The Critique On Our Summer Work Has Given Me The Chance To Talk Through My Ideas In My Previous Blog With Other Students At Camberwell And Also Allowed Them The Chance To Give Me Some Feedback On My Work Without Knowing Anything About My Concept.
One Of My Topics Is Studying The Significance Of Who You Are Drawing And Whether Drawing A Celebrity Makes That Much Of A Difference To The Final Finished Piece. Once I Had Told The Group A Little About My Concept & I Had Explained That The Portrait On The Left Is Of A Celebrity They Told Me That They Then Assumed The Portrait On The Right Was Also Famous, But The Viewer Doesn’t Know Of Them. I Found This Interesting Because Even Though The Portrait On The Left Is A Celebrity No One In The Group Recognized Him, Which Brings Me Back To My Argument Of “How Would You Class Someone As A Celebrity?” If Someone Doesn’t Recognize Them To Be A Celebrity Then They Become As Normal As Any Other Portrait Drawn.
DISCUSSIONS HAD WERE:
“The Difference In The Way They Are Drawn Gives The Impression That The One On The Right Is More Of A Celebrity Because You Don’t Need So Much Detail To Be Able To Tell Who It Is, Where As The One On The Left You’ve Paid An Extra Attention To Because They’re Not As Well Known And You Haven’t Seen Them Before.”
“The One On The Right Looks Almost Like An Advert And Looks More Like An ‘Ideal’ Than Just An Every Day Person Due To The Style It Was Drawn In.”
“Hollywood Films Always Have A Selling Point, A Famous Star In The Leading Role. Where European Films Don’t See That As An Important Aspect And It’s More About The Story Line…Need To Find The Essence Of Which My Portraits Relate To. “
“Précis Scale Wise, Almost Real Size – Why Are They So Close To Life Size?”
“Draw A Portrait Without Actually Showing The Face”
“Drawing People From Different Professions And Explore Different Styles, Do Exercises And Practices To Give Slight Lines To Capture Elements Of A Persons Likeness. Try A New Exercise With Every New Drawing.”
“Draw Someone You Hate.”
“Focus On Detail And Celebrity Themes And The Effect They Have On Each Other.”
QUESTIONS I’M GOING TO LOOK INTO NEXT:
How Do You Decide Who You’re Going To Draw & What Impact Does Your Choice Have On The Finished Piece?
Think About When The Piece Is “Finished”
Looking At How I Can Show The Difference Between A Celebrity And An Everyday Person. (A Celebrity Has A Finished Piece With Less Detail & The Every Day Person Has A Detailed Finish)
It’s Been A While Since My Last Update, In Fact The Whole Summer Has Gone By And Lots Of Things Have Changed In My Life That Has Meant My Mind Has Been All Over The Place Both Creatively & In Every Day Life.
I Have Found, Just As You Get Used To One Way Of Living You Move House …Relationships Change, You Meet New People, You leave Others Behind & You’re Forced Into Situations You Don’t Particularly Want To Be A Part Of (no matter how big or small, this will happen to all of us, daily).
Then, All Of A Sudden, You Find ALL Of Your Priorities Have Completely Changed, Non Of Which Were Ever A Part Of Your Original Plan & You’re Left Trying To Remember Where It Was That You Wanted To Be In The First Place To See If That’s Even Possible In Your New Circumstances.
When They Said ‘Life Isn’t Easy” They Weren’t Wrong.
However, I Have Recently Come To Realise That
YOU ARE ALONE Even If You’re In A Room/A House/A Shopping Centre/On The Underground Or In Art Gallery That Is Full Of People.
I Know This Sounds Like A Terribly Depressing Way Of Looking At Life, But Creatively It’s The Freest You Can Be, Allowing Your Thoughts And Your Reason To Run Wild And Giving You Focus On Your Work And The Things Most Important To You. A Successful Way To Delete All That Pointless Worry, That In The End Is Only Ever Taken Advantage Of.
The Freedom Has Given Me Chance To Work On My Own Self Improvement And My Own Plans For The Future. I Have Finally Had The Chance To Leave Some People Well Behind & Bring Others Much Closer. It’s Also Allowed Me Plenty Of Time To Ask Questions Of My Work, My Purpose In Studying Fine Art & To Come To Some Kind Of Understanding As To Why I Seemed To Be So Obsessed With Drawing Portraits Even Though I’m Far From A People Person.
