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Becky Scarborough Formative assessment portfolio

Independent Practice

Crazy concertina This is my latest work that I am currently working on. There was a particular book inspired me from the Small Publishers Fair; it was a concertina with a difference. I got home and decided to replicate it, whilst realising how interesting and versatile the format is. There were several different ways of opening it and viewing what content would be inside, making it quite abstract. I struggled to design the content to fit the format of the book, as usually the content comes first and then the format is designed around this . So I began by keeping it quite simple and illustrating birds in flight, migrating for the winter. Next am I going to think about the size, material and the illustrations themselves, as this is just an example of the idea so far.

Theme: Autumn The main theme that I wanted to work with for this project was autumn. My work is usually very nature inspired and this ‘season’ is arguably my favourite. To begin with I took photos for primary research. I went to Epsom common on a “particularly Autumny day” and found lots of toadstools. I decided to take some photos using a fish eye lens, as I had never used one before and really liked how these images created little spherical worlds. When I got home I did some observational drawings from my photos and then experimented with putting the illustration back into the photo. I like how they turned out and could develop this further to give it more depth.

Great Migrations As I was continuing to look into Autumn as my theme I then realised how everything I was looking at was very obvious. I wanted to concentrate on something less apparent, but possibly still nature related. From taking a step back and brainstorming ‘Autumn’ I came up with the idea of migration and hibernation— a fascinating thing that animals do to prepare for the winter. I bought the latest issue of National Geographic, where they are currently doing a feature called ‘Great Migrations’. I thought the subject was really interesting, so I started to interpret some of the facts from the magazine in my own way. I illustrated some of the main animals that migrate, by air, land and sea (as they all have their own ways to navigate to their new habitat). I then made a couple of collages from these, bringing in selected information. I was happy with the direction this was going until I realised I was aiming it at the wrong audience. It was going down the route of being something educational for children, which this was not what I wanted to do. I have left this idea for now, however I am still amazed with how the animals navigate such a journey, so I plan to revisit it.

Flying south for Winter From doing some secondary research on animal migration I came across a video on youtube about a flock of starlings (see - watch?v=XH-groCeKbE&feature=player_embedded) I found this really inspirational and was amazed by the patterns of their formations but also the sheer volume of birds. I drew the different wingspans of a starling in flight so that I could make some sort of animation/flip book. I decided to practise my bookbinding skills further and make a hardback book, using starlings as my content. I had wanted to make a book with proper content (as apposed to notebooks) for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to experiment. The main reason for me doing this was to teach myself pagination and printing out a book using InDesign. I am happy with the result, and I learnt a lot from doing it. I realise that the book itself does not convey much of a substantial message, however I see it as more of an experiment to teach myself a new skill. I am currently thinking of ways to give this more meaning to develop the idea into something more final and reproducible.

Fanzine I really enjoyed spending the day making a fanzine. I decided to use Autumn as a theme as the day before I had taken some photos of fallen laves; and they were the most amazing colours. I used a combination of illustrations and prints that I had already made but not used for anything, photographs, and images taken from an Autumn issue of Vogue. I like the idea of bringing nature and fashion together. Looking back at this now I realize that it’s not really a fanzine, but more of an actual book. It would be harder to reproduce (photocopy) as I used a lot of colour and texture. If I was to make another fanzine in the future I now know how it’s supposed to be, and how I could improve.

Creative Thing no.3 Writing is not one of my strong points, especially about things I am unfamiliar with. Analysing this book by John Bentley was really interesting and I’m glad I got this object to analyse. As my writing was not very strong, I decided to put more effort into the presentation. So I turned it into a pamphlet. This meant it was also fitting with the object itself. The brief was to design the analysis on one side of A4 – so I didn’t break any rules.

Becky’s Big (3 minute) Art Attack It was hard to think of something to do for the 3-minute video. I wanted to do something on a larger scale, and quite active to challenge myself. I kept thinking about linking it in with the Autumn theme I was working with on other projects. I could use nature as the resources and materials for a large piece of art. I set up a camera on the roof and filmed myself making a big collage of an owl out of leaves, stones, coal, string, compost and whatever I could get my hands on. I had never done and filming or editing before so this certainly was a challenge, but a very fun one. (For a recap of my three minute video go to - http://

Get Lost For my ‘do something you’ve never done before’ brief I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone by not planning. I went on a spontaneous day out, by myself, not knowing where I would end up. I turned up at Epsom train station, closed my eyes and pointed to a letter on the ticket machine. I had picked stations beginning with the letter H. I scrolled through the H’s and ended up going to Horsham for £6. This was an exciting experience, however it didn’t go quite to plan (although I guess that was the point). I ended up getting annoyed waiting around for trains, which I wouldn’t have had to do if I planned ahead. Also Horsham was not a very exciting place to explore on my own. I learnt a lot about myself and how I work, and would like to take more risks in the future, but organised ones! (For a reminder of the video of me ‘getting lost’ go try-something-new-today/)

External Positioning

Fairs & Exhibitions From visiting three book fairs over the past couple of months I have realised my passion for handmade books. I have been practising my skills for a while now, but have only just begun to think about content and meaning.

of current illustrators and designers. This is the sort of exhibition I would love to be part of and see myself coming together with others after graduation to do something similar.

