This post is being written long after I had decided that pop-up illustration is an “inappropriate” approach to my concept and point of interest. A brief explanation as to why exactly it is that I think pop-up illustrations are not a good approach to take for this project in particular – ever since the module started, I was keen on doing drag, I had decided that I wanted to do it for a module long before second year started and this module/brief fit the criteria for it perfectly. Drag is very much 3D, it’s supposed to be big and grandiose – it’s in the name of the medium – it’s the exaggeration of whatever you choose to be your key design element. At least in the more modern sense of the word, i.e. the art of drag was originally intended to exaggerate specific gender identities and aspects, but as of recently, it has evolved to be ultimately anything with some gender-inspired elements integrated into it. Pop-up illustration can very well be all that, but I just don’t think that it would do justice for my concepts. I did, however, decide that I would give it a shot anyways to truly see whether or not it would work for me – it didn’t.
My initial venture of pop-up illustration went rather successfully, definitely not even close to being perfect on the technical side, but what it lacked in technicality, more than made up for with appearance.
In a tutorial following the creation of this piece, I was met with the suggestion of trying and making more of these, perhaps on a larger scale with more ambition, too, in the form of pop-up posters. I spent a good couple of weeks trying to figure it out but as soon as I realized it wasn’t budging, I dropped the idea fully. That is, until I received a risograph workshop for last Thursday. I thought it could be a brilliant opportunity to try and do a pop-up illustration, so I proceeded to figuring out the design for it.
The design ended up being very run-of-the-mill, it was simple enough to figure out in a single sitting, complex enough to return to later with the potential of improvement. I simply sat in my armchair and cut bits and pieces into the paper, resulting in the mock up piece.
December 16th – Risograph workshop.
Third day in a row down at the printing studios on campus. While expected, it is bizarre how much I’m enjoying my time with the mediums. Today I gave risograph printing a try and it was yet another incredible session and time. While I am not fully pleased with the final result, I think it was a beneficial and worthwhile workshop to be had. I believe it opens up new possibilities for printmaking in the future, especially with the style of art that I tend to work with!
I spent pretty much the entirety of last night working on a drawing for the workshop. I could have just gone with something I had already created, but, as dumb as it sounds, where’s the challenge in that? And plus, I knew that I needed a proper design for a pop-up illustration I had been meaning to do, so it was very much like killing 2 birds with one stone.
I started by taking my pop-up design and turning it into a base, then I printed it out, placed a sheet of cartridge paper over it with a light box under both of them and started drawing out a design within and around the guidelines.
I went for the properly saturated scan as it brought out the most contrast within the piece and I felt gave it most “life”. The process of preparing the file was very similar to what it was for screenprinting, all I really had to do was open the scanned image in photoshop and extract different channels, pick out the ones I felt best worked for translating the image, decided on a colour for each layer and put it up for print using the risograph printer in the printmaking studios.
As it was just an experiment, I thought I’d go for more classic colours and made the print using the fluorescent pink and blue inks. I felt as though it made the composition rather blurry so the addition of a third colour was a must. Arthur suggested using either black or red, I decided to go for the red ink as I am not a fan of using pure black in non-black-and-white pieces.
I feel as though the result is a bit chaotic and all over the place, but it’s bound to happen when you’ve never done anything using the medium before. Another thing that could have played a major role in this is the composition itself as well as the style in which I did the piece. Mayhaps doing a block colour piece would’ve been a better shout. But in the end, I do not regret any of this as the print itself turned out good, it’s just the colour choice that I would change could I go back and redo it.
As a last ditch effort, I went down to the digital print studio and printed out the piece as I had intended on having it look, I might give printing this out a try again once campus is back open after the winter break!