Throughout the year I’ve been looking at a couple of places that suit my direction of work. More and more this year, I’ve been trying and develop my illustration and find my own style of working so that I don’t just blend in with the millions of others doing a similar thing. The style of approach I’m working with now is a mix between comic style art, digital inking and character design, which works in well with my interests in branding and promotion, specifically in merchandise more recently. I’ve found this a real area of interest and it’s something that I’ve worked into all my current briefs, I really like design that works over a range, something you can use, wear or interact with as appose to something that’s purely screen or print based on forms such as a poster for example. Reflecting back on the work I’ve done throughout this year you can really see a change in direction, one that became informed by the kind of work I wanted to produce. I’ll just talk through some examples of my own work now ‐ and then I’ll just go through what influenced my decisions and what kind of work pushed me towards this style. At the start of the year, I was keen to explore areas such as character design and work a little more on my digital painting because I didn’t do a great deal of it in year 2 and it was something I was wanting to work on. The work here was for a household store, and these were characters working with the slogan “bringing life to your home” or something, terrible project looking at it now. I spent so much time trying and testing that it became time consuming and the concepts were that weak that it became more about trying to paint rather than a strong brief. The brief that followed that was vector illustration and the piece here was one of a few things for that brief. This was as simple as I could get really, I wanted to restrict myself to a more basic colour pallet and be a little stricter with myself. I wasn’t overly happy with the finish, it was a quick turnaround brief, but I liked the idea of setting some restrictions on colour because it kept everything more consistent. It was that idea that I’ve gone with across my current projects.
This was the project that really started to give me a sense of where I wanted to go with my work. The aim was branding and promotion of a ‐ hard‐core / death core metal band. The style of illustration was partly influenced by an illustrator called Dan Mumford; I’ll mention a little more about him later. This probably wasn’t the best illustration that I could have come out with, time wise everything got pushed forward because of other briefs – but l actually found working on this really enjoyable. What appealed to me was the interaction between the physical prints? The outcomes were a Special Edition package, point of sale and some merchandise. The fact that you could interact with everything made it all a lot more dynamic and a lot more visual to me anyway. Going into OUGD303 I’m starting to push the product range more so than I’ve done before. I’m currently working on publications, packaging, clothing, stationary, art cards, badges, foldouts and skateboards. Seeing how things are working across multiple formats has become a bit of a challenge, especially in my Marvel project I’m working with now ‐ but it’s an exciting process and seeing all these things come to life, it’s a good process. In terms of illustration I’m trying to work more with inking lines, and cutting out shades and gradients all together. There’s no real reason for why I’ve been working this way, but it just seems to give a different take on how I’ve been doing things and it’s a little cleaner in some ways. Also cutting down on the amount of colours I’m using is proving good for consistency and great for screen printing. This is a comic book that was made up for my Back to the Future brief. I’m just mentioning this as it was the first time I’d had a professional print done and it was just really useful in looking at the ways of preparing a document ‐ and looking at all the methods of printing and binding options – and just the whole process in general really. I ended up getting a bit of a tour around and it was really good to see the production of your own stuff being made up.
This slide looks at another side of that project. The shirts are being really good for me right now; I’ve managed to sell a few of these so far by accident really. I posted some pictures up on a forum and they’ve picked up quite a bit of interest; it’s just finding the time to produce them now. Though the thing that excites me with this though is that when someone’s wearing your work they pretty much become a walking advertisement, so getting these out there is hopefully a good bit of exposure, even if it is a little small scale. In terms of where I want to go with things after the degree, I always wanted to go free lance. Although it seems like such a complicated thing to aim for, mainly because of gaining exposure and how much time could it take for me to refine what I’m doing to be more commercial and more appealing to a client. What makes me lean towards freelance is down to every single artist I’ve looked at. Literally every one I’ve seen that I like the work of, is a freelance illustrator. Dan Mumford, I mentioned a before, he’s got an amazing client list. The work on this slide is his all his stuff by the way. It was a surprise when I came across his portfolio because there’s a lot of really nice album covers I’ve got kicking around and when I saw his portfolio, I found that most of them were all done my him. His client list is huge and I’m really interested to know how he started up. I’ve sent quite a few emails in the past, I occasionally still send them now but I’ve not had anything back, not yet anyway. In terms of getting my name out there I’ve been looking at creative ways of branding myself. Catching people’s attention like the image in the bottom right. It’s essentially a business card that looks like a twenty pound note. They were left dotted around a city centre and who wouldn’t pick up a twenty pound note? It’s a smart concept and its things like that I’d be aiming to go for. I’ve also been looking at freelance illustration representatives such as Magnet Reps and Illustration web.com. These companies offer up a space in which you can list your work and then they almost become your agent in a way. Although from what I’ve seen it’s a more of an open site that people are viewing and requesting bookings from, which is only really useful if it’s getting a lot of hits.
For branding I’ve recently put together my web space. It’s currently on a temporary server so it’s not live yet and it’s just really testing at moment. The layout is finalised, it will look like this but the images are there as pieces for now. The six images are linked onto a carousel and when you hover over the images you can click to enlarge ‐ and theirs also left and right buttons which cycle to another six images. The idea is that I’d have one project per page and you can slide through the carousel, without having to leave the home page.
As it stands at the moment, I do want to peruse freelance work for a while and just use that time as a bit of breathing space and a chance to really work on my portfolio. An idea that I’ve been thinking about for a while now is Impericon. Impericon is a company that creates designs for band promotion in the form of merchandise, T‐shirts, hoodies, caps, everything really. It’s something that I’d love to do; and I occasionally see posts for jobs as illustrators and the idea of getting paid for working amongst all that sounds ideal for me. The only issue is that the jobs are in Germany and something like that is a big step. If it was in this country there wouldn’t be anything to think about but because of that it does make me a little hesitant and I’ve not looked into it further as of yet. For now at least I’d like to see how things go with freelancing and strengthen my portfolio and presence.
Published on May 6, 2012