On Friday 11th December 2009 we quested to Huddersfied University. Upon arriving we were met by Ian and Brent who were very informative and welcoming towards us. After about five coffees I was ready to look around, in order to get a feel for the place it was suggested that we attend workshops in all three departments - illustration, contemporary art and animation. At first I was apprehensive to participate in anything except illustration, but as the day progressed I adapted myself and found that I enjoyed all three subjects.
After going in the gigantic lift and through a series of doors we came to the illustration department. We were shown all of the equipment inside the room and then we where allowed to experiment with some of the facilities - laser cut printing blocks, paint and a badge maker.
After a good half hour when it dawned on me that it was just a bit pre-school with the printing blocks, I wandered around the room and met a balaclaved Mexican who was drawing on a wall. A few other people and me assisted in helping him use white pens to finish the illustration. When I had finished I started making badges with the badge maker, as the paper was too thick I used tissue paper; I made a badge saying "I [heart] Adam".
By talking to Brent I learned about the interview process, what is required in my portfolio, tuition fees and what is taught within the first year of the course. In the first year we attend two and a half days a week and just tend to experiment with different materials and illustration techniques. The course sounds like something I would enjoy, although the title illustration seems a bit restricted.
We were led into a basement/dungeon setting where we watched a presentation about the course. Personally, I cannot stand contemporary art. After the slideshow we were told about the kind of work produced on the course. We were then allowed to take apart furniture and use power tools, which was exciting. Our group consisted of five people, but we all eventually split up and created individual pieces.
I made an outdoor sculpture for birds; it was made out of a bare wardrobe, a cupboard and a piece of wood. The piece of wood was taped to the top of the inside of the wardrobe - allowing it to become a swinging perch. I called this first part 'The Birdhouse'. The bottom part of the sculpture was made by placing an intact cupboard inside the bare wardrobe - this part was called 'The Nuthouse', as the birds could enter it and eat nuts.
I really enjoyed the oppurtunity to experience this art style as it allowed me to improvise as well as work under pressure to create an independent and new form of sculpture from recovered furniture.
Two contemporary art students who looked like Mary Poppins and Woody Allen showed us where the eating facilities were; I had chicken kiev, chips and Lucozade.
The idea crossed my mind to leave, but I felt like giving animation a chance to impress me. I opted to use Lego to create a short film, this developed into being two films that astonished the tutors on the course. I used Lego and a digital SLR camera mounted onto a tripod linked up to an Apple Mac computer. My team were Tom Howarth and Big Z - my job was to operate the camera and insert stills onto the timeline as well as build Lego models with Tom.
The first film showed Lego men building a Lego helicopter car, only for it to destroyed by a Lego monster and the Lego monster to be destroyed by a Lego missile. The second film was co-written by me, three Lego men were lost at Lego sea. One was saved by a Lego helicopter, another by a Lego boat piloted by the King of Lego World. The third Lego man was washed away in a Lego tidal wave.
The tutor who sounded exactly like Chris Moyles said that he first thought we were a bunch of jokers who just wanted to play with Lego, but our combined skills pleasantly surprised him.