5.2 Creating connections

The purpose of this exercise was to use a cut-up process to combine the experimental portfolio of images selected as part of 5.1 Creative audit in order to push the content even further by creating a set of new images and interconnections so that any insights can be taken forward into Assignment 5.

Key words from the brief:

  • Take the 10 images you uploaded in the last exercise and print them
  • Mix up and combine selected elements to create new images
  • Arrange your composite drawings to create connections between them
  • Be as experimental as you can
  • You may decide to complete this exercise digitally
  • Upload them to your blog and reflect on the process


I subverted the exercise somewhat by using the process to create a set of mural designs as part of a client proposal. I have an opportunity to create a mural in a public space measuring 8 metres by 3½ metres and needed to generate some ideas quickly to give an idea of what’s possible and to gain feedback.

The location is along one wall of a taproom/bar that measures 8 metres by 3½ metres.  There are several mockups below that give a good indication of the space. The customers are typically between 20 and 30-years old.

If I get offered the project I’ll use it as my subject for Assignment 5.

The making approach I used was digital. Although I see huge benefits in working with paper and scissors, for this exercise I needed more flexibility to rescale and possibly make colour adjustments.

I set up a Photoshop document using a format to match the scale of the location.


The following 10 x cut-up were produced in approx. 6-hours.

By the horns mural option01
Cut-up 01
By the horns mural option02
Cut-up 02
By the horns mural option03
Cut-up 03
By the horns mural option04
Cut-up 04
By the horns mural option05
Cut-up 05
By the horns mural option06
Cut-up 06
By the horns mural option07
Cut-up 07
By the horns mural option10
Cut-up 08
By the horns mural option09
Cut-up 09
By the horns mural option08
Cut-up 10

I didn’t feel they were all suitable to put forward and ended up using five of the ten images. These were then mocked-up and tested on the target audience in order to get user feedback to evidence if/how the images were successful.


At the time of writing these are being tested and I’ll publish the results as part of Assignment 5 if I progress further with the project.


In order to make connections I printed out thumbnails of all of the images are organised them into categories, adding text and connecting lines as part of the process.

Connections map

You can download a higher resolution version of this image here: Connections


Reflections on image cut-ups

  • Interestingly I seem to have a problem knowing when a cut-up is ‘finished’ and/or whether it’s usable in a book illustration context, but no problem with this working within the context of a mural
  • I found it very easy to produce 10 x cut-up images using my selected images
  • I’m pleased that these contain new narrative elements
  • The multi-dimensional automatic drawings have a lot of potential for reuse and scale-up in a particularly interesting way

Reflections on connections map

I found this process of visual reflection quite interesting and make the following observations:

  • The life and figure drawing classes that I’ve been regularly attending since the start of lockdown are playing quite heavily into my OCA work; both in terms of visual style, composition, rapid experimentation and and an increasing confidence with figure drawing
  • The process driven creative approaches from PART 2 have really changed the nature and visual language of my work
  • I like working rapidly and this is how I produce some of my best images. I need to find ways to use this attribute more effectively in my finished artwork
  • I feel confident in developing a visual language and having the analytical skills and understanding to know what that means
  • Working with the relationship between image and typography is an area I’d like to explore further
  • My work is still all over the place. I’m equally excited to work in reportage, book illustration, sequential illustration and murals. At what point do I focus?


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