Although it has been challenging at times, I feel that, overall, this year has been really quite successful. For the first time, I feel able to look at my own work and think of it as a product that has been crafted and truly defined by my own experiences and influences. However, I started the year feeling completely the opposite to this, my work lacked focus and I was despairing at the thought of where to go next. It was only through being offered the Hookworms album brief, and being reminded of my first forays into 3D modeling that I began to develop an idea about how to express myself sincerely through my work. At the end of first year, Matt showed me a video lecture warning of the risk of making work based on fashion and trend. This lecture instilled in me a real desire to avoid making images just to please an audience, although throughout most of second year, that is exactly what I did. Therefore, when I returned to 3D ,apprehensively at first, I did so with a renewed determination to express myself authentically through this process. My first opportunity to do this came in the form of the Hookworms album. Being asked to work on the album was an incredibly exciting and humbling process, although at first I was quite nervous about the prospect of potentially not living up to expectations, I soon sound myself committing fully to the project as I was determined to make my best possible outcome. This brief was my first commission and was a real learning experience from start to end; learning to work alongside a client and an art director was great, and this made me realize that I very much enjoy this way of working, I found the constant back and forth surrounding the work invigorating and this drove me to really push myself and strive to create an effective outcome. However, on the flip side of this, I also learnt that there are consequences to not conducting oneself professionally or not committing fully to a live brief. My experience working on the t-shirt brief was eye opening and it helped me to realize the value of effective communication between clients and artists, this also made me realize that my appreciation for my work exists in direct correlation to the amount of effort I put into it and that I cant scrimp on this if I wish to remain happy and committed to my practice. Throughout this year, I have gained a greater appreciation of the synthesis of graphic design and illustration, as well as the skill that goes into effectively doing this. My own struggles with effectively integrating type have made me want to make this a more significant part of my practice, as I feel that this would help me to better contextualize my work and define it more clearly within the sphere of Illustration. I have tried to implement this greater implementation for graphics into the whole of my practice, striving to make work that is clear. efficient at communicating and reliant on considered design and attention to detail. My major area of improvement this year was that of focus and the development f more efficient ways of working. I wasted way too much time this year overworking images, not leaving the sketchbook and going round in circles, thinking about the right thing to do but never doing it. Although this did not effect anything too drastically this year, this could have dramatic consequences if not curtailed soon, as this failing represents the real possibility of losing work or never seeing projects to fruition. Having people outside of the college reacting favorable yo my work has been a difficult thing to reconcile. Despite positive feedback, there is a significant part of me that feels massively undeserving of any positive results from art, and is possessed of a general feeling of being a fake and an impostor. I feel that this comes primarily from my own insecurities and the lack of integrity I elt my work in second year had., and on several occasions I have had to consciously stop myself from self sabotaging and ruining good opportunities. However, im determined not to let this get in the way of things, in the mean time I am trying just to continue with things and not to close myself
off to potentially good opportunities. My Dante's Inferno project has been the perfect end to the module. Although the project has not necessarily resulted in clearly contextualized and reined images, I do feel that it has resulted in the development of a distinct visual identity as a practitioner. This project has really challenged me , with regards to the representation of character and narrative, but I feel that I have learnt a lot through this and that I am now moving directly towards the point where I can truly define my practice as an illustrator. Overall, however, this project filled me with a real sense of honest enthusiasm and it has made me more willing to keep experimenting and learning. In conclusion, as this year comes to a close and graduation approaches Im feeling very optimistic, although still trepidacious. I've learnt so much on this course, but it is clear to me now that this is only the start of my learning experience as a practitioner. Its starting to seem that working in this field might not be impossible after-all.