Design Boards & Project Report
I started this module with big ambitions - I aimed to undertake a large range of different briefs, some self-initiated and other live/competition briefs. I identified in my statement of intent that I wanted to step out of my comfort zone a bit more this year, by not focusing only on comics, but also my other interests, such as music. I wanted to enter the Hookworms gig poster brief, Secret 7” and initiate other music-based projects, such as a series of posters for gigs in Leeds, or an animated music video, since I’d enjoyed experimenting with this during Level 5. However, despite my ambitions, I struggled to manage my time effectively to complete everything I’d wanted to. I spent most of the first semester focusing on Context of Practice, and didn’t start many of my Extended Practice briefs until the second. Because of this, I haven’t achieved as much as I would have liked this year, or attempted the briefs I thought I’d do, but have still completed a range of briefs; large and small, self-initiated and client-set. Since Level 4 I’ve identified three main themes within my practice: character, narrative and humour. I’ve continued to develop and incorporate these into my work through the briefs I completed, as well as pushing myself to build my digital skills and time management. Although I managed my time poorly at the beginning of the year, with time pressure of deadlines I was able to complete work to a decent standard under that pressure. This was particularly evident with the summer ball poster I produced within the day’s turnaround. I have also identified what kind of brief I like and am best at working to: self-initiated. I lost my passion for drawing during the year, forgetting my need to be in control of my own creativity and attempting to respond to briefs that were not appropriate for me. I enjoy working much more when it is a brief I have set myself, although I do need to keep my time better. I started drawing zines about my mental health, initially just for me personally, outside of uni, but once I’d finished one I realised I had set myself a brief without noticing. My practice is very personal - even narratives I create with the intention of sharing, like Doom Mates, have my own injection of humour and personality in them. This course has taught me, finally, that I don’t want to be a professional freelance illustrator. I have ambitions to one day own a shop/gallery space similar to Colours May Vary, that I can curate myself, as I much prefer being my own boss. But, I also have ambitions to become a graphic novelist alongside this, pitching my concepts to publishers in my own time and not working to anyone else’s vision. In spite of my rocky start (and middle) to Level 6, I feel that this year has actually taught me the most about who I am (or am not) as an artist, and has enabled me to re-discover my passion and strengths and identify my limitations (and accept them). I feel more confident progressing to the next stage of my life knowing that I can create work in my own time to my own standards.