1: The Plasters

I had it all planned out in my head how I wanted this to look, it was just a case of making the whole thing! (And also getting it down on paper) I spent a lot of time in my sketchbook with project getting planning done, as there was lots and lots to do.

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– – – PLASTERS – – –

So, first of all I decided to begin with the plasters. In a tutorial with Amelia we got to talking about what material I could use for the plasters. I was extremely keen on making it myself, finding the right material for it or even long strips of plasters to be able to illustrate upon and manipulate the size and shape also. I went down to Maggie and Steve in Textiles to see if they could shed any light on my problem and unfortunately they couldn’t help me. But I didn’t panic (too much), I then decided that if I couldn’t get any material from university then I would just have to go looking in the shops. I went to boots and there were a lot of choices; sticky bandages, waterproof plasters, blister plasters, round plasters, squares plasters, and many more! I had to think which would be the best material to be able to absorb my illustrations and not smudge or bleed. In the end I decided to go for oval clear plasters (A very hard decision at that). I chose these ones because I was really drawn to the idea of my images being on clear plasters, and how this would look on the skin. I also really like the shape of them as they were different, usually plasters are rectangular so these to features offered something different to me. Finally, upon checking, I realised the material of the plasters would be able to thoroughly withstand my fine-liners!

Now that I had all of that sorted I wanted to quickly begin to get some designs down. I got to thinking about the use of plasters and how they cover up and heal a wound. I then began comparing this is with war wounds, and how a simple, tiny little plaster could not cover up the kind of wounds a soldier gets in battle, both physical and mental.  Then I thought more and more a about this idea and finally came up with a sort of ‘motto’ I guess you could call it, words to stick by.

– ‘You can’t put a plaster on PTSD’ –

I really wanted to draw in the focus of mental health problems and more importantly PTSD, and I wanted to work with the analogy of the common plaster- you put it over a wounds until it heals up. Does PTSD simply ‘heal up’? Next I needed to think of designs that would communicate these ideas, still being simple illustrations to fit on little plaster but with a strong message.

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– – – TUTORIAL – – –

I decided to attended optional tutorials with Anna to see if my project ideas were heading in the right direction. Only around 3 of us turned up but this made the group very intimate and focussed which I feel like benefit us all. Originally I wanted my plasters to resemble a sort of ‘un-healing’ of the mind, but after speaking to the group and to Anna, they suggested that I should take a more positive route with my illustrations. Instead, implying a message of ‘you are going to be alright’; this would be a more fitting route to go down as my audience are potential donors of the charity, and although I am empathizing with my audience I need to be careful not to scare them away and make them too sad about this. I found this feedback very helpful.

– – –

I quickly got back to designing my plasters and thinking more and more about the effects of PTSD.

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(PHOTO OF FINISHED PLASTERS)

After I was happy with some of the designs I decided to get them down onto the plasters to see how well they did or didn’t work. I really like the designs where I also included a plaster in my drawings, making it much larger in comparison the character. This is to resemble the struggle with a mental disorder such as PTSD; it restricts you, manipulates you and makes you feel very alone and uncomfortable. I decided not to included colour in the part of my work as I didn’t feel like it was necessary, although I did play around using red pen. Some images work better than others here, and this is something I have taken into account and may revisit later with a fresh mind, but now it’s time to try something new.

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