Before New Grim: #2- No longer here but still here

01000001 01110100 01101111 01101101 Assembled, destroyed, re-assembled and back again. Neither here nor gone but nowhere. Consciously connected to a billion minds as it’s creators link it to the minds of many, feeding it with the thoughts, feelings and knowledge to live. But it’s neither alive nor dead for it has no heart and soul like mortal man, so too does it lack humanity.

The clock strikes twelve at midnight when the new year arrives ////(Y2K)////, and the world will be changed forever…….

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FMP project evaluation

FMP final piece evaluation

For my FMP work I’ve Chosen the subject of the Kray Twins relating to the projects theme of Tribe. I’ve chosen my project theme on the Kray’s, because of how gangs in Britain were in their own way a tribe of people, following the boss/ head of the gang as leader of their group.

The Krays are a unique example of their tribe, the Firm, being successful in its expansion as a criminal empire that gained both a reputation for fame and infamy in British culture. Their story is not a black and white narrative, for their history tells us a much more grey story for how the krays became what they are.

I wanted present my own perspective of the Kray’s (using factual evidence from media and books) in acrylic paintings/ digital art in A3 card frame prints that capture both the rise and fall of their criminal days. I felt that I needed to push myself to try something out of my comfort zone, so rather than doing just one print out of my work, I would do two to make this final project more challenging.

My strengths and weaknesses throughout the project

Whilst I did find it difficult at first, my proposal writing gradually got better with each draft as I refined it. I did well with planning and laying out what my plans are for the project, as I can think of ideas and translate it into planning. However, my weakness is with my grammar and wording, the former being not a severe issue (but has been a constant issue), and the latter being difficult to use the right words for the right terms. For example, I use ‘Mediums’ to describe more than one, however, it’s actually ‘Media’.

My mind maps were very straight forward with only minor changes later on in the project, but likewise it was an area that I had no problems with. I will say that my weakness in my mind map work is grammar, as I tend to make mistake when writing around the mind map.

My mood board came pretty late into the project, as o tend to do primary/ secondary work first, then do a mood board with subjects relating to my choices that I’ve made. Whilst this can be a good as it gives me a narrow and easier time to collect relevant pictures, it’s also a problem as I had to take time to collect my own artist research.

My primary source work was my strongest area when doing this project, as I do well with information gathering and finding artists, subjects and media resources. I found this area to be most enjoyable as I like to explore artist work and research into subjects that relate to my chosen theme. My faults would be when it took too long to nail down the project subject, as I’d taken longer to experiment and discover subjects.

As for secondary source work, that was difficult as I didn’t go to the Berlin trip, so I had to find anything relatable to my subject theme that can fit into the Kray Twins era. Since I couldn’t go to East End London due to travel and time, I had to make do with places that can fit the era. My practical work however was an improvement, as my photography at Caistor was helpful going forwards in the project.

My photography work at Caistor was an opportunity to test out the characteristics of photography, learning its functions and photo presentation options available. I found the process to be refreshing change from drawing, as I’ve never utilised my photography skill before until this project. I could do better with planning, as my photography was 50/50 for options to use into my work, more locations would have opens more avenues to experiment.

Experimenting work was an interesting experience when testing out filters, acrylic paint, photography and digital art. I’ve learnt a lot of new skills such as Freehand selection tool on Procreate app, tonal painting (using one colour) and photo editing. My strengths were trying out new options, as with digital art/ photography, I had more time to create many experiment pieces to refine and judge through the progress. Although I would have tried to do A3 thick card prints at this time, as later on in the project I had issues with print quality from file transfer on Procreate.

Thanks to my sample work being very broad in outcomes and medium testing, my development work was vastly more refined compared to my Heritage project last year. My use in acrylics was more fluent in producing more human like faces and proportions. It was also a great opportunity to really go freehanded in drawing the Krays (using photos of the Krays as visual reference). I liked the conceptual outcomes that I’ve produced, as I really pushed myself to produce more mature paintings (something that’s not in my usual comfort zone as fiction is usually my preferred subject for art).

My digital art skills came into great use when problem solving my concept artworks, as it improved any visual flaws in colour consistency, reforming shapes and adding touch ups to add more details and texture. I’ve also found ways around getting better printing by using the picture file to print, rather than using Word document for better quality A3 prints.

For my final piece prep, I had trouble at first on what to create as my final pieces, as my drawings lacked the same depth and visual design as my concept developments. So I chose to use one concept development as my first piece (a portrait of the Krays), and a new painting as my second and last piece. I did several test outcomes from digital art to see where I would like to take my work going forward. I think I could have better planned my imagery in the prep work as I felt I lacked an overall plan on my imagery.

For my final design work, I had more success at my digital editing now that I have built up a lot of experience for the past few months. I found my strengths at digital work had really enhanced my work to look more realistic with atmosphere. My decision to get rid of the flames in final piece #2 was a good choice, because the imagery looks a lot more mysterious and limbo in its presentation with half the picture shrouded in darkness. My only weakness would be that I was skeptical about gloss printing, as my worry if that the file will print the same as my A3 card versions, in terms of pixelation of the picture being the same.

My overall thoughts on the final piece project

My work had a quite a few successful outcomes including printing my A3 work, painting acrylic more refined and improved on past flaws and discovering new solutions by going out of my comfort zone. However, one of my biggest success would be combing acrylic art, photography and digital art into one, as my media choices resulted in two very unique pieces of artwork. I found that combing both traditional and modern media has not only been a gamble of trying something new, but also a new avenue to express art using old and new tools.

My final pieces has impressed me with the amount of time and effort I have spent building up my work towards this point in the course. I took a huge gamble with this project as I wanted to move away from 3D media and traditional Acrylic canvas painting. I feel that this gamble had been worth going for, as my works have pushed me interests into more gritty realistic subjects.

The materials I’ve used for the final piece were just right to express more darker imagery, acrylic and Procreate app can be combined to create more visual interest for the audiences eyes. The media were suitable to produce imagery that require more complexity such as smoke effects, lighting, tonal change and filter editing.

I think my work meets my project requirements, because I’ve tried to cover as many areas possible with this FMP work. My solution was to cover the seven key areas when it comes to project work; annotation, evidence/sources, evaluation, practical work, development, Outcome and context. These areas are always on my mind when I do my work each day, so that I can cover requirements naturally without back tracking too much.

If I could do more if I was offered to further the project, I would have done more printing work with gloss printing as I lacked time and experience to try it out. I think my original goals of just an A3 print was a good goal, but taking it further into gloss print would really create huge impact on my presentation for my FMP. I could also improve on my drawing skills, as at times, I was limited for time to produce more accurately drawn pictures of the Krays. If extended for time, I could draw more accurate portraits that can be more recognisable to my target audience.