Posted in Unit 13 (Final Major Project)

Unit 13 (Final Major Project) – Idea Development

(Ideas )

The idea I picked was to make an illustrated book based during when the Vikings reigned. This book would be set out as a diary containing illustrations to do with the event. These illustrations will be propaganda due to this idea being linked to unit 12; a research project that had me looking at the different uses of propaganda throughout history. However, I am always changing this idea, thinking of different ways this could be approached: base the book off the actual Viking leader Ragnar Lodbrok (Lothbrok), containing illustrations of key events; follow the story of Ivar The Boneless (the son of Ragnar and Aslaug) and follow his journey and how he became the most famous Viking in history; create my own Vikings, loosely basing them off real Vikings that have been documented in history books and create their own journey.

Though I want my book to be as historically accurate as possible, it is also gives me chance for me to create my own characters, as that is my strongest suit. I could, however, create a character and base it off Ragnar, or better yet, base it off several Viking warriors that have been documented in history books.

With the diary idea – it does have its appeal as I can talk about key events as if I was the character himself, giving information about how the Vikings were, along with creating illustrations in a way it seems like the writer drew them, but I also want to write a story of all Vikings instead of focusing on one story; I decided to change this idea to a story book which is both fantasy and non-fiction. I want to not only share the story of one Viking, but of several and show what their jobs were within their Viking clans. This book is a chance for me to share history about the Vikings to those who might have limited knowledge, giving them an experience of how life might of been back in 700 – 1200 A.D. What I am also going to include within this book is the slow change of the pagan religion into Christianity as that was a key event in Viking history. As I stated before,  I want this book to be as historically accurate as possible.

16th March 2017

Since I last wrote in this document a large change has happened with my idea. When asking for feedback about my idea to my class once again, my tutor gave a suggestion about doing the POV of my story from someone elses eyes; someone looking in essentially. I thought it was fantastic and sent a flurry of different ideas through my head: who could this character be?; was he close to the Viking clan?; could this character be a slave captured by the Viking and is talking about the jarl and his family from his view?; could this person be the wife of the Jarl? – a lot of different ways to approach this. From inspiration of the show Vikings, I decided to make this character a monk, captured on the island of Lindisfarne by the Jarl himself. It will be very interesting with how I could go about this. Even though I stated I wanted to make the Vikings look good and the Anglo-Saxons look bad, I could change that and depict the Vikings as they always are in media. Or I could make it that’s the slave has became close to the family; this sometimes happened with the slaves. They were treated well by their owners and sometimes were given a piece of land as their owners favoured them. In very rare cases the owner even freed the slave, making them free to do what they want.

22nd March 2017

I decided to change the last name of Jarl Gunvaldsson to Jarl Baardsen as the name which I decided to use for my Viking would be Gunnar. Selecting a name which sounds similar to the last name of the Viking doesn’t seems right to me, deciding to select a last name I was going to use originally.

30th March 2017

Looking back at my idea when I first conjured it I stated that I was going to make an e-book, but getting feedback from my closest friends and family and also looking at a poll about what people preferred: e-books or printed books, a good 80% said printed books were better – I agree. Which changed the final presentation from e-book to printed book. However, as I stated on the idea document, I simply do not have the skills to be able to make a book, so I will have to search on the internet on how to make a simple book, or a book which looks aesthetically pleasing.

30th May 2017

I decided to add another page to my book which contains character pictures. This was simply for my aesthetic pleasure as I wanted to show the characters in my book without including them in the main story. I will not use photoshop for these pieces – though line-art will be quite nice to add – to these works as I still have other illustrations to finish creating.

