Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Friday One to One

I had my Friday one to one with Nicola. We talked about what I had been doing in my sketchbook - mainly texture experiments because I'm still unsure of a theme. Then we talked about my ideas which are to either do a children's book or a fiction book about death or with Death as a character. My other idea is to use Silver Crow in my story. I tried to explain what's in my head - about doing something a bit more experimental and 3D. Trouble is I'm not totally sure myself what that something is. I do know I want to be more textured, sculptural - 3D.

Nicola asked whether I felt I had a connection with the bird and I said that yes I do. I see her as a muse in a way and she does seem to appear when I need a little boost. Like a positive affirmation. I have done several little projects depicting a silver jackdaw which I call The Silver Crow Project. We also spoke about how I had got my 11 year old to read The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers and then I asked her what it was about. She had said that she thought it was a strange story about a girl who carries her heart in a bottle. She didn't get the death connection at all and when I asked her if she noticed that the Dad/Grandad character wasn't in it after a while, she said not really. Which led me to think - although Oliver Jeffers is one of my own favourite illustrators and she does love some of his other books... is it us adults that buy the books because we love his work. Maybe the idea of death and mourning - which this book is about, is a little above the child's head. It did open up a discussion, maybe that's the idea. But in the end a children's book needs to be incredibly sensitively handled and although I have a huge interest in the whole area, I shouldn't rush it and we really don't have that long with this book. So maybe look at making a more personal narrative involving Silver Crow but keep the other idea on the back burner to continue looking into as I progress and even after uni.

Nicola said she could see that I am a maker and want to be using my hands so my task, instead of doing loads and loads of drawings is to try and make, make, make for the coming Friday. Experiment with models, materials, scale etc. Also to work on my confidence and to believe I do belong there and am on the right course. That my work is illustration because I do want to communicate my ideas. I really came away feeling like someone understood where I was coming from and were I want to go. It was a good talk.

Silver Crow
Silver Crow is an actual bird that flits about my local area. She is a jackdaw that I first saw when we were looking for a new house to rent. When we got near to this property we saw a silver coloured baby crow pecking about on the verge. From then on she was called Silver Crow even after I realised she was actually a jackdaw - after doing a bit of research into corvids. I believe in signs and was sure  this was one that we should take the house we were viewing... it helped that it came with a workshop too.

My partner said not to get attached as these genetic abnormalities usually occur in the female and they are usually picked off by the rest of the flock because they would stand out and become a potential threat to predators like hawks.

However over seven years later and she is still here, still flying around with her flock and still visits our bird table occasionally. 

Carmen Wing - Silver Crow Jackdaw
Carmen Wing - Silver Crow Jackdaw
Carmen Wing - Silver Crow Jackdaw


  1. I think it's delightful that your silver crow still visits you! Continued luck with your course!

  2. Interesting bird, great to see it doing so well xxx

  3. Hi Carmen, so good that you came away from the meeting so positive. Important to get feedback that understands you, and works for you. Love the Silver Crow, indeed your partner is right, most unusual for them to survive for long.Perhaps being a predator itself has helped it. I love jackdaws, we get lots in our garden. They are very entertaining, especially when trying to get onto small bird feeders! Have a lovely week, Hugs, Shaz #9 X

  4. It's such a warming feeling when someone actually understands where you are coming from our direction and intentions. It makes creating even more enjoyable to have such positivity from those around us.
    Amazing to read in relation to the Silver Crow, survival of the fittest or maybe a wise old bird that has learnt to adapt in today's society. I wonder if it is seen as the Matriarch of it's flock..??
    Happy Sunday Tracey #10 x

  5. What a beautiful bird!
    Your blog is really interesting and Im looking forward to seeing how your project develops x


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