Category: digital media

Received this photo this morning of my designs printed onto mugs, please excuse the poor quality of the photo, and also try to imagine them printed onto a fine bone china mug with a delicate handle……as these are just a trial run!! I feel that my style of design is quite traditional and ‘British’, very ‘Afternoon Tea’ etc, and i think that that is represented better with a fine bone china mug – plus…my mother would never drink out of a mug like this…:0)


I am really pleased with them though..more to come!!

Mugs with ‘Jaminosh Designs’ on

Yesterday i decided to send off some designs to a place where they can be printed onto mugs, so i can put them on display at the graduate show on June 1st at University. I looked at the original designs that i had and chose 4 of them that i thought was suitable, but i decided i would also create a simple black and white version of the ‘Time for Tea’ design i had created for fabric, and so i set about removing the colour from the original and replacing the pinks with shades of grey and black – but it was interesting that as i looked at the design (now totally absent of colour) i felt really quite depressed as it looked boring, and plain…….

So….i though i would jazz it up a little and be brave and create a black background for the design, and then replaced the darker pinks with the lighter as i needed more contrast in the colours – and was really excited at the result!

‘Time for Tea’ in black

It just showed me that i NEED to feel excited and passionate about what i create. The colours need to say something to me (even if it is in black and white)…and also i have just learned that the reason why some of my designs are too bright on wordpress is because they needed to be changed to RGB instead of CMYK…..see!!..learning all the time!! ūüôā

I have just submitted my entry to the Macmillan Children’s book competition where i managed to get 8 double colour pages done, a book jacket, end papers and title and copyright, but still need to do 4 more doubles now to finish by sunday so i can send it off to Blurb to get a really professional mock book done for my final university assessment in a couple of weeks – so the pressure is still on for now!!

Here  is an example of one of the pages in the book

Image from ‘Brenda the Misunderstood Witch’

The story is about a witch that is judged because she looks scary, and is green and hairy etc, and it gives you a surprising insight into her world, and details what she is really like.It is a book that aims to teach children to not ‘judge a book by its cover’ and to be more accepting of others (which i think is really important especially in this modern day world where the boundaries of race, creed and culture become merged). I think it is important that children’s books carry some sort of message, as children are really influenced by what they see and read, and i tried to make the main character as loveable as possible so that the children would be drawn to her.

Other books that i have written also carry¬†messages¬†for children, and as i am now coming to the end of my degree i would like to continue with my work to Masters level where i would like to continue to look at the role of the book in¬†children’s¬†lives with reference to their personal development and also how they interpret colour and image…exciting stuff i think!! :0)

What a lot of work it was to get the entry submitted to Macmillan for this years Children’s picture book competition!! The guidelines were a 24 page picture book, plus end papers, book jacket, title and copyright page – at least 4 double final pages (mounted and presented properly) and all labelled and presented as perfectly as possible and then sent by courier to London to be entered into this years competition.


This is a very prestigious competition and has many entries from colleges and universities all over the UK, competition is tough, and the research i have done seems to make me think that Macmillan are looking for ‘traditional’ illustrators that use a lot of traditional media (which would rule me out altogether as i use mixed media that includes digital media as well).

I think that the whole experience of entering Macmillan was invaluable…i now know how to book bind perfectly and can make a pretty good mock book that wouldnt look out of place on a bookshelf in a store, i now know how to cut perfect mounts (which is handy as we will be doing lots of this for the graduate show in a couple of weeks.) and more than anything i have learned how to get a massive amount of work done and how to achieve what i needed to achieve in a set time scale (not an easy feat when you have lots of other things to do at the same time!)

So it’s in!! and the image below is the mock book from the outside…it is a story about a green and hairy witch called Brenda!! – now all i need is to find a publisher!!!!!

My Macmillan entry…finally finished!! ūüôā

Well so far i have managed to perfect the square repeat, after many many attempts i have to say! This design is taken from a Magnolia tree that sits at the bottom of my parents driveway…and just totally inspired me as it had just come out into bloom! I have done this ¬†pattern in lots of different colourways – black and white, purple and pink, and pale pink and white – and have just ordered my first batch of material which will be here soon…very excited!!! Hoping to be making cushions, curtains, and other such things as well as designing for wallpapers as well.

