Throughout my illustration practice showing my work in a public context has always been something I have been apprehensive about. After previous experiences of creating underwhelming exhibition work I knew I wanted to create something that would draw audiences eyes, hence my complimentary colour choices on a larger scale which I hadn’t worked at.
Initially, I thought that I wanted to have a smaller set of prints around my larger A1 scale prints of some of the different elements of the compositions but I realized that this could potentially make the area look overly messy and not really curated. Instead, I decided to stick to my initial idea of presenting a trio of images against a plain white wall. I thought that screen-printing my designs onto grey paper/card would help to distinguish the imagery from the white walls but i quickly found that the inks were not coming out as opaque as I would have liked to have the same saturation as when they were printed onto white paper. At the beginning of the project, I was quite reluctant to try and take my designs into screen-print since it isn’t something I have practiced before and perhaps spent a bit too long ‘designing’ the posters on photoshop using the elements that I had papercut. As soon as I took the work into screen-printing I realised that taking the work into print was most definitely the right choice as it lent itself to looking more finalised and completely rather than being sketch dominated.
The experience of designing posters gave me the opportunity to explore poster and general graphic design, which has lead to me realising that the design process is something I find very interesting and would consider maybe pursuing as a career choice. The professional practice sessions with Dan made me realise how easy it is to be a ‘transdisciplinary’ illustrator within the creative design world because often on occasions you will need to combine different elements and media in order to create a whole aesthetic that a client wants. The lectures with Dan also informed me of the different processes that you don’t always see from the outside such as writing contracts, creating a fully-realized portfolio that portrays the work you want to attract as an illustrator e.g don’t show people oil paintings if all you want to do are paper-cuttings since the will normally assume that the work you have on show to the world is the work you want to do and are best at.
After I complete my degree I hope to continue applying to design and illustration internships and junior roles so that I can continue to explore my own illustrative visual languages but within a more professional and client orientated context.
During the past year, I feel that I have grown immensely as an illustrator. The year started off incredibly sedimentary but has rapidly passed once I truly got involved with my practice. My year started off with a continuation of the work I was creating during my last term of the second year, aiming towards a book focusing on the relationship between society and technology and the effect it has on individuals. I found that because I was very much orientated around the subject matter of the project rather than the actually communitive imagery of the project. It began to reflect my own frustrations with being stuck attached to technology whilst writing my dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself. I quickly realized that in order to potentially raise the work I needed to find something to respond to rather than just creating work focused around a singular idea and notion.
The winter holiday gave me the opportunity to start a fresh project alongside finishing my dissertation, I knew that I wanted to respond to text but I wasn’t sure which. I found myself looking at previous projects that I had really enjoyed and had positive feedback on. I remembered the work that I had created during the first year responding to A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams creating a series of scenes around a moment within the play. I knew that I wanted to do a project more design orientated that could be used as representations of some of Tennessee’s plays, looking into Polish poster design I really engaged with the spontaneity with the print-making processes they used and knew that it was something I wanted to incorporate into my own illustrative practice. I initially started by papercutting symbols and motifs from Streetcar, mainly the moth and lightbulb as a metaphor of Blanche’s declining mental health and her avoidance of light and reality, I arranged the compositions on the lightbox and then digitally manipulated them within photoshop. Much of the feedback I got was that I should take it into print so that I could become more experimental with my colours, compositions, and medium choices but because I had never gone into screen-printing before I was scared that I might not be able to achieve the results that I wanted.
I quickly found that the print-making was definitely the right direction to take the work because it encouraged me to become more expressive with my mark-making to communicate my ideas and how important a visual language is to help portray themes and emotions. Printing has encouraged me to take my work into a much larger scale than I have previously before because I wanted the work to act as posters for Williams’ work and at this size they could work within that context. I think that my A1 posters have turned out really well and have only encouraged me to be more experimental with my illustrative practice and I’m glad that these are my final outcomes for my degree work since I think they really reflect my work as an illustrator.
This was my second initial idea for my creative CV, I tried to make it a bit more personal to myself by adding a hand-drawn self-portrait which i then scanned in an edited to add some colour to help add to this idea of an individual. I also experimented with combining different variations of the same font through using BOLDand italics, to highlight different elements i thought were important on the CV.
After having tutorials with Amelia and Georgina, I have decided to change the self-portrait to a small element from my own work from the year RuthSouthwoodCV
I have also used my own hand-written font for my own name as if I were writing it down as it also helps to add an element of my own personality helping to make the CV become more interesting.
In order to help make printing process of my final posters easier, I decided to mock them up in photoshop using the paper cut elements which I plan on using for my silk screens. Creating them in photoshop has made it easier to make design choices since I don’t have to commit to them in the same way as if they had been hand-made. I have also been able to experiment with different colour choices to a greater degree since I can very easily just change the hue and saturation of the image overhaul or just replace singular colours. By digitalizing the images I had to decide how I wanted to represent the text of the posters, I decided to digitalise my handwriting into a computer font which I could print off and print with but it still remains personal to my own aesthetic choices but still remains legible which is something I was struggling with when I was initially handwriting the text.
For the graduate exhibition, I have chosen to print my poster designs onto grey paper rather than white, I think that changing the shade of the paper will help to make the posters stand out against the white walls of the show. Having the complimentary colours of orange and blue against the grey background helps to add to the dramatic representation of the symbolism and motifs of the plays.
I chose to use the colours blue and orange because I felt they were the colours which the most universal within the three plays I have chosen to design for since blue is present in Streetcar with the repetition of the blue polka , blue roses within Glass Menagerie and representing Brick’s masculinity in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I chose to use its complementary colour of orange because the two colours together will help create a more visually interesting design rather than if the colours were closer in tone or hue.
As we draw closer to the end of the year I have decided to start focusing on what I am planning on doing after the term has finished. In order to do this, I have started creating my creative CV for potential job and internship applications. I want to use the same font as I have used for my website design on WiX, in order to create a strong link between the two, I also think that the font represents my visual languages quite well with the contrasts between the bold and normal presets of it. I considered handwriting my CV but I decided that in order to make sure it is fully readable and engaging that this was better avoided since my handwriting leans to the messy and more expressive side. I will explore making the CV more individual to myself and perhaps scan in a small selection of drawings which I can experiment with around the page.