Sunday, 30 March 2008

Travel home

Im now back in glasgow, currently nursing a hangover but thats a completely different story. The photo above is one of the most notorious pubs in Milton Keynes in terms of fighting and 'un-savoury' company. Its acctually closed down now so im not sure where everyone who used to go there now enjoys a pint, i wanted to see what it was like inside just once but i guess now i wont get the chance!

The journey back to Glasgow was really good, all the seats were taken so the coach driver moved his bags of the seat and i got to sit at the front of the coach with two seats to myself. At about 1 hour before i got into the city the coach passed through some hilly area just as the sun was rising it was so beautifull, the view is probably one of the best things about travelling on a coach but i forget that point every time i travel by coach.

Yesteday i got a reply to my e-mail regarding meeting the donor of the rosemary lucas scholarship, it turns out i will acctually be meeting Rosemary Lucas herself along with Drew (the head of the interior design department) at 10:30 on april the so very nervous now! Tommorow i will post the flat pictures and some other things!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


One of the things i really enjoy about being home is the fact that you get to travel around to places really easily without having to make use of public transport (which in Milton Keynes never seems to run smoothly) or having to pay for an extortionate taxi. My dad needed to run a few errands; his goal being to find a mirror for the new bathroom, he is even more of a perfectionist than i am so i thought i would help him out. First we decided to go to Habitat as i remembered selling a mirror that would fit in well with the bathroom and at the same time i could see some old work friends.

It was strange stepping back 6 months and speaking to the people who over the summer i spent 40 hours a week with, i was really happy to see Rachael and Vanessa again we always had interesting conversations and i respected how hard they always worked. I wasn't really sure what to say to them about my time at university so far only that "Its going great, im really enjoying myself, im so excited to specialise" and then some other things about flats etc.

The store itself had a ton of new products the photos above are a couple of my favourites, the Ghost like ceramic is meant to be an outdoor accessory and is called 'Winks'. The other is of some wallpaper designed by Matthew Williamson for habitats VIP range i really like the colours in this, very Neo Baroque but i can't seem to track down a photo, DARN.

We then went to ikea, i like walking around the areas where they have room sets built to inspire customers to buy sets of items together or just small things just to finish off the room they are trying to furnish. But there was one room set that i didn't think quite worked.

My Dad modelled the room for me, as per request, and i think his expression sums up the feeling that i got from it 'what the hell?'. I think whoever designed this room set was trying to bring together elements with similar colours to create harmony, they tried to use 4 main ones (Red, Blue, white and brown) but in completely the wrong way. The result is untidy, uncomfortable and disjointed. If i was going to try and fix this room i would take out one colour which would probably be the red and just stick to 3. Id change the curtains and simplify, creating a clutter free and calming dining space. I can understand if they had to show some particular products but surely they could be placed in another room set?

In the end i bought, 2 pestle and mortars (without the pestles) for 30p each and an ice lolly maker. We then went to B&Q to get some handles for the record cabinet im going to fix up and some spanners for dad then came home. We got home at exactly the right time because the weather turned and it began to hail, so much so it looked like the grass outside was alive with tiny jumping white bugs and the decking turned white with ice.

Some other news, i was lucky enough to receive the Rosemary Lucas Scholarship for Interior Design last term which came to me as a huge surprise! Seeing as student services took a while to reply to my application. And i have recently received an E-mail from student services asking if i would be available to Meet the donor of said scholarship on the 8th of April. Of course i accepted but i can't help feeling a little nervous about meeting the person that has ultimately helped to keep me at the GSA. I know that she studied at the GSA a few years ago so i think it will be very interesting to meet her, i want to know what she has been doing with her life since then. I shall have to wait and see.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A day of film

Turns out the webcam i have doesn't make video files that i can upload onto youtube without them breaking, something about the file format not being converted properly? So im afraid i will have to postpone the video post till i am back in Glasgow, like the pictures of the flat viewing and practically everything else that i have said i would put up, Im so sorry for that!

I am halfway through watching a film called 'Cha no aji - The taste of tea'. Its a Japanese film by Katsuhito Ishii following the story of a Family made up from interesting and individual characters, The father is a hypnosis therapist, the mother an animator trying to return to her old job by creating a film short at her dining table (in almost every scene so far), Eccentric grandfather who has a habit of singing about everything. A son and daughter, the son is full of hormones and has harboured a fear of girls from two funny incidents and the daughter who is trying to discover a way to rid herself of a giant doppelganger who follows her around and stares at her.

So far the story has kept me interested but i can't shake the feeling that maybe the film is a little too long? I don't want to complain because the story is so enchanting i really don't mind about the few, always interesting sidetracks that make up the 2 hours or so of this movie. My favourite character so far is Sachinko, her desperation to overcome the doppelganger is really enthralling and i really like her method of solution.

