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who? what? why? online portfolio AOI down the business getting out there competitions moving on


Vibrant colours reflect the playful side of my work which often celebrates scientific

the

natural

exploration,

world,

botanical

oddities and the mystery of the unknown. I can be found working with a mixture of charcoal, ink, pencil and paper cut outs, enjoying the computer as a final editing tool. This mixed media approach allows me to experiment with mark making, keeping the energy and fun in both the process and the pictures.


WHO?


WHAT?

WORKING PROCESS In an attempt to free up my drawing and invigorate my work, I like to be a bit messy in the initial stages. Happy accidents are the things that push my images and by staying free and playful at the beginning I create more opportunities for me to find fresh and novel results. Usually I will make elements and textures that I later scan into the computer, tweak the final composition, adjust the colour and play around with layers. The control the computer offers, allows me to free up the analogue side as each


element can be scanned in and arranged digitally. This does however have its issues, with hundreds of

individual

sections

floating around. To keep me from being swamped by too many choices I flatten areas, committing in order to move on. Exploring seemingly

ideas unrelated

to a brief can produce unique approaches and interesting

concepts

that often feed my most effective

outcomes.

Developing my technique and

idea

generation

has been a journey of understanding

what

I

want from my illustrations.

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.� Richard Feynmann


“If you don’t know who you are or what you’re about or what you believe in it’s really pretty impossible to be creative.” Rainn Wilson


IN S PI RATION


WHY?

“Style merely means one’s habit of drawing based on one’s own experiences. Therefore everyone has a unique style because everyone has a unique life.” Chirs Buzelli

I N S P I R AT I O N Creativity is an expression of who you are, how you think and the experiences you have had... I remember when I was a kid, my dad used to take me to look around the Natural History Museum at Tring. The taxidermy skills there are somewhat questionable and most of the specimens have a peculiar look about them. This however, added to the magic of the place and triggered my fascination with the natural world. Endless searching through museum collections, hours absorbing documentaries and countless adventures into the countryside are things I have always enjoyed and are therefore the strongest sources of inspiration. I now find the initial stages of research exciting and energising, helping drive my ideas forward.


I also take inspiration from botanical oddities, scientific exploration, architectural structures and my minor addiction to TED talks. I whole heartedly agree with Frank Chimero’s advise to “keep two books on your nightstand at all times: one fiction, one non-fiction.” Getting lost in a fictional world is magical but I am just as captivated by non-fiction gems. Inspired by my love of TED talks I purchased Jill Bolt’s book, Contra-construction - Maison Particulière, Theo van Doesburg and architect Cornelis Van Eesteren,

A Stroke of Insight and was blown away. It discusses how the mind works and made me look at the world in a different way. This shift in perception encourages me to think about all the possibilities in the world and most importantly, stay curious. Conceptual science and peoples attempts to answer the mysteries of life keep me questioning and inevitably help when thinking up my own ideas. Rummaging through junk/charity shops and car boot sales are brilliant ways to get inspired. 1950s furniture, antique curios, industrial lighting and wind up tin toys inhabit my room alongside all my other unusual finds. Anything a little odd and quirky ends up on a shelf next to my pot plants. Experiencing new things helps creativity. I try to have plenty of interests outside the world of art, to help inject life into my practice. Anything from circus skills to slack lining, power kiting, roller skating, yoga and even customising my loadstar tricycle for future biking adventures. Through self initiated work I have noticed that the things I enjoy in life, however seemingly unrelated to illustration, influence my work and appear intuitively throughout my practice. Whether it be the colours I am drawn to or the shapes and patterns found in the objects I collect.


ONLINE In the digital age it has never been so important for an illustrator to have an online presence that showcases, markets and interacts on a variety of different platforms. With this in mind it is vital that my online work was considered. The internet is a powerful tool and understanding how it can be effectively used is important.

WEBSITE My website will function like an online portfolio. A place to showcase strong pieces of my work in a clean and simple format. I have enjoyed learning basic coding skills in order to present my images the way I want. The homepage has a large background image that I can alternate with the logo and menu column unifying each page. I have also included links to other platforms including my twitter page and blog.


TWITTTER A place to network, share ideas and interact with other creatives. People can see who you follow, what you are talking about, interested in and what type of person you are. It visually relates to website.

BLOG I use my blog to upload work in progress, experimental pieces and things that haven’t made it to my website. It is an insight into how I create my images. People can also leave comments so it is slightly more interactive than a blog.

PINTEREST I use pinterest to easily store all my online inspiration. I can easily look back for reference but it also allows others to see what I am looking at. You can tell a lot about a person by their pinterest pins and it has also told me a lot about myself.


PORTFOLIO The quality and personality of a portfolio is a clear sign to any potential client what they can expect to receive from you. Everything from layout, balance, curation and quality of print all portray what standards you will offer any future work. Digital - A PDF format that can easily be sent or downloaded. Contact details on each page and an artist CV on the first page introducing myself. Analogue portfolio - a digital portfolio should not overshadow the importance of a good print based portfolio. Nothing beats the tactile quality of a well printed illustration. I have a black A3 Prat portfolio and am contacting printers to get the highest standard of finish I can achieve.


