Reflecting out loud


Today I’m busy preparing my presentation for the Vocational Practice module which is part of my MA course and takes place next week yikes! Like most people I am not a fan of public speaking.  The illustration above is supposed to resemble the start of my illustration journey! We have to discuss our art practice with the rest of our group and it’s been really interesting reflecting on the last few months. Some things I have noticed about the way I work are:

  1. I’ve found that whether I’m doing a painting, collage or an illustration I always approach my work in layers. I always put down the solid colour first then build on top of it.
  2. Colour is a big factor within my work, probably the most important. I’m drawn to colour because bright colours make me so happy. When I’m creating new work I decide on a colour palette first, always.  At present I can’t get away from primary colours!
  3. I probably work in a bit of a strange way for an illustrator, I don’t necessarily plan a piece out on paper first, i kind of have a vague idea of how it might turn out and thats the exciting part.  Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t.  Sometimes I can go a whole infuriating day trying to create a certain character like a turtle and it just doesn’t work out.
  4. I tend to work in collage first and foremost.  So do lots of mark making and painting on big bits of paper and keep them all in a big box so I have colourful library to delve into any time. Then I often use these to plan out a rough illustration digitally after scanning them in.  I will overlay a drawing done in illustrator and cut out the shape, so I end up with a patterned shape as the basis for a character. Then I work these up until they are finished. The finished image is always a digital image.

Sneak peek

I’ve been busy working away on the portfolio 1 module since October as part of my MA. Trying to juggle two new jobs, moving to Wales and fitting in time to produce art work has been hugely challenging.  I’m doing the MA part time over two years as I wanted more time to develop my work and I am SO glad I decided to do it over two years instead of one.  Watching all the full time students stressing about getting their work done in time for their first exhibition in May made me breathe a sigh of relief! Although funnily enough I have surprised myself with how quickly I have managed to produce the images for a children’s book.  I worked on a story based on ‘Swimmy’ by Leo Lionni, a story about a fish whose family is eaten by a giant tuna!  I got so into producing the images that I’ve finished the book already and I’ve finally managed to make all the amends.  The book has gone off to the printers today and I’m so excited to see what it looks like when it returns.  Here is a sneak peek at a few of the images inside – the images are all done with paint, collage and finished digitally in Photoshop.

tunafinalnoislandlongseascapecrab copy copystring11darkaloneflattened

To chop or not to chop

Before I started the MA course I actually trained as a painter. That seems like a LONG time ago now! Since I graduated, as it was difficult to paint without a studio I became really obsessed with chopping up bits of coloured paper and making collages, abstract collage and character based collage. It’s what really sparked my interest in print and pattern and gave me the motivation to explore it further, so its probably the main reason I am here today on the MA studying illustration.  I still use a lot of paper cutouts in my work, although now I combine it with digital tools like illustrator and photoshop. Here is one I made recently.  I really like the way the faces are all looking at each other in a sly way, like they all know something the other faces don’t!


Enemies Yay

Enemies Yay are a very cool creative duo who are based in Oz on Victoria’s Surf Coast AKA artists and illustrators Laura Blythman and Pete Cromer.  They met over 10 years ago when they worked as Junior Designers at Hallmark Cards and always wanted to collaborate, so Enemies Yay is the result!  Together they create super bright and cheery mixed media collage pieces.  I don’t know about you but I want to buy them all. They make me feel so happy!