The People VS The Machine

Thanks to everyone that came to The People VS The Machine on Saturday 3rd November. It was a really great way to end Flip Festival for another year. Over three hours all five artists created some brilliant computer generated and live illustration art. Here’s a video, featuring music from Silhouettes who also played on the night:

And some photos of each artists’ work

The People

Adam Bolton

The People VS The Machine

Lisk Bot

The People VS The Machine

The Machines

Minuek

Minuek at The People VS The Machine

Ashley James Brown

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More from Ashley

uiae


uiae also posted the source code (Supercollider and SCGraph) on his blog.

Thanks to Flip Festival for asking me to curate the event, all of the artists and musicians for taking part, and Fixxion Warehouse Project for hosting.

More photos from the night are here.

Vacuum Packed Children

The first issue of Dirty Bristow is out now and features a part-glitch illustration by me.

Vacuum Packed Children

For the theme of this issue, Birth, I was asked to illustrate an article by up-and-coming funny man Harry Vale that goes on to detail his experience of doing stand-up comedy for the first time:

It’s a torrid tale about losing my virginity, punctuated by the revelation that it was brutally robbed from me by my own father. There are gasps, groans, and then finally laughs. Worry not, dear reader, my anal virginity is still intact (and available for a modest fee); it was just the truly awful and hackneyed opening joke of my first ever stand-up comedy gig.

You wouldn’t guess it from the extremely high quality of the magazine, but it’s all self-financed and published by apparent geniuses Jon Bounds and Danny Smith who have, to my knowledge, never ventured into publishing territory. It very much fits in with the zine ethos, especially as they make a point to give each contributor as much freedom as possible and steer clear of advertisements.

Go grab a copy now!

They’re also looking for contributors for the next issue, so support your local publishing scene and get in touch.

Family Build Up

#336A96

One of the most common questions I, and possibly any other digital artist gets when they present their work is how they do it. I occasionally reveal some of my methods in my tutorials but otherwise I like to show screenshots taken at various stages. I came across this build up script a few months back and have now finally got it to work! Here’s my previous family portrait being reconstructed:

This script isn’t a true reflection of how I drew it but gives a good idea about the amount of detail I go into with my work. The reason I didn’t finish it is that I had already had the script running for ten hours and it was only half finished! Luckily there’s options to resume, but at this rate I’ll be doing it until February!

I think I may do this a lot more with my work.

Family Portrait

After seeing some of my recent work I was asked to do a family portrait. The last time I did a portrait on such a large scale was in 2007 in Adobe Illustrator and the last time I did a realistic portrait was probably back in 2006 of an old photographer buddy. I’ve been using Inkscape for just over a year now and whilst I’ve been doing little bits and pieces I haven’t actually done a major illustration.

As always I started with the outline first and filled it in with basic colours. I used GIMP and a very useful cutout filter to help me visualise how I was going to layer the colours and shapes that I needed. From there it was a simple case of refining and perfecting! Have a look at some of the progress shots:

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The finished product looks like so and is probably my favourite piece this year:

The finished family portrait

The finished family portrait

The finished result was printed onto a canvas and is mounted on their wall. Yay!

If you’re that kinda person you can have a look at the wireframe of the image:

wireframe 1 wireframe 2 wireframe 3 wireframe 4

Overall working in Inkscape was quite easy in terms of drawing. One bit of praise I often hear about it is its drawing and node editing tools, and it really did feel quite easy to draw this. However, there are two areas where I feel Inkscape hindered my creativity in creating this piece.

The first is how it implements brushes. Inkscape does this by using the Pattern Along Path Live Path Effect, which in some instances can be more useful than Illustrator’s brush tools. What I feel some users want is for the pattern to act as the stroke of a path and to still be able to edit the fill of a path. This would’ve been very useful for me when drawing the hair.

The second is it’s lack of extensive layer blending modes. Currently Inkscape has five layer blend modes, which includes normal/no blend and these can only be implemented on layers, not individual objects. As far as I know you were able to set the blend mode for each paths in 0.44, but it was removed for technical reasons. I achieved the effects in my earlier work by, at times, combining over ten different blend modes on individual objects. Take a look at this walkthrough by popular vector artist verucasalt82 and you’ll see why it can be quite handy. So, in the absence of blend modes for individual paths could we see a few more blend modes, overlay in particular?

With all of that said, you can see that Inkscape is still a very capable program. I overcame many of the problems I described by just doing things a little different than usual.

Self Portrait 2008 [wip]

Haven’t done a portrait in a while, let alone a self-portrait.

Self Portrait

Just a work in progress. To be completed sometime soon

Illustration Friday – Clique


For this week’s Illustration Friday topic I wanted to highlight that cliques are a group of similar people but that they’re also unique. I also wanted to improve my skills in Inkscape. I’m getting a lot better at using blending modes on layers instead of objects and the Spiro function works really well!

Illustration Friday – Island

I thought I’d take a break from getting to grips with Inkscape to try my hand at this weeks IllustrationFriday topic, Island. For this I just wanted to create a simple representation of the word. At the moment I’m not quite getting the same depth as I would with my older work, but that’ll come with time.

Explode

Explode

Some more new abstract work. Check out my portfolio for more

Something Pie

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Some new vector artwork from me. It’s one of a series of abstract pieces revolving around the use of letter-like symbols and very vibrant colours. Some more portraits coming soon. Check my portfolio for more. Ya heard!

Free Work

D’log‘s blog pulled this quote from an interview with Rare developer Nick Burton.

… graduates are not cheap labor and should never be treated as such or we risk hemorrhaging talent while it is still embryonic. Consider this, you employ Mr. X. He’s the greatest graphics programmer you’ve ever seen, but he’s a bit green and so you get to pay him peanuts and work him to the bone. Eventually he will wise up and leave, and when he does he’ll probably move out of the industry that burned him. The industry has then lost him forever — not just your studio.

I have similar issues with ‘free work’ in the illustration and graphic design field. A lot of the jobs advertised on the newly redeveloped Arts Jobs website look for ‘recent graduates looking to gain experience’ or something similar in exchange for working for nothing or paying very little. What experience do you gain? Experience of being messed around! Luckily my own experiences haven’t deterred me.

I must say I’m very surprised that there isn’t (to my knowledge) some organisation that ensures people are being employed or volunteering under fair conditions