B. Choices / Autonomy and Filters. "Pure": Concept.

Location: Red Brick Vintage, Liverpool. Manifesto: Silk screen printing. Book. Hand drawn illustration.

I visited Red Brick Vintage in Liverpool’’s Baltic Triangle, a building which holds an intense array of unusual finds where I discovered a set of five drinking glasses, each having a small animal character painted on them. Attracted to the colourful and playful nature of these objects, they felt to me that they have their own personality with the family of clothed animals partaking in various activities. I also found myself choosing these objects because I felt I could base my narrative on the use of the glasses. They feel fun, something a child would drink from or used at a birthday party. As I love to introduce the human element into my work these drinking glasses would allow me to explore this theme in my narrative.

To help initiate potential ideas, I came up with a manifesto of creating a book to the size of A4 (printed on A3 and then folded) which would be silk screen printed. By doing this I have already eliminated other means of media and sizes, also using the silk screen printing process would limit colour and amount of detail I can introduce into the illustrations. This puts me out of my comfort zone and challenges my practice as I traditionally use gouache paint and fine brushes for almost all of my work.

Ideas were accumulating for the narrative based on the drinking glasses. I considered creating five different stories which would feature each character and the basis of the story would reflect the activity the animal had been illustrated doing, such as the dog playing a musical instrument. The thought of using the glasses in use felt more attractive to me, I wanted to form a story people could relate to. Like going to the shop because you fancy a glass of pure orange juice, but make the event feel magical, much like the characters on the drinking glasses who are real animals but at the same time they are grossly exaggerated and unrealistic. As I work in a supermarket part-time, the aisles of products neatly dressed in the store is undoubtly in my mind much more than the average person who does not work in a supermarket and doesn’t think much of it, I had the desire to bring my part-time work and my illustrative work together and create something honest but amplified.

My intentions were initially three colours to use for silkscreen printing but I found after experimenting with the composition and colours, increasing the limit to five would be challenging but result in a stronger body of work as more detail could be introduced in the story. With all projects, I start with a mind map and connect words to the theme of the project, starting with ‘glass’ as its the material my objects are made from.

Starting to come away from drawing the actual glass, I began to illustration how it would be used, which would be a mouth, and started to draw a gross and exaggerated mouth with a tongue. I fancied the idea of using just a mouth with no other parts of the face being introduced, as I felt this puts our focus on the sense of taste.

The narrative was formed using hand drawn illustration, each element has been drawn individually and scanned into Photoshop to be arranged which was very time consuming and difficult. Especially as silkscreen printing demanded each colour to be a layer, I figured out my rough colour choice digitally.

© 2020 Gabriella Hernandez