Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pop Art


This is a completely bizarre illustration I did for one of my classes a few weeks ago. I wish I'd thought to take pictures while I was making it. The assignment was for Barron Storey's illustration class... an assignment called "Bits". We had to pick a topic and, in six "bits", show what came before, what came next, and what came after that. We had to create the six bits without knowing how we were going to incorporate them all into one final illustration. Most people pick a more straightforward topic like a biography or a historical event. I chose the lifespan of a stick of gum. I got the idea when I was at a gas station filling up my car. There was all this nasty old gum all over the pavement everywhere and I thought it was awesome and wanted to find a way to make that a part of my project.

Media used: Duct tape, goache, ballpoint pen, gum wrappers, chewing gum, Alphacolor charcoal, newspaper, pastels, acrylic, white gel pen, matte medium, and india ink. Once I had my bits done, I drew a thumbnail of their layout on the final board. I cut out frames for two of the bits and then duct-taped the crap out of the illustration board. I taped the teeth down so they looked like they were coming out of the board and also taped down the newspaper collage. I was working in the animation lab at the time so I set everyone who was in the lab at the time to work chewing all my gum for me. I glued down some wrappers on the tape and glazed over them with a mixture of matte medium and india ink to grunge them up. Then I made my classmates give me all their chewed gum. At first I tried applying the gum to the board with my hands covered in plastic bags but that didn't work so I gave up and decided to get down and dirty with this piece. Bare hands and juicy gum chewed by, like, 7 different people. Hardcore, I know. So I applied the chewed gum to look like it was being blasted out by the mouth at the top. Then I used charcoal dust to grunge the gum up.

I should mention that this whole time, I was making the process up as I went along. I had no idea what I was doing until I did it. I still had one bit left over, however. A collage of gum packaging. I decided to cut it into shards and glue it down with the gum so it looked like it was being blasted out too. The illustration smelled strongly of fruit and of whatever that signature bubblegum scent actually is. And I won first place on this project... hot damn! I didn't handle nasty-ass freshly-chewed gum and get my hands covered in the saliva of 7 classmate for nothing!

Here are some detail shots. I apologize for the low quality of the images. I couldn't scan this sucker and my digital camera is so old. It was one of the first digital cameras ever made. XD



And here is the mouth before I glued that sucker down and taped over it

6 comments:

Ashley Boyd said...

This piece is really amazing Charlene! I think it really pulls together, which is one of the most difficult parts of the bits assignment. The mouth is especially cool. :P

Charlene Fleming said...

Thanks, Ashley! I had no idea what I was doing the whole time but I have to say, I'm really pleased with the results. The mouth was my favorite too. Barron was really startled by how dark the attitude of my illustration is given that my subject was bubblegum. XD

A Highly Refined Pirate said...

MMMMM...bubblegum, I think you should make another one!

Charlene Fleming said...

That's more than fine with me, I had a blast! I should totally do all my BFA work for the rest of the semester in bubblegum...

PaulNguyen said...

this is awsome Charlene!

Charlene Fleming said...

Thanks Paul! I'm glad people are embracing the wierdness.