Tuesday, 17 April 2012

DD2000 - Design Product

From working on a children’s book project I have done a lot of research and looked at many different children’s books to inspire me with my own work.

The Troll

One book the helped me the most was called “The Troll” illustrated by David Roberts, Macmillan Children’s Books. The story was well written, witty  and I thought the artwork was amazing. The artist used watercolours and ink, which I found really surprising from the quality of the work and the vibrant colours, I would have expected it to have been partly done on the computer from the quality of the drawings. I really loved all of the different characters, all of them had there own unique look which made each character more interesting and engaging. Each page is completely different, some pages are completely filled with panels showing different situations and other pages just focus on one part of the story with few characters which shows great composition, especially when spread across a double page. The layout of the book really help me with my own, as I was struggling to find the best way to show all the information though my drawings and the panels worked perfectly with my children’s book.    

Jump on Board the Animal Train

Another book that helped me with  my work was “Jump On Board the Animal Train” illustrated by Benji Davies. I loved the detailed backgrounds and the flip pages that show all of the animals was a very clever idea.  The characterization of the animals were brilliant and I love the expressions and happy faces of all the characters.  It’s a nice simple story of a boy who is going for a walk with his mum, and along the way more and more animals start to follow him, with each animal that enters the scene the drawings get more detailed which would get any child excited to see what will come next, I wanted to achieve that when I was writing my own story, I wanted the reader to be engaged with the story and stay interested until the end.    

Little Princess 

The last book I looked at was called “Little Princess - I Don’t Want to go to Bed”  written and illustrated by Tony Ross. I love the simple drawings and the exaggerated expressions.  This book really interested me from the story since it seem to be a switch from mine, Little Princess is about a little girl who is a princess doing everyday and quite mundane things, but told in a very interesting and funny way, whereas my story was about a boy who wanted to be  king and imagined himself doing extraordinary things.  The illustrations really helped me with my own work, since I always over complicate my work and try to show to much going on at one, and in this book the drawings are simple with not too much going on all in one page, which showed me my drawings can be minimal but still work very effective to tell the story.

DD2000- Exhibiton Review

On my trip to New York with my University we visited my different Museums. One of my favourites was the Museum of Modern Art, there where so many inspiring exhibitions and fantastic artwork. One of the exhibitions Printin’ showed Ellen Gallagher’s work, she wanted to change what print could be with her very complex pieces. Most of her work uses portraiture, identity and advertising and the different methods include prints, drawings, photographs, films, sculptures, and many others.

I have not worked using print for a long time, but the way Ellen Gallagher’s work shows that it is not all the same and it makes me want to try something different and use print in a unique way.

There was a lot of other work which I really enjoyed viewing at MoMA some of the pieces were amazing. It was a  great experience seeing so many different types of artwork from artists all over the world all in one museum, I found it unfortunate that I didn’t get to see everything in there since it was so big, but I loved everything that I saw.    

DD2000 - Design Discourse

Shepard Fairey


Shepard Fairey works are all traditional, whether it be drawing, painting or print. Most of his work is very political, he wants to show the power and control in society. He want to engage people when they see his works, even if they like his drawings or  not.  He wants people to notice his works as eyecatching but also notice the political message he is trying to portray. He believes art can show his political messages to anyone.

He used a reference for one of his works from the “Hope” campaign used by Barack Obama’s supporters, which he has now got a lawsuit for copyright. He believes copyright is important when it comes to direct copies, but he states that one should be allowed to transform something into something new, artists are inspired by other works just as any other profession, he gives an example how authors are inspired by older books and rewrite the stories and text.

He uses a computer for his work, and he does not feel bound by the screen, he loves using screen print and finds it very liberating and a great reproduction for his images. He loves doing his work by hand and feels there is a difference from the printed copy to the original piece.

Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger’s work uses lots of different materials and makes them into a 3D model and has them professionally photographed as he final image. She feels like she needs to work hands on rather than on a computer, she says she feels restricted when looking at the screen, and would rather work with everything around her and choose her own paints, colours and materials, the only time she likes to use the computer for her work is to find inspiration and to find different shapes and patterns for her own work. I quite agree feeling limited on the computer, I much prefer to draw things traditionally and afterward edit on the computer.    

She also worked on a project for wallpaper magazine in Germany and she arranged the furniture as a college to resemble pieces of modern art. She makes sure she works more on the concept and ideas rather than the final outcome itself and one it is finished she usually will through away the piece she has worked on since it is the photograph that is the final image.  

She loves to make people smile with her work and make them laugh, so that they will remember her work in years to come. She has so many interesting ideas that it would be hard for me to forget, I find her work very inspiring and the way she creates the image is brilliant. 

DD2000 - Design Practice

Fig Taylor

Recently we had a talk with Fig Taylor who wrote the book “How to Create a Portfolio & Get Hired: A Guide for Graphic Designers and Illustrators.”

She gave a lot of good advice about how to be an illustrator and helped me realize thing I would not have even thought about when building my portfolio.

 She spoke about how we need a style that shows our work the best of our abilities and that we need a verity in subject matter and ideas to make an impression. She also stated that when looking for work meeting with different clients is a necessity, and you will only have around ten to fifteen minutes to make an impression with your work.

Your portfolio needs to tell everything about yourself, the client needs to know what you can and cannot do and to think carefully about what you want to show and take out anything you do not like, even if it is published work, if your not happy with it don’t include it. Though if you are happy with any of your published work make sure to put it near the front.

She also spoke about how you should always keep you portfolio fresh and take out any old work and replace it with the new.  

She stated that a standard size for a portfolio is A3 and A4, since it needs to be portable and not to large were the client cannot even place it on their desk. If you do have different styles then make sure to keep them in separate portfolios.

She also gave us advice on how to make a digital portfolio, it can be done any way you like, a slideshow, website, flickr, etc, as long as it is simple and easy to look though. Make sure you are completely self sufficient, bring your own laptop, and make sure you bring a dongle if you plan on showing your work from the internet, do not rely on the client to provide this for you.

Finally she advised us to look at different publishers and not only look for the obvious commissioners.  

Ben Tallon

At university we have had a visit from illustrator Ben Tallon, who spoke about his work from when he was a student at Uclan, up until the present day. 

He spoke about when he first started studying illustration he found it hard to find a style of his own, which is something I worry about with all of my own work. He advised us to be inspired by other peoples styles but not to copy them, as it will not be your own and will never be as good as the person who produces the artwork. He said when he graduated he rented out a studio with other graduates, which greatly helped him develop his work and find his style. 

After the talk he gave the class an editorial brief he had worked on in the past and asked us to draw a rough to show to the class within 3 hours. I instantly went into panic mode and my thought were all over the place since I like to take my time and gather my thoughts before drawing, but then he gave me some advice about my ideas and told me to think about the brief from different perspectives and keep referring back to the text if I am worried about going off track. 

From his talk I have gained a little more confidence in myself, and I shouldn’t worry so much about my work and just try to get on with it.