Posted in Unit 13 (Final Major Project)

Unit 13 (Final Major Project) – Statement Of Intent

For Unit 13 we have been assigned an open project, which lets us, the creative, use the skills we have learnt throughout the two years to create a product at the end. We can create anything within this unit as long as we use skills we have learnt in workshops or techniques we have learnt in our own time. Within these 11 weeks, I hope to make an illustrated non-fiction history book about the Vikings, with some fantasy aspects. I still have not decided the length of the story, or the age rating but I know that I will create an illustrated book – or part of an illustrated book – at the end of these 11 weeks. As I have done with other projects, I have marked down the pros and cons of this idea: though I can combine both passions illustration and history to create a book, I still do not have the skills to make said book. I also wanted to make sure it was something I want to do for 11 weeks and was an idea I was definitely passionate about. I do not want to spend a majority of the project researching and creating characters for this story to then lose interest.

Why I wanted to make this book was to make people more aware of what the Vikings were really like and not listen to the false information that is given through the media. The show Vikings by the TV channel History does contain historically accurate information about the leader Ragnar Lodbrok (Lothbrok); following his life from when he lived on the farm, became the king of Copenhagen; married Aslaug who then gave birth to Ragnar’s infamous son Ivar The Boneless; him going to England and France, but their is some information which is very inaccurate. Floki, who is Ragnar’s bestfriend in Vikings never met Ragnar nor did he work for him. In-fact Ragnar has been speculated to have died around 840, while Floki was born in 830. I doubt Ragnar would be friend’s with a 10 year old. Another false fact is Rollo being the brother of Ragnar. He did become the Duke Of Normandy, that is a true fact, but he had no connections to Ragnar. History created Vikings to show the stories of different Norsemen that were documented in books. It was clear the show was romanticised and should not be taken as fact, but people who are exposed to this show and have no knowledge of the Vikings will think everything throughout the show is fact; My book will clear that up.

As I want this book to be as historically accurate as possible I need to research the key events that happened when the Vikings were prospering. I will look at reliable websites, as some websites can give you false information, and find out the information that I would need for my book. While also looking at websites, I will go to my college library to see if they have books to do with Vikings and their history, along with finding picture books to get an idea of how they layout their writing with the illustrations. If I cannot find these books I will go to the central library in Manchester as it will most likely contain the books I will need to help me with my project. For primary research I was planning on going to York, home for the Jorvik Vikings. They have a museum which contains different artefacts that these Norsemen left behind, along with a reenactment of how the Vikings may of lived when they made home in York. Getting this information will give me an understanding of their living arrangements and how life might of been for a Viking. Unfortunately the Jorvik centre got flooded so it will get reopened in April, so I may have to use the information I get from this centre as additional information. If my mum has the time I will ask her to take me to Castleton, a small town located in Derbyshire. Why I want to go to Castleton is because the town is close to when the Vikings prospered in England, artefacts from 1000 A.D still being around: the Peveril Castle which was created by William Peveril, the illegitimate son of William The Conqueror, who then became the King Of England. From looking at the family tree, William The Conqueror ancestor was Rollo, the Duke Of Normandy – I will look more into this.


Posted in Unit 13 (Final Major Project)

Unit 13 (Final Major Project) – Ideas


(The asterisk* shows the idea that I will bring forward)

Idea 1

The first idea for the ‘Final Major Project’ is to make a booklet that contains illustrations of dreams/nightmares I have had. With these illustrations I will also write a story, giving the reader an understanding of the illustrations and also giving them a sense of a realism.

This idea is appealing to me because it is something unique and different to that of the other class. As I am a lover of illustration, it seemed only fitting that my final idea will be to do with that subject in-particular. The base of the idea of doing illustration about dreams/nightmares I have had does have its merits, but this could be a very hard to achieve; not only would I have to wait every night to get a new story, you intend to forget most of your dreams/nightmares when you wake up. However, what the problem could be with this is I do not have the skills to create a book – I will need to research the easiest way to make a book or have to post as an e-book – which I do not want.

