I was really surprised by my results for the first unit as I was worried that my design and concept choices for the final outcomes may not have been understood by the tutors, which I have felt in previous units. However, my feedback was mainly very positive and I’m thrilled that my way of working is being understood and appreciated.
I also received some helpful constructive criticism which I plan to carefully consider moving forward.
‘Some elements within the final images are less well considered and the unity between scanned, digital and drawn elements need more work.’
I agree with this feedback fully as I am still working hard to improve my digital skills, especially when trying to make a compilation of separate elements fit together seamlessly. I am however I took the challenge of using this method for the project, though some sections didn’t work well as others, as I learnt a lot through trial and error. I already feel more competent than before from the Adobe Illustrator workshops early on in the new project – check out my first outcomes here.
‘Less is sometimes more when it comes to layering of patterns and textures whilst hand-drawn lines need attention, (lose rough pencil marks – try to use more gestural implements than fineliner pens).’
My love of tactile and juxtaposing textures can be drawback when my compositions feel too crowded, and the designs for this project certainly sometimes got too busy. This is partly down to my excitement for different materials and techniques, as I find myself bored after doing the same thing for too long. To combat this, I will try to slow down a bit more when producing final artwork so that I do not rush ahead using the next method that springs to mind. I also intend on being more careful with creating a completely finished sketch/drawing before proceeding with colouring or refining – which leads onto the feedback concerning my rendering of hand-drawn lines. As ever, I am trying to draw more to heighten my drawing skills and vary my range of subjects to draw from; I am also keen to attend more life drawing classes. This project requires the highest number of images for a final outcome to date so this will really put myself to practice.
‘Colour palettes between the editions are a little similar.’
Though this is fairly specific to its unit brief, it’s an important point to consider. I often find myself reaching for the same colours which I favour, but need to think more tonally to create more diverse colour palettes. I have enjoyed using my own photographs as drawing references, yet I must also use them for colour palette choices as well. I discovered the Pantone Studio which was very helpful for picking complementing colours and look forward to experimenting with this further.
My only slight objections to this comment is that the choice of blue as the main colour for all my jackets was purposeful. In a previous project where I produced packaging for a series of films, a big failure of the final outcomes was a lack of unity between the different films, particularly in their colour palettes. I used the mistakes learnt from this project in my Interpretation of Text unit outcome when I chose to make sure the books looked visually appealing both on their own and together as a set. I used the motif of water as a recurring theme throughout – a constant reappearance in all Woolf’s novels as either a metaphor or literal scene element – which was emulated through varying tones of blues and greens. As an added bonus, the blue contrasted nicely with the iconic orange logo of Penguin Books. Nevertheless, I understand the push to make sure my pieces stay unique and engaging.
‘It would have been useful for you to pick apart Charles Shearer’s design and visual approach, as it seems to have had an impact on your work.’
This comment was brought up during my presentation by a tutor and surprised me as I had never considered any relation to Charles Shearer‘s work to my own. As a close family friend since he and my mother met in art college, I have always been surrounded by his work with many special prints hanging on the walls of my home, as well as often visiting my school for printing workshops. Though I use gritty textures in a similar way to him on occasion I’m not sure how many more similarities there are, but I’m flattered that my work may be emulating a great artist nevertheless.
More generally, I will continue to use artist research to inspire me and aim to be more critical and meticulous in my observations of their work and their relation to my own creative process.