Monday, 24 October 2016

What Is The Problem?

To what extent will the briefs allow me to meet my criteria for success within the module?

I think the briefs will allow me to meet my criteria for success within the module by helping me develop my digital skills and web based image making. All briefs include some kind of digital aspect and I know this is a weaker area of mine so I think they'd push me to develop my working methods. 

To what extent will the briefs benefit me with regards to entering competition briefs?
All briefs would push me to work in a commercial manner and would give me the experience of working with a client/brief that wasn't set within uni. It would also help me push my practice forward in a more professional manner and gain experience in dealing with different kinds of briefs.

Identify any technical or skills challenges that may need addressing

The National Autistic Society must be a video which is an area I am not confident or knowledgable in. The Desperados brief involves e
vent organisation and management is something I'm also not skilled in, the brief is also unclear of exactly what it wants from us
Fur For Animals is a web based campaign, I feel like I'd possibly be okay with doing some of this on my own but I'd probably need to look into collaboration for this and the other two briefs

Fur for Animals - Fight the Fur Trade

What problems are identified by the brief? 
- There's no such thing as ethical fur
- Over 100 million animals every year are killed in the name of fashion 
- New demand for high-end, high street and fur trimmed garments has emerged
- Largely driven by consumers in Russia and China 
- Issue is far-removed from the audiences lives

What is the brief asking you to do about it/them?
- Convince people that this is still and issue
- Show people that there's no such thing as ethical fur
- Engage the audience and show them what they can do to make a difference

What is the brief trying to achieve? 
- For those that still buy or considering buying fur garments, the brief is trying to persuade them to change their minds
- Raise awareness of how this is still an issue 

Who will benefit?
- Respect For Animals charity 
- Animals 

What is the message? 
- That the fur trade is still an ongoing issue
- That animals unnecessarily suffer and are killed for the fur trade 
- New demand for fur products has emerged

Who is the audience?
- Those who have bought or are considering buying garments made with real fur 
- The wider public who don't wear fur - acts as a reminder 

How will the message be delivered? 
- Social platforms
- Video format 
- Digital campaign 
- Worldwide

Can you foresee any problems in responding to the brief?
- Not a lot of experience in producing work for a digital platform/digital campaign - would be a good opportunity to collaborate 
- What is an integrated campaign??
- Role reversal within this subject area is common, for examples animals wearing human skin etc, would need to make sure I wasn't just creating something that'd already been done. 
- What does the term 'online content' cover? Do I get free range with it as long as it works well in web format. Can it be a video? An ad? An image? Interactive? 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Looking At Briefs


- These briefs seem really professional and also terrifying. They seem to focus quite heavily around graphic design or web design or animation/moving image, none of which I'd be fine with doing on my own so maybe these briefs are a good opportunity for collaboration.

- Definitely interested in the Fur For Animals brief. This is an area that I already have interest in so it'd be nice to apply my thoughts and feelings about animal welfare to an actual brief. I'm not really into the idea of working for some huge company/bank/amazon are awful so doing work for a charity is more my kind of thing.

- There's a lot of information to read up on in regards the actual briefs and terms and conditions and all that, I'll try bring myself up to speed with that a little bit after the next Responsive session we have. 

Cheltenham Illustration Awards

- Last years brief, Tales of Nonsense, sounded really fun and I was having a quick look at the book they put together of some of the entries and the range of illustration, approaches to the brief and practical techniques was so huge! So much cool work in one place!

- Kind of a more serious version of a usual studio brief, if that makes sense? There's a heavy focus on illustration rather than design which is great because that's what floats my boat. Brief is given, draw some nice pictures, hope for the best, have a great time. 

- Because there's such a wide range of illustration, it also feels like theres a massive amount of competition, which obviously there will be, but I think because I'm not such a confident person, this could put me off attempting some of the briefs, mainly through a fear of not being good enough, definitely feeling the pressure after seeing some of last years work for this. 