The bath in the image below has nothing to do with me…..and i can’t remember where i found the image now, but it is a beautiful roll top bath thats for sure…..the wallpaper design is called ‘Blue Magnolia’

My wallpaper design - 'Blue Magnolia' - also available in other colourways, soon to be for sale!! :0)


(The blue colour on this image is for some strange reason a lot brighter than the blue in the actual design)

So now i want to learn how to do a ‘half drop’, ‘quarter¬†drop’ and ‘third drop’ repeats, and am posting the youtube video below so that i can keep viewing it until i get it right!!

As i have been using traditional¬†techniques¬†to create my¬†reap eat¬†patterns and am in the process of pulling my hair out, i thought it would be best to venture into the world of using Photoshop to create them, as it may make life a lot easier in the future……

I came across this tutorial on Youtube which i found really useful, although i notice that his design was very very simple, not like i will have to try it out and see if it makes life any easier or not, but will leave it on here for future reference:-

Well i suppose i had better post something about ‘my’ work for a change instead of blogging all this academic stuff that is just pickling my head!!

So here are the stages of the book bag we were asked to design for the university. First of all i needed to look at the following:-

Рwas the bag for males and females, or would  i design 2 different types?

– is the bag design related to a particular department of the university, ie science, art, humanities – or will it appeal to all departments?

– is the design going to have a Welsh theme, with the university being in Wales?

– am i going to use one colour or two? – we were advised to try and just use one, because of cost and time to print them, but if we did use 2 we had to make sure that the colours were placed separately.

– i had to consider the thickness of the line in the design as it was to be printed on hessian and fine lines would not print well at all.

– how much of the logo was i going to incorporate? would it be the first letter ‘g’ or the full title ‘glyndwr’

– i needed to identify the font used in the logo as well to match it up

Ok, so i won’t put in all the different designs i came up with, as the post will just be way too long so i will just show you the final design i decided to choose and develop:-

Here is the first very very rough version of the design i chose. It is a pattern based design using the theme of the book, and focussing on the shapes that are made not just by the books but also by the pages and the edges of the pages as well:-

Initial design

I then inverted the colours which enabled me to see the ‘balance’ of the picture and the areas i need to resolve better :-

The design 'inverted'

I then re drew the design carefully and moved the images around, concentrating on how positive the negative shapes were, and how easy it was to read the image as a whole –

The new layout, ready to be coloured in Photoshop

I coloured the image in Photoshop because the design will be used for a screen print and so the colours need to be as solid as possible, and the best way to achieve this is on Photoshop. The design will then be printed out onto A3 acetate ready for a screen to be made. The next image is of the coloured in design-

The coloured in version, including typography

The font i used was ‘Georgia regular’ as this is the font used for the Glyndwr logo, i decided to use the same font for the words at the bottom as well to give some continuity.I then inverted the design again –

The inverted, coloured in design

On looking at the black and white areas, and knowing that the white areas would actually be transparent areas where the hessian bag would show through, i decided that the image needed a border to frame it properly –

The finished design - with border

And finally here is the finished design shown on the hessian book bag – as intended!!

The finished article!

I learned a lot from this exercise, particularly about composition and layout, and also about the use of positive and negative space. I feel that i played to my strengths – by using a pattern based design, and i feel that inverting the image was really beneficial and i may do that more in the future with other images.

This is the last of my posts recording the ‘narrative futures’ talks at the symposium at FACT on thursday.All of the presentations were based on the same theme connected with the future of the narrative, This particular skype talk lead on from the presentation by ¬†Helen Bendons ¬†on the ‘Locating Narrative’ project in 2008 where it was possible for the audience to interact with the landscape to create a mediascape experience.

