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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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! :)

Initial concepts 

 At first I wanted to represent the idea that the bubbleverse was in fact all the particles of the body of the primordial creator god. I ended up drawing this guy thinking, I shouldn’t limit myself to a strictly human body shape, even if it’s massively simplified. if it’s an entity of unfathomable dimensions then I can just let my mind go crazy and see what comes out.

I was especially pleased with the watercolours I was using at the time because I was getting bright and vivid colours, even when diluted. I had the thought to add the heart as a transparency to the great emotion which drives this being, out on display like an emblem but also a core part of the being itself.

Unfortunately I drew this being for no reason – I had already decided to discard the rainbow creator and replace it with the mirror creator. The whole idea that god created us in his image, that we are god and god is us… and most importantly- the self-reflection in the context of the universal genesis.

Further on, if I decide to continue my work on the project, I will definitely find a use for this concept drawing. Not just yet though.

studies

A few days ago I was playing around with neon markers and ended up making these two images…

frequencies has a lot to do with the dream-themed images I’ve been doing for the exhibition in Bristol (Within/Without). I like to think that when we dream all our frequencies are in tune so this is about them coming together slowly and all at once.

distortion comes from the same headspace but that has more to do with my final project for the degree show at the end of the year. In trying to figure out how to represent the god/consciousness that created our world I thought to experiment with the ‘blank TV screen’ visuals – that black and white distortion which is in constant motion that I once heard was in fact frequencies emitted from the Big Bang.

I’m planning to turn those into prints to have at the show, so if you like what you see, you know where to look :)

 

bristol show / experiments

This is the first piece I did with the intention for it to be finalised and displayed in the upcoming exhibition. After doing a few more pieces it was certain, I wasn’t going to be putting this one up; not too pleased with the outcome.

That and the fact my idea shifted – this piece is mainly about the beginning of the dream, the physical self, the dream self and the influence of the moon. For all the other pieces I ended up settling on dreamscapes and scenes.

reader info: the original artwork is on the right (in the collage below), the other is inverted digitally and edited.

 

‘dreamer’remaerd’

 

‘dreamer’remaerd’ (detail) 

 

tribute / black star

 

‘the stars look very different today’

 

‘yadot tnereffid yrev kool srats eht’

3.3m concept

 

For the recent formative assessment I wanted to show concept artwork and a storyboard for the animation I’m working on. Instead, I decided to create a continuous drawing which tells the whole story.

It is a mixture of a number of creation myths and my own interpretation of scientific discovery. The story begins with the bubbles of the multiverse, each one its own universe. We then dive into one and witness, bit by bit and as a whole, the creation and development of what we soon realise is our own world.

The image turned out to be 3,33m which I thought quite intriguing. I used pencils, acrylic, gold, silver and white pen, and a bit of gouache.

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Any comments, feelings, and generally creative criticism of all kinds would be greatly appreciated :)