Prophecy – Reporter

This project was about looking into the future, which was good because it gave me another opportunity to make stuff up and then draw it. I went through a lot of different concepts for this projects, and I didn’t settle on something for quite a while for various reasons. Even though the title of this project was prophecy, there was a list of titles to choose from, that acted as a sort of job description for the project. I chose reporter. To me it meant I could ‘report’ via illustration, on anything that was either based on fact or fiction. My original idea was to create a sort of visual report on what the world would be like if it was ruled by dogs, and not in the sense that dogs had suddenly taken over, but like it had always been that way. Maybe humans didn’t even exist, who knows. I wanted to do this idea because of all the events surrounding Ferguson in america, which started in august and have just continued since then, and have really highlighted how much prejudice and hate there still is in the world and I just don’t understand why.

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The point of having ‘what would it be like if dogs ruled the world’ would be that dogs just don’t hate like people do. They don’t discriminate because of race or gender or sexual orientation or anything like that, in fact they don’t discriminate at all, they just seem to unconditionally love. I wanted to create a few comic strips showing how a world ruled by dogs wouldn’t have problems like our world does (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, war etc), and why (because dogs love everyone).

Due to external circumstances I ended up finishing the term early and going home a week before I was supposed to, and during the Christmas break I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do with the project. When I resumed I decided to scrap the dog idea, at least for this project, and maybe use it for a future brief. I wasn’t really getting to where I wanted to be with that idea and I was just getting frustrated with it, to the point where I just didn’t want to work on which hasn’t happened on any of the other projects I’ve done so far this term so I figured I’d give it a rest and try something different. I’ve always been very fixated on myths and legends, so I started thinking about things I could do with that instead. I felt really motivated to experiment with that idea so I decided to push forward with that. I started thinking about creatures from legends, and how they’re viewed in the world currently and how they could be viewed in the future, which led me to the idea of monuments of mythical creatures coming to life. I wanted the images to be something that could have been used in an article showing what was happening.

I started looking at famous monuments I could work with and settled on the Sphinx of Giza, The Uffington White Horse and I wanted to use a totem pole as the third, and I found a set by Stan Bevan that were in Canada, which I really loved and decided to use those. Even though this isn’t like the traditional totem pole in that its 4 separate figures rather than them all being stacked together, it was also a monument that I could find a decent amount of information about, which made it easier for me to get inspiration from it.

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I found the Sphinx of Giza images quite hard to paint, I think because I tend to use quite muted, cooler colours. I really dislike that first smaller image. I did it first in just inks and really hated it for a reason I still can’t quite work out, and then I went over it in acrylics to see if that made me hate it less but it just made it worse and I still can’t work out why. I definitely regret putting acrylic on it though.

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I’m quite pleased with this, although the background is still pretty basic. I think I could have worked into it a lot more, and added more depth. Im pleased with how the horse came out.

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I’ve never really tried painting forests before, and I’ve never been much good at backgrounds but I’m not to unhappy with how this came out. I had to use a lot of references for this. I had a lot of trouble trying to get the wolf right, and I had wanted to have it jumping down of its pole but I just could not get it to work, so I adapted and drew it in a different position. I struggled a lot with the eagle as well, but then I’ve never had much experience painting birds. I’m quite satisfied with the final outcome, like I think they all look okay at least, especially once you put them all together as a set. I tried really hard with this to refine the way I paint, especially the background, and try and make it less all over the place like I’ve done in previous projects. I think I definitely managed to achieve that at least a bit in these. It was interesting trying to force myself to use colours that I don’t usually work much with either, which is something I’m probably going to try and continue to work on in the future.

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