Old School

February 2, 2011

Joined Glasgow based (I think) social network Central Station today under the advice of Kate my tutor. It’s a creative arts thingymajig for all sorts of hip networking and event details so to get the ball rolling I decided to post a couple of collages I’d done for a past brief featuring Rothesay Academy, the school where I learned amongst many other things that I hate Home Economics. Anyway, thought I’d post them here as I’m pretty sure I haven’t already. Hope you like.


Ten Fave Projections on the Wall from 2010

January 25, 2011

It’s been a busy Christmas, New Year – spent nicely at Rothesay with my folks and Crieff with Rowan’s folks – and now back at college and work, trying to meet brief deadlines, sort out my finances, not to mention discovering Fallout 3 on the damn XBox (big mistake for the time-hungry)…all of these things have conspired against me penning a punctual top ten of my favourite trips to the Cineworld on Glasgow Renfrew Street of last year. Cue 90’s Top of the Pops music…

10. The Other Guys

Will Ferrel’s Gator creation brought this film from really rather good to a bit of a classic. Really. You don’t see it coming.

9. The Kids Are All Right

Trendy and smug Californian gay parents (Annette Benning and Julianne Moore) discover trendy smug Californian restaurateur Mark Ruffalo has every right to be jealous of their homelife. I still think about the great characters in this one. Good soundtrack too.

8. Another Year

Another likeable but suspiciously smug couple made of the ever brilliant Jim Broadbent who was fab in Channel 4’s Any Human Heart not that you watched it probably as nearly everybody I know didn’t and Ruth Sheen growing old elegantly while their loopy friend Mary (the showstealing Leslie Manville) unravels like a ball of sparkly yarn. I found this was like being given a window into a

7. The Illusionist

6. A Single Man

After seeing this with Rowan and my mate Paul we left the cinema and he said without a hint of irony – It wasn’t as stylish as I expected it to be.

5. 4 Lions

The master (Chris Morris) proved he hadn’t lost his touch with this. Could be seen again and again and again and you’d still keep catching legendary lines…

‘Fuck mini babybel!’

4. Inception

More than a few of my friends HATED this and on reflection I can see why with its portentous plot and frankly bizarre concept of special agents infiltrating the dreams of the rich and powerful. Thing is, I actually love bizarre concepts like that – I felt like I’d been sucker punched when I left the cinema. Eye boggling visuals and a brain melting soundtrack by Hans Zimmerman (based around the plot-integral Piaf rendition of Rien de Rien). I even went to see it again the week after.

3. Winters Bone

A total surprise this was like stepping into another world, a young carer in a ditchwater town in the US has to hunt down her wayward father to prevent the family home being repossessed. Stylishly low-key with a great cast of characters it ran like classic greek fable but despite the rural setting is defiantly contemporary in these austere times.

2. Monsters

Just released last month it’s The Motorcycle Diaries meets Cloverfield meets Before Sunrise meets something I really really like.

1. Bad Lieutenant

Best film of the year by a long, looong shot.

What else can I say? Oh yes…”His SOUL is still DANCING!”


Happy new…yeah!

January 10, 2011

Architectural photography first thing. Such a pleasant way to start an otherwise dour monday morning, wondering around the city snapping on an SLR – apologies any lonely office working drones but I think I’ve earned it – so I thought I’d share a few of the ones that came out OK. Click on the pics for a bigger image. Kudos if you can name the buildings and/or locations in the city…


Git yer jaicket oan

November 30, 2010

Just finished my last brief. Had to design two book jackets employing styles researched on fifties designers. An abstract design for an academic book range for the publisher Routledge. Here’s the first one, a treatise on ‘Practising Responsible Tourism’ – possibly the most joyless title on holidays ever devised…:

For some reason – possibly because of ubiquitous EasyJet ads – I felt that orange worked well for travel, also, I love the black/white/orange palette.

The second was a design for an tome on Architecture. I’m not sure if it’s a real book by a real author (I doubt it) but I figured it would be fun to imagine he was notable enough in his chosen academic field to warrant his name being bigger than the title.

I suppose this was a counter to the warm tone of the previous one.


Shot down in flames…

November 8, 2010

After submitting our work (see last entry) we were asked to choose a piece to display on the wall. Then, our group filed next door to inspect the other class’s work.

As you might imagine we were fairly critical and occasionally heaped praise on something. Once we had demolished each individual work – “too colourful”, “not small enough”, “why no capitals?” etc – we shuffled back to our domain to see if the other class had been just as savage.

