community. The message within this is is one of the most obvious ones. It’s used to show the great team work the community had, and how working together got more done, and made a task that would be normally impossible, possible.

Garlands main purpose was to explain to us that there’s normally more to find in life, deeper meanings. His words were inspirational, and caused me to look into images more closer for other meanings. It’s really intrigued me, and I now have a lot more to look at when researching artists.

Kagan McLeod

Kagan McLeod is an illustrator from Toronto, Canada, that I found on StumbleUpon.com. He has worked for a number of magazines doing various illustration work, but what I’m focusing on is his fashion illustration work featured in the slideshow below.

I struggle to word why exactly I like his designs, they’re just very artistic and colourful (as simple as it sounds). They are smooth and his models curvaceous – usually out of proportion.

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MUTO by BLU

Muto by BLU is an animation I came across a long time ago on Youtube. It’s a short film using stop motion of an ‘ambiguous animation’ painted on public walls.

It’s not what we’ve been asked to do (in reference to the animation), but I’m featuring it because this style of one image merging into another, and telling a story is something that I’m interested in, and plan to incorporate into my flash animation.