Well, it’s our debriefing this week so I guess this is the last update we have to make!
Today I had a meeting with Hilary and Victoria of Celebrate My Library. I’m very excited about taking part in their workshops with children over the next year, and will be doing my first live illustration session in Surrey with Hilary next Thursday.
In the meantime I’ve almost finished my summer project/comic that I’m doing for MA student Aaliya Sheriff’s project. I’ve been posting it page by page daily on my blog, which you can view here.
The design of the cover may well change when Aaliya’s got more of an idea about her branding, but this is what I’ve got for hand in next Tuesday!
So, I guess this is me signing out for the year. It’s been a great time to discover what I’m capable of, not only in terms of what art and design skills I have but in terms of getting jobs, making contacts, putting the hours in and impressing my employers and clients. I’m far more confident in my CV now, and I’m even more confident in my ability to knuckle down with uni projects in my final year. All in all I’m glad I chose to take this sandwich year.
I guess I’ll see you all on Thursday morning, goodbye for now!
Timecheck: two weeks and two days until the beginning of term! I’m already getting into a fluster about final year. Do you guys realise we now have seven and a half months until final hand in? Seven and a half months.
In the meantime, I’m going to be working with Artsadmin (I am very officially on the Youth Board now, I’m on the website and everything!)
I’m also going to be doing some work with Celebrate My Library over the next few months. It seems to be a similar kind of workshop to what I did with the Ministry of Stories, where I will be illustrating children’s stories as they come up with them.
This weekend I’ve been doing the most fun dissertation research ever. For my project on the steampunk subculture, I’ve been in Lincoln at the biggest steampunk festival in the UK (second biggest in the world): The Asylum, run by the Victorian Steampunk Society. I’ve gathered a load of research and images which I think should give a lot more depth to my paper.
I also got some work doing a tutorial on social networking this week, I’m trying not to do too much stuff outside of uni work now (I’m not even sure I’ll get my summer project finished in time for crit, I think I’ve spent too long on my dissertation!) but it’s good to do something different once in a while.
I’ve been working on character designs for my Cambodian orphanages comic all this week. Say hello to my main characters, Ary and Peou.
I’ve also been looking at Cambodian culture so that I can better understand how characters might behave and interact with each other. It turns out Ary shouldn’t be putting her hands on her hips as it’s a very rude and condescending gesture, not just a show of determination like Westerners might read it. Translating body language will be an interesting task.
Things that I have done this week:
A two day life drawing class at Buckingham Palace based around the Leonardo da Vinci Anatomist exhibition (quite intensive, got some lovely work out of it).
Asking people how I could make my voluntourism project more relatable for Westerners. Many people suggested that I bring it close to home and perhaps even set my comic in a dystopian near-future London where many families are in deep poverty like those in places like Cambodia or Tanzania that I’m looking at.
Submitted an entry to the what’s in YOUR bag? blog, a little game for artists, although I think I may have cheated a little bit.
I’ve also tried chasing up a client about taking a long time to pay me, with not much luck yet. I’m thinking that once I have a new ID card and can get student discounts again, I need to take a short assertiveness training course! It could do me a lot of good.
Also, I’ve got back into the habit of updating my Tumblr blog now. There’s not much on it that you don’t see here but it’s good to have my own blog going again!
This week I did a bit of work for the Map Squad’s Bubble Club tent for Bowstock 2012. They asked me to work on graphic design for them following my work for them last year but as I’m too busy this summer to spend too long on their posters and banners, members of the Map Squad that I mentored in design in January are stepping up to the challenge. I’m very proud of their results!
The first draft of my dissertation is almost out of the way so that will be a weight off of my mind. I’ll also be spending a couple of days at the Leonardo da Vinci Life Drawing workshops at the Queen’s Gallery this week, so that’s pretty exciting!
I’ve been in communication with Aaliya this week about our responsible tourism comics trying to get a focus on the stories and style we’re going to be using. I did some studies from some photographs Aaliya took from a children’s burns ward in Tanzina and after looking at them together we’ve decided that we want a style that’s not as cartoonish as some of the comics we’ve been looking at.
I’ve made a start on my dissertation but it seems to be taking longer to get off of the ground than I thought. I’ve got a quarter of my first draft done, I’m a bit concerned that it’s eating into my time to get work done for my crit deadline with the illustration tutors on the first week of term!
I feel that over the last year I’ve picked up a lot of professional and digital skills, but I’ve really neglected my traditional art skills. I’m resolving to go to life drawing (at least) once a week from now on, to get back into practice for going back to Illustration (and to gather material for my sketchbooks!)
I’ve let Don’t Panic know I’m concentrating on my studies now, so I think I won’t be doing much more freelance work for them this summer. My plan for next week: Write up the first draft of my dissertation.
It’s been a bit of a slow week for me with not much to report. Half of my week was taken up doing freelance jobs for Don’t Panic, but I told the director I’m going to have to start prioritising my uni work. I did, however, get rather excited about the most recent Don’t Panic Video showing my mock-ups for the stunt.
The Straitjacket Heist was for Channel 4 during Mental Health Awareness Week to tackle discrimination against people with mental health issues in the workplace.
This week Sarah organised a meeting between myself and MA Graphic Branding and Identity student Aaliya Sheriff to discuss collaborating on a project. Aaliya is working on creating an identity for a company that deals with ethical/responsible tourism and is interested in creating comics/graphic novels with a social commentary, in order to engage with young people and inform them on the detrimental effects of tourism on some communities and what they can do to change things, or at least avoid contributing to the problem.
I’ve decided I’m going to put this project forward as my self initiated brief for final year, so I’m going to be concentrating on it a lot during this summer to present for my initial crit on the first day of term. We want the outcome to be commercial enough to put forward to be published. I’m currently coming up with ideas on how to present this comic, looking to other graphic novels with a political/social commentary such as Persepolis and Maus for inspiration.
I’ve had another freelance job or two this week for Don’t Panic as well. More pocket money, hooray!