Exercise 1: True Stories

For this exercise, I need to decide on a famous person from history to research. I then need to collect together written and visual information on them from their childhood onwards. I need to also collect together some photographs to draw from.

After that, I need to select a number of key events that represent their life in summary and illustrate them as single illustrations from my photo references and written descriptions.

Finally, I need to arrange my finished illustrations on an A3 page in a visually attractive way.

I chose Igor Stravinsky, I wanted to research someone I find inspiring (music-wise) but want to find out more about as I only know about his composing.

For my research I will be listing most key moments in his life below, I will use Wikipedia for my research so that I. know the information is correct, I couldn’t fit in all the key moments in his life as there were a lot so I tried to focus on the most interesting:

  • Born 17th June 1882, Oranienbaum, Russia
  • Baptised 10th August 1882
  • Attended his first ballet performance of Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ at age 8
  • Started regular piano lessons at age 9 followed by tuition in music theory and composition
  • His parents wanted him to study law, enrolled at Univiety of Saint Petersburg studying criminal law and legal philosophy
  • He met Vladimir, another student at the University and the youngest son of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (the leading Russian composer of that time)
  • Rimsky-Korsakov suggested to Stravinsky that he should not carry on with law but continue private lessons in music theory
  • By 1909 he had composed 2 more pieces: Scherzo fantastique, Op. 3, and Feu d’artifice (“Fireworks”), Op. 4
  • He composed both at the Saint Petersburg concert sparking the attention of Sergei Diaghilev, a Russian impresario, and owner of the Ballets Russes
  • He was offered to compose the full score for ‘The Firebird’ ballet
  • The Firebird was revised by Stravinsky for concert performances in 1911, 1919, and 1945
  • Diaghilev commissioned Stravinsky to score a second ballet for the 1911 Paris season. The result was ‘Petrushka’
  • Stravinsky’s third ballet for Diaghilev, The Rite of Spring, caused a sensation among critics, fellow composers, and concertgoers.
  • In 1914 following. the outbreak of WW1 he was ineligible for military service due to health reasons
  • He met Picasso in 1920 and his portrait was drawn by him
  • He arrived in New York City on 30th September 1939 and headed for Cambridge, Massachusetts to fulfill his engagements at Harvard
  • He married and moved to Beverly Hills, California before they settled in Hollywood in 1941
  • His music was used for the first time in ‘film’ in Walt Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ and ‘The Rite of Spring’ was brought to life depicting the history of Earth and the age of dinosaurs
  • On 28th December 1945 he because a naturalised US citizen
  • on 18th March 1971, he was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital with pulmonary edema where he stayed for 10 days
  • The edema returned on 6th April 1971 and soon stopped eating and drinking and died at 5:20am at age 88
  • In 1987 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was awarded a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • In 2004 he was inducted into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame

My photo research:

Stravinsky as a child
Stravinsky in 1903, age 21
Group of supporters and members of the Ballets Russes in April 1911, Cote d’Azur (left to right: Aleksandra Khokhlova (née Botkina), Pavel Koribut-Kubitovich, Tamara Karsavina, Vaslav Nijinsky, Igor Stravinsky, Alexandre Benois, Sergei Diaghilev, Anastasia Notthaft (née Botkina), sit. E.Oblakova. Ph.by Alexandra Botkina (née Tretyakova))
Famous photograph of Stravinsky at a grand piano by Arnold Newman
Stravinsky on the cover of Time in 1948
Stravinsky during a 1962 visit to Israel
Debussy with Igor Stravinsky: photograph by Erik Satie, June 1910
Stravinsky in the 1920s
Stravinsky with Wilhelm Furtwängler, German conductor and composer
Stravinsky conducting in 1965
Stravinsky with Mstislav Rostropovich in Moscow in September 1962

My chosen photos to draw from (I chose three significant photos that show his aging during his best years:

My illustrations:

My final A3 page:

(without writing)

(with writing)

I think the final outcome for this exercise came out really well, I enjoyed working on my Ipad again and creating these illustrations digitally. I decided on using a continuous line drawing art style as I thought this would symbolise the flow of music. I decided on creating my illustrations in monochrome so that it looked like black and white photos of the time. I think the white lines around each illustration and the black background really makes the full A3 page work. If I was to change anything it would be to improve on the continuous line drawing and where I add the different greys.



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