Sally's pre-festival blog

I was actually in the middle of a reportage drawing project, when the opportunity to work at Port Eliot festival, doing just that, came along. This was for me a dream job. Since I started my art foundation course I’ve always carried around a sketchbook with me, ready to sketch when something (or someone) sparked my interest. It’s something that gets me inspired daily. So getting to draw my surroundings somewhere so vibrant, creative - and a little bizarre – seemed perfect!

In the next couple of weeks we were meeting the team of illustrators, writers and organisers of the event. Having seen last year’s work from the festival, I was looking forward to be briefed in more detail. This year we would be working collaboratively with the creative writing students to document the festival in small stories to be distributed throughout the weekend as part of The Murmuring Guillemot press. This means that we would become more involved with the many workshops and activities – interviewing, assisting and taking part in the various events.

Producing three different zines onsite looked a little daunting, so we ran a workshop day to get a feel for what it would be like on the day. We spent some time brainstorming together ideas for ‘a student’s guide to Plymouth’, before heading into town to sketch or take notes. I spent an hour sketching quickly and generating visual ideas. After that it was back into the printroom to produce final artwork (admittedly I was rather behind at this point), scan, layout and print on the risograph.

Using the riso means that I will have to draw in a certain way to get the best results. We’ll be using a two colour print which means that drawing in layers will work better. I also have to take care that I don’t overcomplicate my images because the riso won’t pick up details in tone, as well as being scaled down to fit on the page layout. Having struggled with time in the workshop, I’m a little nervous about having that problem on the day, although I think that I’ll be able to work much quicker drawing on location rather than creating designs based off my drawings as I did before.

I’ll be making my way down to St Germans in nearly two weeks – so now’s the time to get planning which activities I’d like to document!