Claire Rollet

Claire Rollet is a London based illsutrator, creating traditional ink drawings, and complementing them with digital colour work. Claire’s working process starts by drawing the pictures using nib and Indian Ink. The black & white line drawing is then scanned in the computer and brought to life on Photoshop by adding a delicate and carefully chosen palette of colours.

Images from here



During one of my group tutorials, I was explaining my idea of pixel art and buildings, and I showed the group the research I had done on Minecraft saying how the game had inspired me, two people mentioned that it reminded them of Lego bricks, and how I should maybe try something with Lego.

While thinking how to incorporate Lego into the streets forced perspective was on my mind, I thought about the combination of the two together. What I want to do is create things out of Lego and place them in such a way that it looks as though the Lego is part of the street, I would then capture this by photographing it. I’d try and replace things that were already there such as a building, and I’d also create and place new Lego objects that aren’t there. I’d do this with a range of subjects these include:

  • buildings
  • structures
  • people
  • open spaces
  • surfaces such as floors and walls
  • cityscapes
  • objects
  1. signs
  2. table
  3. Bench
  4. vegetation – trees and flowers
  5. vehicles
  6. light
  7. windows
  8. phone box
  9. post box
  10. aerial
  11. clock
  12. sculpture
  13. roads
  14. people (interacting)
  15. bridge

Capturing flow & energy – experiment 3

There was a firework display on in the city of Bradford for the Christmas light switch on. I thought this would be a great opportunity to photograph, so I did so using long exposure again to follow the same path.

Capturing motion & flow – experiment 2

After photographing light trails of the roads, I decided to try and capture human movement. I wanted to show how humans move and follow paths.

Capturing motion & flow in the city – experiment

The first place I headed to attempt to capture a sense of flow and energy was the streets, I wanted to photograph the light trails from the moving vehicles on the road. I also went to a roundabout as I thought it would emphasise the sense of flow, specifically traffic flow in this instance.

Light painting – experiment 3

As well as using hand held light sources as my paintbrush and pallet, I also played around with camera movement, instead of removing the camera from the tripod, I just moved the camera smoothly around whilst still attached to the tripod. The results are completely different from the other technique. I really enjoyed tampering with different factors such as the speed I move the camera, the direction or directions I move the camera, shutter speed, and how long I expose the camera in different positions. The result of moving the camera and leaving it, then moving and leaving it again created a nice looking layered effect, as though multiple pictures had been taken.

Light painting – experiment 2

After the initial tests, I headed for the streets and began creating my own light paintings. Inspiration for these mainly come from Michael Bosanko and his light figures, and Lichfaktor’s light creatures created from street objects.

The LED umbrella combination created some interesting results which looked quite nice.

Light painting – experiment

To create my first light paintings I needed a range of light sources to experiment with these are the lights I managed to gather:

Lighter, white LED, blue LED, green LED, multi coloured flashing light.

Umbrella modified by taping LED lights in a circular fashion. I also used the lights by them selves without the umbrella appendage.

Initial tests

These were the very first light paintings I created, testing out different exposure times, aperture settings, and ISO sensitivity on the camera. I experimented with different ways of using the light with factors like speed, motion and distance.

Pixels – experiment

With many photographs of buildings, walls, floors and other surfaces, I was ready to begin creating the pixel art on them. My first test was on some paved bricks. This is the process I went through to manipulate them:

  • brought the photograph into Photoshop
  • turned the image into a workable layer and then duplicated it
  • proceeded to select bricks using the selection tool
  • with sad brick(s) selected, I then change the hue, altering the colour
  • I tested a spectrum of colours to see what the result was

The next test was to actually create something using the surface, I chose a glass pained wall to be the subject, I chose this as all the blocks are in line meaning the end product would look more like a pixel art piece. This time instead of individually selecting each block, I opted for using the magic wand tool as I soon realised it would take me a long time to individually select each block. I chose to create a space invader as it’s one of the first things that come into my head when I think of pixel art, and also my recent post on the street artist Invader inspired me.

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Rick Poynor – guest lecture

Rick Poynor, writer on design, graphic design, typography, and visual culture, visited last Friday to give a lecture. The lecture he presented was greatly interesting and I felt as though I could relate my work and experiments (of the current project) to his work and the designers and photographers he spoke of. The main title of the lecture was ‘Writing with Pictures’, he has a book of the same name; he talks of “The word and the image” and how “the two pieces go together”, “Taking pictures with a plan to write about them, literally writing with pictures.”. Rick Poynor’s work is strongly photographically based, or seemed that way in the lecture anyway, but this allowed me to relate much of my work to his and his techniques as I have been mainly focusing on photography for the Street Graphic brief.

Rick then went on to talk about a designer and photographer called Herbert Spencer, who speaks of the relation of photographs and graphic design and the combination of the two. I will look into Herbert Spencer in more detail. Other designers that incorporate photography into graphic design include David Carson and the colelctive ‘Tomato’, studying visual environments and using pictures as subject matter, creating a visual journey through the narrative.

Poynor also spoke of using the walls and surfaces as the canvas for photography, explaining how much of his photography is based on different materials, surfaces and walls, allowing for “contained energy coming together in images”, the challenge is to capture an image as it is without having to manipulate it in anyway. One project called ‘Secret Spaces’ is all about decay, texture and surface, I felt this was one of the more relevant areas of his works that I could relate to my own, texture and surface is an aspect of my pixel art on different textures and surfaces including walls, floors, buildings, tiles etc.  The project ‘Shadow World’ focuses on graffiti, stickers and posters, Poynor goes onto say how to “appropriate the environment”, instead of making graffiti, he pictures others work, “re-appropriate them to make them your own”, by changing the composition of the picture. By composing certain images with architecture, colour, space and objects, you have the ability to create an unreal looking end product without any manipulation whatsoever. In some of Rick’s images he captures architecture and other subjects and carefully structures them, I can follow this guidance with my photography, by composing my subjects by carefully looking out for the architecture, typography, signs and materials shown.

For a closer look at ‘Shadow World’ click on the image below, this is one of the photos from a visit to Orford Ness, a long shingle spit formerly used for secret weapons testing .

Another designer and photographer Rick Poynor suggested to look at if we were interested/focusing on street photography is Saul Leiter, his pictures have a sense of ambiguity, movement and flow by layering I will look more into Saul Leiter.

The lecture finished with Rick saying how many different areas there are for exploration in the design world using writing, images and research.