Friday 13th October
Today I decided to begin decorating one of the pages of my sketchbook, ready for when I stick in my primary research from our trip. My first initial plan was to stick in the pictures and write down why I selected these pictures and how they are going to help me in the future; it is a very plain idea, but it will get across the idea of why I selected these specific objects as my inspiration.
Then I found my old water-paints and got the idea to paint the page to add some character. But I wasn’t going to use bright colours – most of the pictures I selected contain quite dark tones, so making the page vibrant would not suit the primary research purpose. I chose a dark blue/indigo and a dark green; both colours compliment each-other perfectly, it will make the pictures stand out.
Instead of doing precise brush strokes, making it look even and neat, I decided to do it messily to give it that artistic vibe. Yes, having a nice, neat sketchbook with pictures aligned perfectly with each-other is quite nice, but adding character to your pages is much better.
However, when I was adding the water colour to the page, I decided to add some orange – I wanted to make some sort of contrast, but it didn’t go so well.
The colour stood out too much against the green and blue – it would not match the theme of the page, but that is what you do; you test around, see what works and what doesn’t and then you change it – or keep it if you liked it.
Facts: Shaw uses pools of enamel and metallic industrial paints which is then manipulated to the desired effect with a porcupine quill
Every motif is outlined in embossed gold, a technique similar to ‘cloisonné’ found in early Asian pottery
He uses biblical themes in his artwork: devils, demons, angels, ghouls, skulls…etc
Opinions: I really enjoy his use of biblical themes – it reminds me of the middles ages, a time in which Christianity was important.
The use of dark tones in his work really gets across, and envoke, a sense of fear into the viewer as demons and other hellish creatures are present. It gave me inspiration to use these similar colours and themes into my own work; just like Raqib Shaw I want my own work to be based on a historical art style (in Shaw’s case Renaissance) I want to use a more traditional art style – maybe with the use of woodblock as that is a medium I have always been interested in
What I do despise about Shaw’s work is sometimes the painting can be too hectic – too much happening on the canvas. It can be quite difficult to follow the story of the painting as he uses a lot of historical and modern themes throughout his artwork. But netherless, it is still aesthetically pleasing to the eye and continues to draw you in.
The end of year show gives us, the students, the chance to show off our work from either this year or last year, showing how our skills have developed over time. I wanted to present my work different to my peers, though it would already be due to the book I have created. I wanted to add an artistic flair – instead of presenting my books on a table where the audience can come over and have a chance to read my narrative and look at the illustrations, I decided to have them up on the board alongside my portfolio sheets. Why I decided to go for this artistic choice is so people can look at the larger versions of the illustrations on the sheets and then read the book, seeing where each narrative lies and can visually see what is happening in that scene.
However, what I could change about this presentation are the portfolio sheets. I would only keep the two portfolio sheets that contain my illustrations and remove the sheet of Heath Quinn, a character I created from my last year FMP and developed for Unit 9. Though you can evidently see the development of skills from the start of the year (Unit 9) to the end of the year (Unit 13), it doesn’t seem like a lot of time has passed, but 10 months is definitely long enough for my skills to change drastically. Another thing I would also change, looking back on how the presentation went, I would’ve made a showreel that shown all my work throughout the two years, making a more accurate visual representation of how my skills in photoshop were so limited that I didn’t even know how to use opacity, to now being able to use a range of different tools to make my work look either hyper-realistic – though up for debate depending on the work – or include of my own personal flair.
What I could have done, but would be completely unnecessary, is make this book also into an e-book. Some of my audience will not be able to access a physical copy of this novella, so the only way they will be able to read it is online. This was going to be the way I was going to present it, people reading it off the computer but after extensive research – primary and secondary – I found out it was the least favoured out of both. However, to get more of a following I will need to make this accessible as possible so the audience who are interesting in reading this story will have no problems. I could post my novella on a freelance website like Wattpad, Achieve Of Our Own or even Fanfiction.net. When I get a following – depending if my book is up to a certain standard – I could think about publishing it on Google Books which is very popular and accessible to millions of people.
I decided not to go university this year as I want to focus on getting a job and get a steady income so when I do go university I am not living off my student loan. Within this gap-year I will take the time to develop my skills in photoshop, a software I have came to love and illustrator, a software I still have limited knowledge over. However, my mind is still flipping between taking concept art in university, which has been one of my most favourite things to do in Games Development, or take Ancient History, a subject I have been interested in since I can remember. It has been an ever-pressing dillema that I cannot decide, so that is why this gap-year is also another good reason. I want to make sure that when I do go to uni, I am doing a course I enjoy a lot and will not get bored of in the future.
I have looked at different universities for both illustration and Ancient History, but they all have good points. So, what I have decided, during this gap-year is take an online course for Ancient History, get a BA in that then go to actual university and take illustration. As I am very effcient at researching, the online Ancient History course will be easily achievable.
Social Media is very key for a freelance artist trying to get their name out into the world; it gives you opportunity to post the work you have created during college/work/free-time, showing off your skills. I admit, I have not used social media as much as I should of to promote myself, but as I am taking a gap-year from college I decided now might be the greatest time.
LinkedIn is perfect for this sort of promotion work as you can instantly link your work to potential employers, showing off the skills you have learned to create beautiful pieces of work. It also lets you look at companies and check what jobs they have available. I normally look at companies I am interested at working at (Naughty Dog and Bioware) and see the different jobs it takes to create a game. However, before I even think about applying for jobs – though I am too young and lack experience at the moment – I need to update my profile, uploading work I have done in class and in my own time. I mostly do illustration work, so I can show off other skills I have, maybe practice more at 3DS Max and show I am not just a concept artist. I also need to add work-experience and mention the time I joined a competition to create a video for the growing artist Lily Jo. Though I did not win, it is still a nice touch to mention that I don’t just do work in college.
A presentation is very key to getting across your idea, especially with a unit of this magnitude. Most of the work I have created is on my blog, so to make it more presentable and easily accessible when wanting to see certain aspects of your work. So, with help from Beth, I began setting each task into a category, for example, the final illustrations are in the “Unit 13 – Final illustrations” while research is in “Unit 13 – Research”; it makes it much easier for the examiner to flip through work.
The other part of my presentation will be the physical copy of my book; the main event. This book will contain my full narrative and illustrations, including some extra information that the reader may find interesting.