Monday, 15 June 2015

Masterclass with Alexis Deacon!

Yesterday I had a masterclass with Alexis Deacon at House of Illustration! It was part of ELCAF and a great day! I will definitly be going back to House of Illustration too as they have some great exhibitions at the moment and their shop is a treasure trove full of wonderfully illustrated books, including some of Alexis Deacons!

The description of the mastervclass was:
"In this workshop we’ll be exploring two of the things that have driven my creative process.  The first is an acceptance that there can be nothing truly new, only new combinations.  The second is a realisation that drawings are neither good nor bad but only different forms of communication.
We will take the plot of a classic tale and enrich it with details from our own lives and imaginations. We will then split the story up between the group, asking which moments need to be shown for the story to be told.  We will explore how the needs of the narrative will shape or choices when drawing down to the last detail, considering how every element we include can either help or hinder what we are trying to communicate."
We created a new version of the story of Snow White in which we thought of a different element for every part of the story. It was then split into 14 parts, Everyone got the task of drawing one part of the story using ink. In the story Snow White wanted to create a chaotic natural space in a controlled, structured environment ruled by the Evil Queen. In my scene Snow White found a new safe haven where she could create her garden/home. She was led there by the animals of the city instead of the animals in the woods in the original story.

I'm quite happy with my illustration considering we only had two hours to do it! It's clear that I spent more time on the animals' building than the surrounding buildings, if there was more time I'm sure I would have done that differently. But it was good working on a deadline and having to make quick decisions on composition, focus and characters. I drew the character of Snow White in the very last 10 minutes and that is my favourite bit in the drawing!

It was great getting tips from Alexis, it's clear he understands how stories work and which bits are more and less important. You could tell he has a great eye for composition and how to carry your eye to the more important bits of the drawing. He gave me the tip of making more of a triangle for the Snow White character to walk in which really draws your eye to her.

All in all it was a great day and I definitly learnt some great things! I loved working so quick with just a scene to go from, I could really let my imagination run free and that made my drawing free too. The biggest issue I have with work most of the time is not trusting my skill and instict and a lot of work being too constricted by that, so this really was a breath of fresh air!

I can't wait to see what more good things ELCAF has in store next weekend!

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