Andy Hunter is the CEO and co founder of ‘Broadcaster’ ¬†which is described as :-¬† ‘an app for iPhone and Android that creates intimate and immersive experiences by unlocking pictures and audio relevant to where you are.¬†It turns your smartphone into a multimedia guide to the world, and everyone can contribute.’ It continues to say:-

‘Go exploring with Broadcastr and you‚Äôll find memories, insights, and enriching information about eclectic and everyday places on every continent on Earth. Take a walk while stories about your surroundings stream automatically to your phone. A celebrity chef whispers in your ear as you stroll past his favorite restaurant; a renowned architect guides you through lower Manhattan; a comedian shares a hilarious personal anecdote at her favorite bar. Your movement through the world becomes your search query.¬†Download the app. Take a walk.’ (taken from¬†

Hunter said that they have a user community of over 20,000, and that you can walk around different areas and learn anecdotes and information about people’s experiences of the areas. He did say that you had to be within 150 feet to be able to access the information. In his talk the example he gave was being able to walk around New York listening to the events of 9 – 11, which to be quite honest i found extremely distasteful, but i am sure that it would be interesting to experience in other formats.

He is also the co founder of ‘Electric Literature’ , and commissions writers to contribute to it. He said that ¬†he used it to promote literature, and wanted to create meaningful experiences using social media, the format being short stories.

Helen Bendon works at ‘The Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts’ at Middlesex University ,¬†her background is fine art, ¬†film and photography, but she also has an overwhelming interest ¬†in narrative and storytelling. She took part in the creation of ¬† a trial project called ‘Locating Drama’ which was carried out in ¬†St James garden ,Liverpool in the cathedral grounds in ¬†2008,where 90 people took part. ¬†They also worked alongside the BBC . It is an audio based drama with mobile devises, initially using PDA’s but they have also now developed it for the use of ¬†iPhones ¬†and for the android so can ¬†now be used on mobile phones. They use GPS navigation systems and story maps that activate user content as they walk around. ¬†This project entailed people walking around the gardens with headphones on, and there was no visuals at all just headphones, noises ocean sounds, snoring etc and as they ¬†walked the noises and voices sounded but when the noises stopped, had to piece it all together.Some people found it a little disorientating, some felt like they were experiencing a ‘cut up’ and she found she wanted to form it all together to form a narrative and to make sense of it, but then she felt that that was what we tend to naturally do.

One piece of feedback which i found interesting was one man saying ‘it’s good to not have visuals as it’s all to do with the imagination’. One lady felt a real interaction with the voices and that they were talking to her directly.Helen used this project then as a case study to allow her to discuss how we would deal with narrative and interactivity.She said that in the project she wanted to focus on ‘authored content’, and the BBC were also very interested in this as well as they need to keep moving forward with their radio writers to improve the experience of their radio dramas.

In the past Helen said she ¬†had experienced similar projects but they were very ¬†site specific , and it would not generate huge amounts of new listeners for broadcasters . She ¬†wanted to move away from that and become ‘translocational’. Looking at the locative potential, ie what are the narrative structures¬†and how can we move away from them. The information used on the project was gathered from GPS , ie time date and location, and also the location related to a starting project. With the information she said it was possible for them to ¬†infer ¬†the speed of movement.She carreid on to explain that he ¬† satellites used in GPS can tell is we are stationary, moving east to west and also implied orientation, and can also tell multi sessional knowledge ie how many times you have done something before and what time you have done it -Helen ¬†thought this could be useful when telling stories, she looked at how this could be used in narrative potential – how can this information could also be useful for people like the BBC?She even went as far as to say that in the future this imformation could also be used with ‘augmented reality.’

Within the project they looked at ‘trans locational aspects’ and also ‘listener behaviour’.They created boundaries to let people know if they were walking outside of the ‘space’ where the story could be accesssed -ie boo’ed if you walked outside and applauded if you walked in – they also made things louder as you walked nearer to them.One of the main benefits in this project being that ,as Bendon says ¬†it allows you to ‘play with narrative that isn’t straight forward’.The programme remembers what you have heard already, and the characters can even ¬†call out to you etc.

Users of the project locating the narrative

Benton said that they did preliminary trials with writers, recorded at BBC studios, lots of editing – and that the prototype technology was developed by HP – which enabled them ¬†to use audio, visuals and ¬†also interact with a physical landscape – creating a ‘mediascape’

Benton describes it as a ‘non linear experience’, ¬†the narrative progressing the more you went into the park.They used a narrator to frame the space of the park, and as people went deeper into the park they also went through different ‘curtains’ and deeper into the story.