I have to be honest and say I was pretty confident, sure my unique vision would dazzle. Wrong.

Post-it notes had been applied to each piece with a summary of the other group’s crit and I was pretty horrified to read on mine the pithy legend “Not a Poster”.

Later I was told by a classmate my face was a picture but after the initial shock I began to accept it more gracefully, there wasn’t a definite focal point to the work and – apparently – it was an idea that a few of the other students had considered (but not employed funnily enough) so in thought at least, it wasn’t original. Still, I though “Not a Poster” was about as harsh a criticism as could be given considering the brief so I was a bit disheartened.

So the next day as they were being removed from the wall by the course leader john Baird he brought mine over and said ‘”Not a poster” Robert? Limited. Only a limited imagination would say that.’

He then went on to say that we weren’t expected to be simply creating work that “looked like” professional work and that thinking for ourselves was the most important thing.

Like I say, I did take the crit on board, the last thing I want to do is attempt to please everyone but maybe’ll endeavour to make my future stuff slightly more immediate.

Nevertheless, it was pretty vindicating to hear that from John.


To Have and Have Not*

November 1, 2010

Finished last week’s brief. In the end our tutors decided three posters was asking a bit much so we were only required to do two which was fine by me; I would have struggled a bit to come up with the goods as I’ve started a part time job two days a week.

Here’s the poster I created based on quotes from To Have and Have Not:

Not sure if it needs much explanation; nevertheless… it was created on a large rectangle of cardboard with sheets from a reporters notepad glued on. I wrote the text with a fancy felt tip pen I splashed out on from the Art Store on Union street, utilising my 10% student discount netting a saving of 33p (not to be sniffed at by any means, got me a curly wurly). It was scanned in at 300DPI on an A3 scanner then the file downloaded on to Photoshop where I adjusted the colour levels ever so slightly. The text was then overlayed with Adobe Illustrator using the ‘Stencil’ font for the logo and ‘Georgia’ for the description. ‘Haettenschweiler’ was used for the GFT bit.

I’m happy with the result, though if I were to do it again, I wouldn’t use real notepad pages as the ink bleeds through too quickly so the finish was always a bit scrappy – I wrote pages and pages of text before I resigned myself to what I’d decided were the best. Instead, I’d find a higher quality paper – slightly glossy – and draw on the lines myself with an extra fine pen and fashion the torn paper holes with a craft knife, then write the dialogue on top with the felt tip.

*Although many litres of coffee were consumed during the making of this project the mug rings aren’t real. They were a special high res brush for Photoshop I downloaded – thanks to Will for that one.


Brief on Brief

October 18, 2010

I’ve only been on my course at the Glasgow Met for a short time but really it just gets better every day. New brief in a nutshell: design an A3 film poster for the GFT using only a small selection of text quoted from a classic film.

I’ve to choose three from the following:

On the Waterfront (1954)

To Have and to Have Not ( 1944)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

She Done Him Wrong (1933)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Now, Voyager (1942)

Brief Encounter (1945)

Shamefully, I haven’t seen…uhm…any of them!

From the audio samples we’ve been given along with transcripts of the chosen snippets ‘On the Waterfront’, ‘Bringing up Baby’ and ‘Brief Encounter’ stand out the most. If I can find a cheap way ie free of watching the the above that would help dearly. Not youtube, dodgy wifi connection at home and I need a half decent picture.

Incidentally, The Guardian on Saturday voted – from their assembled team of experts, natch – Brief Encounter the greatest romantic movie of all time so I have even more impetus to see the damn thing.

From the list I would probably choose Lost in Translation as number one. I prefer films I’ve seen to ones I haven’t. It’s a classic example of those films you either love or hate. I can see why you wouldn’t be swept away with the whole thing – some folk cite the lazy Japanese stereotypes and the fact that nothing much really happens but if you can get past that it’s a sombre, beautiful, funny and dreamlike experience, really made for the cinema or at least a giant high-def telly with several carefully placed speakers.

John wonders how he got from Frankfurt to Tokyo.

The elongated sequence in the middle where Bill Murray and what’s-her-face explore night time Tokyo is sublime in a way that I really can’t do justice in words – it has to be seen. If only for Murray’s bittersweet and slightly sloshed Roxy Music karaoke turn.

BTW if anyone knows what those weird electric blue laser pellet guns which are fired at the pair after they outstay their welcome at a latenight establishment are please let me know. It’s now been bugging me for years.