This Blog Has First And Foremost Been About My Art Work, So That Is What I’m Going To Focus On In This Post; My First Post Relating To My Second Year Studying Fine Art: Drawing At Camberwell College Of Arts, University Of The Arts London.
I Had A Lot Of Trouble, In The Past, Understanding What My Love For Portraiture Was All About And Why I Do It. The Worst Part Of A Tutorial Is The Question “Why?”.
“Why Have You Done That?” “Why Are You Interested In That?” “Why Do You Think That’s Good?”…Why? I Don’t Know, But “Because I Do” Isn’t The Right Answer Apparently. So, I’ve Been Thinking…& Thinking & This Is What I’ve Come Up With, A Few Answers To All The Why’s & A Few Questions To Answers The Questions With….
I Have Spent A Few Afternoons Walking Around The BP Portrait Prize And The Jerwood Drawing Prize, Both Of Which Have Had Some Stunning Pieces In It, Which Leads Me To My First Thought:
WHAT’S THE POINT IN COPYING A PHOTOGRAPH TO MAKE A DRAWING THAT LOOKS LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPH?
Good Questions I Think. There Isn’t Much Point To It; It Shows Off Your Skill, Which Is Great, But To Me Practicing A Skill Is Something To Do In Private Not Something That You Show As A Final Finished Piece In An Exhibition, Right? (Unless, of course, there is something that you’re trying to prove through direct copying. If there is something you’re trying to prove…then what is it?)
If You’re Going To Draw A Photograph And The Finished Piece Looks Like A Photograph Then Why Don’t You Just Present The Photograph And Scrap The Drawing…? What’s So Special About This Drawing That The Photograph Is Now Irrelevant?
Thought Number Two Came As More Of A Want For A Challenge…
HOW LITTLE DETAIL CAN YOU PUT INTO A DRAWING? HOW MUCH DETAIL CAN YOU PUT INTO A DRAWING? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE/COMPARISON? IS THERE A LIKENESS PRESENT IN BOTH TECHNIQUES?
I’ve Recently Become Quite Interested In Getting A Drawing To Look Like Someone But Without Too Much Detail To It. How Much Work Do You Have To Put Into A Portrait For It To Still Capture A Likeness, But At The Same Time Isn’t A Copy Of A Photograph, But Is In Fact Still A Likeness?
Is It Still Possible To Draw A Portrait, Capture All The Detail And Get That ‘Realistic’ Look To It, But At The Same Time Does It Still Look Like A Drawing & Not A Photograph?
How Far Can You Push It?
What If It’s Not A Likeness, But To The Audience That Doesn’t Matter Because They Don’t Know The Person Or What They Looked Like So It’s A Likeness To Them, Even If It’s Not To You…?
All These Questions Have Been Developing Within My Mind Whilst I Was Drawing My Most Recent Piece. It’s Full Of Detail And I Tried To Get It As Close To The Photograph As Possible With A Pencil, I Spent Hours On The Piece (A Good 50 Hours) And I’m Still Not 100% Happy With It.
What Was Its Purpose? Why Did I Draw It? Was It A Cathartic Thing To Do? Does That Mean It’s Not Art? Does That Make It A Hobby & Not Work? IF I Come Up With A Reason, Deep & Dark And Completely Untrue And Put It Next To The Piece, Will That Then Make It A Piece Of Art Work Instead Of Just A Piece By Kate Brittain?
My Third Thought Was “HOW DO YOU CHEAT IN THE ART WORLD?”
I Can’t Deny It, I Love The Reward You Get After Spending Hours And Hours On A Drawing And The End Result Is Something You’re Proud Of. It’s Proof That All Your Hard Work And All The Hours You’ve Put In Over The Years Have Paid Off. So, How Can I Continue Practicing My Skills And Bring Some Kind Of Concept Into My Work.
THE USE OF MARK MAKING
In The Above Drawing Of Jared Leto I Used Mark Making As A Way Of Exploring The Way A Drawing Can Be Rendered, This Gave Me No Limit To The Amount Of Detail I Put Into The Final Drawing. It Allows The Piece To Still Have A Sense Of Realism To It But Giving It The Texture That Still Shows It’s A Drawing Allowing More Ways To View It Than Just As A Portrait.