One thing i love to do is take screen grabs of interesting parts of any film, well interesting photographic parts of the film, i love to capture the moment or the feeling of the film at that particular moment. I don't know if i am just stealing the directors images or finding my own.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Drawing pains

After trying to track down a camera to make my video post for a few hours it turns out that i have a webcam but no software, so the post is delayed until i can get the drivers for the webcam and then upload time too! I wonder how long a video takes to upload?

been As you may of already noticed, my drawing skills have been on my mind alot recently...I have alwaysdissatisfied by my level of sketching and feel really disheartened when i get an idea but can't get it out onto paper as i see it in my head. In my mind i have a crystal clean image of designs but i just can't seem to transfer them into a tangible format, its so frustrating.

The biggest problem that i have is looking at an image made by someone who can draw, my jaw dropping and not being able to perceive ever reaching that standard of work in the next 20 years. I look at the work that i have done before and cringe. I could blame it on the fact that i haven't really had any formal drawing lessons...I've just kind of bumbled along collecting bits and pieces of information and kind of cobbled it together into a really rough understanding of how to draw in perspective etc.

I would have to say my main reason is i have an absolute aversion to practice because of the "Whats the point" kind of mood looking at inspiration pieces makes me feel. Awe turns quickly into jealously and then self loathing.

The picture above was taken from a design firm called Foster + Partners, an amazing firm with a staggering portfolio of Perspectives, Planning and CAD work. I occasionally visit this website when i want too get a glimpse of what standard is expected from me as a designer. Not that it does me any good because i tend to come away from the depths of their gallery folder feeling a little ill and apprehensive about showing my work to anyone!

I have to get over myself and stop being so narcissistic and self obsessed. But i need advice, the tutors say practice, but can i get as good as i want too with just practice?

Saturday, 22 March 2008

A coach memoir

"Its 3.35am. Im traveling on a coach and we've just stopped at a service station. I just read one of the magazines I bought for the journey, called 'Wound' Well I say read I kind of just flicked through it and looked at the pictures…ill read it properly later on today at a first glance I would say that it’s a good magazine, meaty, and nearly advert free. From what I can tell its only the second issue too! The flat viewing yesterday was really strange. I turned up at 2pm and it turned out that there was tenants still living in the flat, i thought that I was going to meet an estate agent called Lyndsey inside so I buzzed up and…well I managed to wake them all up. A little after I woke them up the agent came and let me into the building, then up to the flat. Apparently they hadn’t been told about the flat viewing but I still got to see it.

There are some pictures but my camera was being temperamental so they aren’t very quality. The rooms were kind of boxy but bright, apart from the kitchen which didn’t have a window. For some reason it was boxed into this really small dark room. From what I could tell it used to be linked with the lounge but it had been recently walled in? In the living room there was this really strange small cupboard…did the landlord close of the kitchen so that (at one time) he could let the lounge as a 4th bedroom? Anyway basically the flat was too pricey for what they were offering and from what Lyndsey told me the flat wouldn’t be there for august/September so even if we did want it we wouldn’t be able to get it!"

Being back is really weird, i dont think i will ever get used to being away for so long...and somehow 'home' doesn't feel like home used to feel like any more. Its great to see my parents and especially my brother, i didn't realise how much i missed him! He gave me an early birthday present and my parents gave me a Green and Blacks Easter egg, i was really surprised because i don't usually get any chocolate for Easter, Not that im complaining!

Just passing through the center of town earlier jogged my memory on how this town is such a vision of Modernity, i often joke to people when i tell them where i come from that "Milton Keynes is a Modernist disaster, Its communism in town planning form". Obviously their are SOME perks to living here but, i just can't see past the blatant perfectionism of its construction...its too perfect for my liking.

I completely forgot my camera so im afraid they're won't be any pictures of the flat viewing until i return to Glasgow, but they are terrible quality anyway so you wont be missing much! Tomorrow im planning to attempt a video entry but no promises...all depends on what kind of camera i can rustle up.

Friday, 21 March 2008

A busy day

Today is going to be a really really busy day. Well the afternoon/evening at least will be busy, for now im just doing washing and a bit of tidying. Its hard to work in a messy room...especially when its not the biggest size ever.

My room rarely stays that tidy when i get into a project, i don't really see the need to put everything away that im working with and so it tends to descend into chaos quite quickly. Anyway the main reason for me to tidy my room is because im going back to my home town, Milton Keynes, for 1 week starting today (well the travel anyway) and i allways like to come back to a tidy room so that i can jump straight back into work or whatever i want to do without the stress of mess.

That picture above was actually taken at the beginning of university, now i seemed to have procured a ton of DVDs/magazines and have a calender that my grandparents sent to me stuck on my wall next to the mirror. The basic layout is the same though, and no doubt i will probably bring back more things to fill up those shelves this time around!

