My independent prints and projects are a culmination of illustrative imagery I have been working on over the years. I am aiming to produce a set of dance/club themed illustrations for people to also buy online.
Mission Gou Possible
This project was part of an online Competition for DJ Peggy Gou. The concept was to design a Peggy Gou themed Christmas Greetings Card that she could send to her fans. My illustration was my response to a nativity themed party hosted by Peggy Gou. It featured themes such as Giraffes (the sheep) and drag queen dancers (the three wise men) which are part of her brand and identity.
The aim of my work is evident in my final project CLUBLAND. Community projects and events have always been an integral part in how dance styles have formed. I wanted my work to be this binding factor by making you want to get up and dance. A place to twerk, pop, lock, twist, groove and move.
The dance matt consists of 9 squares, jigsaw pieces put together to form one foam dance mat with a printed illustration onto vinyl and attached to the foam. There are 8 forms of dance styles. From top right to bottom left the styles are breaking, popping, vogueing/waacking, locking, house style, twerking/dancehall, new jack swing and krumping.
The purpose of this illustrated installations is to make you move, be silly and dance to the music. To change your style of dancing based on the shuffling of a playlist or your interaction with the mat or others around you. The playlist is consisting of a historical range of club classic music chosen from Spotify and created by me:
From club-goers to dance choreographers, from dance beginners to complete amateurs this illustration is for the people, young and old. There are no expectations. My aim was to make people feel comfortable being silly in front of one another and dancing.
CLUBLAND : The Boombox
The boombox is designed to hold my archive and portfolio in. Over the year I have collected a substantial amount of historical research into groups and organisations formed from the workings of dance. My archive is an annotated review of the information I collected in my sketchbooks. My portfolio is a reaction to this research. All the illustrations I have crafted and produced by being inspired from the community culture in nightclubs, events, classes, festivals etc. I wanted to use a vinyl case and create a flat illustrated boombox design to attached around it. I enjoy the concept of a dance matt being inspired by the cardboard matts from hip hop/breakdancing images and a boombox sitting on the side as a music aid to the dancing. I felt that while people were dancing to the music, others could go through the case and browse my work, much like you would go through vinyls, pulling out discs and comparing opinions.
The People of the Boiler Room
Boiler Room is a music Broadcaster based in London, UK. It commission’s and live stream's music sessions around the world. It has hosted shows in around 100 cities worldwide including London, Amsterdam, New York, Berlin, Lisbon, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Krakow, Tokyo, Sydney, Lima and Los Angeles. The company focuses on electronic music but also plays garage, techno and dub extended (grime, hip hop, classical and jazz) sets.
“The artists are, after all, the sole attraction at Boiler Room: attendees are positioned behind the decks in a bedroom DJ style set up so that the selector is always the main figure in view.”
I completely disagree with this statement. The online videos seem to attract an enormous amount of comments giving opinions on people in the crowds reacting to the music and dancing comically. The audience’s reaction is just as important as the DJ. It is why people want to watch. The dancing is a response and is something of enjoyment and freedom. The carefree attitude people find when they are in the moment.
I made a fold out a3 risograph poster as a result of my findings. I also gained a lot of my information and illustrations by watching the livestreams and the ‘People of the Boiler Room’ YouTube videos. It was only a matter of narrowing down who deserved to be in the book. The front cover I wanted to be a big crowd, everyone together to state the fact that these shows are about that very thing, and that inside, you would have selective individuals and the oddly satisfying and funny things they do at the events.
A Night on the Cowgate
These hand drawn prints, sold in a5 and a4, were a response to my research of observational drawing in nightclubs. The 3 illustrations are of Mash House, Bongo and Sneaky Petes in Edinburgh and feature the DJ’s, bars and crowd that feature in these compositions. I wanted to give the people in this community a visual representation of the places they love going to.
In and Out
I felt that if I was going to develop an understanding for the connection between dance and illustration I needed to experiment with movement. This was a reflective project I wanted to do for the development of my portfolio.
I drew a character in blue that would stand out against its background. I wanted her to jump and dance about across the screen from left to right. This project was completely hand drawn, frame by frame and edited on Photoshop.
As a fourth year class, we wanted to raise money at the Bookmarks Fair 2020 for our upcoming D&AD exhibition in Summer 2020. Our decision was to create a selection of a5 prints consisting of illustrative responses to a selection of ABBA songs. I chose ‘Dancing Queen’ as I felt it was the right subject matter for what I had recently been researching with. I also liked how the idea of a Queen could be spun into something empowering and feministic. I liked the concept of symmetry in dance and body positions. I wanted to take the idea of a strong, individualised set of women who believe that they are ‘queens’ in their own right. I also liked how ABBA as a band wore similar colours and dressed as a group when performing. I changed the lyrics to ‘You can twerk, you can grind, having the time of your life! See that girl, buss it down on the scene, diggin’ the dancing queen.’ I felt that these lyrics were more appropriate for the modern woman of today. Combining dance styles, such as twerking and grinding, to a 70’s original song with visuals that represent the hip hop/dancehall culture is a crossover I think that works admirably.
COLOUR and SOUND Exhibition
This selection of hand drawings were made as a response to the words COLOUR and SOUND as part of the northstreet.collective exhibition held at the Greenhouse Café in Leith, Edinburgh. I exhibited six illustrations, including the Miss World screenprint and sold prints of these illustrations on the night. I also aimed to rearrange my exhibited piece in a random selection. I displayed the head panel at the top, the feet in the middle section and the waist at the bottom. I enjoyed how my work was situated above vinyl records, meaning that when people were talking about my work, the subject led onto the music they liked, and people could share common ground between one another. The opening night also featured painters and fashion designers selling hand crafted leather coats. Some of the people attending lead magazine publishing companies for their university and worked in events teams. It was a positive way to talk to people and network amongst music orientated groups. During the exhibition, live artists also played a range of instruments. The after party was held at Mash House, Edinburgh and hosted 4 featured DJ’s. It was overall an enjoyable and exciting event to be a part of.