My Final Thought Is Quite A Tricky One. WHO ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DRAW?
It doesn’t seem to matter who I draw, I get some form of criticism for my choice by someone, somewhere.
Drawing Your Family Gets A Mixture Of “Why Are You Looking Into The Past” And That Drawing Them Is A Rather Cathartic Thing To Do. Drawing The Boyfriend That’s Also Seen As A Cathartic Thing To Do Along With Drawing The Ex. Drawing Anyone Famous Apparently Looks All “Fan Girly”. Then There’s Your Friends Which Just Initiates The Response “Oh, Do You Have To?”. Drawing Yourself Screams “Egotistical” & Drawing Strangers Gets You Funny Looks If You’re Caught Drawing Them. As For An Image In Your Head, That Gets The Question “Where Did Your Inspiration Come From?”…Because Apparently You Can’t Just Dream Someone Up There Has To Be A Motive From Somewhere, Even If You Are Clueless To This Said Motive.
Basically, You Can’t Please Anyone With Whatever Choice You Make, There Always Seems To Be An Argument For Why You Shouldn’t Do It. So My Tactic Is To Have An Argument As For Why I Am Doing It, Although I Am Still Working On That Said Argument.
Something I Have Wondered Is, Why Should It Matter? If The Audience Doesn’t Know These People, They Won’t Know If It’s Just A Stranger Or A Boyfriend Or A Family Member, They Won’t Even Know If There’s A Good Likeness To The Person, So How Does It Matter Who You’ve Chosen, Surely The Only Choice That Should Matter Is If They’re Famous Or Not, As That Will Mean The Chances Of The Audience Recognizing The Person Are Far Higher, But What Is It To Me To Say Whether They Are Famous Or Not, Because Not All ‘Celebrities’ Are Known To Everyone And The Terms ‘Famous’ And ‘Celebrity’ Are So Loosely Thrown Around, That Someone On ‘Big Brother’ Can Be Classed As Being ‘Famous’ Without Having Put Much Into The World To Even Deserve The Title.
One Thing Leads To Another & All Of A Sudden You’re On A Different Argument.
So Obviously I’ve Had Way Too Much Time On My Hands To Be Asking Myself All These Questions Which, To Many Of You, Will Come Across As Being Rather Pointless. I’m Aware That In Many Ways It Sounds Like I Go Back On My Own Argument & No Clear Point Is Made, But These Are My Own Rambling Thoughts & My Own Questions That I’m Hoping To Answer Even Though Many Of These Questions Don’t Actually Come With A Correct Answer.
IAMX is the Solo Project Of Singer/Songwriter/SynthPlaying/Mixer/Producer/GuitarPlaying/VideoArtist/Performer CHRIS CORNER…
I Went To See Them Perform at The Electric Ballroom, Camden Last Night (Thursday 18th of April 2013) & It Was A Spectacular Show Of Music, Improvisation, Performance, Visuals & Costume, With Chris’ Voice Sounding Just As Strong Live As It Does On His Records. A Truly Wonderful Performance.
These Are A Few Photos From The Night, They Aren’t My Best Work, Admittedly, But Through All The Dry Ice & The Hectic Crowd, This Was The Best One Could Do, However I Do Rather Take To The Grainy Black & White Shots.
Buy “The Unified Field” At
Watch The Video For The Single “I Come With Knives”
one day, I’ll hopefully be one of the photographers at the front of the stage, with a nice big camera, working for a band, but … until then …
After Meeting The Beautiful COURTESANS Last Friday, This Week We Get To Learn A Little Bit More About The Man “Behind The Scenes”, How He First Got Involved With These Four Wonderful Ladies & His Views On The Current Music Scene.
Being The Only Guy, It Must Be A Tough Task Trying To Be Heard, So Lets All Have Read & See Things From His Prospective…
Everyone… Meet HOWARD TOSHMAN
How Did You First Get Involved In The Management Side Of The Music Industry?
Kind of fell into it really, I was managing a recording studio and writing music at the same time, so made a few connections through the studio, but then was offered a publishing deal with Polygram/Island so the first deal I negotiated was my own and I just winged it from there.
