Sunday, 28 September 2014

Invisible Cities Sets 9 and 10

    I feel like both of these took longer and were more strain than they should have been since after Friday I began developing a dry throat and blocked nose. So I had to push myself to make these. I had hoped that my year in Canterbury could have prepared me for this but it turns out I was wrong. Anyway I guess here's another reflective set, Fedora actually is an interested one. Its described as dull via the term "grey metropolis" with the only building of note being a museum to various idealised Fedoras. The description of Fedora itself did remind me of the description of London in some adaptations of George Orwell's 1984, depicting it as a city of monolithical high-rises with features that leave little to the imagination with the really important buildings (in 1984's case the ministries and Fedora's; the museum) standing out due to features of their architecture. Although I am lured to 133 as a focus subject for an interior image, a large globe containing a miniature city, hovering in immense halls for huge crowds.
    A combination of these symptoms and a deadline of October 8th for these thumbnails convinced me to unfortunately cut down on quantity since it took me all week to complete 11 out of 20+ cities described by Calvino. But I have tried my best to uphold the degree of representation I have shown in previous thumbnail sets. So set 10 features both Isaura (145-154) and Armilla (155-160) within its frames. I also wanted to experiment more with different brush types, particularly in images 146, 147 and 150. I imagined Isaura to be a vibrant city with waters everywhere, inspired by the idealised images of Arabic and North African trading cities where flowing water was everywhere even in the middle of a desert, fountains, wells and norias acted as gathering spots for communities, surrounded by whitewashed buildings decorated with mosaics and topped with brilliantly-coloured domes, something I think I tried to capture the most in both 147 or 151. 153 I think came out decently as a thumbnail for a lighting experiment, the contrast might be a bit too sharp but I might leave the features of the statue to the imagination for the time being.

    I was rather drained by the time I started Armilla so I tried getting out what mental images I could, the thing striking me most, obviously ,was the string. But I wanted to try different styles of architecture for one city. 159 may be a start in capturing the mountainside described and the feasibility yof constantly moving the city to soemwhere else, as one of the drawbacks to 156 is that its scale alone suggests it took a long time to build (either this version of Ermilla lasted fairly long before migration or it would be abandoned before it is finished). Although 156 does potentially indicate this has been going on for a long time, which can be extrapolated by the umber of people that would need to inhabit a city with such construction..

    Part of my mind worried I might not get the full set done, and then there are other things to do for this project alone all the while my body wants ot sleep. So I really hope I can kick this cold quickly before I end up with something more serious like last year and end up with a sub-par result for a project I was really looking forward to.


  1. Hi Mark!

    I hope you feel better's rotten trying to focus and be creative, when you just want to sleep. PLEASE, don't get stressed about the have already got a really exciting and vibrant selection - as long as you have read all the extracts (which I know you have), and explored all the cities via a few thumbnails, you will be fine. I think the reason for asking you to look at all the cities, is to prevent someone just reading one piece and plumping for that straight out, without exploring any other options.
    So, dose yourself up with Lemsip, be kind to yourself, and just keep enjoying the project :)

  2. ...PS...
    Why not give your drawing hand and your brain a bit of a rest, and rustle up a few influence maps? :)

  3. Hey Mark,

    I think your 138, 156 & 160 (maybe combining these two together) have a very good composition, I think if you develop them, you could come up with some interesting concepts. In your 138, I can imagine a silhouetted figure (maybe a king or wizard, the style you used looks similar to fantasy) standing on top of that building, gazing at the rest of the city.

    Well done for having so many thumbnails done, I am sure you will have cool final products :)

    1. I didn't get much from generating ideas for Ersilla. But yeah, with a bigger canvas I might be able to better show the lines of string between all the buildings of 156.

      138...I like that idea for an establishing shot. Perhaps a figure of authority in Fedora or a citizen coming up with an idea for a mini-Fedora of his own, looking out upon the city for inspiration?

  4. Hey Mark - relax a bit :) You're no good to us on your deathbed! You're doing okay, and I'm keen too that you continue to explore these cities as enthusiastically as you have been, so take a break; your imagination will ponder even as your nose runs green... :)


    Your classmate, Dan Reason has a new blog url after some tech gremlins messed with his original - please add him to your reading list, as he's been follower-less since day one :(