Post tutorial with Joe (23rd of April, 2021) – I was told that the publication lacked context. At first, I didn’t really understand what that meant but after some thinking and flipping through the prototype once more, I realized that there really was no context behind a single page in the zine. No reason behind the disastrous recipes, nothing to tie the recipes together, nothing to make this zine “worthwhile” (at least according to some sources). In order to turn this into a more fleshy zine, I decided to make some pages with text for why exactly the people created the atrocities that they did as well as their statement on whether or not they would do it again in the future or if this was a one-time mistake. Thankfully, I received this information with my initial questionnaire, so I will not have to sniff out the people who made these entries and ask them these additional questions, haha. Adding some extra meat to the bones will certainly benefit this mini publication and the series that may or may not evolve from it.
Missing context: What’s it all about? Under what circumstances were these recipes created? Was it accidental or intentional? Was this a one time mistake or a recurring thing?
I decided to create this zine in a way that could be read as a joke book or a follow-along cook book should the reader wish to introduce these atrocities to their body. I wanted to go for a vintage cookbook vibe but as you can probably tell, it sort of lost that direction as the pages went on. Which, is not an inherently bad thing, it perhaps grants it a more unique feel to it as opposed to a regular run-of-the-mill cookbook but with a twist. While sketching, I was trying to go for a style that would regularly be seen in older cookbooks as seen below.
But as I was drawing, I noticed that my hands were not listening to me and instead went for a more blocky, angular and dynamic direction. At first I was a bit skeptical, but after a few pages, I embraced the blocky style and went with it. (It can be seen within the flipbook I have embeded at the very top of the post how the style was embraced and how much braver the drawings were as opposed to the flimsy/incomprehendable ones on the first page)
After around 7-9 pages I realized that my hand was sort of going for a style that I had seen before, which belongs to Ivashchenko Anastasia, an instagram artist I have been following for a few months now.
Following this, I looked into other illustrators that have a distinct way of drawing food and was able to find Holly Exley and Georgina Luck. I say find but really, they were suggested to me by a coursemate who has been garnering inspiration from their work for a few years now.
I figured it would be beneficial for me to bust out my gouache set and finally do some painting yet again. It has been a solid half of a year since I’ve last done it. (Insane how fast time flies when you think about it..) I was recently able to find an older sketchbook from August last year which has some sketchy paintings I’ve made for reference of what my style of painting is all about.
Blocky, bold, colourful and for the most part very directionless as I never seem to put down a foundation sketch, but rather paint a solid block which is dark and then paint on top of it. Nothing too farfetched but it works for me and that’s what matters.
Continuation after my last tutorial, which took place on the 30th of April. Written out on May 1st, 2021.
Thankfully, everything I had done up to that point was taken in well and I did not have to start anything over! I was ordered to edit my work and think more about the layout of my illustrations alongside the story behind them – something I did not do well enough before the tutorial. I created a small flipthrough book with all the illustrations I wanted to include, but it was just that – illustrations that didn’t really tell a story or give any context on what they were reporting on. But that I already knew from my last tutorial, but in between the 2 tutorials I was focusing more on digital adventures as I had done ultimately nothing for them.
Fortunately, this tutorial provided me with a push I needed to focus. Initially I had planned 3 different publications for each of the projects, but I was told that I could just make my main piece and digital adventures into a single project, one that would explore Mothman more thoroughly. I figured it would be a better shout because while I do have everything I need for the main brief in terms of responses and material to work off of, I simply do not have the time, nor am I in the right mental state to work on something as depressing as that. I definitely will return to it, but for the time being, I have decided to push it back just a little bit.
Less directions/tasks = less stress. A part of me is a bit underwhelmed with myself for coping out but another me knows that it will simply be for the better. As much as I want to bring my A-game, sometimes that is simply not possible and that is ok. The Narrative and Sequence module really helped me learn that, although, I still have a long way to go until I can truly adapt that mentality to my creative process. I’m an overachiever but I more often than not fall flat by taking on too much, rather than directing all my efforts and motivations towards a single thing and perfecting it to the max. With less than 3 weeks left, I am slightly unsure whether or not I can make it, but, I am sure as hell going to do my best to make it. Starting now, I will get down to work.
