Friday, 31 March 2017

Experience Reflection - Ceramics - BAIS300

What was the experience/workshop/session?
For my second interdisciplinary rotation I took part in 3D Design Crafts, in which the brief was to create a dysfunctional table setting, using either metal, glass or ceramics. Originally I was allocated metal, but managed to swap to ceramics as it is something that I have been wanting to have a go at. In the workshops we had to make a ceramic plate which had to be dysfunctional, and we also had to collaborate with two other people in the other workshops, in order to piece together an entire complete table setting.

As the workshops were just an introduction to the practice, we started from the very basics, in order to build up our skills (and to also create a piece in the small time frame). We created ceramic plates by using pre-made fired bowls, in which we used as a template to lay our clay over. The first session was spent creating the plate, the second was spent applying glazes and oxides, and the third was spent setting up for the interdisciplinary exhibition.

How do you feel about the process?
I really enjoyed my short time working with ceramics, although it was limited with time and what you were able to create, the actual skills and process was really enjoyable. I also really enjoyed meeting new people from different disciplines, and working in a different environment. The ceramics itself was both easy and challenging, as I found creating the plate relatively easy, but when applying the oxides and glazes, the outcomes were unpredictable. As the glaze that I added to my piece didn't turn out how I had wished or anticipated, I would perhaps like to go back to improve it. Although the final finish of my plate is perfect for the brief (as I think that it looks mouldy, and so would be dysfunctional), I was hoping for brighter blues and greens, and so could go back to try to achieve this. Despite this however, I have learned so much about the process, and can learn from my mistakes in order to be more successful next time.

How will you apply this in the future?
Ceramics isn't the obvious path for an illustrator, however it can definitely enrich your practice. I have wanted to try out the ceramic facilities at the college, and so these workshops have undoubtedly opened up future opportunities for myself in order to pursue the practice further.

What would you like to build on?
As I have mentioned before, I wasn't entirely happy with how he glaze came out, and so if we were given an extra week, I could have re-glazed my plate in hope for a more successful outcome. However, I might choose to go back in my spare time, in order to improve it.

How could this relate to Gods & Monsters?
I could create my monster in ceramics, or apply one of my designs from a previous workshop to the surface of a ceramic item.

My plate once its been bisque baked, and after I had applied different coloured slips.

After applying the transparent gloss glaze

The finished result

My plate in the interdisciplinary exhibition (with other table settings)

We decided to go with a 'melted' theme, inspired by Salvador Dalí's 'melting clocks', which would bring our groups table setting together as a whole.

Extension/Further Study - (28th April)
I decided to go back down to the ceramics studio in order to make improvements to my plate - and I am really happy and surprised with the result:

Just by adding more white glaze and copper oxide it has totally transformed the whole piece! The colours are beautiful and are exactly what I was going for in the first place. It has definitely paid off going back and spending more time into improving it.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Ink & Stamp Typography - BAIL103

Here are some experiments that I created during the 'illustrated type workshop'. I found that these tasks stretched my knowledge and understanding of what I thought I knew about typography. Also the ink experiments enabled me to practice with conveying emotion within the text itself. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Human Rights Exhibition - Culture Quake II - BCOP100

For our second culture quake we focused on 'The Human Rights Act' (1998), which outlines 30 articles that state our basic human needs in order to live a free and equal life. I chose to focus on Article 15 which was:
1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2) No one should be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

*click to enlarge*

The end goal of this weeks project was to create an exhibition of responses to each article. The original document of human rights uses very heavy language, in which many would not be able to process and understand properly. Therefore as illustrators, it would be our job to represent these rights in a visual way, which would teach others about the rights that we should have - as outlined by the United Nations. 

Originally I had thought about making a poster of people holding multiple flags, signifying which nationalities that they identify with:

However I wanted to make something more striking and something that would convey the message with more impact. So I decided to create a collection of small postcards, all with different animals that you would instantly associate with a certain nation (their homeland). However, I have given them different flags than what you would expect, which evokes thought in the observer. Furthermore, these flags can be swapped and changed, further conveying the message of Article 15, that everyone has 'the right to change his nationality'.

I chose animals as I felt like the connection between the character and a particular country would be more instant, than if I tried to illustrate a 'typical human' of a certain nation. I also chose to illustrate them on postcards, as they are something that travels between different countries - furthering the message. Also, by having an interactive element it makes my piece more memorable, and the choice of deciding which animal has what flag mirrors the choice that we all have as individuals - we are free to identify with a nationality of our choice. 

