For my final year I would like to tackle some of the problems and fall-backs I came across in the Final project of last year. I would like to continue my work with digital practices and produce more professional and more technically skilled work. I would also focus more on time management and balance the hours I have rationally between the theory and practical elements of my project.
I have decided to continue my digital paintings and look at concept art in more detail, however I would like to keep some more classic approaches to illustration such as storyboarding, comic strips and other general storytelling techniques.
I would like to create a new story with new characters for this year and have had a few ideas regarding the story outline. I believe one of the biggest challenges I will face is to create an original and unique story and style, however I welcome the challenge as I have a long period of time to work on this project. We have worked out that per day we should produce 12 hours of work (including theory). I have to be more focused on my time management than ever.
I think I am going to struggle with the beginnings of my project as its hard to know where to start with such a big idea. However I know that the first things I need to do is collect research and primary images. I have quite a few artists and influences at hand to help inspire my ideas, however at the same time I need to retain my own style and not fall into the clichéd constraints of digital work.
I have had a number of ideas, however the one which I am happy with and which has a unique twist to it is a story based around Huddersfield. I would alter the town in different ways such as, post-apocalyptic Huddersfield, alternate reality Huddersfield or futuristic Huddersfield. This way I have a lot of primary research and content just outside my door to work from. I am also going to continue with my character design and development.
I am heavily relying on my new Cintiq tablet arriving soon until I can start my digital work, I own a tablet already but its not a display screen tablet so this should help profoundly throughout the year. For now I am going to collect images and focus on pencil work and sketches to work from as I progress throughout the project. I am going to work from life and sign myself up for the life drawing classes. I will constantly be watching tutorials and videos to help improve my digital painting skills, I believe with constant practice and improvement I can reach the level of quality I am looking for.
This year I am working towards creating my own artistic identity and style. I would like to set up a technically skilled and aesthetically pleasing portfolio which I can be proud of and which can ultimately guide me into my future career.
Self Directed Project and External Project Evaluation
The first half of the Self directed project wasn’t going very well so I spent the easter holidays catching up and getting my head down, focusing on improving my digital skills and working on some more character sketches. By the end of the project I had a wide range of drawings and character designs but mostly some really strong images for my landscape concept board. With regards to the external project I continued to do commissions and over easter got two more done, but only gaining a small amount of money for them. The work on my application for the EPY placement year had picked up as well after I had started to get some stock printed and seeing some of our designs as actual products.
Over the easter break I had also collected more artist research, this time focusing more on digital artists such as Samantha dodge who’s work really inspired me. These different artists encouraged me to invest in some new materials and I spent a fortune on some illustration copic caio markers. I managed to work with more depth and with more confidence using these markers and created more professional looking sketches. I believe if you compare the work from before and after the easter holiday you will notice a marked improvement. I decided to manage my time a lot better over the holiday, however if I had managed my time better beforehand my final outcome might have been a lot more accomplished especially with regards to my digital work. I am happy with how much I have improved on my digital work considering before this project I had never used my tablet or photoshop. I realise there is also a long way to go with regards to my technique and the professional quality of my digital drawings, however this project has encouraged me to look in a more digital direction and even now its over continue to sketch and paint digitally in my free time, I also enhance and edit my sketches in photoshop which I have never used before. For the final piece I had four A1 boards, 3 for characters and the final one for landscape designs. On each one I had a collection of images I had drawn at different stages of the project. What I wanted to achieve with this collection of drawings is show the progression from beginning to end of the project, from the first sketches to the final design. To show progression and development better I would of liked to have the images down chronologically in a book, like a concept design book. At the beginning of the project this is what I wanted to do, create a book and have it printed, containing images, but also notations and short synopsis of scenes. I was happy with the outcome as whole even if I wasn’t happy with some of the drawings individually. The images I am not happy with tend to be the ones earlier on in the project, which consist mostly of the designs for the main character as she was the one I started designing first. These images are the least accomplished as a lot of them were done before I started working digitally, had less artist research and less practice at character design. I believe if I was to recreate this project in a years time I would be a lot happier with the outcome and a lot more efficient with the process. Because I have never drawn digitally before a lot of time was taken up learning and practising and producing inadequate drawings. Although I am not at a professional level yet digitally, I am still happy with how far I have come and how much I have learnt from this project and artist research.