These fairs really excite me and I could definitely see myself participating in them in the future. I know it is something that is more of a hobby than a living, so it would only be a fraction of my external positioning.

I am involved with the external exhibition at the Ebbisham centre and am excited about this experience after helping at the ‘Work in Progress’ show in the Summer. I hope to exhibit some books/illustrations. Some others and myself are in charge of making a workshop area, where there will be live work and a shop for anyone that wants to sell any prints/zines etc.

Another exhibition I visited and felt extremely at home was ‘Into the forest’ a small pop up show by a collective

Shops There are a fair few of little shops out there that sell designers products. I have always seen myself as more of a ‘crafter’ than a designer and I love making all sorts of things. I have been making and selling my own jewellery and accessories (Becky’s Buttons) for a couple of years now in ‘Miscellany’, a gift shop in Epsom’s Ashley Centre. It’s only a small earner for me but it has always given me a sense of confidence knowing the public are buying my products as gifts. I have recently approached Vicki (the owner) to ask if I can put some different bits in the shop, more to do with my graphic design practise, such as illustrations and books. She couldn’t have been happier to help so this is something I am currently working on for the next couple of weeks. Other shops I have been visiting, researching and contacting include: Magma, Ryantown, Shelf, Frank, Bookartbookshop and online shops Etsy and Folksy.

Something beginning with B – Blog and shop I use my ‘Something beginning with B’ blog to post about personal work and I kept it up to date with things that I did over the summer. I also use this blog for other things I do such as Becky’s Buttons jewellery/ accessories and the bead fairs that I occasionally help at. I have recently made an online shop using ‘Big Cartel’. I can list products for free and I can match the visual aesthetic to my Something beginning with B blog. //There is currently nothing for sale, but there will be shortly.

Online portfolio I have been working on making myself a professional online portfolio. I decided to make myself a ‘Carbon made’ portfolio as it is free, rather than creating an actual website just yet. It is also a good network of creative’s, where you can browse through other designers work. It is still a work in progress as I need to put more in, but it is good to have somewhere externally that I can be seen as a Graphic designer/illustrator.

Other external positioning I am hoping to enter some work for the V&A 2011 Student Illustrator Award. I am not entering any other competitions such as D&AD, so I will give this a shot. As an illustrator I have yet to discover my ‘style’ as such, that is why I want to keep on practising. I am also part of a small collaboration working together on a fanzine called ‘Chocolate Teapot’. I won’t give too much away as it is a work in progress but we are using it as a way to role-play what we eventually want to do in the industry.

Working Evaluation: Independent Practice When I first decided upon three proposals the main focus was to make a book(s) with content, message and meaning. This is still my goal. From making the fanzine I realise how I need to figure out how to make my work more reproducable, this can be quite hard when collage is involved. I also came across this problem when making my ‘Flying the nest’ book. It took me a day and a half to make, although now I could do it faster, I need to churn out work much quicker if I want to make several copies to sell. This is something to think about for my final piece. I have struggled with the theme I gave myself as it is very literal and hasn’t given me much opportunity to think outside the box. However I am excited about where it could be leading in terms of journeys and navigation. The development of this unit has led me to think that for my final major project I will be confident of creating another body of work. I have also found it hard to come up with a substantial meaning behind what I have done so far. It is all very ‘nice’ however the target audience and message is still unclear. As this is extremely important I am working hard on developing this for the final submission. Next, I am going to continue experimenting and making more imagery, then think about format for my book(s). I have proved that my previous mindset was form before content, whereas it should be the other way around. I will use what I have done so far, picking up on the strengths and weaknesses of each piece.

Working Evaluation: External positioning When I graduate next year I would love to work freelance and make money from selling my designs. However, I know this is not an achievable plan straight away, it is either something I will have to do alongside another job; or in the future after gaining experience and contacts. I have been finding it hard figuring out where to position myself lately. One of my strengths is illustration, although I do not see myself as an illustrator. This is the same with making books, these are both skills that I use in my design. I am going to continue pursuing these for my external positioning as well as thinking up a backup plan. I will begin to think about where else I would want to work alongside these things. Most of my external positioning is relying on my independent practice. Until I develop my work to a high enough standard I can not put anything in my shop to sell, so this is my priority.

Working Bibliography: Independent Practice & External Positioning Books Chapin, K. (2010). The Handmade Marketplace. USA: Storey Publishing. FL@33. (2009). Made & Sold: Toys, T-shirts, Prints, Zines and Other Stuff. London: Laurence King. Harzinski, K. (2010). From Here to There. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Vettese, M. & Barnes, S (2008). A Year of Mornings. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 1. Wigan, M. (2007). Text & Image. London: AVA Publishing Exhibitions The London Art Bookfair – 24th September 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 2nd November 2010 Into the forest – 13th November 2010 The Small Publishers Fair - 13th Novumber 2010 Handmade & Bound – 21st November 2010 Journals National Geographic – November 2010. Videos Youtube video – ‘Starlings on Otmoor’ com/watch?v=XH-groCeKbE&feature=player_embedded BBC iPlayer - ‘Twitching: a very British obsession’ Websites

formative assessment portfolio