Secret 7"

- Love the idea that the contents of the vinyl is hidden from the buyer, whatever you designed for this brief would have to communicate so many different elements of the song in order to attract the right kind of people, and I think this could be a really interesting challenge, how do you communicate different types of sounds through imagery?

- Design based elements, but not super graphic design-y. A lot of the D&AD briefs i've been looking at seem to focus around graphic design or moving image, either of which things I feel like i'd be ready to tackle on my own so it's quite nice to find a brief that would allow me to focus on my own practice. 

- Variety of songs from 2016, even though there's only 7 to choose from there's a whole load of musical variety in there, very nice. 

I can easily see this becoming a very stressful and nerve-wracking module. How fun. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

3 Illustrators Who Use Print Processes

Sophie Lécuyer

I was immediately drawn to Sophie's work due to her use of texture and her combination of traditional print processes and digital software to edit and bring together her illustrations. Her work is so beautiful! Through monotype and lino printing she creates these mystical illustrations that often have a dark undertone to them. I really love the ghost image that I've put in this blog post, the texture in the background adds a lot to the image rather than it being just a flat black background and the way she's managed to create the image of the ghost is crazy. I don't really understand how she manages to create these images but I'm utterly in love with them.

Harriet Lee-Merrion

I first saw Harriet's work in an episode of Oh Comely and was immediately drawn to it because of her heavily line based style. I quite like just working with lines to create images so it was nice to find an illustrator who was producing such lovely work without using loads of colour/shape etc. Harriet uses mono printing to produce some of her images and I think this could be a useful way for me to try making images as I enjoy drawing a lot more than painting/collaging and all that.

Adams Carvalho

I'm really into these images, not my usual thing, a lot bolder than work that I usually like but the block colours and the black work great together and all these girls looks so badass. Another reason I was drawn to these is because even though it only uses two flat colours, theres still a lot of detail and the image hasn't necessarily been stripped down to use shapes. I get bit worried about screen printing because it doesn't seem to work too well for me whenever I give it ago, especially when I'm working with finer lines and smaller details but I think taking an approach like this might work a little better for me.

Final Images

I'm pretty happy with how these have turned out! I think they have a really consistent theme and style throughout the set and would like to think that they'd work well in context. I'm not too keen on how the watercolour paint has shown up when i scanned it in. Photoshop really isn't a strong point of mine and is something I'd definitely like to improve upon this year to allow my work to have a more professional finish too it and also to allow me to make any amendments without it taking hours and hours of me trying to figure out which button does what. 

In terms of feedback I got from the mega crit, people liked the textures and colours within my images. Some people said that the background was too noisy, I can see where they're coming from, I think that it's maybe a bit too overpowering but this is always something I could change in photoshop by playing around with the levels. Feedback on my concepts said that my visual metaphors were strong and that the messages were clear across all three.
Pretty happy with how these have turned out and with the feedback i've received! Good start to second year! 

Thursday, 13 October 2016


I've played around bit with pencil, ink and watercolour to see what'd work best for this brief. I was pretty keen on filling up the white space with a textured pencil background rather than just leaving my illustrations completely as spot images. People in my peer review session liked my ideas and I got good feedback on which direction I should go towards in regards how to create my final images.

I've decided to go with pencil and watercolour to create my finals, it's something I'm comfortable, and enjoy, working with. I look at different colour options and decided to go with a washed out pink/peach colour.

For the landscape and portrait images I was pretty much set on composition, I played around with the square image though to try and figure out if I could position the hands a bit better maybe. I decided to change it so it looked more like the hands were cupping the fawn and coming into the image from above, giving it a little bit of dimension rather than just leaving it as a flat image as though you were just looking at it from above.

I'm pretty happy with how these are turning out, I want to scan them into photoshop and adjust some of the levels and then I think I'll be done!

