Exercise 4: Finding Reference

For this exercise, I am to collect as many references as I can find from the 1980s. I need to be broad with my references but unfortunately, where I live, the local library doesn’t have many books on the 1980s that I can use so all of my research will be found using the internet. I will look for images that I find interesting and that might contribute to the drawing.

I will organise my reference materials and information into the following categories:

  • People and clothes
  • Architecture and interior (buildings, churches, railway stations, office blocks, cinemas, etc).
  • Design (posters, books, typography, and advertising).
  • Transport and engineering (cars, trains, planes, etc).
  • Popular culture (classical music, pop bands, theatre, films, TV programmes, sports, etc).

People and Clothes:





Architecture and interior (buildings, churches, railway stations, office blocks, cinemas, etc):



Design (posters, books, typography, and advertising):





Transport and engineering (cars, trains, planes, etc):


Popular culture (classical music, pop bands, theatre, films, TV programmes, sports, etc):



Now I will make one landscape format A3 illustration of a couple of people standing on a street corner surrounded by typical architecture, fashion, and objects of my chosen decade. I will make it as detailed as a can, and the illustration will be in full colour as the 1980s was full of colour.

I decided to ask my Mum for advice on what to research for this exercise as she is a reliable source in herself as she grew up in the ’80s. Of course, my mum only knew the ’80s of Eastbourne as that is where she grew up, so I decided to base my illustration on my mother in 80’s Eastbourne, for this I will be making my mother and her friend the people standing on the street corner of Eastbourne in the ’80s. The architecture and shops in the ‘Architecture and interior’ section are old photos of Eastbourne’s town centre so I will be incorporating this into my illustration.

Creating my Illustration:

My Illustration:

My Short Review:

The ’80s featured a lot of bright, bold colours and patterns in fashion. Makeup was the same with bright coloured pigments in lipstick, nail varnish and eyeshadows. Fashion trends consisted of loud, flashy clothing items normally inspired by fashion icons, models and celebrities of the time, for my mum this was Madonna with her high heels, excessive jewellery and fishnet tops. Advertising was mostly upbeat with colourful images and catchy slogans on billboards and on TV, but the ’80s is also the time that AIDS became an epidemic, and of course, adverts became focused on the prevention of the virus and many posters and TV adverts came out primarily focussed on AIDS. A few hit movies that came from America that became very popular in ’80s England included; The Lost Boys, Scarface, Back to the Future and Star Wars (these are my mum’s favourites anyway!) The music of the ’80s was very mostly upbeat. Some great bands gained popularity (some were originally bands prior to the ’80s) from then onwards including; Queen, The Cure, Duran Duran, Iron Maiden, The Police, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and of course WHAM! Personally, I think the 80s is hard to forget as so many changes happened during those years in the UK and worldwide. It’s hard to miss the defining 80’s coloured clothing and hairstyles as there wasn’t any time prior to the ’80s when that fashion was ever used but nowadays our confused mixture of fashion could be mistaken as partly ’80s influenced?

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