Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Week

So my first week is IP turned out pretty good. I started the year with a nasty cold which transformed into a nasty infection. It put me a little behind this week, but after this weekend blows over I feel that I will be able to get back on track again. Lots of wonderful things have happened to me this week in IP -- for the most part I believe I know what I truly want to do and it's an exciting thought because I can get started on my project earlier than I expected. Currently my goal in September is to build my skills and see what I can do with the skill set I have before committing to my project. All I know right now: Plants and Animals. That's the theme, but what is the concept and how do I display it (Book, bunch of drawings, sculptures)?

Here is my progress for the week!

What I did:
On Monday I finished furnishing my studio -- I added a table, chair, painted my only wall green, and decorated the vent near the window. Took me about 3 hours that day, and another 2.5 hours throughout the week doing this. Tuesday I sat in the studio for 2 hours researching different types of fauna for "making" something. I checked out The Deep book and looked through a few Animal anatomy books for inspiration. I sketched for 2 hours roughly trying to figure out how my creatures would look. Wednesday I spent 4 hours in my studio finishing my piece before taking it home to complete the rest of it. I grew very ill this week with Bronchitis, so any more time in the studio this week had been cut, with the exception of coming to the studio on Thursday for an hour to pick up books and restock my bookshelf for next week. Chances are, once the severe symptoms of my illness is over, I'll probably be coming into the studio on Sunday to make up any lost time.

What I accomplished/discovered/encountered:

Images from "The Deep"

These are some of my sketches based of the animals I studied. Many of them are inspired by Siphonphorae, a class of colonial marine invertebrates. They are similar to jellyfish, but instead of one animal, it's a collection of several thousand organisms that come together to help hunt for food. Many of them are deep sea creatures -- which is why you may have not heard much about them. They are mysterious creatures that look almost alien and unreal. A lot of my drawings this week have transformed my research into my own definition of these creatures and in turn made my own. I've been following some of my favorite concept artists in creature design tips and some layout work I've found particularly interesting are these:

Marine Fauna by concept artist and illustrator Tiffany Turill
By Virgil C. Stephens

I'm trying to learn the process of naturalist journaling and note taking to further my work first, but the process is harder when you do not large animals roaming around Ann Arbor. I'm thinking of taking a trip to a zoo to "pretend" I'm out the wild and take notes that way. I'm currently reading "Field Notes on Science and Nature" by Michael Canfield and I've learned different methods of studying animals in their natural habitats and the process of becoming a naturalist. It compares the notes of Darwin to Jorn Muir to modern day naturalists. Some are specifically notes with basic linar sketches while other journals are more elaborate in what they see or feel. What I'm struggling with is working with my individual sketches and combining my research and observations into scientific concept art. "Concept design is just as much a science as real world evolution and it's important to learn real world anatomy as the images posted above."

What I think I should do next:

I think the next step is to pick another animal species like I did this week and dedicate my research and sketches towards it. I'd like to attempt another series of concept sketches based off that animal and try to possibly make a piece that combines multiple sketches into one. Bringing my research into one decorative and elaborate piece. Possibly try a sculpture to help me learn the "anatomy" of the creature and it's characteristics.


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