At 2pm i have a flat viewing along Argyle street im hoping that it will be really nice. I promise to take some pictures and post them up here tomorrow, so long as it doesn't infringe on any kind of law that the estate agents might have....ill have to ask them just to make sure! Then i will have to go into town to buy a magazine for the coach. Im thinking something like ID or Dazed and Confused, maybe the new issue of Elle decoration will be out. After that i have to pack and i might be going to see a film called 'The Orphanage' (made by the same director of Pans labyrinth) and finally i catch the coach at 10:30pm! Just writing it is making me feel tired.

The first project we had to do this term was to make 49 drawings of an object that we had picked for us out of a hat. I got this strange funnel (from ikea i think) and some other people got things like a brush, a dog toy and a peg? At first i was really angry with my object but quickly realised that i had been quite lucky.

After creating 49 drawings we had to put them all together and arrange them in a way that all of the drawings could communicate with each other.

Not sure i like the finished piece but ah well what can you do? Apart from try harder next time.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

My felt Sanctuary

Throughout the last term i have concentrated as hard as i could on my drawing skills and on the delivery of my design ideas to the tutors. That was something that they wanted me to improve on for this term and apparently i did something right because they seemed to like my work...even if i couldn't explain the meaning behind it very well.

The last project i did was based around the idea of sanctuary and peoples perception of sanctuary. Everyone in all the floors had to fill in a questionnaire answering questions like "What do you seek sanctuary from?" when we finished all the finished sheets were passed around the classes and became the basis for our brief. I had to respond to what the person had written in their questionnaire and collect a selection of images that reflected the brief.

My selection of images

Then i had to create a portable sanctuary informed by the collage of images. In my brief the person wrote alot about being by the seaside and the feeling of the clothes of people close to her so i decided to work with
natural materials. Namely felt (£22 worth of felt) and pebbles. First i glued felt pieces directly onto stones trying to soften the rough surface and then made some small paintings.

I developed this with the use of a sewing machine i recently bought and started to encase entire stones in felt. In all i think i spent around 4 days of sewing pebbles into felt but i was really happy with the results and i think that they fit the brief perfectly. In total i made around 15 encased pebbles and decided to put them back into their natural surroundings to highlight the 'roots' of the object inside the felt, then photographed them for my final piece.

The image above is the one i used as a 'final product' for this project. Since the beginning of the year i haven't really been happy with the outcome of any of my projects, but this is the only project which resulted in a design that i like! I hope i can make things like this on the side of my projects when i not sure but i have a feeling that most things will result in a conceptual idea and nothing that is material, i guess only time will tell!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Its March

This is a heads up post and yet another apology.
This Blog is rocky, a rocky footing doesn't really create a solid blog going to try and fix this somehow. Its going to be a long haul but, i owe it to myself to do it. For a start I've decided that this blog will seriously begin NOW.

Term 3 is approaching quickly, which means i will be specialising in Interiors. Such a big change to my course should instill change to my state of mind and how i waste my time on various Internet profiles/websites instead of doing something creative like Blogging. Im really excited about this change, even though i feel really unprepared, and so too celebrate im toying with starting a fresh and opening a brand new blog.

As a step towards this i have bought the domain name and will upgrade so that i can host a blog within the next two weeks...with a separate self run blog i can have stability and ownership that a blog spot doesn't really provide. But I have a feeling i might just keep that separate, possibly for when i start my own company (IF i start my own company).

Since my last post a ton of things have happened. As well as not sticking to any of my new years resolutions (who keeps them anyway) my flat situation for next year has been sorted out! I will now be living with two girls from the GSA called Heather and Maeve.

Maeve is taking Visual Communications, shes a really nice girl i get on well with her and i think living with her is going to be so much fun!. Heather is taking Sculpture and Environmental art, she's probably one of the most grounded people that i have met since coming to uni, we allways have interesting conversation and shes great at thinking of things to do...infact she set me a project to do over easter because i feel lost without some kind of deadline approaching. I can't wait to find somewhere to live. It's going to be great to have a blank canvas to do things to, ive got a ton of ideas.

Last friday was the end of term 2 and the beginning of the easter holidays. I decided to go home for only one week and spend the other two weeks here, so i can look for a job and flat hunt, but i am very excited to go back to Milton Keynes to see my friends and family it feels like i havn't seen them in ages.

Yesterday i decided to go to some museums and practice some drawing. It was fun but...i really enjoy drawing things that you wouldn't normally see or things with alot of detail, bones, insects, pottery, buildings anything that captures my imagination. In the Huntarian Museum there are alot of obscure things, in particular fossils and taxidermy animals. Ive decided that i like that museum alot and im going to go as much as i can to practice my drawing and improve on my style. Here is a dinosaurs foot -

Im quite happy with this drawing and my drawing style is getting more and more refined its terribly exciting to see my skills progress...i guess ive got 4 more years of this too look forward too.

I will post some of my work that i did from last term up tommorow for your viewing pleasure. For now thats a wrap.