Having completed at least three physical portfolio hand in’s over my experience in university (including foundation) I feel I have improved with each one.
I really enjoy curating my development work in a flowing and coherent way so that my reader can see my journey of experimentation’s made from start to finished result.
This is some really great experience with selecting work that has gone into the Professional Practice portfolio.
The organisation and tidiness of my collection of work is something that I wish to continue to perform in my professional presentation for client contact.
Hobby Craft were particularly good with supplying me all the things I need in a excellent quality of product for an affordable price and Abbey Book binders is definitely a connection that I will be keeping.
I have participated in helping the show build and now that it is completed I have set up my show piece being two copies of my printed children’s picture book called ‘Grumpy Granny’.
My idea of how I wanted to show my work involved some smashing in the morning.
I sourced these clay pieces from the ceramics department throw away box having asked the tutors for this source of scraps. By not making my own ceramic piece it removes the environmental problem of firing.
I learnt that could only use fired objects as air drying clay has some dust properties that pose a health and safety issue. Lucky enough I got my hands on some excellent vessels to therapeutically smash on the day of my deadline!
I then went to share my idea of combing some broken ceramic pieces to go along with my showing of my children’s book to connect to the event of Ella who accidentally broke a vase in my story.
Amelia (head of year) assisted me with the presentation/composition layout of these items.
We achieved something eventful and interesting and I am very pleased with the result.
Having seen how this piece looks like a show object I decided to also include my other copy of the book for people to pick up and read.
The print quality of my book came out beautifully, the feel is very smooth and professional.
I hope to send this work to relevant opportunities such as publishers and competitions in hopes to grab the attention of writer collaborations and attaining a publisher for my work.
The exposure module has been a very resourceful use of time. I have gained the insight from experienced illustrators and have been prepped through valuable workshops of the expectations and duties in the future world of work as a professional illustrator. I have learnt of the essential web presence that is needed to attract my clients to my service and developed the skills to go about this in a professional way. I have importantly protected my work that I publish online to ensure that my work isn’t being used without my knowledge and I have been applying these skills to real projects including my website and social media pages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I now ensure that the images that I share online are set to 72dpi instead of print quality at 300dpi.
I have learnt of the importance of selectivity in my curated professional portfolio and tailoring what is shown to suit the target client. This has involved the exercise of the filtering process that has enabled me to practice my decision-making and has aided me with my submissions for the show catalogue and with selecting the images for my website. The creation of my creative CV and personal statement has been great training in reflecting on my skills that I have developed over the course of study and the type of experience that is tailored to the client.
I have learned how to carry out the processing of clients as a Freelance Illustrator including the important advice on the careful reading of contracts. I have also learnt how to approach, meet with and conduct my services in a professional way. I have gained knowledge on how to price my services and use an invoice either individually or have the support with the help of the investment into the service of AOI (Association of Illustrators). Who will be able to offer me support with pricing, contracts and dealing with clients.
My experience in the mock Viva Voce has helped to improve my confidence with communicating my practice and ideas to others which will come in handy for interviews that I will be acquiring after graduation. My research into the opportunities is something that has begun with enthusiasm and willingness to continue my engagement with building and establishing my records of contacts and sourcing places to apply.
Taking part in the show build is something that I feel I need to have improved on in my time management. I did attend my two-hour slot but having had part-time work and being ill for week I had so much to do that even though I would have liked to of helped out more, I didn’t have that time available. To of solved this I should have completed jobs like my professional practice earlier and had my time booked off from work to give myself three days worth of assistance on the show build. Despite this I have had the experience of multitasking and presenting my work in a public space.
Exposure has improved my confidence and professional approach to conducting and communicating my work in encounter and contribution module.
See here to see my Professional Practice presentation, including my research for this exposure module and my action plan for my practice after graduation.
In search for example children’s books I have been to the local Llandaff North library to review the short narratives and illustrations.
I picked out four books from the children’s books section that I was drawn too from the imagery and titles of the books.
