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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Research: Visual diary

I regret having not started collecting a physical visual diary in earlier years, though it is probably a blessing considering how much we grow. My age now, and with the place that I find myself within my creative journey, would probably make for the perfect time to start. I feel in tune with my personal tastes, knowing clearly the kind of work I like to see, follow and collect.


Whilst I do not have a physical collection of awesome photography, art and illustrations cut from old magazines, newspapers or from the public such as flyers, posters etc, I do however, have a long standing Pinterest account that has become engraved into my day to day practice. It is a shame that we now turn to digital for collecting reference, but unfortunately it does save money and space! Here is a snap shot of my collection from a distance:





the board I am most fond of, and use regularly for both viewing and adding too is the "inspiration" board. I am in awe of photography, from portraits to documentary and stills from films, and everything in between. I love photos that pause time, that are naturally in a moment yet also love the editorial aspect of photography and how narrative is composed with lighting, design and more. I look for content that evokes something, something I can't really put to words., nor do I feel it should be. Whilst I look for this in photography, I do also look for composition, perspective, colour and mood, which doesn't always evoke something meaningful. I find fashion photography equally as useful for reference.


There is a culture perhaps within the theme of images I collect. Is it working class?


The board:


I haven't purchased magazines in a very long time, partly because of storage and that it would be a shame to throw them away after use. What I do enjoy having, is a nice book collection. I love being able to grab a book for inspiration and, although my collection is still relatively small, I do find what I have to be useful when needing reference.


[photo of some books]


It would be nice to strike a balance of collecting images I find interesting for scrapbook/sketchbook from magazines, art prints and more with what I find on the internet. I don't like to be crowded with busy walls, but collecting art is certainly something I am beginning to embrace. This piece by Ian Stevenson, for example, acts as a fun reminder for me to chill out on perfection and have fun, it also shows what good character design can do!




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