AOI The 2012 Pick Me Up event was the perfect opportunity to sign up as a member of the Association of Illustrators. This will allow me access to business advise and assistance as well as discounted rates for events and art supplies. I will be able to place the logo within my website giving clients extra assurance that the legal side of the business is considered. I subscribe to a few illustration magazines but really enjoy the critical engagement within the AOI Zaroom publication, something the industry needs more of in my opinion.


DOWN TO BUSINESS Business cards - I have just got the first batch of business cards printed. I need to make a few small adjustments and may try some out on matt recycled card stock before purchasing a large run. Overall I am pleased with the results but may update the images to feature crops from my FMP. Small booklet - Not everyone has the time to slot you in for a meeting to view your portfolio but some qualities are lost when only viewing my work online. Postcards will be idea for a broad range of mailouts but for more specific clients I would like to produce a small booklet acting as a mini portfolio. Business stationary - All sides of my business need to be unified so I have created invoice, contract and letter templates that all include a custom header and logo. Organisation - I am in the process of building a database of contacts to send mail-outs too and stay in touch with. This needs to be maintained and functional so I can keep in the radar of old clients and market to new ones. Keeping a clear record of who, how and when I have contacted people will make sure I am professional and not sending duplicate examples to the same people. Limited Edition Postcards - Producing something that people will not want to throw away or identify as junk is very important. Producing a limited edition set of postcards means that I can show off my work as well as encourage people to keep and hopefully use for future work.


GETTING OUT THERE I have been lucky enough to take part in a lot of events and exhibitions over the last couple of years. Jumping in at the deep end I started with a live draw event. Putting yourself on the line and allowing a room full of people to watch you draw was quite exhilarating and nerve raking at the same time. But once I got into the swing of things it gave me a massive confidence boost. It was a good experience have fun with my drawings and chat with fellow artists. One thing that has paid off is contacting blogs, websites and magazines about my work and current projects. One weekend I sent out a few emails and was immediately contacted back by eye magazine who made me an online featured illustrator. My work was seen by many more people and traffic to my blog dramatically increased.


PRESS / PUBLICATIONS May 2012 - >The Art Cake< Dec 2011 - >Another Escape< May 2011 - >Rock Paper Scissors Magazine< Feb 2011 - Illustrator of the week >Volume Magazine< Feb 2011 - Featured profile >5oup< PAST EVENTS 2012 SILENT AUCTION Illustration exhibition and sale. The Arts University College Bournemouth, Dorset. 2011 WISH YOU WERE HERE Postcard Exhibition Branksome Dene Chine, Poole BESPOKE ‘Happiness’ AUCB illustration exhibition Café Boscanova, Bournemouth EM[BODY]MENT Exhibition. Body theme The Gallery, The Art University Collage Bournemouth DREAMBOX Dreams theme Lighthouse Gallery, Poole BESPOKE ‘Love’ Level 5 AUCB illustration exhibition Café Boscanova, Bournemouth CRAYON An eclectic illustration exhibition Moon Tree Gallery, Bournemouth BLANK CANVAS SHOW Milton Keynes 2010 BESPOKE Level 5 AUCB Illustration Exhibition Café Boscanova, Bournemouth THIS IS/NAUTICAL NONSENSE This Is Something 60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth THIS IS/PREVIEW GALLERY This is Something Coffee L’amour, Bournemouth Live Art Night SNO!bar Xscape, Milton Keynes


C O M P E T I T I O N S 2012 Winner of the Wish You Were Here postcard competition Selected as a Best of Year winner for the D&AD Student Awards Recognition within the industry is a massive confidence boost and a great way to show my work to professionals. I was lucky enough to be awarded as a Best of Year Winner by the D&AD Student Awards. An internationally recognised competition that will send out my details and work to creatives throughout the world. I am looking forward to presenting my portfolio to a mentor within the industry who will advise me on my practice and hopefully kick start my career. Mentors such as my design buddy Luke Bonner, guest lecturers and tutors have all helped bring fresh eyes to the table and make me understand my work from other perspectives.


“The people that I respect the most, the people who are doing great things, are people who care so much about what they do that they can’t stop.” Liz Danzico


Moving On In a letter to his son, Einstein wrote, “Life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep on moving.” It is finally time to finish my degree and move on. The future is uncertain and full of possibilities but I feel energised and ready to go. I am pleased with what I have achieved in my final major project but it has also given me so many more ideas. I may have handed my last piece of university work in but I believe this is the beginning not the end. Looking back at how dramatically my work and I have changed excites me about the possibilities of my future work. After graduating, I hope to get some industry experience through internships and have applied for the YCN intern opportunity as well as the ‘Its Nice That’ graduate scheme. A focused push of marketing, mail-outs, competitions and exhibitions will help get my name out there. I am always looking for ways to push my practice in different directions and would like to look into opportunities to work in other areas such as set building, moving image and installations. I plan to share accommodation with another illustration graduate and together we hope to set up our own studio space. In the future I hope to move into a shared studio space away from home and work alongside creatives from other areas. I enjoy collaborating with like minded creative people and the shift in perspective a new process or technique can encourage. Hopefully, engaging with the local creative community will help this. My work in both technique and concept has become stronger and more personal to me. I finally feel like my illustrations have a voice and my working process fluid and united. I really do not want to loose any momentum after graduation and in fact want to use it as a time to actually step up a gear and really go for it.



Natasha Durley's Professional Practice