Putting Together a Professional Portfolio

With the help of our part time tutor Georgia, I finalised my professional portfolio using Indesign ready for uploading to moodle to complete the professional practice module.

Portfolio

 

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Show Invites!

With our show opening on the it’s important that we allow plenty of time for invitee’s to make any arrangements for attendance and to allow them plenty of advanced notice. So we, with a month before the show opening, all companies, individuals or representatives who we’d like to attend either the industry night or to see the show over the week that it will be open are being sent an official invite, complete with the winning show poster design.
Personally I have invited a selection of companies and art collectives, at this stage it’s hard to know wether or not we will get a response, but it’s better to ask and not receive anything back than it is not too.
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Testing Different Reportage Observation Styles

As I get ready to start moving to creating more and more observational pieces on location, I’ve been working on testing out a few different observational style and looking at how I could develop the rough drawings that I produce.
When working on observations in real time, I wouldn’t have the time to add colour to my work and will, at first, be creating quite rough fast drawings of my constantly moving subject. In preparation I wanted to check out a couple of different ways to create the bright and colour focused work that I want to produce.

 

I started by working directly in colour in a very loose shape based way that would be easy to recreate quite easily on the street…or more easily if I could grab a seat on a bench or by a street level window in a cafe. I like the effect that this way of painting without drawing first creates, the figures are quite simple and emotive, the less detail that they have the more weight they seem to carry.
Looking at my practice from a slightly different angle, and to see the effect that it might have on the tone, I then tired a more drawing based process. Starting with very rough and figurative drawings, that I could very easily recreate on location and would work well with moving subjects. Working in this way is much more traditional and very similar to how many reportage illustrators work, creating the initial drawings and then taking them back to a studio space to develope them further.

 

I really like the effect that this creates and the much more sober mood that it communicates compared to the other, simpler, way of working. Using more muted colours and detailed loose line work has given the figures a really great mood and sense of abandonment.
Moving forward with these two styles, I really need to use them both in the practise of observing to see if I can get a different feel from them from creating them in a different environment.

First Term Reflection.

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Over the course of this first term, deciding what my general direction and focus for the year, has been the main theme throughout. Opening up to doing process driven project was the key to my inspiration for how I wanted my work to develop, being with the ‘visual editing’ one day brief, set by Amelia in the first week, gave me the first clue as to how I wanted to work. Further developing this process of illustrating then opened me up to developing this maker of working and lead to me pushing further into the exploration of colour and how it can be utilised in my work; working directly in colour and working without black lines liberated my illustrations immensely.
Leading on from this, I looked at improving the overall quality and professional finish of my work, by pushing to work from an observational perspective; as it is obviously a great skill within my illustration practise. By doing this, and becoming more observant of the world around me, I found the theme that I wanted to explore staring me right in the face. Once you open your eyes and look around, it is impossible to ignore the growing homeless crisis, that is growing both in Cardiff and the UK, as a whole. This inspired me to research the local charities and government led initiatives aimed at tackling this problem. Once I had found my focus, I feel like my work really took off, with a cause and a people to represent, my focus became responding and finding an illustrative path to aid me in creating the work that I wanted to create.
From narrative, to observation and responding, I was naturally lead into reportage illustration and the realism that it presents, which is perfect to communicating the narratives that I want to carry throughout my work. Reportage illustration and the professional research that it has lead to has really opened my eyes to it’s potential for the future, throughout this term, my professional practise progress has been very informative of my project work, giving a future context to my work and my practise. The workshops with both, Georgia and Phil Wrigglesworth, have underpinned my progress with a constant consideration to the future of my practise after graduation. With that in mind, I’m hoping that the direction of my project, working with the charity Huggard, will be a great addition to my creative CV; working with a high profile local charaty, that does vital work and provides an excellent service, is a career path that I’d love to follow. As part of my professional practise research I’ve been looking at many artists that work along side charities, or produce work on their behalf; making my current project very relevant to my future professional practise.
While I’ve moved away from my dissertation work, and it’s theme, Doodling, unconscious line and the subconscious, my progress on the research and writing my first chapter, has underpinned the continued artist research that I’ve been doing as part of my continued creative practise. In addition, looking at surrealist artists, such as Kandinsky and Dali, has been an incredibly interesting undertaking. Their influences from child art and dreams is very informative on how an artist might communicate in challenging and diverse ways. In addition my research on Psychoanalysis and our understand of the subconscious mind has been truly fascinating. How can we be sure that the creations that we make when we doodle absentmindedy are as insignificant as we have assumed; David Lloyd Georges doodles from the amnesty treaty agreements (1919-20) give a great deal of insight to the high tension and intense stress of the negotiations, that might not have been recored in such a transparent way otherwise.

