Monday, November 8, 2010

Yes, I am doing art. And here it is.

Okay so here it is. The monthly post where I show all of you that I have been doing things other than going out and going to galleries and drinking and seeing gigs etc.

This is gonna be a long one so go away if you don't like that.

Btdubs I'm periodically going to post some photos I've been taking around London as well...

First I thought I'd post a few scans from the Metro Remix project I had last month since all I really showed was a general overview of the whole project. Overall I'm happy with the idea and how some of the images came out, but I want to work with them on Photoshop and see what I can come up with.

Next up is a class project we did shortly after a posted the last art entry. 

Over lunch my tutor told us to write "IS WRONG" at the bottom of a page in our sketchbooks. Over the break we were to somehow finish this statement.

When we got back, sitting on the tables were poster board, x-acto knives (scalpels as they call them here) and printing ink. Within an hour we were to stencil out and print our phrase onto one of the boards.

Mine was...

After the hour was up we all marched along the streets of London with our signs held proudly in front of us until we got to the Imperial War Museum where we were greeted by people who wanted to take pictures with us. It "made their day."

Finally we were told to go in front of the museum and scream as loud as we could the phrase on our poster.

The entire thing was pretty empowering. The point was that no matter who you are, no matter what language you speak or what background you come from, people respond to images. And sometimes it takes something as simple as black ink on a white board to get people to think differently.

Next up was a trip to Southend on Sea, the nearest beach to London. We were assigned a typography project where we had to draw the entire alphabet, and numbers 0-9 as well as an exclamation point and a question mark from the signs and arcades that surrounded us.

The whole thing was a pretty interesting experience. So many typefaces...

And this was all to help us with the major project assignment of the month...

Random page out of my lecture notebook.

So I was talking to my mum the other night and told her how I was working on and editing my project. She seemed a bit confused. She told me she had heard of editing in writing but never in art. I told her that pretty much any form of art whether it be writing, painting, graphic design, music etc. involves editing. So she wanted me to explain how that works in my next post so I'm gonna try with some pictures out of my sketchbook.

Our brief was called "Medium Is The Message" and involved us creating an alphabet and a message with the alphabet. But the typeface that we created had to be made using a medium that reflected the message we were trying to get across.

As soon as we got the brief I looked down at my friend's hands and saw her chipped nail polish. Idea.

Started out by writing quotes I could use, figuring out what the meaning behind nail polish was. Why do people where it? What are they trying to hide? What makes them pick it off?

I began delving into the ideas of Vanity vs Anxiety. How anxiety causes one to be vain in certain ways and vice versa. Looked up symptoms, reasons for biting nails....

So this is where I began thinking of some way to translate this idea into my typeface. Ideas of nail polish, bitting nails, nail clippings and other things came to mind... So the first typeface I did consisted of my own nail clippings. Gross, but interesting.

The quote I began playing around with was "Now is the Age of Anxiety."

Although the nail clippings were interesting I decided they weren't as effective or interesting as I'd like. So the nail painting and chipping began...

I did all this and had a talk with my tutor. After some editing, figured out that I just really needed to hone in on what I was trying to say. I came across a quote about Vanity that intrigued me from the beginning. "Vanity is the quicksand of reason." So I got tons of fake nails, painted and stenciled them on, and photographed them in a flat copy room with my friend. And the final pieces were born!


So there you have it! Hopefully that gives you a bit of insight in the process and stuffs. And it wasn't too tedious or something.

The other project we had to do was called "Cabinet of Curiosities." The whole project centered around what you're curious about and somehow translating that. Our tutor decided to take our group in a direction of making some sort of toy. We visited the Museum of Childhood and looked and sketched tons of toys, saw what made them work... I was fascinated by the Victorian toys so I decided to go that route.

The next image is for Megan, because she's been doing lots of lists on her blog (HERE!) and I did this one and thought it'd go well with what she's been up to!

Anyways I wanted to do something concerning silhouettes and pop outs, and through those show subtle hints of my curiosities.  

Below is a lino print I did of a couple silhouettes I was playing around with...

And below is the final piece! It's a bit difficult to see in photos because it's on really glossy black paper. But basically it's two men having some sort of connection, with trees surrounding them. Inside the window is a skyline, referencing that something that felt so far away to me is now so close. Outside the window lies a cloud, referencing freedom and all that cheesy stuff. I also wanted to juxtapose the old with the new, as that's something I love anyway. So there's an old fashioned chandelier, a modern skyline, timeless forest shapes... Stuff like that. Not too deep but I just thought it was a simple way of showing a bit of what makes me curious. 

And that's it!! Hope you enjoyed that. It was a ridiculously long post but I had to catch up. Please comment!!! 

Love you all,


P.S. Still waiting on post its from pretty much all of you. Let's get a move on.


  1. The way the Anxiety thing came out was freaking magnificent.

  2. Wow, Liam! I am so fascinated by all your artwork that you have posted on your blog. The imagery is thought-provoking and very interesting. Its so wonderful and inspiring to see the design processes you are learning and how your self-expression is continually evolving and developing. Your artwork is beautiful! I always enjoy seeing your blog updates! Your last two pieces remind me of Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde's writing. Amazing work!! :-)

  3. Thank you Courtney!!! That seriously means a lot. Great great compliments. Can't thank you enough!

  4. Gadzooks Liam. Seriously.

    I have been looking at this post for a looong time! And clicking on every pic to see it larger. Before I get into any detail, I first have to echo Jimmy: FREAKING. MAGNIFICENT.

