Introductory Media! Portfolio and Business Cards

As part of our graduating module, we have been asked to produce some “introductory media”, which is basically promotional material. These include things like business cards, zines, postcards and whatever you can think of. There are many creative ways to produce work that can be used to self promote, and can include anything from posters and paper-craft figures to fortune cookies and personalized sweets.

For this module we were asked to produce five promotional materials of sorts, an illustrated CV and a portfolio. I have a digital portfolio/CV that I created on a website called carbonmade.com, which you can view here.Β But I have also put this link in my about section of this blog. It was also suggested to us to produce a printed portfolio and CV as well, so I created a printed portfolio that was a little different. I decided to produce a small zine portfolio with my contact details on so I could hand out a preview of my work with all my contact details on it to people. I thought this was a good idea because in this day and age people aren’t as likely to carry around a portfolio folder with them, and personally I’m not a fan of putting my work in ugly plastic sleeves. Something such as a small zine I could easily keep a few on me for the right occasion, and I don’t always have to rely on technology to be able to present some of my work to people. Also something this simple and cheap to produce means I wont have to spend too much money reproducing them when I want to update my work.

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Portfolio Zine Printout

Producing a high quality business card was a high priority for me. Over the years I myself have collected a bunch of different business cards which has been a great source of inspiration. I particularly love the thick layered card ones that has a layer of colored card wedged in the middle, but unfortunately I have a pretty tight budget so wont be able to produce something so fancy, but I will definitely keep that in mind down the line.

What I particularly liked from the cards that I have seen is the combination of using hand drawn typography and simple type. Personally I’m not a fan of using digital text with my work, but I’m also not particularly great at typography, so it took a bit of practice to get something that I liked the look of.

My first try of making some simple business cards were these:

I wanted to keep things simple and sort of elegant, and I used some ink textures from my sketchbook, where I was experimenting with India ink and a dry brush. I prefer to use a warm off-white colored paper when I produce prints, so I used that same idea for the card. I’m happy with how these look, but I was unsure if they reflected my current work well, so I made a new design that was more colorful and incorporated my use of lino-cut and digital color that I have recently been really getting into.

I thought it would be fun to have some stickers, (because honestly who docent love stickers), so I created three stickers to match this card. I took small parts of the larger illustration to make them, and used the same colors to match. (These images are square now, but the final stickers will be circles.)

I do have another version of the fire, but overall I think I prefer the one with the darker background. However I do love the simplicity of it. Here it is if you were wondering what it looked like:

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Please check out my portfolio website at nimillustration.carbonmade.com!

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Cider Labels Inspired by Folk Tales

Near the beginning of the semester module we were offered the chance to contribute towards a live brief. The brief was to produce 6 labels forΒ  co-fermented craft cider company, where the ciders were named after various folk and fairy tales. “Telling a story” was a priority for these images. I thought I should try my hand at producing some labels because I love the topic. The target audience for this cider were craft beer drinkers, young adults aged about 18-30 years old, and the artwork must NOT appeal to children in any way, even if they are illustrations inspired by fairy tales.

This project took a lot of brainstorming to get any ideas that I was happy with, and even though I’m pretty happy with the images I’ve produced, I still don’t think I quite hit the criteria of telling a story.

I decided to create these images using lino cuts, but I wanted to add color and typography. I’m never happy with any digital font I can find to match well with my work, so for these illustrations I experimented a lot with hand written typography. I personally struggle quite a bit with this but its good to get some practice in.

I know these sketchbook pages don’t look like much, but I did eventually use a number seven and the text “ravens” for my “7 Ravens” image, and the yellow pen text with “Run Rabbit, Run” was used as well. One thing that I have definitely learnt from this little project is that I definitely need more practice with not just creating hand drawn text, but with incorporating that text gracefully with images I’ve created.

It took a lot of trial and error and experimenting to get the images right in Photoshop. While I was happy with the colour choice I had chosen, I realized that I had made the mistake of using the wrong tone of colour for the wrong things.

If I was going to use these images for cider labels, and the images weren’t going to be especially large, the text just was not going to show up like this. It was a simple fix though, and all I had to do were swap the colours round and they read clear enough, even when the images were relatively small.

The apple tree image was a different problem. I wanted the text to be properly incorporated within the branches of the tree, so I used my graphics tablet to write the words by hand. I’m still not 100% happy with the result but I got it to the best of my ability. I tried out many different brush textures, but decided to go with a thin brush that I could write scribbly text with, because I thought it reflected well with the thin and pointy branches.

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Overall, I have learnt a lot from creating these three images, and am fairly happy with the outcomes.

Final Major Project: “The Horned Women”

After some tutor feedback, I’ve decided to go ahead and create some large illustrations made up of many smaller illustrations, akin to something like Alice Puttello, or possibly Jonny Hannah. Both artists use folk art as a big source of inspiration, and both of them have different ways of bringing it in to contemporary illustration that I admire.

(You can find Alice Puttello’s site here.)

(You can find Johnny Hannah’s site here.)

I had lots of little visual ideas for “The Horned Women”, but was struggling massivly putting everything together into one big idea. There was a problem with all my thumbnails and things so far; there wasn’t any obvious or strong narrative going on. It was just a lot of little things put together. So to help myself out I went back and looked again at other illustrators work to see what they were doing right and I was doing wrong.

This is where I had an “ah-ha!” moment. I had nearly forgotten about the small drawing I did of the two witches approaching the house, and looking at Alice Puttellos illustrations, I could see how I could put these ideas I had floating around in to a working composition. In this thumbnail here, I have the witches arriving at the house in the middle, surrounded by the objects and things the mistress uses to break the spell. So here I could combine the two ideas to have something like a complete idea that can visualize two parts of the story. I’ve finally settled on an illustrative plan that I’m happy enough to attempt to go ahead with.

 

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