Idea 2*

Similar to the first idea, this will also be a book, but instead of the illustrations being about dreams I have had, it will be about the story of a Viking leader. It will be set out as a diary, the illustrations in the style of art from the ‘Dark Ages’; I want to make it as authentic as possible. This idea is semi-linked to unit 12 as I did some research on ‘Dark Aged’ illustrations. As this is from one person’s perspective, I could make this book into propaganda, only speaking good things about the Vikings and bad about their rivals – how it was typically used around 900 A.D – 1200 A.D. This book will be for an 18+ audience as it will contain blood and gore, typical amongst the Vikings. I want to make this book as realistic as possible. Though this will be based off actual history, I will include Old Norse mythology; mostly because this is from a Viking’s perspective they would most likely lie about some things (the existence of dwarves, elves and Gods; tales that included the Gods; the use of powers…etc)

Idea 2 is definitely the most promising amongst the other ideas as it combines both of the subjects I enjoy: illustration and history. As I am very passionate about Viking culture and Old Norse mythology I wanted to include that in my Final Major Project, along with writing. Looking at the other ideas compared to this one, they do not hold the same appeal. What attracted me most to this idea was definitely the history side, but it will give me a chance to develop on my writing skills and also give me a chance to develop my illustration skills; this will be the first time I use illustration in one of my projects. For Unit 12 I did research on the different uses of illustrated propaganda, this included the Vikings. However, the research focused on Alfred, King Of Wessex’s use of propaganda. So taking what I learnt about his use of propaganda — because it was most likely used the same way by the Vikings — and try and create a book that only makes the Vikings look good and the English look bad. A problem has arisen with this idea: I still do not have the skill to make a book. Just as I stated in the first idea I will have to research how to make a book, or ask a tutor who has the skills to create a booklet. If this does fail, I will have to create a e-book (something I do not want). I prefer to make this book into a physical copy, but I will make a survey to ask for people’s opinion, as the audience is much more important. I also need to think about the age-rating of this book as the age rating on books are very different to that of gaming.

Idea 3

Create a bunch of characters for a primarily multiplayer game. These characters will have; backstories, clothing alternatives, their attacks, biographies, concept art, sketches, weapons, animation of their movement/attacks and their special attacks. Instead of making the multiplayer game a fantasy (as most multiplayer games are) or a FPS, I will make it a horror where one team has to hunt the other – typical hide and seek.

Though this idea does sound appealing and if I was not already set on doing idea 2 I would consider doing this idea – it doesn’t really captivate me fully. I am not a fan of games which focus on multiplayer as long as it follows a narrative. Games like Overwatch and Team Fortress (games that are purely multiplayer) do have an appeal at the start because people enjoy being competitive, but after awhile it starts to lose its affect making it seem repetitive and lose the audience. However, making a horror multiplayer game is very different to the standard FPS or fantasy. I have still yet to see a horror game – that is a AAA – that just focused on multiplayer.

Idea 4

Create a concept art book based on a set genre (horror or fantasy). This concept art book will based on a game (that I will make), containing concept art on the character’s that will be present throughout the game, adding a biography to these characters so the audience can get a feel of what their attitude is like. I will also do concept art sketches on the weapons these characters will have — as the weapons are personal to them — along with accessories that each character uses. As an additional, I will do concept art sketches on the environments that will be in the same, showing key assets that will be throughout the games. Maybe I could to the creatures/enemies that will be throughout the game also, but that will only be achieved if I am confident I will have enough time to do this step.

If I was doing unit 13 last year I would’ve picked this idea in a heartbeat, but my interests have changed drastically. In the past I would be happy just doing a book which contained several concept art pieces of characters – as I loved character design and concept art – and let me add biographies to give life to my characters and objects, but since I discovered illustration I no longer have this need. That is not to say I hate this idea because I did consider this to be my unit 13 project, but it really does not compare to idea 1 or 2 which will let me make illustrations for a story/stories. This idea does seem very similar to the project I made last year where I created a series of different characters, adding biographies and backstories to give life to my characters along with creating villains and creatures. The only thing that was different was I did not make a concept art book, but I made a synopsis book instead.