A video of the users experiences can be viewed at :-

On thursday we also had the pleasure of listening to a talk from the enigmatic Mark Amerika, the best way to describe him is as follows :-

‘Mark Amerika is an internationally renowned ‚Äúremix artist‚ÄĚ who not only reconfigures existing cultural content into new forms of art, but also mashes up the mainstream media forms and genres that most commercial artists work in. For example, his body of remix artworks includes published cult novels, pioneering works of Internet art, digital video and surround sound museum installations, large scale video projections in public spaces, live audio-visual/VJ performance, and most recently, a series of feature-length ‚Äúforeign films‚ÄĚ shot with different image capturing devices in various locations throughout the world. One of the leading pioneers of early Internet art, Mark Amerika‚Äôs art and writing has influenced a new generation of artists using digital processes to create emerging forms of art that intersect at the boundary of visual art, live performance, cinema, and experimental literature.’ (taken from¬†

Mark Amerika - taken from his website -

The guy appeared on the screen in a half lit environment, lit from behind, wearing dark glasses that didn’t allow you to see through to his eyes – that in itself would give ample material for an essay all about this guy, i think! However, he was amazing to listen to – maybe that was the intention…that the dark glasses would make you focus only on the narrative? who knows, but what he had to say was very beneficial.

Mark started off by saying that he was interested in ‘transmedia narrative’, which i thought was an excellent description of a product that is created by using many different types of media – something that i would have referred to in the past as ‘multimodal’. He said that in his ‘pre internet’ days he was influenced mainly by the avant guarde, but in 1992 he went online and his writing changes into multi media. He now works with sound, text, code and film, he said that in the end his writing became ‘more like publishing’ as it was a compilation of many different aspects. He even went as far as to say that he couldn’t write ‘without an internet connection’ as this was his ‘source material’.

He asked the question ‘what does it mean to read in an age of new media?” and in response to his own question he mentioned the term ‘riff reading’, where the reader is the co conspirator, and the post production medium’ – this to be would describe the readers involvement in the narrative, where they contribute their own understanding , which then becomes a part of its existence perhaps? It does beg the question as to whether it is not what we see, but what we perceive that is the important factor here, and that Mark Amerika seems to like to challenge our perception in order to increase our understanding.

He talks about ‘re-mixology’ and says that we are all born remixers¬†.He also makes a good point when he says that a lot of people think that writing has to be ‘linear’ and that that is the traditional way that writing would be constructed where it would automatically move from one point to another – however he says that narrative is a multi media form where things can happen ‘simultaneously and continuously’, there doesn’t have to be the rigid structure and order ¬†that there was before. He mentions that narrative is a ‘multi layered’ experience, that ‘manipulates our notion of time’ and because of that it can no longer be linear.

“dys- narrative” is a phrase he uses, ‘dys’ meaning to throw into confusion, as in dyslexia – the confusion of the words etc. He said that when he uses a dys-narrative it makes it more like an active memory. He posed a question of ‘is the novel dead or is it transitory?’, in reply to this question he said that he views the novel as a ‘publication format’ and refers to the website, whose format can best be described in the writing of Mark Amerika below :_

‘In addition to being a print book published by the prestigious University of Minnesota Press,¬†remixthebook¬†expands the concept of scholarly writing and publishing to include multimedia art forms composed for networked and mobile media environments.¬†website is the online hub for the digital remixes of many of the theories generated in the print book and features the work of artists, creative writers and scholars for whom the practice and theory of remix art is central to their research interests. Since one of the primary aims of the project is to create a collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach to the way contemporary theory is performed, and to anticipate future forms of art and writing that challenge traditional modes of scholarly production while still taking on the philosophical issues of our time, the¬†remixthebook¬†project could be considered an open content platform for others to use as source material for their own art work, literary creations, 21st century multimedia theory, and/or innovative coursework.’ (taken from – by Mar Amerika)

He describes the following type of work shown in this youtube clip as ‘an art form and a literary intervention’