Though I still have about a week and a half left before my final deadline, due to the fact that I have an extended deadline because of my broken ankle, the final via’s for subject had to all be done in the same week.
My final viva presentation had to be about 10 minutes and a max of 20 slides, including dissertation and professional practise. My viva went really really well and I felt that I got some great feed back on my work this year from Anna and Amelia. Getting all my work together in a presentation and then having to talk about it for a solid 10 minutes, was a really great way to really get my head around what I have done this year and what exactly is my outcome form all of my 3 years at uni.
Final Viva! 13.05
This final term has featured our most concentrated professional practice module, because of the up and coming degree show and our graduation, it has been very important that we get the best understanding of how to conduct our future professional practice.
The most useful thins that we have covered, from my perspective, have been the details about our professional conduct in regards to agreeing contracts and work schedules/pay with future clients, and the tutorials that focused on portfolios and uploading work for online or print submission.
I can see how introducing us to AOI (‘Association of Illustrators’) as an invaluable resource will help me hugely in future, once I am in a position to do so, I full intent to join the association in order to use their resources as both a pseudo rep and as a source of contract and professional advice.
As well as being a very insightful look into how to move forward in a professional manner, the professional practice tutorials and seminars over the course of this year have continued to bring me back to adobe programmes that my work has brought me away from this year. My focus in traditional media and traditional techniques has mean that the only Adobe product that I have been using regularly is Photoshop, but going back to Illustrator and Indesign over the course of professional practice, has brought me back and refreshed my skills periodically.
Upuntil this year, I had lacked the confidence in my work to submit it for commotions and not felt that I had had sufficient time to complete live briefs. However, as part of this module, I had to apply to at least one live brief or competition to show y professional conduct. because of this requirement, I have pushed myself to apply for two separate competitions. While I was not successful, just gearing myself up to apply was a big confidence boost and made me look at my work as objectively good. From this experience I will definitely be applying to competitions and live briefs in future. Next year, given that I will have sufficient time, I plan to apply to the Creative Consciousness brief with a really strong submission that I hope will have a good chance of being successful.
Most recently, I put together my professional portfolio, to print out and present on the 11th May deadline, with the help of Georgia and this was extremely helpful to me, as I’d become quite unfamiliar with using Indesign in this way. It was also really great to go over my work with Georgia and get to look at it all together, checking that I had all my work scanned in correctly, and putting it together in an ordered and professional manner. I was very happy with the result and have already sent it for printing so that it will be ready in time for next Friday.
The only issues that I have had over the course of this year in terms of professional practice were because of my injury in February, due to the fact that I missed about 4 weeks of uni from being in hospital and having to go home for a short time to recover. It took a while for me to catch up again, being that the time that I returned just as we were all gearing up to get ready for the degree show and our final deadlines, but I’m quite sure that I have managed to get completely caught up with the module. I have, in fact, finished up all my moodle submissions this weekend (which is about a week before deadline) and am very confident in what I have submitted and the quality of the work that I have produced.
Professional practice, over the course of my final year, has been a vital and very interesting aspect of my course. It has also been quite scary, as the nature of the module makes you really look at how hard it is to be successful and practice freelance illustration professionally. It has also been really inspiring and reassuring, as it has given me a great deal of insight and drive to succeed.
In order to finish up and complete the sequence of my visual essay, I felt that I needed to add two more pieces featuring improvements and the future of how we’re moving forward in our efforts as a country to decrease the number of rough sleepers and homeless people. One of the things that I had neglected to accurately show was that young men and men in general are statistically more likely to become homeless and stay homeless, and how a contributing factor to this is because they are not traditionally seen as vulnerable. There are far more resources open to women and young children that provide housing or prevention that are not open to men in the same way.
Luckily, along with a general (but slow) improvement in the ways that the UK government is spending on new initiatives to help tackle the rising levels of homelessness ad rough sleeping, there have recently been improvements that are helping to better address this in equality.
