Blacksmith Project – Experimental Zine

This project for me has been a bit of an experiment. I was a little lost as to what to do and where to go with this brief so just decided to go for it and treat it as if it was a book arts project so I could get something produced.

I started out by trying my hand at stencil making, taking the shape from Jordan’s’ work and creating a pattern. I tried layering this stencil over some basic line drawings just to see how it would look, and also on to orange ink. I created two postcards using this pattern because I wanted to see what something like this would look like as a promotional print product. I like the textures I’ve created with this little experiment but overall I think its too much a pattern/textile design than an illustration.

My next direction with this project came about from just photocopying this one page from my sketchbook into different colours and then drawing on top of it to create a multilayered drawing. I used my knowledge from experimenting with the photocopier in second year and just went wild with it. I made multiple layers just drawing and photocopying repeatedly. The more layers to the illustration I created the more interesting looking it became.

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Some results from my experimenting turned out better than others, I think the one without the block purple colour has something more interesting going on visually, but as an illustration, its still not quite working. As a fun little zine though, it sorta works.

To try and push it a little further, I photocopied and filled in the background colour, and I also tried out the negative setting. While it gave me interesting results it still is missing something that makes it a sophisticated illustration. In the end I think this was a fun little experiment to try out but it hasn’t gotten the results I wanted from it.

An option I have thought about trying is to take the successful parts of this design and recreate it as a screen print. I haven’t done any screen printing since my time back doing my art and design degree in college, so it might be something fun to try out again when I get the time for it, but for now this was a fun experimental thing.

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Collections: Winged Keys and Final Plans

My collection of brooches has sort of morphed in to keys. I was given a box of decorative keys and buttons and nick-nacks from a friend, and because I was starting to get a little bored of drawing my badges, I had a go at drawing the keys.

After a couple of sketches and doodles, and a chat with tutor and classmates about my work, the idea of combining some elements of my drawings together started to take form. Using my wings from my dragonfly brooch, and my sketches of keys, and some inspiration from Harry Potter, we came up with the idea of illustrating the winged keys from harry potter.

I had a go at drawing some of these keys using one of my favorite drawing mediums, dip pen and ink.

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I think these sketches were quite successful, and am thinking about going on to do some prints of magic winged keys for my final exhibition piece. I think etching or collograph printing may work best for this work, so I can get in the fine detail on the wings and keys. I may also try out doing some using lino cuts too, just to see how they would look.

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I have also made a small pinterest mood board for these keys which you can find here.

Hay Festival Project: Experiments with Style

After my feedback from Hay Festival people, I decided to experiment a bit further with the style I have been using for some of my drawings. In these images I have used a variety of different materials, but I think the images using pastels have come out best in a way.

I especially like how the bird has come out, this bird was an experiment using feedback from Hay Festival. They liked my birds from before, and also the trees, but felt that stylistically they did not go together. To combat this problem I used the same materials I have been using to create my trees to create my birds too. In this case, the style has been dictated by the materials I’ve used. My next step in this project will be further developing this and creating more images.

Illustration Application: A Summery

I think I have learnt a lot through out this module, and explored a variety of different styles and techniques in the process of creating completed illustrations for small briefs. I’ve improved upon my technical skills, as well as organisational skills. I have written more in depth blogs about each of these illustrations that I will link below.

Art Direction Editorial Illustration

We teamed up in pairs and found articles for each other to illustrate, and took the role of art director for each other. Read about how my work turned out here, and how i directed my partners work here. (Her side of the story is here, and here.)

NC500 Editorial Illustration

Given an article about North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to the USA’s route 66, and had to create an illustration for said article. Read about this here.

Library Pamphlet Cover

Pamphlet cover illustration for Herefordshire Libraries.Read about this here.

Editorial Illustration: Birds and Superstition

Nicholas Stevenson visited us and set us a small editorial brief, with him as acting art director. Read about this here.

Penguin To Kill a Mocking Bird Book Cover

Illustrated book cover for penguin book publishers competition brief. Read about this here.

Book Cover: To Kill A Mockingbird

I started out making this book cover by researching a bit into the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. I ended up watching the movie of it, and that’s where I got the inspiration to create this cover. At the end of the movie the two children are walking back home through the woods on Halloween night after a party, and to avoid much spoiler, a key moment happens in that scenery.

For this illustration I used freehand pental brush pen for the lines, and painted it using windsor and newton watercolours. I then scanned them in and created the final book cover in photoshop. The text I used for this I had also drawn with the same ink brush, to match the style of the illustration. I had decided to keep the colour pallet simple, using only a yellow ocher and a dark blue to reflect on the theme of a late autumn night.

I am mostly happy with how the final product has come out, but I’m not quite happy with the spine of the book, on reflection I think i should have added a strip of watercolour to create a wrap around of the two images and to bring it all together, but then again at least having the text on a solid background on the spine makes it easier to read.

Another idea that I didn’t implement was including a drawing of Scout in her ham costume running away through the woods. I think including this would of possibly brought the image and story together well.

For this book cover project I had also tried out recycling one of my previous images into a cover for this book, using the image from this editorial project. You can see this image below.

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I am mostly happy enough with this cover trial, but if I had given myself more time to work on this I would of scanned in some brown paper to use as background instead of just block colour, and I would of re-scanned in the hand written text I had used, because the text in this image was at a lower resolution and could not be made much larger without loosing quality. It was a nice experiment with a previous image, and was a good exercise in using photoshop.

Book Arts: Encyclopedia

I enjoyed this module very much, and this encyclopedia was a nice way to finish it all off with. When I first approached doing this book I got too caught up with the “how” and “what” I was doing, so in the end I choose one of the book formats I enjoyed most creating, which was an accordion style book. I tried not to get too caught up with planning it out and just went for it in the end, using one of my favorite mediums, gouache paint, (with a little bit of mixed media on some aspects.)

I wasn’t too picky over the underwater creatures I choose, I mostly just wanted to include a wide range of species from deep sea, to rock pool, and incorporated that idea into the layout of the animals  on the page. Looking back on it now, if I could change anything about this I would’ve carefully chosen animals so that it would’ve also of been in alphabetical order like a traditional encyclopedia is. Overall I am quite happy with how this experimental approach turned out, and in the end it went on display at the small exhibition we created at De Koffe Pot, in Hereford.

Library Pamphlet

This image was created for Hereford Library Pamphlet brief/competition. I was not happy enough with it to hand in for the competition but looking back on it now I probably should’ve at least tried. In the end, I’m proud I went ahead and finished it anyway.

My original idea was to add lots more detail, but it was taking too much time so I tried having a go at simplifying the work, and using a limited color palette to match. I created this image traditionally but I think this would’ve been a more effective image if I had colored it in digitally, using flat colors.

I attempted doing something sort of minimalist but still had lots of little details creating some form of narrative to the image, like the blankets and tea, and the cat sleeping on the window ledge. I included a couple of little nods to Hereford with the small cow ornament and the bowl of apples.

An extra detail I was going to add but decided against in the end, was to add drawings of Herefordshire country side through the windows, to bring together the themes of Herefordshire and reading together.