Chosen Ideas

So the feedback I got from the mega crit led to me choosing three ideas that I was already really keen on. I'm pretty happy about this, i really feel like I'm doing my own kind of work now where as last year I felt like i was constantly producing things that were intended to suit what other people liked rather than what i liked doing.

I'm still debating how I'm going to go about creating the final images, I'm thinking of just sticking with pencil and a dash of watercolour to add the second colour (which I still haven't chosen) but apart from that I think I'm ready to get going!

Developed Roughs and Compositions

I took a few of my ideas from the group crit and started to explore how they could work in different formats, I also came up with a few new ideas from the feedback I received and that stemmed from previous ideas

I'm pretty certain I'm going to leave them as spot images though, I'm not a big fan of drawing whole scenes and super detailed compositions, I might add a background so there's not loads of white space but I'm not sure yet.
I'm also still a little unsure about which images I want to use in each format, I think some of these might get moved round a little bit, once i've managed to choose a set of three I think it'll be a lot easier to figure out which format each image will suit best

Initial Roughs and Feedback From Crit

I'm finding this whole visual metaphor thing pretty hard to get my head around, it's really hard to try and convey a message in a not so literal way and its been bogging me down a bit.

That said, I have got a few ideas down. I'm kind of running with the theme of environmental activism and Atwood's concern with the environment in her own life and in her work. I think I'm most drawn to this and it's easiest for me to work around this theme because it's something that interests me as well and I also enjoy illustrating natural forms and objects.

I think one of my strongest concepts so far is the how we as people have a false sense of ownership towards the planet, we treat the Earth as if we own it, as if it's ours when in reality were nothing but visitors, i anyone owns anything, the Earth owns us. This idea was definitely prompted by Atwood's continuing personification of nature and also from reading her poem "The Moment"

I've tried to explore Feminism, Oppression and Canadian Identity as well but the ideas aren't exactly pouring out for these themes.

I was under the impression that a lot of the ideas/images that I'd come up with were pretty shoddy and way too obvious but I was told that my "Fish Bag" idea was a strong idea to follow and I'm happy about this because personally it was my favourite. I was also told that the "Lady in the Birdcage" and the "Canadian Roots" ideas that I'd come up with were worth developing further.
I think I'm definitely going to play around with these three more and see if any more ideas come along over the next few days that I could maybe develop into something else. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Editorial Illustration

John Holcroft

. Clean, shape driven imagery
. Flat, possibly digitally produced illustrations
. Uses a muted/restricted colour palette
. Textured effect created using 'a bit of jiggery pokery on Photoshop'
. Screen print style using photoshop
. Similar to 1950's ad's
. Used to work in acrylic paints on boards
. Delivers sometimes complex messages in a simple format
. Easy for everyone to understand

. Messages hidden within messages
. Two symbols/ideas combined to create one whole image 
. Visual metaphors e.g. feeding your ego
. Social issues and modern behaviour drawn in a satirical way
. Focuses on our dependance on technology, society's greed and the devaluation of workers, as well as other topics

Paul Blow

."I take a deep breath and stare at the blank page until I force the ideas out or my eyes start bleeding - whichever comes first"
. Writes down lots of words, like a word association game 
. Just draw - doing one thumbnail after another leads to the important creative ideas
. "Just do your own thing"


. Clear and obvious messages communicated through his illustrations
. Simple illustrations with restricted colour palettes
. Digitally produced to make work easier to scale etc
. Not overly detailed but would say there's more detail in these images than the John Holcroft ones
. Combing images to deliver a message also runs through this illustrators work
I really like both of these illustrators, I've been reading a few interviews with both of them and think that reading interviews is something I should start doing with illustrators that inspire me. I found a lot of handy tips and tricks and pieces of advice, as well as getting an insight into the illustrators life and working methods.

