This blog post is meant to be the last post concluding this course. I will post some more about the final show set-up both before and during the exhibition.
I have mixed feelings about this one and for the last few days it has felt really good to meet my fellow first year and second year students and our two course leaders Jonathan and Ed again. The effect as been a calming one. Everybody seems to be spreading vibes of satisfaction mixed with frantic dazes and signs of lack of sleep which are typical in such situations. Putting the show up means a lot to all of us and the amount of work, creativity and thought that have lead to these results is phenomenal. I am delighted to discover everybody’s final work.
My journey into this MA has been previously described in the required post and I will look back into the last two years and what has lead me to this place in time. My research question and the my findings resulting in the writing of the research paper has been closely linked to the evolution of my art practice as explained in the latest symposium.
My early experimentations had to do with letting go of my computer. I decided to look into ‘drawing‘ more and somewhat naturally I ventured into hand-lettering which is a complete different art form than typography design in itself. It was not clear in my mind at the time and I thought one lead to the other. I even flirted with food to explore more but…no. In any case, in my mind, I quickly decided that all this had little to contribute to me in the context of this course even if I read about the work of artist such as Ale Paul
I then started to look more closely into history and I was inspired to research more deeply by looking at early experimental typography through movements such as Edward Fella and Alan Kitching.
Very early on, I stumbled upon the Tactile Typography terminology and that has been my preferred angle at which to look at my general project. So many artists have helped me with their inspirational work, my personal favorite still being Pae White incidentally discovered very early on in this course.
One of my favorite early piece that made me feel comfortable to carry on in that format of work was this one. It was not particularly interesting visually (too many colors for nothing!) and I was still looking for my prefered materials. I adopted the square surface. It is the shape from which latin letters are drawn from (as opposed to arabic letters which are circle-based for example) and graphically the geometry of the square is perfect for me.
A defining moment for me in terms of how involved I must be in my art practice was my tutorial with Kier Williams. It was a short meeting but it left a very positive effect on my whole outlook of where to go and how to get there.
This all lead me to results that pleased me in many ways.
To explain how I’ve come to what is presented in the exhibition I really have to consider two important elements : self-confidence and research.
I finally found a way to treat the surface in a way that I felt was relevant to me and showcased the work while creating a link to what has been done in early typography design in history (gold guilding, red thread,..) and the way that digital font families are created with the use of Bézier curves (nails as control points and thread as the curves themselves). I sometimes drew the letters myself, sometimes used blown up version of classical letter forms like Garamond or Helvetica to name only two.
I now believe the hand work that goes in creating art pieces is not to be overlooked when wanting to achieve functional yet beautiful symbols that are in fact destined to be read in different contexts. The future of type design will therefore always be tied to taking from what has been done in the past while always keeping creativity and novelty in mind as to give birth to new balanced relationship between form and function.
MY journey into this MA Fine Arts, online path
- Analyse and critically reflect upon my own art practice and it’s context:
I embarked on this course after a long gestation period of should I do it, should I wait… Then, much to my surprise, I find myself having a Skype chat with Jonathan while sitting in my mom’s neighbor’s garage in the middle of pretty much nowhere-Canada-by-the-lake (internet sometimes sketchy in remote areas, although not very comfy her garage seemed the most stable option) and realising : wow, I am actually going to do this!
It was a bit unclear to me at first what was going to be expected from me. It was a slow start… I wasn’t sure which direction to take, I did not want my research to get in the way the other work that I needed to do and vice versa. It is after all a Fine Art Digital MA program in Visual Arts but it was agreed that I would actually step away from the computer to really put myself outside the comfort zone created by my day-to-day design practice revolving completely around the use of computers to create design commissions. I know I could have gone down a different avenue by delving into digital technologies I had never explored up to now. Because of the Project Proposal I submitted I had the early conviction that not using the computer (which is what working digitally is all about to me, or so I thought) I remained convinced throughout this course that I would learn via this path.
On a practical level I would have appreciated a more precise calendar of events, but maybe that is the production coordinator in me. Of course, I am not criticizing anyone or anything, just quite convinced at this stage that with a broader picture and detailed expectations I would have felt more at ease and would have dived more promptly. I guess what I am saying is if I was to do this again I would be so much more confident and that’s what experience is all about. This might come across as cheeky but if new students in September need to get some guidance and feedback I am making myself completely available to anyone who might request such help. After all, this is the reason why I even ever started this MA : to share knowledge with other artists.
I am very happy that my initial objectives have never lost their importance which were to :
- try something different, explore
- gain knowledge to be eventually qualified to share it
- share ideas and meet people
- have a bloody good reason to go back to London after having lived there as a child
Summarise and evaluate my overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for continuing personal and professional development:
I am happy that I managed to go forward in this journey while carrying out the other aspects of my life such as my freelancing jobs and everything that comes with having 4 children in two different countries. I have achieved a fair amount of work but mostly this course has been eye-opening experience for me. I have learned so much especially with all the reading and preparation for the research paper. I might even admit that the research paper was my favorite part of this course. Well… second to the two low-residencies in London. Being in a university setting and listening to the many different people we have met (other students, speakers, teachers, artists, gallery curators,…) has brought me much more than I ever envisioned. The collaborative spirit and the critical thinking have sparked a potential I had not tapped in for very long time. The research paper has allowed me to discover a pleiade of artists, (re)discover techniques, embrace art history and artistic periods all while doing one of the things I like best which is reading. I will never stop doing that and I almost feel like I need a ‘ yearly reading plan’ (!!) as there is so much I want go through.