Continuation after my last tutorial, which took place on the 7th of May. Written out on May 7th, 2021.
This is it, I feel like I’m getting there, I see the finish line for this portion of the Visual Essay module and it feels so satisfying, oh, so satisfying.. The criticism regarding the visual part of the publication that I have come up with so far was positive, however, while I did now have context, the tutor found it hard to tell exactly what I’m trying to say with my publication, what’s the meaning behind it. What are my intentions with this publication? What is it that I want the reader to think when they read it? I have to say, it put me off for a moment, I got lost and frustrated with myself, but that’s good, because it’s a snap back to reality and the beginning of my thinking process.
My main goal with this publication was to showcase the lowest points in people’s culinary ventures. I do, however, see how this may be seen as me mocking or making fun of these people that have submitted this publication. Before I go any further into it, I feel as though it’s important to note that my questionnaire asked people to submit recipes that they are most ashamed of. They were aware of my intentions of turning it into a joke and I think that’s good enough of a reason for me to feel more than free to make a joke of it. The thing you would get out of this publication is that everyone has had low points with their cooking, everyone has had their own version of pickle pancakes, that’s what unifies us in that sphere! It’s sad that I’m incapable of bringing up points like this on the spot, but guess that’s just what language barrier x social anxiety gets you.
13 days left at the point of me writing this. Yikes. I haven’t even started my Digital Adventures, main brief or CP Essay.. It’ll be alright, though.. hopefully…
Update – May 23rd, 2021.
I got the extension and was able to pull through! Apparently, we didn’t have to do the other publications/workshops, not sure what that was all about then but at this point, I’m just happy to have made it to the finish line. All that’s left to do is write out some paragraphs on the progress and make an 8 page proposal publication (?) and then I will be done with 1st year of university. Rather surreal if you ask me, but that’s just how time works, huh?
As of the moment writing this I have fully illustrated the 3 recipes for the first volume of “Damn, B****, You Eat Like This?” and put them all together into a small digital publication, which, I may or may not print out at some point. You can find the publication here:
Additionally, here are all of the page spreads as PNGs.
One of the most difficult tasks when creating this publication was definitely figuring out the colour palettes for the recipes as well as the formatting of the pages, something I barely have any experience in.
The colour palette for the first recipe came rather naturally, the one for the second was a bit tougher to figure out but not too much and the third was just a struggle through and through. I wanted each recipe to have a unique colour palette, however, I had to settle for implementing yellow in both the second and third recipes as it simply was the best choice. I initially had planned to go for a red x green colour palette for the third recipe but it didn’t look quite how I wanted it to so I switched the red/pink out for yellow/ochre. While I’m on the topic of colours, one of the biggest issues I ran into when creating these colour palettes was the extremely limited colour options in CorelDRAW. Fortunately enough, I had previously worked on a cycle of pieces that I was able to use as colour sources.
With the colour palettes extracted, I was ready to work. The process was pretty simple, I figured out how I wanted to work the lighting/shadows in each illustration and later adapted it to the rest. Looking through the pages you can see that each illustration is made in the same way, the only difference being the colours in some instances. I would make a block of “foundation colour” (which in all cases was the second darkest colour – blue, purple, green), then add large components into the mix to figure out the general colouring and later work on details/extra bits. Everything was hand-drawn using a mouse, wish I had tracked how many times I clicked the mouse whilst working on the illustration but if I had to guess, I would say it might be a few thousand, if not a few tens of thousands.
I would say I was able to withhold a cook-book sort of style throughout the publication with some unique elements sprinkled on top of it. I am generally satisfied with what I was able to produce. Though, I feel a bit underaccomplished as I have not done anything else besides this and I don’t think I will be to either.. however, that is perfectly fine as this is really all we had to do in the first place and at the end of the day, this is first year and it’s ok to fall flat at least once, it is insane and rather unrealistic to expect yourself to succeed in every module thrown your way. What’s important is that I was able to take something away from this module.