When looking around the exhibition at the end of the week, there were other pieces which particularly stood out to me as being very successful, one being a headscarf created by Zacky Hughes:

It is based on Article 18, which outlines our right to choose and express our religion in private and in public. The fabric of the headscarf itself has the words of the article printed in multiple different languages, displaying how the rights belong to everyone no matter their ethnicity or religious beliefs - all of this is showcased on a headscarf, which itself is an icon of religion.  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Colour Separation - BAIS300

In today's workshop we were introduced to the process of colour separation, which allowed us to create block colour images, ready for processes such as: screen printing, lithograph, risograph etc. First I sketched some objects that I would use for my design:

I chose to stick with the woodland theme, so that it relates to my monster.
Then I began colouring the image in, using the limited colour palette (top left).

Then separating the different colours into layers, which allow for different colour combinations.

Overall I found the process very interesting and useful. I did find the precision of the colouring in a little tricky without a graphics tablet, but I managed to get by and make the most of learning the process and technique. I decided to keep my original outline due to the fact that I couldn't achieve great detail by just using my touch pad. I also moved some of the layers to offset them, which gave the finished product a more organic look. 

Timeline - BAIL104

1) Develop illustration skills such as: observational drawing, digital drawing & editing, idea making, composition, business knowledge, and watercolour techniques.
2) Learn ceramics as its something I've always wanted to pursue further for fun.
3) Decide what path of illustration to take - Editorial? Book Covers? Children's Books? Or something entirely different and unexpected...
4) Develop a unique style that makes me stand out from the crowd, but is also something that makes my process enjoyable and fun.
5) Build my website.
6) Graduate from PCA with my illustration degree!
7) Build my portfolio to showcase what I can do to future clients.
8) Move into studio with other creative people, which will help me to socialise and grow as a creative person
9) Get my first commission from a client, and have it published.
10) Create my dream home studio, somewhat like the one I designed in my 'dream workspace'.
11) Travel to places on my bucket list, e.g Italy, China (to see pandas), America, Maldives, Iceland... (not all at once, but maybe just 1 or 2).
12) Sell some of my products online to earn more of an income.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Protests - BCOP100

Protests are a way for people to bring awareness to a topic that is in need of change. It is defined as, "a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something", or "an organised public demonstration expressing strong objection to an official policy or course of action" [1]

This type of demonstration has occurred throughout history, for example the Suffragettes protesting for women's voting rights. Other protests include black power and slavery, anti war, women's rights, and political protests against NHS funding, Brexit, and Donald Trump. However, protests can occur in many different formats e.g peaceful protests, strikes and even graffiti. Banksy is a great example of a graffiti artist who provokes thought, as his art is always very political and relevant to the world that we live in. His work is therefore a form of protest, as he is bringing light to a topic that he disagrees with - or that he believes should be changed.

We then looked at how other artists and illustrators respond to world events, for example the 2015 terror attacks in Paris:

Jean Julien created this simple illustration, which soon spread across social media. This demonstrates how important and effective it is to create art which is relevant to world events, and that creates impact amongst people. 

In response to the topic of protests, we were set the task to create a group manifesto about a protest of our choice. Our group (Ellie T, Ella T & Ella W), decided to look at the issue of Animal Rights, and collectively created the following manifesto:
1) Animals should be respected.
2) Animals shouldn't be abused for entertainment, e.g dog fighting, circus, or hunting.
3) Animals shouldn't be overbred to the point of health defects.
4) Animals shouldn't be mass-produced for food, e.g in farming and fishing.
5) Animals shouldn't be killed just for their fur/skin/horns (ivory).
6) All animals should be viewed as equal.
7) We should acknowledge and respect the 'circle of life'. Sometimes animal's lives can be sacrificed for our benefit, however all in good proportion and reason.
8) Animals shouldn't be killed unnecessarily.
9) We should respect and protect animal's homes and habitats, e.g sustainable deforestation & afforestation. 

We all individually focused on different elements of animal rights, but I personally chose to look at hunting, and created the following protest poster:

It captures the friendship and love between two animals that are often killed unnecessarily through hunting: foxes and badgers. This I hope stands as a powerful message which shows the basic need of kindness that we should share between humans and animals. 

[1] Oxford Dictionaries (2017). [online]. Definition of protest in English. Available at: [Accessed on 7th March 2017, at 17:15]

Monday, 6 March 2017

Copyright and Plagiarism - BAIL104

Copyright is "the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material" [1].

If someone breaches a copyright law, they would be stealing or copying a piece of protected work as their own. This dramatically impacts the initial creator, as their designs are being sold elsewhere, meaning that profits are not being made by the designer. Furthermore, it is common for well known companies to steal the work of lesser-known illustrators and designers, and so they wrongly take the recognition for pieces of work curated by upcoming artists. Copyright laws can also be breeched even if a design has been slightly changed, as very often the original sourced image remains very prominent in the final design.

Rights grabs are when designers upload their work onto platforms such as Instagram, and the company then owns the rights to the images that are uploaded. These rights are normally hidden within the small print or terms and conditions of the site, and aren't commonly known about among artists. Therefore, as the websites have rights over the uploaded artwork, they can use the images in promotional products such as advertising, or they can sell them on to third parties.