Furthermore, I really feel I have created a true habit of doing things. With my hands. Yes. I understand better the importance of art studios and I will definitely from now on, always be a proponent of having inviting creative spaces in commercial work places. Studios are like incubators and without them I feel designers end up running in circles.
I never imagined I would ever exhibit my work. It is now a reality and I don’t see why not again. I am imminently moving to a country that likes to describe itself as a flourishing art destination in the Arabian Gulf and although it lacks the cool vibe and the independent galleries we feel in Bahrain, Doha’s establishment has a strong desire to see local work and collections be showcased in settings not as formal as the already existing impressive museums. In the city’s art centric facilities there are an increasing number of programs, workshops and talks that aim to create the opportunity to foster experimentation through design and multiple art forms. I hope to engage and participate in these as actively as possible.
In the upcoming year I believe I have to ‘put myself out there’ and realistically I should implement this by breeding a networking pattern that will allow me to rapidly settle in the new environment that is awaiting me. On a personal level, I have confirmed my interest in typography and I have acquired a significant amount of knowledge and I will continue to explore typography in it’s handmade form through my freelancing work because I am now convinced it can blend with the professional aspect of my work. Ultimately, and this is a known fact to my course leader at the moment, I would love to take this degree to achieve my goals of migrating from agency work to teaching graphic design in the very near future. It’s out there, I’ve said it, go universe!
Had fun trying to finish and wrap one my latest piece. I changed the nails to something closer to tacks, I like the polished look but as they are short if I mess up one they all tend to end up funny.
Final result to be revealed later this week!
It’s different. Maybe it is looking closer to what is next, what’s coming up in terms of style. Not sure.
I’ve been fixing pieces before wrapping them and although some needed little manipulation to be public ready some were quite messed up. One piece had so much glue residue, it was very dirty with finger prints and dust.
It’s the last day I can work at my desk before I move house after spending most of July in London and Northern England. Last day of having this view… Snif. When I moved in here a few years ago I chose this house knowing I Would Love working with this window behind my desk and the balcony behind me. The balcony ended up being a workshop to spray paint my surfaces.
My house is half-mess, half-desolation at the moment. The only area that’s still intact is my work bubble area and it’s very messy as I am always adding stuff to my desk to avoid the packers from taking from me!
The amount of stress I have been under recently is starting to take a toll! I have an upset stomach most of the time and I sometimes feel I just want to quit…! Not a good thing, but I am smiling as I am writing this! I am trying to keep it together, but I still feel I have ‘time’ to finish a few pieces (which I love doing) but everything seems to be going wrong. My technique is much better I can say that but with the clock ticking like this I am not performing well at all.
I have had to pack a whole massive house in order to move to another country (Qatar) in 3 days time to a smaller house. Selling, giving away, tossing in the bin, end of school tests and assessments, good-by parties (we are at party #18 now at least!) and now to top it all off I have to live temporarily in a friend’s house before flying to London.
Visas cancelling, closing all accounts known to man, replacing a lost passport, packing back fro kids going on 2 months holiday without me for one of those, summer camp lists, last minute hair cuts,… My brain feels like an overwhelmed hard disk.
Will I make it?
We have to right?
Go Pascale Go!
I’ve been hooked to these accounts since I started following the stream of posts they produce. I know we all have evolving and paradoxal feelings towards social media but the Instagram platform has made it so much easier to discover all of the artist and their work below. I like the simplicity of just doing and sharing and I refer to these accounts almost daily.
Artist & Designer. 🇬🇧 UK based.🌸🎈🎨 ✏️Unique wares available in shop here: www.lydialeith.com
Ian Barnard 🇬🇧
Christian, Father, Calligrapher & Typographer. Get free and premium fonts here > ianbarnard.co.uk
BRAND AND TYPE DESIGNER My typo-blog about shop signs: mytypeofsign.tumblr.com _ www.idependonme.com
Hamilton Wood Type
HWT&PM is the world’s largest collection of wood type and hosts visitors & printers in a working museum with a gallery & shop in Two Rivers, Wisconsin woodtype.org/store/item/371
OH no Type Co
Lettering Artist & Sign Painter London, England www.gedpalmer.com
Goodtype | Strength In Letters
The Tactile Typographer ⚡️ Typism Founder Creativity is a muscle. Exercise it everyday www.dominiquefalla.com
A very busy M
I had the intention fo creating some noise inside the letter instead of outside like with my last letter A.
I am disappointed with the nails, they are all over the place and I don’t mean in terms of where they are place but rather the shape of each, they are too wide and different from each other for my taste. My goal was to do a pice all ‘white on white’. Now, I’m messing about with the idea of painting the nails. Will it ruin the board?
The outlines of the letter are so fuzzy, I was expecting something clearer like on my initial design. Not sure what to think of this one.
Initial idea :
Project state right now :
Apologies about the background sound. It’s my home version of construction work sounds!!