Magi Mojaxx

magimojaxx cov1

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!

Advertisements

Out of This World / Mœbius

One day years ago, as I was going about my business online, skimming through images and articles in dismissive boredom, I stumbled upon something truly extraordinary. An artist whose work made my mind completely blank and quiet and what I remember feeling was an outward wave of tingling energy from my heart all the way to the tips of my fingers. It’s a similar feeling to falling in love when your eyes meet someone else’s.

e9ed4a18f0846e13a99a39df89a76aa5

It was an image by Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, comfortably nestled amongst the piles and piles of whatever Pinterest had to offer at the time. “Esteemed by Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki among others, he has been described as the most influential bandes dessinées (comic strip) artist after Hergé.

al_moebius003_venise_celeste

I was mesmerised by his use of colour, composition and detail. It is apparent in each and every image of his, instant awareness of space and scale. Simple, yet so complex it spins your head. It is an experience in itself of another world, another universe, and it all originated from the mind of this one person.

Jean Giraud (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012) has since been one of my absolute favourite artists and I whenever I find myself looking for inspiration or ideas I always seem to find the perfect piece. It was too soon after I discovered his work that I found out he died after battling cancer for a long time.

Many artists have since paid their tributes, including Paul Pope whose Adventure Time Moebius-styled short comic strip was featured in AT Issue 5. I took the liberty of putting it in just below.

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.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-18-02-15

Cali Cat Pet :3

After giving it a lot of thought, my housemates and I got a pet cat. We called our little kitten Calcifer Orange, mainly because of his endless supply of energy and his bright ginger coat. This little ball of adorableness is the first pet I’ve ever had and he helped me tap into a yet unexplored well of inspiration, which led me to the creation of several images…

1) Calcifer Orange, portraitIMG_5315.JPG

2) Little Cali Sleeping; ink, watercolour & gouacheIMG_5439.JPG

3) So much to explore… ;  ink, watercolour & gouacheIMG_5438.JPG

4) My first pet! I love him SOMUCH! ; Cali & meIMG_5256.JPGSince cats are so dinamic capturing an image of them through life drawing or painting can be a challenge. Even so, the product of a simple attempt could produce interesting outcomes and should not be disregarded in the long run.

I thought I could relate the illustrations (images 2 & 3) to our Visual Languages brief since they explore a certain style of illustration and experimentation with colour, perspective and empathy.

Constellation 3: TMI

I have spent the past couple of days in and out of this website, wondering how to start writing and what on earth to write after I’ve begun. It is pretty hard to start if you’re not exactly sure what to say. But after finally pulling myself together, here’s what my brain came up with…

TMI. Too Much Information. Mainly because in one day we had two lectures packed with information and learning and tips and associations and what not… two lectures can be quite stressful when each is so intense.

IMG_1199[1]Let’s start with the first one – a Study Skill Session with Theo Humphries. I enjoyed it quite a lot. Even though he gives you a scary vibe, once you relax and just listen to what he has to say, you can get a lot out of it. What he talked about was basically 1) Handling History, 2)Handling ‘-isms’, and 3)Handling Texts (close reading = opposite of speed reading). I am not going to write here everything he said but in other words. I will only say that while I learned quite a lot of new stuff and saw some things in a different perspective, I also heard and did some things that I had already done before. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that there’s a lot of intense learning in Bulgaria and I kind of went through a lot of things that people my age haven’t… I don’t know. What’s important is that the close reading was a good exercise and it reminded me not to get rusty on that or any other subject. The text we worked on was a short one – it was just one of those explanatory texts that artists and galleries put next to a certain piece. This one was by Prof. André Stitt, ‘The Little Summer of St. Michael’ from 2011. If you can find that text for yourselves and check it out you will see it’s packed with sophisticated words and complex sentences. With straightforward meanings and concealed ones. After a while it could drive you insane. Well, we worked on it for an hour and I think that was plenty.

Next we had a breakfast break of one hour. It was just perfect – neither too long nor too short, unlike last time, when we had to wait for two hours for the next lecture to start and after an hour and a half we felt like our heads were going to explode from doing nothing… Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

b01snlt4_640_360

(*This is a painting by Jeremy Deller*)

The second lecture – by Prof. Jeff Jones was mostly about William Morris and the power of Art. We talked a lot about him – where he came from and what heights he reached, the people and movements he was involved with, the ideas and beliefs he represented and how he contributed to Art and the people.

I definitely agree with most of the things he stood for. Parts of the lecture stood out and had an… impact on me, so to speak. For example: An artist cannot, must not, be separated and independent from religion, politics and society. I could write a whole essay saying why I agree with that statement but for now it’s enough to say that I do. (And isn’t it interesting how we in the 21st century can relate to the beliefs of someone who died 200 years ago?)

I didn’t really understand why we were having such a lecture while we were having it. It made no sense to me that we had to focus on that one single artist while there were a thousand more that we could have discussed. But in retrospect, as I write now, I kind of get it. I understand what it was about. I am glad I kept notes despite the fact that I was quite distracted during that hour. I am thankful that I did, otherwise I could not have written this and therefore reached this conclusion… (aah, sometimes it’s the little things you do…)

“There is Love, Pleasure and Cooperation in our art.” A quote by William Morris. This is something I strive to do every time I take the pencil or the brush. Honestly, I feel inspired right now, so great thanks to Jeff Jones for introducing me to William Morris.