Thursday, 11 October 2012

Space & Environment: Online Green Light Review

Spaces and Environment: Green Light Review


  1. OGR 11/10/2012

    Evening George,

    Okay - one of the jobs of the OGR is to signal to students if their creative output is in-step with course expectations. The good news is that I think your thumbnail of the interior of Hill House has potential, but the less positive message is that I don't think you're doing enough work, or thinking hard enough, or pushing yourself creatively. I suspect that you're not too fussed about your choice of book and some of your apparent inactivity and lack of get-up and go is a result of this. That said, one of the first skillsets we seek to impart to new students is the necessary professionalism to respond creatively to project briefs, even when they're not quite what you're used to or reflect your existing strengths.

    Conceptually, I think you maybe missing the point of a) your role as a concept artist for an animated film and b) of the book itself. Hill House isn't just bricks and mortar; it's a psychological mind-f**k; it's lopsided and crooked, distorted and sly. An element of this is apparent in your thumbnail of the stairs, but I do find it odd that you should choose to depict some trees and a corner of the house as the second of your concept art paintings. I'm really not convinced that, when you've got a subject as enticing and gothic as Hill House, that you'd be paid to design and depict the trees! I'm wondering if you're a little unsure about tackling those interiors more boldly - the blue room. I'm going to strongly encourage you to 'feel the fear and do it anyway. Remember - you are NOT just creating painted illustrations of moments in this book - your essentially designing the concept art for a digital set.

    Your thumbnail of Hill House itself tells me that you need to go back to basics again in terms of real world research. It's clear you haven't really looked at actual Victorian houses, or if you have, you haven't yet got that understanding into your drawings. I wonder if you're aware how 'cheerful' and whimsical your Hill House looks in that thumbnail - more happy mushroom than glowering hell hole... I noticed that many of your thumbnails are actually of 'things' - tables etc. I suggest you spend more time trying to work out some of the bigger issues - composition of shots, for example.

    Okay - so you really need to get to grips with this book - with the idea that this house and its interiors are psychological spaces, and that your principle job is to make the viewer of these images FEEL the evil and the disturbance described in the novel. If you haven't done so already, I suggest you look again at Dr Caligari (for obvious reasons), but also at the sort of mark making, line work and shapes characterising expressionism more generally, so:

    Edward Munch:

    Egon Schiele


    The point I'm seeking to make is that you need to be a bit more creative, a bit more explorative about how you might depict a house that is describe as fragmented, distorted and odd. You need to combine real world reference with a bit of expressionistic flair - and you need to be bold and take risks (and maybe stop drawing safe little thumbnails of antique tables!). George - you've got an EVIL HOUSE with a LUNATIC INTERIOR! Come on, let's see a bit of originality and invention!

  2. Unfortunately, your OGR suffers from lots of spelling errors and typos (Robot Wise instead of Robert Wise is just one of them!). You've got capitalisation errors ('The Haunting' refered to as 'The haunting') and more generally your OGR is, well, honestly put, a bit scruffy. Remember what I said on your first day: quality control, George. Employers want graduates who can spell and know their grammar, and it maybe that the written word isn't one of your existing strengths, but if it goes on this blog, and it's got your name on it, can I remind you just to take an extra few minutes to proof read - or get someone to proof read for you. Don't let people judge you or make snap decisions about your potential because of your written communication. It does matter - more than you think.

    So - I want to get a much greater sense from you that you are actively seeking to produce the very best work of which you're currently capable - and I don't think what I'm seeing at this half-way stage comes close to confirming your potential. You've got a little over 2 weeks to 'be amazing' - first rule of CG Arts! :)