Royalty agreements are when artists are given a percentage of money for each sale of the item that includes their artwork or designs. For example the designer of a book cover or album artwork might receive royalties from each unit sale of the item, and so the more items sold, the more money goes back to the designer/illustrator.

'The AOI Code of Professional Conduct' is a document that outlines the rules and regulations that illustrators must follow when being represented by the AOI, i.e following copyright and plagiarism guidelines. It is as follows: [2]

1. At all times, business shall be conducted competently, with integrity and honesty.

2. When accepting a commission the illustrator should ensure that clients are aware of the extent of the rights they are purchasing. If no contract has been supplied by the client, the illustrator should provide written confirmation of engagement which includes this information.

3. The illustrator shall treat all information relating to their client's business as confidential.

4. Good communication between the illustrator and client is encouraged at all times. Any envisaged problems over the style or content of artwork should be aired as soon as possible.

5. The illustrator shall not subcontract work without the agreement of the client, except in areas of illustration where this is customary (eg storyboards).

6. Once the client has approved a rough, the illustrator should not make significant changes at artwork stage without prior approval.

7. If an illustrator is given an open brief there must be, as far as possible, a proper understanding of the boundaries of the illustrator's creativity in order to avoid making huge changes at rough stage.

8. Artwork should of similar style and standard to that already approved in the artist's portfolio, unless otherwise agreed with the client.

9. The illustrator may charge a reasonable fee for significant alterations which were not in the original brief, however, the illustrator may not charge extra fees for alterations which are the fault of the artist, nor for trivial alterations.

10. The illustrator must use their best endeavours to deliver work on time and if they anticipate any delay, must inform the client at the first opportunity.

11. The illustrator must not licence artwork to a third party during the currency of an existing licence unless agreed with the client. In addition, advertising illustration should not be re-licensed to a third party after the expiry of the licence if such action is likely to be detrimental to the client's business.

12. Illustrators working on advertising or promotional illustration should not knowingly work simultaneously for clients who are in direct competition with one another without the agreement of both. In the case of conflict, the illustrator should accept the commission of the first comer.

13. The illustrator must not act recklessly to endanger the relationship between an intermediary (eg design group or advertising agency) and its client. In particular, the illustrator should inform the intermediary before taking any legal action against its client and give it a reasonable opportunity to settle the matter itself.

Speculative Work

14. Illustrators should not undertake speculative work without a fee except in the case of self-generated work.

Protecting your work
It is important to protect your work when posting them online, so that they cannot be stolen or sold elsewhere. Simple ways of doing this include placing a watermark on your images, or even reducing he resolution of your images that you upload. This way your original artworks will be protected against people stealing your work, however it does not stop people from visually replicating your designs.

If you were commissioned to produce a portrait of Bill Murray, you might take inspiration from multiple different images of him, in aim to not violate any copyright laws. For example I would source several different photos, all of him with a similar expression/age, and would take elements from each image to draw from. This way I would not be plagiarising any work, but instead being inspired by certain elements - my final portrait would be an entirely new image.

Example of plagiarism


This is an example of plagiarism, as no attempt has been made to re-imagine or change the original image. Although there are some really subtle changes in the design of the dogs face, none of these are drastic enough to change the artwork overall. The dogs face is even cropped in the same place as the original, meaning that Schuh's design is beyond it being just a coincidence. 

Example of Inspiration (not plagiarism)
Here are some examples where I do not believe plagiarism has been committed:

I think that the designer has taken inspiration from the original, and has made sufficient changes to their design in order to not to violate any copyright laws.

This example is perhaps harder to judge, but I still believe that enough changes have been made to the design and the style of the drawing, in order for it to become a 'new' piece of artwork. It is however, more obvious that inspiration has been directly taken from Jayde Hillard's work.

[1] Oxford Dictionary (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 6th March 2017).
[2] Barradell, Sue. "AOI Code of Conduct". N.p., 2002. (Accessed: 6th March 2017).
[3] YTWWN - You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice". N.p., 2017. (Accessed: Web. 6th Mar. 2017).

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Networking - BAIL104

Social networking is essential to becoming a successful illustrator. Throughout my research process, I have discovered the importance of tools such as certain social media platforms, which can really boost your client base and helps to get your work noticed by large audiences.

In the future I plan to use websites such as Instagram and Behance, as well as having my own website/shop, in order to promote my work and to gain a following. I think that this helps you to also connect yourself to other creative-minded people, and ultimately involves you in a wide creative network. Also by attending events such as illustration fairs or craft events, can also add to the number of connections that you have with other people. Furthermore, the contacts that you gain over time will ultimately help you to gain more work, as people will give recommendations to potential clients who are looking for a certain style of work to commission.

