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What makes a good image? Anwers from a Graphic Designer, Fine Artist and a Photographer


James Drummond graduated last year with a degree in graphic design from Bournemouth University. I recently interviewed him to find out his reason behind studying and what makes a great picture.....

What made you want to study Graphic Design? What started as drawings and doodles developed at Secondary School into a keen interest in Art and Design. As I got older and more accomplished I became fascinated by the quickly evolving world of Digital Art and the possibilities of this new media, turning something I love into my career. Who is your favourite artist? I couldn’t say that I have a favourite artist but classically the use of colour and shape by Salvador Dali is a good source of inspiration. ‘Modern day’ Digital Artists are much more numerous than ever so tying myself down to a single person isn’t possible though I find the fantastical subjects help feed my creativity. Do you have a favourite Graphic Design/Print/ Picture? ‘Chinese Village’ by Raphael Lacoste

Is there anyone you would aspire to be like, in your field or not? And why? Raphael Lacoste is a Digital Painter who works as an Art Director for video games such Prince of Persia and Assassins Creed as well as Concept/Matte painter on films. I find his concept art has a great sense of composition and casual detail while the matte paintings a realistic edge over some of his peers. The work he helps to create through his direction has produced some of the most stunning computer games seen so far. What would you say makes a successful image? I think a good image is mixture of two things. Initially you need to attract the eye so use of colour and contrast or mood should be paramount, followed by good composition leading the eye around and through the image to explore finer details. If the image is stylised or realistic then it should try to be clear.

‘Open Plan’ by James Drummond

Picture is of James favourite digital painting using a graphic tablet ‘Chinese Village’ by Raphael Lacoste.


Lee Lawrence is a 3rd year student at Manchester Metropolitan University studying Fine Art. I recently interviewed him to find out his reason behind studying and what makes a great picture.....

What made you want to study fine art?

Do you have a favourite painting/ picture?

I wanted to do something none academic, and it’s something that I enjoy. I didn’t want to enrol on a course which I didn’t have a passion for.

The Mona Lisa, but only because it became more famous after it was stolen.

Who is your favourite artist? Gerhard Richter Is there anyone you would aspire to be like, in your field or not? And why? No I don’t think there is. To be a success in the art world requires luck, contacts and most importantly your own style and individuality. Each artist will find their own direction and path so I try not to aspire to anyone personally.

What would you say makes a successful image? Perhaps something that makes the viewer think and ask questions about it.

Picture features on the opposite page ‘The Stolen Mona Lisa’ by Lee Lawrence. Picture features below Lee Lawrence and his painting ‘Faces’.


David Adams has been a photographer for the last 8 years and has recently furthered his skills in an evening course at the AUCB. His main passion is macro photography however he has recently taken the leap into wedding and fashion photography. I recently interviewed him to find out his reason behind taking up photography and what makes a great picture.....

Is there anyone you would aspire to be like, in your field or not? And why? I don’t aspire to be like any photographer as I am creating my own style and pathway. Do you have a favourite Photograph? As a photographer I don’t have a favourite image as I am always finding new and exciting photographs. I have two favourite effects for photographs, I love an image with vivid colours but I also love Black and White, when you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls! What made you want to pursue photography? My grandfather was a commercial photographer and when he passed away he left me one of his cameras in his will. This was my first step into photography and it inspired me to develop my skills from this point on. Who is your favourite photographer?

What would you say makes a successful image? A good image in my opinion is where the viewer wishes they had been there to witness what has been captured by the photographer. I also believe that an image is something that has been taken without any editing involved. I strongly believe that if you can’t take a photo without having to edit it then it’s no longer a photograph.

Harold Edgerton – His inspirational high speed photography has always fascinated me. Capturing those high speed moments that you never saw clearly before.

‘After Dark’ By David Adams

What makes a good image?  

Graphic Designer, Fine Artist and Photographer answer the question and more....

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