The Temporary Society of Authorial Illustrators is a group of recent graduates and current students of University College Falmouth’s Illustration: Authorial Practice MA. The ethos of this course is to encourage students to identify and explore new contexts for the culture of illustration. This openness to novel forms and ideas with regards to illustration is reflected in the diversity of stylistic and ideological concerns of the collective concerns, which often lie outside of the conventional boundaries ascribed to commercial illustration. Within our group artists are producing abstract images, making installations from their images, using images to tell oblique narratives, and experimenting with improvised drawing on a massive scale. What unites all these diverse practitioners is a shared sense of excitement at the possibilities for new forms for illustration to take and new contexts for it to exist in. As a collective we have a shared interest in the conscious employment of creative process. Constraints and games are used as an aid to creativity; they are often used in the form of creative collaborations between members of the collective. These activities range from improvisation to parlour games, sometimes developing into more complex and deliberate devices taking influence from diverse sources. These include the Oulipo movement, Luke Reinhart’s Dice Man experiments and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies. The latter have been used for more elaborate collaborations resulting in some surprising, occasionally baffling, but always interesting results.
My work is motivated by storytelling and characterisation. Part of this is expressing journey, experience and individual character traits. I enjoy exploring the contrast between the everyday with the imaginary and fictitious. In my narratives I incorporate elements of the everyday to express a familiar world within which the fantastical is possible. Sometimes, I find this spills into the humorous.
Throughout this book, I try to speak about how our minds work and what we perceive. By trying to pin down how thought and imaginary experience occurs, I hope to create new realities on paper. With my drawings and narratives I want to suggest not just what is seen, but also imply the world of the unseen.
I am inspired by the scope for variation that has occurred in recent years for the graphic novel. In the age of Authorial Illustration, it is inspiring to know that our reading material is becoming ever more varied, and I want to make sure that my work is a part of this diversity.
Rebecca K Jones
Our first collaborative project ‘Ways to Hide a Rag Fief’ is now in print! It takes the form of a beautiful A5 booklet and if anyone wants a copy then let us know. Now have fun spotting the giraffes..