This term has centred a lot on developing my own practice as an illustrator, something that I really started to do in the first half of the second year. I’ve worked hard to expand on the discoveries I made in that first term and feel like I’m actually starting to pin down my practice and my aims for the kind of work that I want to produce.
I think I’m now beginning to develop my own style as an illustrator in regards to the consistent imagery that I’m producing, a lot of which is focused on working with the materials and exploring what they can do rather than trying to force them to create the perfect image that is in my head. I find that if I do create the exact picture of what I imagine in the first instance the illustration often looks static and lifeless; something that I don’t find particularly appealing in regards to the type of illustration I enjoy creating. To achieve this I have had to battle a lot with my own expectations of where I saw my career going and the type of work I thought I would be producing when I started university as opposed to what I actually find inspiration and enjoyment in.
What has helped a lot with that this term are the professional practice lectures we’ve had. These have helped me to understand that there are a lot of opportunities for my work out there and how I can go about getting them. Most of all however it helped me realise that if I want to pursue a career, I have to actually get excited about my work otherwise on a personal level I’m just not going to be interested enough to work very hard.
On a practical level I feel I’ve expanded my knowledge of the materials I’ve been using further than before and have increased my skill set in a lot of new ways by working a lot with computer based programmes such as the adobe suite which has allowed me to develop my work in ways I would never have been able to before as I did with the patterns for the 3M commission. I have also developed a better critical understanding of my work as well which I think has been helped a lot by the completion of the live commission and knowing that I had to produce work to a professional standard. Understanding how to approach the brief given and meeting the deadlines and time frame have been good insight into what I can expect in my professional practice and how well I can cope with that.
My aims now are to solidify my practice as an illustrator and over the next year establish a professional presence and start to really push myself to enter more competitions and find placements that interest me. I want to really try to gain an idea of where I would place myself within the illustration industry whilst still producing the work I want to and developing my style.
These are two photographs I took of a sheet of silhouettes i’d just finished cutting out. The background is the sheet of paper I’d taped to my desk to catch the excess ink that i was working with for the patterns.
It just shows how the accidental combinations of colours and shapes works well.
Here are some of my final pieces in which i’ve used combinations of colours with the ink instead of just the single colours i was working with originally. I think these work really well and are effective illustration of my newly created ‘mythological’ creatures and they have brought them into a more modern design setting which fits well with their ‘newness’.
I really like how these pieces have turned out. They are so much more effective than the previous works with line work and get the blend of the silhouette and the background work perfectly. I’m going to work with this technique some more to see what other effects can be created.
I think my favourite pieces here are the ones that use at least two colours however and seen as thats a recurring theme that I seem to prefer throughout my work so far I’m going to work more with that.
A few of these blend a little better, mostly the ones with darker background colours so the black fine liner illustrations don’t stand out quite so much. I still don’t think they look completely right though so i’m going to move onto using the background pattern design with the silhouettes again like I did with the original patters to see how that looks.
These are my first attempt at creating my own background patterns. I don’t think they work very well at the moment, the colour and the line work illustrations seem to separate, they don’t work together as a whole. I’m going to try producing some more, maybe a few with more than one colour to see if it has any impact.
I’ve tried mixing the patterns here, both in the same silhouette and within different silhouettes on the same page.
I really like how these have turned out and think the mix of different patterns and colours adds an extra dimension to the work.
Next I’m going to try creating my own patterns, not distinctly inspired directly from animals but more focused on the combination of colours and interesting textures that I find so appealing within this work.
Here I’ve started cutting the silhouettes of the creatures out of paper and sticking the patterns behind them.
I think it works really well, even with those silhouettes that aren’t distinctive enough to show an unusual animal.