New Classes & Semiotics

Yesterday was a bit of a surprise for me because the two lessons with Len which were rescheduled from Tuesday are now two sessions of Life Art with a tutor called Dave Gord.

He had popped up on Monday and asked us to bring some props, which I thought was unusual but made sense once we got to the lesson. Dave has an interesting plan, which is to get us to cover more traditional art techniques, to help us with our work in animation and modelling.

The selection of items my girlfriend put together for me.

In the session, we drew a series of different poses from a live model in creative and challenging ways. Dave kept us on our toes by getting the model to change stances at ever-shortening intervals and encouraged us to critically assess and adjust our drawings often. I found this helped me understand where I was going wrong and Dave was at all times giving advice on how we can improve our work.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures of my work but trust me, I didn’t discover any hidden talent. I did, however, find that I can still throw down some good lines and shading, even if I hadn’t done any drawing for the past ten years. This single lesson was a lot more fun than the whole of what I remember doing for art class back in college, that’s for sure!

It was also refreshing to get out from behind a computer and I am looking forward very much to next weeks session; which will require us to take a carrot and a stick.

Today’s final lesson was with Lucy, where we went through some more work which I also covered in Media Studies, ten years ago at college; semiotics.

We did a brief discussion about encoders and decoders then used what we had learnt to analyse film posters. As a class we broke down posters for The Dark Knight and The Truman Show, then we went on to choosing our own poster to analyse on our own.

The first movie poster that sprung to mind was this one for American Beauty.

I found it difficult to find the words I needed to express the thoughts I had about this poster and with the end of the lesson approaching I found myself with little written. We did have time to go through one example, an analysis of the poster for the film 300. Though there was some disagreement between the class most people did manage to justify their points well enough and the lesson was successful.

I do still feel the problem with semiotics lies in the interpretation of the different elements and I believe a lot of the meanings people read into are just circumstantial or where not intended by the author. Probably best to act intellectual and waffle on anyway, heh.