Monday, 27 April 2009

Practioner essay

I will be comparing Tracy Kendall and Otto Dettmer. Tracy Kendall works with interiors and has worked with clothing outlets for window displays. Otto Dettmer works with editorials and creates his own artist books. I think there will be interesting comparisons between these two as there audience, client and process' vary greatly.

Otto Dettmer.

Dettmer process' include screen printing and creating imagery through a computer. He works free lance and the majority of his work appears in newspapers, particularity The Telegraph as he believes this to be a very good paper for illustration. Otto Dettmers work is primarily editorial and his works priority is for the image he creates to represent the article it is illustrating clearly and concisely. It needs to communicate the words of the article simply and efficiently as so the audience will understand the contents of the article. For his editorial work Dettmer tends to work solely on the computer, creating the basic shapes for his illustrations on his computer. The colours he uses are also quite monotone and he tends to stick within the same pallet. This makes his work very recognisable and consistent, and from looking at his illustrations he doesn't tend to sway away from what works. This however only applies to his editorial illustrations.

Otto Dettmer.

When he is creating his artist books this is a different matter. He creates artists books to sell at fairs and prefers to work in this way as he says it displays his work a lot better and he also has free rain over its contents. He experiments more with techniques in his books, including screen printing and photocopying, replacing the black ink in the photocopier with a variation of colours.

Dettmers editorial work is quick and simple illustrations, with the main aim of communicating an article. The speed in which he creates his editorial work is essential, as they may need to be completed very quickly for the clients. Dettmer says he usually spends two hours on the roughs and then two hours of the final illustration, which is vital as to get the job finished. So it is not important to create a detailed illustration with lots of experimentation and process', he just needs to create one that will satisfy his client.

Tracy Kendall's work however is aimed at a different market, so she has time to consider the materials she uses and experiment with different process'. Kendall has a BA in fine arts and also experimented a lot with screen printing. In 1996 she began experimenting with wallpaper design, in the first instance to create one for her own home.

Tracy Kendall. Stacks of books.

One piece of advice from Kendall was to not stick to a precise formula, which varies from Dettmers work with editorials. Dettmer is forced to stick with the same formula for each editorial illustration as he knows that works for him, and under the time restraints that isn't a problem. As Kendall has very little time restraints with her work, she has more freedom.

Kendall exhibits her work a lot also. In one trade show in London she was able to work outside of her allotted space, and she created a forest for people to walk around and view hers, and others work. The vary nature of how Kendall represents her work gives her less restraints and she has more control over how it is viewed, where as Dettmer does not. Kendall often creates pieces for her own interest, rather than being commissioned, and when her work is commissioned its very loosely briefed.

Tracy Kendall. Sequins. Robin Day Chair.

One instance of this is when she was asked to re-design a Robin Day chair, and it was all her own choice about the design. The process' in her work vary to, as she says she likes all her work to be handmade, refusing to create things in photoshop as she says it loses the quality. Tracy uses Laser Cutting a lot in her work, and enjoys playing with perspective. She likes to look at wallpaper in relation to the wall, how it interacts with it, and how it can change it. Her educational background explains as to why she works this way now. Were Dettmer comes from a graphic design background, Kendall comes from a fine art background. Graphic design involves sticking to strict briefs, as where fine art is very loosely briefed by the artist and is there for more about there own interpretations.

The two designers vary mostly because of the way there work is represented and how they are commissioned. Dettmers work is not his own chosen subject, it is a representation of somebody else's chosen subject. He doesn't have a say in the initial idea, but he has to find the best way to communicate someone else's work and idea. With his editorial work he is restricted in the process' he can use, as they need to be created quickly, so the computer would be the best tool for this. He has found ways around this by creating artist books, and this is how own personal way of being creative and creating work he enjoys. He has no brief to stick to with them, and this is his way of working for pleasure.

As Kendall exhibits work, she is then commissioned to create work based on those pieces, or given free rain. She has a lot of time to experiment and is hired based on her own personal work. She is the opposite to Dettmer, people commission Kendall on the basis of her own idea, where as Dettmer is commissioned to represent somebody else's ideas. Kendall creates work with which she would want to invest in, where as Dettmers editorial works is purely there to help communicate somebody else's. I would prefer the working style of Kendall, as I find it hard to try and represent somebody else's ideas, and to ignore all my urges to experiment with it. Both designers work very differently and for different very different clients. But they both require the same skill to create visually appealing images or pieces that will satisfy there clients and the viewer.

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