    I love anything to do with typography, so your first project had my attention from the beginning. I absolutely LOVED reading about your process of figuring everything out, from what you were going to do, and your research, and the road you took in creating your final product. It was simply amazing to see how everything evolved. Your 'quote of fingernails' as I will nickname it, is OUTSTANDING! It truly couldn't have turned out better - and to know all the thought and work you put into it, made viewing the final creation even sweeter. How exciting to see it from conception to finality! And seriously Liam, if you don't turn your 'quote of fingernails' into a huge poster to hang it will be a shame! That's a bona fide piece of genius artwork that needs to be seen :)

    So there's that.

    I loved the 'Cabinet of Curiosities' idea. And just as a side note, I hope you took a ton of photos of the Museum of Childhood or I may have to hurt you. Anyway, I TOTALLY LOVED YOUR LIST!!!!!! Things you're curious about - what a great idea for a list, not to mention to get your project started! Thank you for the mention - what a fun surprise, and how thoughtful of you too :) AWESOME things on your list. I bet you'll be able to use it as a launch for future projects as well. Your final product turned out GREAT. How did you decide to do it 3D? How did you get all the layers cut? I of course liked the idea of combining old with new, as that's something I like to do as well. And I thought your reference of the skyline as *inside* the window and the reasons why, was very subtle but of interest and well done. All together, VERY NICE JOB LIAM :)

    So there's that too.

    I'm so glad you're having such an AMAZING time. I'm so proud of you :)

    Sending lot of love xoxoxo

  5. MEGAN!!

    Jeez!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Seriously I can't say it enough. My critique is today so if all goes well and my tutor likes it enough I'm definitely getting it professionally printed quite big. I can't wait!!

    And thank you again!! And actually I didn't take any photos just cause I was drawing the whole time :/. Soooorrryy!!! And glad you liked the list!! I made it and thought I'd pop it in there for you haha. And basically I made different layers out of this sturdy black glossy paper, and then glued them together with folded paper in between each layer to create the 3D effect.

    Your comments mean so much to me!! Can't wait to see you all next month!!


  6. Just had a quick rush through and first impressions are v. cool... but have to rush off & will be away for a couple of days so a more considered response when I get back.

  7. Liam WOW! You are truly talented. And I mean that completely sincerely. I absolutely love your "Vanity" piece. Such an innovative idea resulting in a stunning piece of art.

    Look forward to next month's post :D

  8. Incredible post Liam! I am overwhelmed and will probably have to study this for a week to really get all of it! WOW! Where do I begin? Here is my list of curiosities that I found interesting in your post:

    1. An absence of Passion is WRONG {LOVE it!}
    2. Nail idea {genius!}
    3. Red nails in the middle {RED HOT!}
    4. Drawings and Art in between {Raw Talent}
    5. Museum of Childhood {A FAVORITE of mine!}
    6. Your "curious" list {detailed-I need one!}
    7. Silhouettes & Popouts {Perfect-I collect!}

    Thanks for sharing your views of Art school with me. You area unique talent that I enjoy following. Maybe I won't follow you in silence anymore.

  9. Maggie - Thank you!!

    Wendy - I'm so happy you enjoyed everything so much!!! It really means a lot and thanks for following, I'll try and deliver hahaha. Thank you!!!

  10. Liam-

    I know you don't know me, and I feel like a really friendly "stalker" right now, but I have to say... just loved the finger nail art! That's so creative! Absolutely fab!

    Good work.

    P.S- I'm Danny's bestie from college, and I found your blog through Megan's. Hope you don't mind my stalking ;-).

  11. I think what you're doing is fascinating and it's really interesting to watch the process as you go along. I think it's so brave of you to try these things and then have to offer them up to God (ie: your tutor) for Final Judgement. Scary stuff indeed. I've done it with my writing and it made me sweat buckets. But you are doing it and I am proud of you.

    The nail thing is really interesting and the quote 'Vanity is the quicksand of reason', I think is REALLY the kicker here for what you are trying to say. As soon as we all begin to think about vanity, our reason goes to hell in a hand basket. And the thought of painting one's nails, covering them up, making them shiny and beautiful to hide what they really look like sums this up perfectly so I think you hit the (finger) nail on the head. (sorry.)
    I love the silhouettes and the three dimensional setting. As well as all the juxtaposition. It's my favorite of what you've done so far and after talking to you today I am even more excited for what is to happen with it. It's funny but in the second picture where you are showing the silhouettes at an angle--it doesn't look like the two men anymore, it looks like a man sitting down to a grand piano. Elise saw it too after I pointed it out to her. Not that it means anything but I thought it looked very cool. :)
    Keep up the good work. I'm very proud of you. xxx

  12. Alissa - I take that as a deep compliment that you came over here and liked it enough to comment!!! If it makes you feel any better I definitely know of you and have seen you post stuff before on Megan's blog. So you're not a TOTAL stalker ;) Again thank you so much!!

    Mom - Thank you soo much. It is really difficult to offer something so personal up for judgment but I feel when it's receive well it is one of the best feelings you can have. And yeah about the quote, my tutor was saying that he didn't know if that was the right quote but I still really like it. So I might talk to him more about it. And I'm glad you like the silhouettes so much! I definitely see the piano thing as well haha. We'll see what happens to it in the next month! Thanks again xx