Thursday, 8 December 2011

Surrealism and Randomly Generated Art

Over the last few days I've been reading a couple of books as part of my research for the journal, the first book is called "Movements in Modern Art: Surrealism" by Fiona Bradley and the second is "The Innocent Eye: Children's Art and the Modern Artist" by Jonathan Fineberg.

On reading these two books it suddenly occurred to me that I've dabbled with surrealist methods to produce work in the past and completely over looked the importance these methods had in moving me forward. I have always been drawn to randomly generated art such as doodle art and most recently Jon Burgerman and found it difficult to pinpoint what it was I actually enjoyed about the work. I now realise it’s the freedom of expression and randomness that comes through in these works.

I was looking through some old sketchbooks after reading about the automatic drawing techniques used by surrealists like Andre Masson and I feel like Paul Klee did when he found his old childhood drawings. Below are a few pages of my automatisms done in the first year of my degree. By looking at these random's I believe this is the true me. I’ve been using pen and ink over the last year, which I feel really comfortable with, but am wondering if my cross-hatching methods have become too laboured. By this I mean it's possibly taking over as I have a tendency to get carried away. I guess it's a case of finding the right balance and harmony which will become refined with time. Perhaps by simplifying the hatching to areas of shadow would work best for me as I did in the chicken empathy illustration last year.

Most recently I have realised the projects I have found truly excited me were the ones where I had an arbitrary beginning i.e. the 'Disney Brief' and most recently the 'Lord Whitney brief' and this has got me thinking how I should approach projects in the future. I find I work best when I'm at play with my work and have found if I start to over-work or complicate things I loose that essence of fun and go through an unproductive stage. The sketchbook pages illustrated below are a great example of me at play with my work and this is what I feel I am currently lacking. From the positive feedback about my portfolio I have decided to give myself a break from Photoshop and Illustrator for a while to explore my hand drawn style to it's fullest.
Sketchbook Randoms 1

Sketchbook Randoms 2
Sketchbook Randoms 3

Sketchbook Randoms 4

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