The MOG book I immediately recognised for its acclaimed story work and illustrations. Although I didn’t know the Welsh language I simply used the heavy use of imagery to understand the story to which I could make good sense of being the irritating yet loveable and heroic MOG cat that he was in this story.
This research was targeted towards combatting my areas of difficulty around designing my front and back cover, copy right page, fonts and word and image layouts.
I was also taking inspiration for future work on self writing another story for my future children’s book.
This book entitled ‘When I coloured in the World’ written by Ahmadreza Ahmadi and illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi was a beautiful read and experience. I loved the repetition and the act of inspiring change with ideas and action. This is a book of shining hope and empowering the reader to take control and take action.
The illustrations were colourful and extraordinary. This book layout employed a separate page for text and image. This way I could really take in the meaning of the words and the image into two experiences in harmony with each other. I came away feeling particularly happy from reading this book that is important for both children and adults to encourage a healthy and happy mental health.
Another book that I really enjoyed and thought was a simple and a relatable book was called ‘RAIN’ written by John Usher and designed by Genevieve Webster.
It is interesting to see the collaborations of authors and illustrators asI have interest on forming such future partnerships myself.
I loved this book because it reminded me of the pain of my severe boredom as a child stuck indoors because of the bad weather. I liked how imaginative the ideas of how much fun there is to be had out of playing in the rain as the child expressed to his granddad who sensibly had them wait to go outside until the rain had stopped. The joy in the water left over by the rain had been worth the wait in the end and it had been a rewarding experience for both reader and character.
From this research I have gathered an idea of formats that can aid me with my own childrens book development.
Having just had my 10 minute mock viva presentation with Amelia and Dan I have recieved some valuable Feedback to take into consideration for my progress.
- Use reading material – sources from the library for inspiration and ask staff questions rather than YouTubeto avoid too many internet sources unless they are reliable.
- Select best images more carefully.
- Don’t spend money on results that are not final outcomes, make dummy book only a PDF to gain responses.
What worked well:
- Covered everything as asked of me.
- Timing was good.
My Action Plan:
I am going to form my latest completed story board into a PDF and send it out to tutors for their feedback.
From here I am going to read more childrens books to look at how images are flowing and juxtaposed with text.
I am going to explore image making through material experimentation and the research that I have been undertaking. Gaining feedback along the way.
On Wednesday the 31st of January I had a Professional Practice talk presented by experienced professional illustrator Dan Peterson. Peterson’s advice is incredibly appreciated as he offered thorough insight and tips into the working world of dealing with clients. I have found answers from this talk that had previously been vague so it was just what I needed. I now understand the process of the self-employed freelance world of business that include the important protective details and professionalism such as the development of my contract.
I have a clearer understanding on my rights within the contract and how settled payments are to be addressed in the form of an invoice. Peterson advised the best approach to a client being the face to face method and recording such negotiations and an important warning that I acknowledge that the ‘client is not my friend’. That reflects on the client’s business perspective is that ‘the client will try to get as much as possible from me for as little as possible’ . Following Peterson’s expertise with pricing giving examples of his situations I have understood how it is best to take this decision to an independent place to think and ‘avoid a decision made on the spot’. I am aware of the dangers of small print and contracts to avoid that create restrictions for my advertisement and rights over use of my own work. I have learnt how Peterson approaches and recommends the investment of the service called AOI that can provide me with help on pricing my illustration services. I have also learnt how my pricing is calculated based on territory, duration of usage and time scale to complete the work. I now feel safer and prepared for the freelancing ahead.
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:
- The AOI (Association of Illustrators) – paid service, providing support, and promotion.
- HiFest (Hastings Illustration Festival) – paid entry, shop, advice, promotion and workshops.
- The Dots – Free service, support, championing and promotion.
- Women Who Draw – Submissions service – support, promotion and connection.
- Scriberia – Job, illustrating ideas and ethos.
- 3×3 The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration
- The New Craftsman – British homemade craft, able to sell work, promotes artists.
- Handsome Frank – Illustration Agency
- ISUU – a place to distribute publications digitally, advertise, research.
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.