Huggard response

Over the course of this term, I feel like the main development in my work, in all areas, has been an overall increase in confidence in my ability to produce work of a high standard. The main areas of concern in all areas of my degree going forward will be, first completing my dissertation to a high standard and getting the upmost out of my research material, getting to grips with a how I would like to move into the world of professional illustration after graduation (the avenues open to me and the best way for me to present my self professionally- in a way that reflects how I would like to practise), and the follow through of my current project, working with Huggard and creating a constructive conversation with them about how my work can aid them in generating support for their cause and informing the public on how they can help this charity.

Artist research: Yann Kebbi

French illustrator, Yann Kebbi, is an observational illustrator who works largely in pencil crayon. His work often holds a slightly sinister undertone, the otherwise bright and happy scenes often centering around emotional dramas acted out with in the piece; featuring, bike crashes, arguments, and bustling crowds.

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Kebbiis is a prolific drawer, filling sketchbooks full of his travels, his subjects are ostly people and his work is always underpinned by his observational drawing skills; providing it with a very humane response to his subject matters.
Being that my own work is best when it is based on my observational drawing, Yann Kebbi’s work is very relevant to my own, and I find him to be quite a compelling illustrator. His obvious fondness for the human condition and the empathy that his pieces conveys is a quality that I feel I need to be reflecting in my own work, considering that my subjects are some of the most vulnerable members of society who are often overlooked, in order for it be effective, I need my audience to feel empathetic to the message in my illustrations. His use of pencil crayon is very effective at creating his tone, and is a very different approach to my own approach, his use of sketch lines and negative space is something that I’d like to look into using in my own work to explore how that might change the tone of my pieces.

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Though, ultimately, I am moving more in the direction of mixed media, currently using a combination of pencil crayon and ink to create a more fluid and engaging feel to my work. Kebbi’s work remains relevant to my own as his narrative landscapes, and the way in which he engages his audience emotionally, are both aspects of illustration that I’d like to be showing in my project.

 

Generating Feedback

To gain a better perspective on the work that I’ve creating in response to the prosses that I’ve been exploring, visual narrative in landscape, I displayed my work and left my yellow feedback book out as an invitation to anyone who might pass by to give me any criticism, feedback or just general thoughts on my work so far.
Setting up my work in a public space in this way allowed me to get anonymous feedback from everyone and anyone who fancied contributing as they passed by. It was a somewhat successful exercise, While I only got a page of responses, I did see a fair few folk having a good look at my work during the week that I displayed it. This is perhaps testament to the bright eye catching coloured inks that I used, which is something that was often commented on in the responses that I did get.
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for future reference, when I do this exercise again, as I intend to, I will open out a double page spread and try to remember to turn the pages when/if they fill up. It’s a strange thing to observe, that any artists and art students are reluctant to disturb someone’s work and often need an extra push to encourage them to contribute to public opinion. I learned pretty early on, that leaving my feedback book next to my work was largely useless, even with a sign, as people tended not to want to open the book to write in. I’m not really sure why this is, seems a little strange that I had to actually open my book in order to encourage anyone actually contributing feedback, but you live and learn.
In addition, I might see if I can display my work elsewhere in the school, as the corridor that I displayed it in lead to just the illustration and graphics, which really limits my audience and the artistic perspectives that the two disciplines provide. If I could find somewhere to display that would put it in the way of fine artists, makers, designers ect, I’m certain I’d receive of more lucrative response and would definitely get a greater cross-section of responses.

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Summer work: Creative practise continued.

Over the summer, due to the fact that I work while I’m home and always have quite a few different irons in the fire; the main focus of my summer work was focused on my artistic practise and keeping up a steady stream of creativity over the break. In short, I simply kept up my artistic process and tried my best to produce a regular amount of work over the course of the summer.
Within this, I explored new mediums and expanded on the mediums that I’d already started to work with. The focus of this being on digital work and working with coloured markers, as well as a little further work into embroidery.

In addition to the practical work, I did quite a lot of dissertation research, reading and taking notes on some of the books that I identified as good research material. This proved to be really interesting and I added a couple more books to my list, found for me by a friend, who knew they’d be relevant to my subject.