Friday, 11 November 2016

London October 2017

1st Years in London 

this year as every year we headed off to London (the Big Smoke!)
We had spent a lot of time writing up a full itinerary for the students to make sure they got their moneys worth and it was definitely action packed!

Arriving in the city and booking ourselves into the Royal National Hotel, we quickly headed off to the British Museum. Here we encouraged the students to look at sequential art through the ages and also launched our new brief about students discovering Myths and Legends of the Big City. This could potentially include something from the Egyptian artefacts or any of the other collected in the place. 

After that we met up and headed off on a tour of the comics outlets and heading down to China Town for a meal.

first port of call was Forbidden Planet just off the Shaftsbury Avenue. After a fire alarm disrupted the visit we lost vital time getting to the other places we wanted to visit. 

This included Orbital Comics

And GOSH Comics where we arrived just as they were closing up, so making this the second year on the trot we got turfed out!

The meal in china town was good, then we headed off to The Champion Pub to meet up with ex student Rob Cureton from Orful Comics. Rob has worked on many animation productions and that is what his full time job is and he does comics in the evening and sells them at conventions up and down the UK

Day 2 Cartoon and Comic Museum

Going to the Cartoon and Comic Museum is one of the high lights of the visit to London. This year Steve Marchant, the man now in charge of the Museums lottery collection was a very busy man. But he gave up his time to have a talk to the students about the new comics the museum had brought and potential areas in which the collection was looking to buy.

After this we had a drawing challenge for the students in Covent Garden... Where was the garden?

We then headed up the road to Trafalgar Square and gave the Students a challenge to enter the National Gallery, and find a selection of images.

Day 3 MCM London Expo


Heading off early to London docklands this was going be a challenge but fun day. Once we got into the event it was murder to find anyone again till we met up at the location 


what was good, a couple of our members of staff are also independent artist and they had stands at the event selling their work. Awkwardbex - Becci Such and Talburt Comics is our own Claire Smith. 

It all ended up with a mad dash for the train and a long ride home, which seems to be a reoccurring thing now on these trips!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Drawing for Illustration Out and About

Drawing for Illustration 

Perspective Drawings and Establishing Shots

During the induction week I push forward the message to first year (Level 4) students that the comic artist mantra has to be 'Draw Draw Draw!'
So what can we at university level do differently to get across the ideas we want the students to communicate in their work. A lot of the students know about the basics of a comic and how it is constructed, but they come from an education where the word is more important then the image. But inst it also true that 1 image can speak a thousand words, and communicate more effectively and efficiently to a wider and broader audience in a shorter amount of time?

Anyway, that's not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to get you to realise how we can improve our drawing techniques by adding a bit of realisation to our briefs and encouraging the students to explore the larger world with their pens and pencils, rather than them hiding behind their mobile phones. 

The project above was to get the students to explore perspective. This used to be a day at the train station. But this year we thought differently and slightly out of the box and encouraged the students to take to the roof in the Flaxman and capture a scene from there. 

What we were after in this brief is to get the students to realise the power of the opening shot to help the reader to locate where the story is happening. Above is a drawing by one of the students Tom Newall taken while on the roof of the Flaxman. 

Above Mike Walters opening page with establishing shot and then the reader is lead into a location to demonstrate where the action is about to take place. 

Drawing at Stoke Railway station 

Drawing outside the Mellor Building at Staffordshire University 

drawing around the University 

Perspective in action 

Jason gets down to understand perspective by starting off low down and looking up

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Week One of New Year

Its been all go at Cartoon and Comic Arts 

So Many apologies for how little has been posted since September and the start of the academic year. This year we saw 38 new additional Cartoon & Comics Art Students. Since then we've had an action packed 5 weeks start to the year and here is a few high lights from week One. 

above is the new first year students who all turned up in September. The class was as ever bigger and better than previous years 

One of the projects we set the students in the first week is to do a self portrait, this is basically to get them to introduce themselves in the best and easiest way possibly, through their drawings. By doing this the rest of eh cohort understands the individual and what they like and also realise what their drawing style is like. 

Its a great way for lecturers to introduce themselves to the class and also for the class to introduce themselves to one another.

There are also several events happening during welcome week which seem to attract students on the CACA award. Such as the strange animals unit.

We also take the students to do a pub quiz at a local establishment The Glebe.

This year we did something different as we invited other levels to join in to take part in eh quiz and become the level 4 mentors. It's always nice when you are walking around the university if you see a friendly smiling face from other students on the award.

A view of the lads in the centre with Gareth Cowlin reading his presentation off his mobile phone... and saving the environment.... apparently!

Tony and Paul from the Level 6 pass on their expert knowledge of comics to the level 4 students

Kale and the Level 4s helping of hindering them?

Becci added a bit of Manga Knowledge to the quiz and probably a bit of professionalism.

Lawrence looking unsure about the Manga questions, good job the first years are there to help him out!

Mark Garner does his best impression of Bruce Forsythe ... Good Game Good Game!

Winners and losers and all friends  

Higher than a four or Lower?