By Nina J P Evans

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Audrey Hepburn's childhood drawings

Lovely childhood drawings by Audrey Hepburn. I think that they are almost as irritable as Audrey herself!

On May 10, 1940, six days after Audrey’s eleventh birthday, a year after the childhood portrait. The Wehrmacht invaded the Netherlands, (known as the battle of Netherlands) having already come through Luxembourg and Belgium. It was during this five-year occupation that Audrey found her way into the arts. Supported and encouraged by her family, to help raise money for the Dutch Resistance, this creative freedom gave her, and family friends who enjoyed her performances a much needed reprieve from the circumstances. It was through Drawing, plays and ballet  that she ended up staring in the films such as The Lavender Hill Mob and Roman Holiday. Her talents were discovered in 1951 from there onwards she did look back. Her childhood personal experiences of World War II  later led her to become involved in UNICEF.

Audrey Hepburn quotes:
Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering — because you can’t take it all in at once.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A beautiful hand-Illustrated take on the film Melancholia

This is a marvellous idea for a sketchbook! Hand drawn typography with pencil illustrations inspired by using a film for visual and script reference and then making the finished piece back into a film again, perfect! This beautiful sketchbook is made by Debbie Millman writer, educator, artist brand consultant and host of the radio show Design Matters, animated in such a way. Her chosen study is Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia. The theme is about two sisters with a strained relationship showing events from both individuals perspectives, Justine (part1) and Claire's (part2). The two main characters stories overlap and interweave, leading up to the dramatic ending of a distant planet’s collision course with Earth. The textual cut ups of the script are perfectly selected and the typographic hand renderings are beautiful and evocative, reanimating the emotional tangles with a questioning, hesitating hand drawn lettering style. The attention to detail improves the effectually of the dialogue overall.

The sketchbook is illustrated with objects such as chairs, vases, spiral patterns. These objects help create the atmosphere of the film and aid the story. A few of the illustrations look familiar, like the night nude scene on the rocks next to a river is a stunning pose. The sky at night appears and reappears in the sketchbook, is more prominent during the second half of the film as the planet grows closer to the Earth. The cinematic tension builds as the characters perspectives shift, here the sketchbook is lacking a sense of dramatic tension. However, there’s a refreshing and surprising sense of individuality to the sketchbook. These background objects may have gone unseen whilst seeing the original film, due to the excessive amount of information the mind is capable of focusing in on at 24 frames per second. Exploring the sketchbook’s richness of symbols is delightful, the patterns and objects that pair, echo and interweave are held together by the multiplying treads of text between them.

The most notable craft work in the film Melancholia is by the gorgeous cinematography Manuel Alberto Claro and the classical music by composers Wagner and Beethoven. These pencil drawings and typography have a touch of that beautiful cinematic elegance combined with a stark bleakness. The illustrations and typography are very minimally composed and detached from the films scenic environs. I like the way that the sketchbook pages are turned by Debbie in the short film, accompanied with the original film musical score. This pacing and technique allows the textual dialogue to be read and fluctuate, flowing within the white page space as a whole. If the film flicked through the pages like a flicker book, the text would become void of meaning and appear abstract. This has the right pacing, merging seamlessly with the background music itself. Enjoy!