Brief / Location
This project was based on Reportage Illustration and so I created some of these illustrations at my work. I work in the British Museum in the Great Court Restaurant which is a fast-paced environment that’s always busy, due to exhibitions and tourists etc. It’s the type of place that works efficiently in the sense of being able to accommodate as many customers as possible in a short time frame. As you can imagine, this can get very hectic.
Documenting the daily hustle and bustle surrounding a profession and their relevant practices.
Capturing life and its complexities formed on the practice of customer service, as this is a job that many can relate to.
After practising drawing on location, I’ve found that it’s important to make mistakes and learn from them. It’s also vital to focus on experimentation rather than aiming to beautify my drawings by amending or erasing work, as this can, in fact, add to the aesthetics of the illustrations. I had to set myself a crucial reminder that I’m drawing on location to be able to capture information as primary research, rather than develop a finalised intricate drawing. The idea was to focus on a certain person/subject in order to create a narrative around their daily duties at our workplace and develop a story that has been told through our human interaction.
As a reportage illustrator, I had the opportunity of editing away unrelated detail, which in turn allows the audience to pivot their attention on the core of the activity. As an artist on location, you are able to absorb new processes and procedures, which then influences our own practices.
Brief / Location
The gig I went to was at Alexandra Palace in London, which has a capacity of 10,000 people. It was evident that I would not be able to take an A1 sketchbook with me, as drawing in this size would be impossible, which meant I only took a small A5 sketchbook and a few pens and coloured chalk. I also brought my iPad with me as a backup, because digital drawings are easy to manipulate.
◊ Capturing the atmosphere at a concert.
◊ Depicting a shared communal event in which strangers unite together to share a certain excitement and energy like no other.
My first drawings looked absolutely dreadful. The venue was completely packed, and it was difficult to get a good place to stand, let alone to draw in. The gig was held in low light too, which meant I could barely see my sketchbook or any subjects. As there was minimal light throughout the entirety of the gig I came to the conclusion that my drawings would have to focus on the outlines of the people in the crowd over anything else. I was too far away to draw the main act in any form of detail, so I decided on capturing the atmosphere at the concert instead.
The difficulties surrounding Reportage Illustration at an event combine many elements including being in a large crowd, being surrounded by intoxicated people, not having a secluded space to draw in etc. Drawing from life can be a challenge as everyone is constantly moving so your subject is never in the same position. This is even worse when you’re in a confined space trying to draw something and you have nothing to lean onto. Rather than focusing on any great detail, I aimed more towards simplicity and the outlines of subjects. This turned out much more successful as I could do it quickly and be less intricate.