While there is still a continued problem with the ways that we as a society look at homelessness and the ways that our government chooses to spend money on the cheaper short term projects rather than the more long term expensive (but better value) systems. The unprecedented rise in the homeless population in the UK is spurring some new movements and new ways of spending in order to address the problem. I wanted to end on a more positive note that shows this change and the hope for a better future for homeless people. I believe that if I were to end on a negative or not show the improvements that are being made, I would give the final impression that there’s no future for homeless people, that there is no point in trying
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.
I’ve spent so much time this year looking into reportage illustration and so far hove neglected to speak to a really important source of experience and insight, at CSAD illustration, we’re luck enough to get to speak to a lot of practising illustrators who offer tutorials and give really engaging talks on their work and experiences as professionals in the field.
Dan Peterson, who has been running much of our professional practice module this term, has a great deal of experience working in the field as a reportage illustrator. In 2011 he accompanied the 1st Queen’s Dragon Guards (Welsh Cavalry) on operation into Helmand Province as an official War Artist with the MOD. While in Helmand, Dan Peterson documented the operations and the lives of the soldiers, their interactions with civilians and refuges. His work gives an great deal of insight into the day to day lives of the soldiers and their roles operating in a war zone in detail that doesn’t get covered in the stories that news papers and media outlets would chose to report.
In finishing off my professional practise module I had to put together a creative cv. While I’ve written a number of cv’s in my time, they have all been in pursuit of hospitality positions and were therefore very different to a creative cv format. The first thing that i did was look up a few examples of what a creative cv looks like, the kind of layouts that are popular and professional, as well as the kind of content that I should include.
The best one that I felt were most effective, were the simple designs that include all the key information but also featured a small example or creative flare that gives the protective employer an idea of what kind of work that you produce.
When I looked up tips about the best types of layout and format to maximise effectiveness, I found a really interesting psychological fact that states that putting an image or graphic in the right bottom corner of a paper creates a natural cycle, that will cause people reading your cv to go back to the top to reread your document. So, when I was putting together my cv, I choose use a simple layout with a small sketch featuring in the bottom right corner, without many more embellishes on the rest of the page.
Due to the fact that I had to create my cv on a deadline and I chose to leave it in favour of my subject work, I didn’t spend too much time fussing over the design of my cv, instead I worked more on the text and the content of my cv, making sure that it says exactly what I want it too about myself and my work, as well as utilises the qualifications and expertise that I have gained over the course of my degree. While looking at examples of illustrators cv’s, my favourite ones where all done in a hand written type and had a very hand made and personal feel, now that I have the basic content of a working creative cv when I come to customising it for the particular jobs that I apply for I think that I would like to take more time to create a similar cv to the ones that I really loved the design of. By expanding on this and keeping all the important information, I will aim to make a cv that both reflects my professional qualifications and experience, and also better reflect my illustration motif.
In the final stages of my project, I’m really focused on finding projects and campaigns that have seen success and yielded consistently sustainable results. in doing this I found the housing first project, which started in the US and was then adopted by Finland. Previously I have done response work to the successful trial in Glasgow, based on one individuals experience of rehabilitation. However, I really wanted to clearly cement what exactly Housing First is about and the effect that it ha been proven to have with a long term commitment to the programme.
This addition to my body of work is all about really hammering home the role that Housing First has played in the reduction and prevention of homelessness and rough sleeping in Helsinki Finland.
The quote that features on the crossing, “You can’t get sober when your homeless, no one can.” is a sentiment that I felt has been mirrored in a lot of the research that I have done. On average, individuals who frequently have to sleep rough or are homeless suffer both depression and anxiety, the outcome of this being that many self medicate with drugs and alcohol, making getting sober while living in this way an insurmountable task. Because the cause of their substance misuse is largely their homelessness and the dire circumstance they feel that they are stuck in, they aren’t in a stable and secure environment in which they can safely detox or rehabilitate. Housing first enabled people to do this by first providing them a safe and stable based from which to work.