What Was The First Gig You Went To & The First Record You Bought?
The first gig I went to see was The Jam at The Rainbow, London in 1980 I think, I nearly died twice, initially outside escaping from a group of skinheads and then a friend thought it would be a good idea to get front row seats which we did, the seats lasted about two minutes into the first song, destroyed completely and considering the venue was previously used as a cinema they were heavy, metal constructions in rows covered in red velvet, blood everywhere, one guys ear hanging off and I lost a hush puppy!
The first record I bought was a year earlier, I was going through a Gay disco phase, I think it was Sylvester or something like that. My parents were confused at this point
How Did You First Come Across The Courtesans?
I was involved from the start, I had been working with Saffire a couple of years earlier on a some tracks, I met Sinead through another project I was working on and Agnes hmmm we had been close for years, finding Victoria was a bit of a search for the band as there are only about 17 female drummers in the UK!
In Managing The Band What Is The Most Stressful Moment You Have Encountered…?
Most stressful moment, you know what they say about women spending time together start becoming in tune periodically, well it’s true so there is always one rehearsal a month that’s a little bit more tense than others.
…And The Best Moment?
Honestly it’s great pretty much all the time, I love all of them and spending time with them, they are great people.
The Band Is Very Unique In The Way They Present Themselves, Both On Stage And In Their Photo Shoots, Do You Think This Adds To Their Charm As A Group?
Charm yes but I think it’s about being themselves, it makes a change from the way most pop music is gift wrapped in some plastic sexuality type wrapper with the public on the whole just accepting that as the norm, when you make a statement as a women it becomes so much more of an issue, erotica currently is either delivered to the public as young girls desperate for sex a la Babestation, or homogenised Burlesque, acceptable to the middle classes with balloon popping and waving feathers around with a quirky sense of humour added in but neither are erotic, the public actually deserve better and are certainly interested judging by the sales of 50 Shades of Grey.
What Are Your Future Hopes For The Band?
Future hopes… make some great records, increasingly larger and more spectacular live shows, get around the world and bringing something new to the table and continuing to enjoy each others company.
Do You Find It Hard To Organize Gigs For The Courtesans Because They’re Unsigned, Or Do You Think That The Audience For New, Up And Coming Music Is Just As Big As The Audience For Mainstream Music?
I feel signed or unsigned will eventually become a thing of the past, it’s always a slow build to get an act out there and known, with The Courtesans we really want to play venues that suit the vibe of the band.
You’ve Set Up A Pledge Music Site For The Band, That All The Members And Yourself Seem To Be Heavily Involved In, Could You Explain How That Works For Those That Don’t Know?
Ok, briefly, the band sets a budget for whatever activity they are working on, record album, make video etc. a fan can then pledge an amount starting with around £8 for the album download, once target is hit, the funds are debited from the fans account and the band get to work, so really it’s like an advance advance order on the bands work.
Do You Think Sites Like Pledge Music Might Effect How Musicians Go About Getting Record Deals Nowadays, Especially If It Cuts Out The Middleman Giving More Creative Freedom To The Artists?
Yes eventually there will not be much need for a record company, record companies essentially are loaning money to the band to make an album, which is kind of how Pledge works anyway, two things record companies supply 1) Money 2) An international network for promotion, that is on its way to being covered independently but we are not quite there yet!
HMV’s A Store That’s Been On Our High Streets For 90 Years And Is Under Threat Of Disappearing, How Do You Feel About This? Did You Hope To See The Courtesans’ New Album On HMV’s Racks On Its Release Date?
On one hand it’s a bit sad but inevitable, also record stores never really did justice to the artist in terms of profit, although saying that iTunes profit split could be a somewhat more balanced but they pretty much have a monopoly.
Any London Venues You’d Recommend People Check Out For New, Up And Coming, Bands With A Difference?
There is always so much going on, more of a recommendation for bands about where to play, try and avoid the promoters who put on 5 bands a night who have nothing to do with each other and where you will make no money, build your audience online then put your own night on somewhere, talk to the venue owner, create something unique.