Ultimately I think that you have to be active on multiple social media platforms, meet new people, promote your work, and to remain professional and approachable to clients.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Useful Websites - BAIL104

The following are 3 websites that I plan to utilise in the future to assist my professional development:

Big Cartel (Shop)
I chose this as it is one of the few selling platforms that doesn't take a commission from each sale. This means that I would get 100% of the sale price, and would just have to pay a fee for the running of the website. However, by brother works in web design, so it could be a possibility to have my own shop attached to my website using Shopify. I think when it comes to selling some of my work, I will have to choose an option which best suits my situation and preferences at the time. However, from my initial research, Big Cartel does offer a professional platform with loads of benefits - in comparison to other platforms.

Cargo Collective (Website)
Ideally the best option would be to have a website designed from scratch, as from my research some of the best illustrator websites were created in this way. However for beginners, many of the websites that were created on Cargo were very professional and conveyed the illustrators work well, and so a website platform such as this would be sufficient. Cargo also allows you to tailor the layout and presentation of the site to fit/match the style of your work, which I think is very important in order to make your website successful and professional - it helps to create a 'house style'.

Behance (Online Portfolio)
Although there are many ways to show your work online, I think that it is important to present your work on a platform that specialises in the creative industries. Behance is a good way to share your work online, on a site that is made for illustrators, graphic designers and other creative disciplines/professional fields. Therefore is someone was looking for a specific type of work to commission, your work would be more accessible to them on a site that specialises on illustration.

Illustrator Progression - BAIL104

Holly Exley
I chose to look into Holly Exley's progression from graduation to her profession, in order to take inspiration from her development process.

Holly graduated from Middlesex University in 2010, and although she had the aspiration to become a full time illustrator she sustained a full time job as a waitress until 2013. During this time she focused on building her portfolio, by concentrating on the areas of illustration that she wanted to work on - namely food illustration. Also during this time, as she was spending her time doing work that she didn't enjoy, it enhanced her desire to pursue illustration full time.

From this she started to get commissions from different clients, and this started a snow ball effect. By getting her work out there, and through different recommendations from clients, Holly started to build up her client base. She did try sending postcards and examples of her illustrations to companies that she would like to work with, but found this not to be effective. Instead she continues to use social media to enable her illustrations to reach large audiences and to catch the eye of future clients.

Exley was signed to the AOI, but soon found that she lost the personal connection between her and the clients, and so decided that it would be better to work freelance and to promote her own work. She is now able to take on several projects on at a time, and continues to stay active on social media such as: Instagram and YouTube, and is now to earn a living doing illustration full time.

Ben Tallon

Tallon did a talk about becoming an illustrator at PCA, and it was surprising to hear how different his approach was in comparison to Exley's. Instead of relying on social media, he took a very 'hands on' approach, and found what to be most effective for him, was to contact companies directly. Whereas Exley found this not to be effective, Tallon claims it to be the key to gaining commissions. He says that in a world where technology is taking over, he believes that taking that extra step and speaking to people on the phone gave them an instant personal connection, which made him stand out from the rest.

This shows that different illustrators took different approaches in to becoming full time illustrators. It all comes down to being understanding, resilient, approachable & professional, in order to gain commissions.

Challenges - BAIL104

In order to reach my future illustrative goals, I will need to:
1) Continue to develop my core illustration skills, i.e observational drawing & digital processes.
2) Get comfortable and confident with traveling, as I may be required to attend meetings with clients in places such as London.
3) Gain the ability to be able to draw people, in order to broaden my field & make myself more attractive for commissions.
4) Get better at producing quick sketches in order to present my initial ideas effectively without being too precious over them.
5) To develop a strong personal style for my work, so that I stand out from the rest & make myself employable.

How I plan to overcome these challenges:
1) Continue to develop and try out new processes and techniques during my degree.
2) Take part in smaller group trips, and slowly build up my confidence.
3) Practise, practise, practise. Make the most of life drawing sessions in order to get familiar with autonomy.
4) Again, practise and experience of this will allow me to create sketches with more accuracy and confidence.
5) This will come with experience with different techniques that I will work with on my degree. Eventually I hope to find a style that I enjoy working in, and something that brings something new to the illustration world.

A lot of my other weaknesses should improve over time, as I push myself to step outside my comfort zone, and to become more confident in my work and myself. I should be able to achieve my goals with the support from my peers, friends & family, as well as constructive feedback from my tutors and clients.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

SWOT Analysis 2 - BAIL104

I used my redesigned version of the SWOT table again, as I applied my current strengths and weaknesses to the 3 different scenarios of myself. However, I would like to think that some of my weaknesses would change by the time I graduate, for example I would want to be better at speaking to large groups of people, and being outside my comfort zone.