Magi Mojaxx

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Some months ago I was approached by a member of Magi Mojaxx (and a friend) and asked to do a cover for their yet-to-be-released EP.

At the time they were called Thomasina and the Undercover Mermaids but ended up changing their name. Originally I had the idea to play with the iconic gun barrel sequences from James Bond films, where I turn the barrel into a whirlpool with three mermen in the middle (much like Charlie’s Angels) hold up their respective musical instruments up for protection. The idea fell through when they changed their name and I thought to myself that it was probably a good thing, as I’d much rather come up with something original which isn’t such an obvious reference.

My final idea was somewhat inspired by the idea of my friend’s adventures all the way out in the US, and the name ‘Magi Mojaxx’ made me think of something almost shamanic. The way I described it to him when we had a chat about it was “wide open desert space, a massive fire at sunset”. I believe the final image was an almost exact representation of what I had envisioned in my mind and I felt incredibly happy with it. And so did Magi Mojaxx which made it all the better!

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vortex / cover & illustrations

Before the academic year was over I was working on an important side-project. The second book by author Vera Petrova called Vortex, about to come out.

After the success of her first book 6 years ago she wished to collaborate once more to create a second boutique publication, this time with illustrated chapters rather than just a cover. Saying I was excited would be an understatement.

What happened was quite interesting – Vera had had a look through all of my work online and liked several pieces which she thought would fit the esthetic she imagined for her book. I suggested making new work in accordance but she was set on several sketchbook pieces from the beginning days of my final year project ‘Cosmic Genesis’. As they were no longer of any importance to the outcome of the project, I felt they would fit well for the occasion. Thus they became chapter illustrations.

The cover artwork was chosen in a similar manner. Vera wanted her second book to carry on the layout of her first book (‘Instead of a Book’) – a short but wide image which flows from the back cover to the front cover as one long piece. A very fitting image I had done was, again from ‘Cosmic Genesis’, the 3.3m-long animation concept. She felt it was illustrative of her entire idea behind ‘Vortex’ so she had me send it over to her visual editor (Rumen Dimitranov), who shortened it wonderfully so it can fit the format without losing meaning.

You can see the finished cover below, as well as some of the illustrations inside.

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Cosmic genesis / artist statement

Everything about our lives and our very existence depends on the milestones of the Cosmic Genesis – the points in the history of the universe since the beginning of time which made life on this planet possible. Each one of those points, the formation of the Earth, the shaping of the Solar System, the origin of the Milky Way, has been crucial and yet has happened due to an ever-continuing ripple (or butterfly) effect. As if reflected in our own scale of being, each thought, decision, action, no matter how seemingly insignificant has the potential to cause unimaginable changes in this world we think is set in stone. On the contrary, it is alive, breathing, growing, evolving, moulded by the forces which influence it, whether that refers to meteorites, the shifting of tectonic plates, natural phenomena or the negligent behaviour of a single one of the Earth’s myriad of species.

Rooted in mythology and stemming from scientific discovery, this project’s aim is to bring the viewer’s attention to a higher perspective and a process of self-reflection, both figurative and literal. Through the observation of this chain of creation, the viewer’s mind is stripped of superficial concerns which are replaced by a sense of understanding and elevated perception. Ultimately I wish to evoke empathy towards our home planet and an awareness of the choices we make, which could sustain or exhaust it.

final pieces

After some hard thinking and work I finally finished them. These are the pieces I’ve chosen to put in the exhibition.

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Due to unforseen technical difficulties I’ve lost some of the scans and these are the only ones I managed to recover.

All of them are painted with acrylic onto MDF covered in black acrylic. It felt amazing to be able to finally paint, rather than plan and do technical things like scanning, editing and blogging.

These will be suspended so they hang at eye-level, arranged so they form the backwards narrative of the creation of our universe.

Business Cards

Feeling so professional!

As part of our professional practice, we had to make business cards. (The sound of it just sends a ripple of excitement through me every time!)

Dan Peterson who leads all the PP sessions agreed (took it upon himself more like) to help us all out with the design and printing side of things, all according to our own preferences of course. Because of his contacts, we got a really good price for 500 cards each (I still can’t believe there are so many, don’t know what to do with all of them!), which is pretty amazing.

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The first image is what I have on the back of my card, and the second has all the appropriate text over it. I am really pleased, although at the time I still hadn’t started working on my website, so the cards only refer to my blog. Not the end of the world in any way. They were done in time for the show in Bristol, which was brilliant.

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final idea / development

After Amelia’s comment on the second opening night of WITHIN / WITHOUT, I decided I had to make some changes.

Instead of a single long piece, I chose to go for the easier option and go with separate images for the separate pages. I’d been doing concept drawings in my sketchbook and it only made sense for each one to just be on a separate piece of paper, but still, adamant that they should be suspended on strings, rather than just hung on a wall.

Quite a few things changed throughout the course of this project. From illustrating different Creation myths in order to point out similarities to making an animation uniting all their main elements, to a long continuous piece hinting at a multiverse… I have finally come to a final decision.

My plan is to create an installation of the timeline of our universe but backwards. First we observe what is now, the Earth suspended in space, and then we start going further and further backwards until we reach the point of the Big Bang, the point of primal genesis, the point beyond which we can’t tell what was. Then I will employ the multiverse bubble theory and we will move out of the bubble our universe’s timeline is contained within, to the space where all the numerous bubbles float about, each one containing the possibility of a universe within it… they hang freely until they lead to another freely hanging piece, the last bit of the installation, a mirror. Next to it a short poem tying everything together and inspiring the awareness, self-consciousness and empathy we al must feel towards our world, our planet, our home, and all the beings inhabiting it alongside us.

It is our world, our choices and our responsibility.

 

pieces from within / without

And here are the final pieces from the Bristol show.

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UNVEIL‘ is about entering the state of dreaming, becoming your astral self, unveiling the door to that realm of infinite possibility of which the moon is a guardian.

EXPLORE‘ is a scene from one of my vivd dreams where the sun was rising over the seaside (the exact moment when the dark of night and the daylight fight for dominion over the dome of the sky) its light gently washing over the massive planet and the mirror-like sea. Even though there were no waves, the surf board moved on its own with my intention, much like everything else happens in dreams.

ENCOUNTER‘ is about the person I kept meeting in different scenarios in a number of the dreams (if not all) which inspired this collection of artworks. The geometric forest is a concept I came up with many years ago in a painting i was never pleased with, and now seemed like a good time to revisit it and give it new life.

SEE‘ is the attempt to visualise a bit of a dream where that person’s eyes were there, real, on his face, but they also somehow had the scale and gravity of immense planets, and at the same time they had the spiral pull of galaxies, it felt like I was being pulled in and I could float about and observe them from a distance one could fully observe a planet or a galaxy, while I was fully aware that I was looking into a pair of eyes right in front of me. A very surreal and overwhelming part of the dream but completely enthralling and mesmerising.

TOUCH‘ refers to the idea that in order to lucid dream, the first challenge (or the first gate of dreaming) is to be able to look at your hands during a dream. It also refers to the strange sensation of touching and experiencing the texture and weight, pull or push, of objects in dreams – enhanced and very real but at the same time… not.

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Originally ‘See’ and ‘Touch’ were quarter the size of the rest but because of a misunderstanding at the printer’s I had prints of all of them in both sizes.

That being said, if you like what you see, get in touch and you just might get one of the original prints! :)