Since the easter holidays Myself and Luke have worked a lot harder on our work for the enterprise placement year and the start of our small business idea. We have spent a bit of money buying some plain tote bags and white t-shirts to print on. We decided for the time being to print transfers just to see how the product would look. I was a good feeling to see the designs on the products, however the quality of this type of print isn’t up to the standard we want and next year if we get the placement we would screen print our designs instead for a more professional look. One person asked us to design a little t-shirt for them with a certain type of design but we sold it very cheap because we only transferred it on. We are still working well together, however I think we question ourselves to much which delays some of our processes. One of the things we have questioned a lot is the name which we are still not 100% on but we decided it wasn’t the most important thing to work on. For the application we had to put together a small amount of designs and ideas to give the enterprise team a general idea of what we wanted to accomplish, and we have now received our interview date and time. For the external project I have also continued taking on commissions and finished a painting I was doing for someone before the holidays. Thinking career wise I definitely need to secure a proper online portfolio which isn’t my blog, and expand my online presence, this way I will get more commissions and more feedback for my work and begin to work more professionally.
Overall I think the most successful part of the final term and the project which I prioritised most was the Self directed project. I was happy to have the freedom to do what I wanted and produce work for myself. I also found determination in working digitally which has encouraged me to explore digital art and experiment with different media, I think will also enhance my career as an artist and open things up for me in the future. Hopefully we have done enough to secure our place on the enterprise year, if not we will both continue our work on ‘Kuke’ throughout the final year of university.
Myself and a fellow student are considering applying for the Enterprise Placement year at the University for next year. This came about when we both realised we wanted to sell our work online and not just in the form of prints. What we decided to do was work together to create work which we could print and sell on clothes and other things such as notebooks, bags ect. I found it easier ad more supportive working as a team, especially someone who I am close to. We are honest and supportive with each other and both have qualities which benefits the other. We take on slightly different roles within the team, as i am terrible at digital processes he takes the responsbility of enhancing and editing the images once we have drawn them out.We spent a long time deciding on a name which we still are not 100% happy with. We decided just to move past that and focus on setting up an online presence, facebook, tumblr ect. I found it enjoyable working on drawings and designs which were not to commission but what we thought people might like. These are a few processes and design we worked on. Our interview for placement year is this week.
As well as producing prints and t-shirts as a collaboration and selling them I was also doing commissions for my external project, most from people who spotted my work online, I made a small amount of money from that, however some of the work took me hours on end and I need to find out the prices which I should be selling at.
For my Four final pieces I put together character and landscape design boards with a lot of the drawings I had produced. I put them together to hopefully show progression and each had the same layout, the images getting more developed as you move up the board eventually reaching the final main design.I wanted to show my progression through the project and hopefully the viewer could see how each image developed into the next and how I improved throughout.
I would’ve had the boards look a little more professional or maybe have a small book printed with my designs notes in there, a lot like a concept art book, however this would have cost a lot more. I think the same idea is put across with the way I have presented it, however maybe the addition of more notes would’ve made the idea more readable.
Along with designing my characters I also started drawing out ideas for the world they live in. These are some of the designs I came up with I am particularly happy with the first and the last images as these took the most time and were some of the first I did. I know that they should be more detailed, however even doing this much detail took me a long while. Eventually I want to create more depth and use of tone to give the images a more realistic style, however for this story I think they fit in with character designs well and all have the same sort of style to them.
I used The Dragon Age concept art book to inspire these three pieces, which are the three final design sheets for each character. I am really happy with each of these pieces and I am also happy with how much my digital work has improved. I wanted each of these sheets to show the important elements of each character, along with the images I provided a short description of their character and their roles in the story.
Improvement will only come from more experience using digital processes, which from now on I will incorporate within my future projects.