Design an A3 16 page Illustrated book all about you. Make sure it revolves around an original illustration style of your own.

Target audience
What is the purpose of this book beyond a D&AD brief, its subject matter and your unique
illustration style(s)? For example, is it for self-promotion, for publication, is it art? Make sure you tell us the reason for the book when you send it in.

Response1: I wanted the chance to fully realise the idea of creating an online persona and having that persona dominate not just the online portion of your life, but the offline portion also. What would life be like if I really was my avatar?

I once ran an internet message board on suicidegirls.com. My self appointed job was to turn the group from a meeting place online, to a meeting place in real life, where the models of the site could meet and interact with the users of the site. It was essentially a private social club for people in the UK who had the common interest of a fondness for the alternative lifestyle. Er, and pictures of pretty girls.
My girlfriend Nicola created and ran the group before me, but decided to hand it over to someone else when she became too busy to give it her full attention. I put myself forward to run it, as I had been constantly suggesting rule changes and often had to alert her of any drama happening. I said it would be better she just handed it all over to me and let me sort it out.
She did. It was the best and worse thing she has ever done.

My first act was to delete half of the members that I deemed not active enough, or whose accounts had lapsed. That was around 150 people. I wanted to make it clear that I was not one to be fucked with. I re-wrote the rules for the group. I had essentially gotten entirely carried away with the idea of being in charge, and my background in performance probably didn’t help. Or did help. Whatever. I was Traumatron – the terrible robot king of SGUK (suicide girls united kingdom).
The group picture changed from an image of Nic presiding over a classroom of south park versions of the members to an image of myself, gigantic and metal, destroying a city and zapping members with my laser eyes.
People referred to me as “The ‘tron”. On the internet and in real life. There was a respect there that was neither earned nor deserved – but people seemed to really enjoy the idea of a maniacal robot character running their message board. It was ridiculous.

So yeah. In a nutshell, that was who I was. Getting into fights, being privy to personal information about all manner of things, Models came to me asking for certain members to be banned, members came to me asking for me to reprimand people that they were too afraid to. I was the ultimate bad guy and scapegoat, but a coddling mother at the same time. Bully and nanny. It filled all my time. I was obsessive about what was happening with whom, and how I could help, or destroy that individual with my newly acquired internet powers.

It fucked me up, to be honest. But it was sort of funny. Tragi-larious. I made as many friends as I did enemies.

So the idea is then – if Traumatron was real…and he sort of was, and he ran the world, instead of a message board, what would that be like? The book could act as a manifesto, and be full of propaganda posters. People would always joke with me about banning people from real life, and I said I’d do it if I could. So really, Traumatron was more of a villain than a hero. In the illustrations, which would be both autobiographical and self analytical I can explore the me that was, and never was. The fiction that was me.

Response 2 : I think we are defined by our influences. We think and act the way we do because of the people that came before. Whether they are fictional or real, we are deeply affected by the actions and teachings of others.

Do you remember when you were little and you played games where you were playing the role of your heroes on the TV? Were you the good guy or the bad guy? If you think about the people that most affected you throughout your life, all those heroes and villains, how different would you be if you never picked up that particular book, or watched that particular movie?

Generally, I was influenced by villains. I was a sucker for a good baddie. All the way from Skeletor to the anti-hero Bill hicks, I’d like to give something back to them. A portrait for each. A book full of respects to the dead and the fictional. My heroes.

Response 3 : How many movies have you seen where you wish you were the main character, or thought – that’s me! This story is about me! I’d like to put myself into those amazing cinema moments. The moments that define me.

Essentially, this is a very simple idea about drawing myself into movie posters and scenes. The illustration style would vary dramatically from movie to movie, which would make it interesting for me to explore. But I worry that because I wouldn’t really be expressing my own style, I’d be emulating many others, so it may not fit with the brief. But then there’s nothing to say I couldn’t transform the look of all the movies to look one particular way.
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Feedback plz!

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~ by traumatron on February 7, 2008.

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