My third year experience of the encounter module has exercised the importance of communication and time management. I had very big anxieties at the start of the year feeling out of my comfort zone with the idea to self direct the creation of my own narrative and to complete a book project through to the finish. I feel the act of doing the work, attending as many workshops and tutorials with tutors and asking plenty of questions helped support and motivate this pursuit.
The challenges that I faced was with creating my story. I knew that I had to conjure something that had a meaningful purpose and impact that was relative and would leave people feeling good and have gained a new perspective. The easiest part of the story work was the beginning as my interest into using my experiences and home was very clear to me and had been evidenced in my work in Level 5. However the middle and ending was not so clear. It was only the awakening critique I received from a tutorial with a guest and experienced illustrator Phil Wrigglesworth that had made me realise the essential research that I was missing. My problem with over complicating and overworking storyboards that became incredibly difficult to narrate had me realised that I was drifting away from the children’s book when it needed to be much more simple. I was re-navigated from this path and pointed in the direction of research that lead me to children’s book writer Lauren Child. I enjoyed watching her interviews and seeing one in person. YouTube tutorials and Child very much inspire and taught me how to create a simple narrative. The more simple it became the more I was able to spend time on making the images for the picture book.
Another huge leap for my practice came with my exploration into my materials. I experimented with soft pastels, papers, inks, drawing with ink and types of paintbrushes. My Contribution module as well as my research conducted in Encounter truly highlighted ideas (such as Robert Henri and Quentin Blake’s notions) on the values that I share for self expressive work. Research into such techniques made my material choices more clear over time as I acted on and accepted my loose approach that I enjoy very much. Working in a manic and transparent aesthetic had my true sense of self brought directly to the eye of the audience. Where the audience can journey in an intimate experience with my ideas and visually perceptible passionate process that has brought the work to life.
Equipped with the developments that have made the experience of children’s picture book making both a first time and a very rewarding experience. I feel prepared for the future in my confidence and ability to produce a picture book and work in sequential narrative. That has informed my direction of my research for the the Exposure module in which I have action planned my interest into becoming a full time children’s book illustrator following my interest into seeing where this will go!