We all get lost sometimes and my personal experience of growing up with learning difficulties is at the heart of my project. I live with dyslexia and dyspraxia, I find it hard to make sentences make sense visually and I was bullied at a young age and into adulthood.
I have responded to the project theme by using Special Effects to convey what it feels like not to fit in or look like other people or read in the same way. The pixie-demon sculpted in clay embodies myself – the demon cheeky, wild and impatient, alongside the friendly, outgoing pixie.
I also wanted to convey my sensory experience of reading and while Illustration was not a first specialist choice, it became a language in which I could express my relationship with text and image. I used personal photographs of friends and family and their words of encouragement to create a series of A4 and A2 posters and a variable edition of illustrated zines.
The mischievous Cornish Pixy in Harry Potter (1998) and the horror fantasy film Gremlins (1984) were key influences for the creation of my pixie-demon – I was inspired by the size, form and build of these creatures, as well as the Demogorgon’s pointy sharp teeth in Stranger Things (2016-present) and the tooth fairies in Del Toro’s Hell Boy series (2014).
Each poster was created using a Wacom tablet to depict how I visualize words – I can’t read black and white is inspired with blurry words, dancing, jumping and flickering. In I can read blue and black the words are clear and in focus. The zines, printed on a large-scale textile wallpaper printer, combine digital drawings, old pictures of childhood and the familial words that described me – unique, thoughtful, spontaneous, unbreakable.