Gareth A Hopkins

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Process for Unearthing Blog (potentially uninteresting)

I recently attended the performance of the multimedia collaboration 'Unearthing' by Alan Moore, Mitch Jenkins, Adam Drucker and Andy Broder, and wrote a blog about it for Amelia's Magazine. I also did two illustrations (posted here) and grabbed some stills from some video.

The illustration of Alan Moore was relatively straightforward (posted above). I had in mind the starting image I wanted to use, and that I wanted to do it in the style I'd used for my Jon Stonehouse image for Cut-Click's mailart exhibition. Once I'd pencilled the broad features in, everything else fell into place. I was going to include a lot more text, but when it comes to Alan Moore, what do you choose? In the end, I just put the word 'Gods' above his right eye (referencing his use of Magick and one of the themes of 'Unearthing') and stuck a 'V' in there (as in 'V For Vendetta', but I suppose at a stretch it could also reference Thomas Pynchon's 'V.', which Moore is apparently a fan of.). There's also two ghosts snuck in there. I actually did most of the beard inbetween multiplayer matches of Bioshock 2.

The one of Crook&Flail (below) was more difficult. Crook&Flail is the moniker under which Adam Drucker and Andy Broder composed the music for 'Unearthing'. There's one image of them together as Crook&Flail out there on the internet that I could find, and it wasn't very interesting, and I couldn't work from it very easily, so I went looking for images of them apart which I could combine. There are loads of Drucker (who also goes under the psedonym Doseone) many of which I was familiar with already, but none were really suitable, and there are very few of Broder. I ended up trawling Flickr for images I could use... I really should have tracked back to their owners (job for later this week). I wasn't happy with the composition at first, to the point where half-way through I was going to give up, but a session of working on it in front of Ghost Dog set me right. The reliance on black and white stripes was intentional, for two reasons: 1) Referencing the style of the Egyptian Crook&Flail that they're named after 2) Alluding to Doseone's old band Subtle.

I decided not to do an illustration of Mitch Jenkins because... well, it din't occur to me. That's kind of awful. Maybe I'll do one and add it here, then retcon this blog post to look like I'd done it all along?

The still was taken from a video I took with my new favourite toy, and Flip camera my Dad got me for my birthday. I only filmed about 30 seconds of the performance, because I realised that the screen, as I was looking at it, was lighting up my face, and making me very obvious to the performers.

I had a very hard time writing the blog, though. It was the most concentrated piece of writing, other than emails, I'd done in a very long time (probably since Nanowrimo 2006). Progress was hampered by: 1) the fact that I had so much that I wanted to write about, but couldn't get it all down succinctly enough* 2) the notes I'd taken got put through the washing 3) the time I'd set aside to write got eaten up by getting slightly drunk at a BBQ and falling asleep on the living room floor. Similar to my problems with the Crook&Flail illustration, it came down in the end to just holing myself up on Sunday night after my wife and son were asleep and banging on the keys until I was happy enough to send it (adding the usual caveats in the submission email to Amelia that if she wanted to reject it, she could).

To my relief it was posted. (HERE, IF YOU'VE NOT FOLLOWED THE LINK ABOVE YET) Since it was posted, I've of course noticed things that were wrong, or I'd change now. But it remains something I'll be proud of for a long time now, whether anybody else reads it or not.

* One thing I desperately wnated to shoe-horn in, but wasn't sure whether Amelia's audience would appreciate is the fact that Ciaran O'Keefe was in the audience! I clocked him as he walked past and desperately wanted to run over and shake his hand and tell him how much I respect his work despite the fact that Most Haunted gets worse by the episode (and that I haven't watched it for about a year)... but I was having a conversation with a chap named Ben and the moment passed.

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