End of Year Subject Reflection

For my subject work this year I really wanted to focus on developing my own visual language, this hasn’t fully developed yet but I have really enjoyed the process of experimenting with different mediums and exploring elements of illustration I haven’t before.This year I really wanted to work on improving my hand rendered finishing skills as this is an aesthetic choice that I’m really drawn to in work in wider contexts as I think it’s more relatable to viewers.

At the start of the year, I started working on a collections project inspired by illustrating a theoretical list instead of physical things. However, after starting this I wanted to overhaul the project after the visit to Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, I wanted to switch my collection to Skulls and exploring their position within history and popular culture in modern day society and compile them into a short book, I initially started the work hand rendering it but I found that the pages became to minimalistic and white space dominated do after a tutorial I decided to use my own images that I had taken on the trip to Pitt Rivers and illustrate them using my iPad and Apple Pencil. I found that digitising them enabled me to put them into InDesign and experiment with words and context more.

This year I really wanted to work on improving my hand rendered finishing skills as this is an aesthetic choice that I’m really drawn to in work in wider contexts as I think it’s more relatable to viewers. By creating my work hand rendered and then digitising I feel my work is starting to look more finished and professional because it’s ready to be put into wider context.

I’ve been pushing myself to try and be less contained by creating work in my sketchbook and try and use it for rough notes and sketches instead of finished final images in order for my work to be more accessible and finished. I’ve found that by working bigger I have more room to be more expressive with my mark making and compositional choices and be more confident creating hand-rendered work. A lot of the work that I’ve been really pleased with this year has been created out of my sketchbook for the entirety of the projects and I think working bigger is encouraging me to think about the finished images more and putting them into context.

During this year I have tried to take on bigger projects in relation to the outside world, during the Creative Conscience brief, I decided to look at Men’s Mental Health an incredibly sensitive topic.  I decided to approach the topic with more subtly and encourage self-reflection on the viewer,  instead of overwhelming them with information on a sensitive topic that might scare them. During the editorial project, I also illustrated an image for an article regarding prisoners mental health in Guantanamo Bay, I wanted to illustrate the article in a way that it intrigues the viewer to want to read the article instead of demanding attention over it. I think creating a piece to aid attention instead of demanding it was interesting as an illustrator because we really had to pay attention to the articles we had chosen and how to represent them to the best of our ability.

I have already seen such an improvement within my mark making and ideas within this year and I can’t wait to see the work I produce in the next.

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