You Can Help Support The Recording Of The Band’s Debut Album At –http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thecourtesans
You Can Also Watch The Band, Sat Around A Kitchen Table, Playing Their Track ‘Genius’ Whilst Drinking – In True Courtesan Style At –
UP & COMING SHOWS
Friday, March 22 2013.
The Green Room,
Church Road,Welwyn Garden City AL8 6PR.
Saturday April 06 2013
101 Princess Street,
Manchester M1 6DD.
Friday November 29th 2013
Swinegate,Leeds, LS1 4AG http://www.thecourtesans.org
My Next Two Posts Are Going To Be Dedicated To The Wonderful COURTESANS, A London Based Band With An Enormous Amount Of Talent.
Back In Late January I Did An Interview With Themselves & Their Manager, Howard Toshman, To Find Out A Little More About The Band’s History, Their Influences & What Their Hopes Are For The Future. I’m Going To Introduce The Girls First Followed By An Update In A Weeks Time Of How Howard Got Involved With These Lovely Ladies.
The Courtesans Are Made Up Of Sinead La Bella – Vocals, Saffire Sanchez – Guitar, Agnes Dominique Jones – Bass & Vix – Drums
Having Described Their Music To “Come Alive In The Halflight Of The Bedroom… Feeding On Scents That You Know And You Long For… Undressing You Without You Knowing It” You Can’t Be In ANY Doubt Of It Being An Interesting Read.
Sinead La Bella @ Candy Bar, Soho, London – Thursday 7th March 2013
On The Band & The Studio…
How Did You Meet, Did You All Know Each Other Before You Became “The Courtesans”?
We had bumped into each other in and around London, crossing paths constantly. Saf and Jones knew each other from a project a couple of years earlier. Sinead and Jones met in Soho and got talking just to discover connections running far beyond UK borders. Victoria our little gem, we found on the dark web.
When Did You Start Making Music, And Why? (Is There A Message You Are Trying To Send Out Through Your Lyrics Or Is It Your Way Of Understanding The World On A Different Level?)
Music is delicately woven into our lives since we were kids, for each one of us there is a slightly different colour thread… Jones’ genesis started in a church choir discovering sacred harmonies of eternity (how far can an apple fall from the tree) Sinead, worthy hair of Salome had begun her dance of the seven veils as soon as she could walk and never really stopped (especially after a few whiskeys). Saffire’s classical training in her childhood was later mixed with a healthy dose of madness. Victoria was the local punisher beating other kids for sweets but then she discovered that she can hit the drums and still get sweets for that.
About our message hmm… The face of feminism is currently rather an ugly one, to be perceived as a serious musician, businesswoman, mother you have to be adorned in baggy t-shirts or suits fastened to the last button. Breasts shown equal intellectual incapability – we want to change this perception. We also want people to see what is really important in life, in the world where money, prestige and power became the ultimate measure of success and our conscience is purposefully sedated with colourful high-tech gadgets. We’re forgetting that true happiness comes from kindness and freedom to love and being loved, freedom of expression through any means – art, music, science…pick your own.
Who Are You’re Musical Inspirations?
Deftones, Rammstein, Slayer, Letlive, Thomas Newman, Velvet Underground, Nirvana, Enter Shikari, Beth Gibbons, Hope Sandoval, tooooo many
You Have Recorded A Cover Of “Venus In Furs” By Velvet Underground, Why?
It’s the epitome and embodiment of sado-masochism, erotica in its most intense form. What better song to cover than Venus in Furs? Everyone feels this track on an immense sexual level and it perfectly represents what we are about as a band.
You All Look Amazing In Your Photo Shoots And Your Stage Performances Are Far From Dull, Where Did It All Come From, Do You Girls Have Any Style Guru’s?
It came from our desire to be strong, fierce and independent but at the same time stay feminine, guess we have very little inhibition that leads to not giving a fuck.
Do You Have Any Pre Show Rituals, Doesn’t Matter How Bizarre Or Obvious They May Be…?
Well, apart from a few large whiskeys we also have a mouldy good luck cake that Vikki bought Saff for her birthday. Saff then took it everywhere intending to eat it… Now it’s a good luck cake.
What’s Your Favourite Song To Perform & Why?
The one that we hit the least bum notes hehehehe, but seriously each time we rehearse or perform it varies with the energy that goes with it.
