My Painting Practice

To develop my work further and spurred from my latest feedback that showed my year tutors (Amelia’s) particular liking to my paintings. I felt that a broadened material experimentation with a practice and exploration into my painting process to work alongside my drawings to feed my paintings and vice versa. When, now that my story is set, will offer the valuable experience of the practice in my processing of my images from draft to finish. This practice will demonstrate my ability to take my drawings into the world of colour and professionalism in my skill of delivering completed outcomes that will be of high interest to my clients.

I started with my idea to deepen the exploration of my conceptualised characters. I have started with my Grandma character. I wanted to describe her person in my visual images through the imagined activities that I pictured Grandma enjoying.

A start from drawing to paint:



Further Development of painting interpretations of my initial drawings:


As I had learnt from the previous experimentation with watercolour painting the translucency made the image to weak in its visual presence. So using my inspiration and the research I undertook on the illustrator Tomislav Tomic’s process in which Tomic uses watercolours, acrylic and ink. I decided to use these three media to create more visually stronger images that excite more depth and attention. I also made sure to involve my consistent desire in keeping my line work a part of the product as well as the process by drawing on top of paint including the gorgeous textures of shading. This is important to me as I belief that the expression of line in drawing holds my favoured key to the originality that is my creative expression.

Llew Mejia

I recently browsed for inspiration through the illustration books available in the illustration studio book shelf. I flicked through a book that shared an array of interviews with contemporary celebrated illustrators that had beautiful examples of their work included. I was struck by the work created by Llew Mejia. I was particularly interested in what this artist had said about his work and his ideas. I also visited Mejia’s wonderful and easy to use website which I loved to explore and I especially admire his use of excellent quality images that makes his website really stand out. I share an interest into Mejia’s passion for the natural world and I am inspired by his pattern approach that I wish to explore for myself and I realise would work beautiful for book covers, end papers and prints. I have learnt from reading the interview that Mejia uses books of Scientific Illustration for inspiration which I feel is really interesting and draws me to trying this out for myself.

Inspired by this work my goal for next week in my project development will be to just make as much art in the studio as I can as I have been so busy with conceptualising, writing tasks and research. I just can’t wait to make work I’m really proud of.


I love Llew Mejia’s vivid colours that make his work so decorative. His work reminds me of the beauty of the natural world and the incredible variation of species that makes the world such a wonderful place. Also the new colour inventions of plants create an emphasis on these elements of beauty and draws out the attention to their striking individuality that collectively empowers this message of originality. Mejia’s exploration of living things also invites us to this journey of discovery which makes stunning collections when visually composed together in these detailed compositions that effectively entertains the eye and feeds the mind.


Observational Research

Following my recent advice that happened to be exactly what I had previously thought about doing. I went to Jacob’s Antique Market in Cardiff and created observational drawings of the items that inspired and that I felt connected to my characters and story. I was inspired by many of the items on show and I took my time to enjoy drawing them.


I enjoyed putting away the rubber and detaching myself from being critical about my drawing. I went about drawing naturally and unashamed, this way I could focus more on enjoying the process, embracing mistakes and feeling the character of the item in front of me.

I also felt it was relevant to draw from within the National Museum once again. This time I was working from their with a purpose and specific interest into the natural wildlife on show. They had some of my favourite characters that are in my present book one (the fox) and imaged book two (the red squirrel). The exhibition of the natural world also had great views of taxidermy birds flying over me which was particularly a moment that exists in my story where the owl flies over the wood and watched the girl running after her grandma and thieves.

I loves to create contrast of soft and hard lines to communicate the different textures and shadows.

My memory, photos and also drawings will be really useful for when I rework my book one scenes that will help to feed my images with more of my visual and conceptual interests.  I plan on visiting St Fagon’s for inspiration for the design of Grandma’s house on Sunday.

Story One Draft

I have recently created a visual story concept that captures the imagined events of my book one idea. The summary of the story is that a girl unwillingly has to spend some time with grandma, grandma gets stolen in the night and taken into the woods, the girl runs after grandma into the woods, the girl comes across the portal where grandma was taken and some forest animals that can magically talk and then the girl when spooked falls into the portal. This ending leaves my book open to lots of questions which I think is something that I really like about this story.

Following the helpful Macmillan Illustration competition format guidelines for a children’s book I assorted my images into a sequential layout in a dummy book shown below. The images are attached to the pages by paper clips to assure that developments can change and images can be swapped or replaced.

Here are some images of my dummy book below:

As I have accomplished a beginning, middle and end to my story of my first book. All I feel I need to do now is reorganise my pages so that it has 32 pages as it is currently over the amount of pages. Specifically select the important scenes from my story and develop these using Amelia’s advice. 

I also realise that for the upcoming deadline it would be useful to complete my story writing with my word and image work using InDesign based on this original sequence as it will help to practice my skill with this software and supply a clearer context for my audience to follow. This will also usefully open the story to feedback as well as the images.

Fran Menesis

As lately I haven’t been feeling too creatively inspired and also out of touch with making as I am held off from making drawings from places because of the weather that I planned to go too to develop my story projects images that I and Amelia both agree it needs. More present is my feelings of insecurity about how this long and slow moving book project is not filling each day with a product like I wish I could manage. As in the real world of freelance I need to be more regurally in touch with making works everyday that I can envision being able to sell and also to encompass my interests and practice more regually an attempt to achieve a high professional standard which is my ultimate goal for the year.