I'm excited to get started on this brief, we touched on editorial last year but I found my article really boring and therefore didn't put too much effort into it. Now that the idea of visual metaphors has come into play a bit more, I'm thinking about how we can deliver a direct message to a large audience using word play and imagery in a simple format, and in turn how editorial work may fit into my own practice more. I was starting to figure out at the end of last year that i wanted to try and spread idea/messages/opinions through my work and maybe this is the way to do it! 

Final Zine and Feedback

I was pretty pleased with how my zine turned out, it was a really quick task which meant I couldn't spend time fussing over things that weren't necessarily 'perfect' and gave me a chance to kind of embrace the DIY attitude of zine making.

Using the photocopier was fun, I can see how it could be really useful for produce small publications at a large quantity and i also really enjoyed inverting images to see how they would turn out, sometimes they looked better than my originals!I was happiest with my double spread bird page in the middle of the book and this was reflected in my feedback, people mostly commented on how they liked that page in terms of aesthetics. I was also told that maybe I should try and embrace minimalism and that less is sometimes more, I completely agree with this but I personally enjoy working in more detail but understand that i need to learn how to balance this out and not over-crowd my images. I was also told I'd included too much text/quotes and I think this is true as well. I would much rather have produced more images for this task but we only had a few days for this brief and I'm learning how to juggle the course and a part-time job as well. That being said, I'm really interested in making more zines in this way and also expanding my work and research on Margaret Atwood. 

Zine Ideas and Development

To start, I was really excited about making a zine, I love making books and publications and I'm really into the whole DIY aspect of zine making and their history of spreading ideas, opinions and art. 

I did struggle getting started on this though, I tend to overthink and struggle to reach decisions on which ideas to go with, or what I should draw or include in my work but the fact that we only had a couple of days to complete this helped spur me on a little bit. 

I ended up just drawing and playing with ideas/thoughts that I'd already had. I haven't been able to do much reading over the summer so haven't read a lot of Atwoods' work so sometimes I feel like I'm at a bit of a loss for material to work with and as though I'm running behind but I tried to do the best with what I had! 

I ended up just going with a pretty simple set up, illustrating ideas I already had, including some information about the author and some quotes and excerpts from her writing. We were told to keep it simple so that's what I'm trying to do rather than fretting over every single detail! hopefully this will come out looking ok! 

Margaret Atwood - 5 Pieces of Information

Future Library Project
Atwood was the first contributor to the Future Library Project with he novel 'Scribbler Moon'. The project aims to collect one original story by a popular writer every year until 2114. All the books will then be published in 2114 and will not be available to read until then. 

Honorary President of Birdlife Internationals Rare Bird Club
Atwood and her partner, Graeme Gibson, are joint honorary presidents of Birdlife International's Rare Bird Club. Birdlife International is one of the worlds largest nature conservation partnerships with over 10 million members and supporters and is largely considered the world leader in bird conservation. 

In our six intriguing years with BirdLife, we have been both astonished and inspired by what can be accomplished by a dedicated group with the passion, outreach, and professionalism of the BirdLife Partnerships. It is an amazing organisation.”
Margaret Atwood & Graeme Gibson, Joint Honorary Presidents of the BirdLife Rare Bird Club

Growing Up In The Wilderness
Atwood spent her childhood backpacking through the North Quebec Cutback due to her fathers forest entomology research. Her parents were very environmentally conscious and were early members of the Sierra Club (environmental organisation). She did not attend full time education until she was eight years old. 

Inventor of the Longpen
In 2004 Atwood conceived the concept of a remote robotic writing technology, the LongPen, that would allow a person to remotely write in ink anywhere in the world via tablet PC and the Internet, allowing her to conduct book tours without being physically present. She founded the company Unotchit Inc., to develop, produce and distribute her product. 

Book Covers
On occasion Atwood has designed and created the covers for some of her books including, Murder in the Dark, which was made out of a sunbathing ad in Vogue, The Circle Game, which was made out of sticker dots and Interlunar, a watercolour painting.

"Poets and artists shouldn't think too much about processes... it interrupts the work" - Margaret Atwood