This Is Your First Time In A Studio Recording A Full-Length Album, How Are You Feeling About It All?
Makes us feel funny in our nether regions.
Is It Strange To Be Making Tracks That You Have Been Playing Live, For A While Now, Into A Static Recording?
It’s just like playing live but no one’s there. It also allows you to go for a piss in the middle of the song and you never should underestimate that kind of opportunity, everyone with a weak bladder would tell you that, wouldn’t they Jones?
Do You Think You’ll Be More Experimental In The Studio And Try New Things That You’re Not Able To Try Out First Hand, On Stage?
Let’s be frank. We like a drink and things, and the meaning of life is not known but to exist… Right? WRONG! We’re here to get hammered and enjoy life so that means we will definitely experiment.
Will Everyone Have A Fixed Role Whilst Recording The Album, Or Can Agnes Play Some Guitar & Sinead Try Her Hand At The Drums?
We tried that last week, we’ve now tried on each others shoes.
Who’s In Charge Of Writing The Lyrics Anyone? Or Everyone?
Everyone. We’re collaborating with other writers too, expression through songs is important to us but we are not too precious about OUR stuff, if someone brings something amazing to the table and it’s a great song then why not!
How Does It All Come About? Do You Write About Your Own Experiences Or Are They About Observations Of The World Around You?
Anything and everything.
On The Concept Of “Making It’ …
Are You Fussed With “Making It” … Or Is Making Enough Money To Live & Pay The Rent Enough For You, As Long As You’re Playing Music?
The music industry can be very pretentious place and we think we might be lying if we said some part of us didn’t want to make it big in the mainstream. Obviously lack of privacy would always be a bug bear for some of us, for some not so much…True that Sinead? Ideally we would like to make enough money to live on comfortably and bring dinosaurs back to life… Oh and a cryogenic religious lab so we could freeze souls.
Where Would You Girls Like To See The Band In Five Years Time – Would You Ever Want To Go Mainstream, Even If It Means Changing Your Style To Adapt To Modern Day Conformity?
Conforming doesn’t inspire people, there are no aspirations there and we are looking forward to the day when our style and personal freedom becomes a “modern day conformity”.
Quite A Few Musicians Have A Connection To Brixton Academy And Feel They’ve “Made It” When They’ve Performed There, Could You See Yourself Ever Playing A Big Venue Like That Or Do You See Yourself As A Band That Suits More Intimate Venues?
Maybe a working mens club in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday night. You’ll know you’ve made it if people turn up.
On Dreams & Achieving Them …
Where Would Be Your Dream Venue To Perform At & Why?
That’s like saying ‘chocolate or cocaine?’ hard choice. Vlad the Impaler’s castle in Romania is up there on the list of most awesome places to play.
If You Could Go On Tour With Anyone, Dead Or Alive, Whom Would You Choose?
Rammstein!! Dead Or Alive is debateable, Marylin Manson is a definite, that man oozes sex and we think we would get on with him on many levels
What Do You Think You’d All Be Doing Now If You Weren’t Musicians?
SAFFIRE: I buy aircraft parts, although I’d probably be a paramedic so I can put my hands in peoples guts, failing aeroplanes and music.
SINEAD: DEAD – I live, love and breathe, music… it’s all I’ve ever known.
AGNES: I would be a cleaner… apart from streets I’ve got a mile-long list of people that this world could do without
VICTORIA: Being musician was always what I wanted to do. Probably I’d gone down the route of being a nurse or paramedic – that’s what I did in college as a back up plan whilst in the band.
Which Do You Believe In The Most “Burning Your Bridges” Or “Playing It Safe”?
That’s like saying ‘What would you like to travel in? This Kia Rio or a push bike with a jet engine?’ Jet engine all the wayyy!!!!! Not that Kia is bad…. They’re just too safe so…burn baby burn!!
You Can Help Support The Recording Of The Band’s Debut Album At – http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thecourtesans
You Can Also Watch The Band, Sat Around A Kitchen Table, Playing Their Track ‘Genius’ Whilst Drinking – In True Courtesan Style At –
Agnes D. Jones @ Ginglik, Shepherds Bush, London – Friday 7th December 2012
UP & COMING SHOWS