Remembering my research on Freelance Illustrator Fran Menesis I remembered  very importantly what this profession was all about. From Menesis’s advice that she has offered from her helpful YouTube videos she reminds how it is so important to tune into my interests to really enjoy the work. As right now all I have been feeling is lots of anxiety and stress I’d very much like to swap this with the comforts of making work for myself now that can also be published for use. As right now I have nothing to sell. From Fran’s portfolio I am in love with her passion to illustrate and also how she has illustrated interesting topics for educating about space and illustrating for magazines that look into topics such as supporting the WWF and creating an image for the Mercedes Benz Magazine which is really impressive and delightful to see her diverse and sometimes surprising clients introducing illustrating into their publications.


Latest Tutorial

On Monday the 20/11/17 I attended a tutorial with Amelia in her office. The advice I achieved from Ameila was really useful. Amelia felt that my story reminded her of a poem called ‘The Goblin Market’ by Christina Rosetti. However I am not a big fan of poems  and especially when they are super long like this one.

Amelia also told me that I am where I should be at this stage with my project which was really comforting to hear. We agreed about a better quality of paper was needed for my paintings and recommended that I attempted drawing on top of paint or working on coloured paper rather than white. This idea really interests me as the white seems overpowering when I scan my watercolour images into the computer. Also another painting advice from Amelia suggested that I should attempt to mimic artists work in terms of breaking down the process to understand how they were approached and succesful to carry across to my own practice.

I was commended for having achieved an imagined story and to improve my images now it is recommended that I tie and nourish them with real experiences. This is something that I had already envisioned in my mind and that I knew would develop more interesting visual concepts. The idea is that I go to St Fagon’s and Jacobs Antique Centre in Cardiff at some point this week and draw items and things that particularly interest me and that I can see inspiring modifications and adjustments to my stories initial foundation of visual concepts.

Creative CV Writing Workshop

On Tuesday the 21st of November, I attended and participated in a Creative CV Writing Workshop run by the CSAD Careers Advisor Es George. From the group discussion that took place I exercised my thinking on the purpose and components of the CV. I aim to employ this knowledge into practice with my own CV at a later stage in my practice when I have gained more accomplishment in my working Book Project so I can approach it with more confidence. In this workshop Es presented numerous examples of the Creative CV’s based on a variety of individual and specialised practices. What made the Creative CV different to the ordinary CV that I have previously written is that is focuses on the subject of its purpose and the best examples employed subtle hints of the practice and visual flavour of work into the design of the CV. The most important element of the CV to remember is that the words and their selectivity matter most here and the portfolio is where the visual work can dominate.

Thanks to this opportunity I was made of aware of the service that Es can offer to my professional practice and has directed me to where I can find the resources to refresh this information being on Moodle and books available in the Library.

Professional Practice Research

After having my presentation on Monday the 13th of November, where I presented my immediate research into the hunt for book illustration related opportunities. From this presentation Phil’s Wrigglesworth commended how I had mentioned in my presentation how useful these online services provide insight into what is expected from the making of children’s books. I feel up for making my own stories and also for the idea of working a project for a provided book that some competitions require. From the other presentations that I listened too I noted down the other ideas presented by fellow illustrators from their independent research that is really useful to my own knowledge.

These services were particularly of interest to me:

Gained insight of new artist:

  • Felix Scheinberger – I love how drawing is very much a feature of his finished works as drawing is my most passionate process.


Wrigglesworth Workshop 2

On Monday the 13th of November, I took part in the second workshop ran by Phil Wrigglesworth. In this workshop myself and three other illustrators presented our group presentation to the small class, Phil and Head of the year Amelia. The presentation showed a collection of our individual research on the present opportunities that are available to us and that we see ourselves using in the future. As I had been getting some anxiety issues during this time it was initially an uncomfortable experience particularly as it was a long wait for our turn to present but although I was nervous I think a part of me enjoyed it and I wanted to do it even if did get panicked.

The research that I presented began with my current favourite illustrator Tomislav Tomic’s Portfolio that was available on the Arena Illustration Agency. This Agency provided the useful information that told me the clients, publishers and achievements that Tomislav Tomic had experienced. This included the Macmillan book publishing which brought me to this annual competition The Macmillan Prize 2017. From here I went on to my own research for book illustration competitions where I found immediately The Book Illustration Competition 2018.

I was really happy with the way my five slides were presented in the slide show. However I need to improve on my timing for the slide speeds and to also work on being more chill and enjoy the experience of sharing my research. Listening to all the other presentations was also very useful as it collectively opened so many doors and ideas for the future and suggested research to engage with now as Phil recommended.

Wrigglesworth Workshop 1

On Monday the 6th of November, I participated in my first workshop of two, ran by Professional and Experienced Freelance Illustrator named Phil Wrigglesworth. In this session I was presented with many directional possibilities in which I could take my Illustration practice in consideration and useful preparation for my post-graduate experience. This workshop offered many eye-opening and exciting ideas that really showed how wonderfully diverse Illustration can be as a desired and applicable service. Wrigglesworth’s experience in the industry and advice made me feel less frightened about the future. Wrigglesworth also really made it important that we understand our own desires and use this information to direct and construct our directions as a guide to lead us down meaningful paths. For Wrigglesworth knows very well that when work is produced with the artists interest into the topic and passion is in the purpose of the work then it will always lead to the best work to come out it.

From the questionnaire that asked me about my favoured choice of:

  1. Illustration Platform.
  2. Content.
  3. Process.

I answered:

  1. Authorial Publishing.
  2. Environmental/Nature.
  3. Drawing.

I believe these areas feel right to me and it’s definitely where I am working right now with my current work which I am enjoying. The outcome that I would like to achieve in 5 years time would be some published books and the skill I would like to improve in the future is Marketing. I recognise that this is really important to articulate my direction and my desires to set myself realistic goals to always motivate my work.