Professional Practise PDP
First day back in uni and we have been given a compulsory brief to do over the next few weeks. I wasn't very happy about this to start with but once I started researching into it, I began to get really excited about it. I think it also helps that there’s going to be an exhibition of our final pieces in Liverpool next month. The brief is about Randolph Caldecott. Caldecott was a picture book illustrator and has often been called the “father of the modern day picture book”. Our brief is to choose from a list one of the rhymes Caldecott himself illustrated in his lifetime and illustrate our own interpretation of the text. After reading through the list and searching for each of the rhymes, I have chosen to illustrate Ride a Cock-Horse to Banbury Cross.
I really want to give my image for this brief a fantasy, whimsical feel. I don't know how I’m going to achieve that yet, either through my colour palette or the actual image, or probably a bit of both at least. In my research I am looking at the work of Jackie Morris and the pre-raphalites, both inhabit qualities I want to get across in my work and both never fail to inspire me.
I didn't know what to do, so I started to sculpt a “fine lady” like the one in the rhyme. It wont be any kind of final piece, I just wanted to see if I could do it :)
I've begun my initial sketches of ideas and concepts. I really want to push myself with these initial ideas to try and get something really good.
After drawing initial sketches and concepts I’ve decided to pick a few and draw them bigger, just to see if they work on a bigger scale as I would like my final image to be rather big :)
After speaking to my tutor, I’ve managed to narrow my ideas down to one. The idea I’m going with tells a lot about the back story of the rhyme. The fine lady on the horse is according to background information Queen Elizabeth, who on a visit to Banbury had to ride into the town upon a white horse because her carriage wheel broke. The council of the village sent minstrels with her to keep her entertained, hence the line “she shall have music wherever she goes.” So my design is quite literal, there is a lady upon a horse, I want to dress her in purple as it was a sign of royalty, and she is being followed by minstrels playing musical instruments (as well as a cat playing a fiddle!) whilst in the banner at the bottom we can see the broken wheel and Banbury in the distance. The above panel is a bit more of my own making. The rhyme makes out that a fine lady riding to Banbury is going to be the event of the year and everyone should get there, so I decided to have loads of hot air balloons in the air as if everyone has just jumped in one and trying to get to Banbury, and in the closest balloon, you can see someone leaning over the edge trying to spot her. The moon is also out, in the day, just because I like it when the moon is out in the day :) The next stage for me I think, whilst I wait for approval on my design is to start experimenting with different colour schemes to see what fits best.
One thing that is really important to me is the colour scheme for the final piece. As my dissertation is on colour theory I think I have to look into different colour schemes for this project, which I am doing at the moment.
I have started looking into my next Professional Practice project. Yadzia mentioned in class the penguin books contest. Every year they hold a contest for university students who can illustrate either an adult book of a children’s book, the children book this year is James and the Giant Peach. Brilliant! :)
I've started my final piece for the Caldecott brief. So far its going well, I’m happy with the colours I’ve chosen and its very interesting working with a fairly limited palette rather than every colour under the sun. Hopefully, I wont mess it up. I did use masking fluid on part of the design, and when I went to peal it off it brought the paper with it, even though I'd done a test piece before hand. Stupid stuff.
After a hellish week of very little sleep i've finished my painting. I am so so very happy with the final result. I was cautious with very stage of its production, thinking long and hard about how I was going to approach the next stage. One thing I was very unsure about was adding the musical score after everything else was finished, I didn't want to risk ruining it. So what I did was take a photo of my painting, print it out and paint the music onto the print out. It was easy to see after this that I wouldn't ruin the image by adding the music, and after doing it I’m glad I did! This piece has definitely taught me the value of a limited colour palette and making shadows and different tones from those colours, it definitely helps to unify an image, give it flow and the feel I wanted to achieve. One thing that did annoy me when I was creating the image, is whenever I would rub some of my drawing out, the paper would come away with it, leaving the paper a bit fluffy, which did cause a few problems.
I haven't really done much work this week on this painting. I have been trying to think of ways of adding more detail to it, without ruining it. I have added pattern and decoration to the clothes of the lady and the minstrels but I still think it needs a bit more, so after thinking of lots of different ways of adding detail, failing and then thinking again I believe I have come up with the best solution. I am going to add leaves to the painting, as if they are blowing in a wind, to heighten the flow of the painting and hopefully add another layer to the piece, as well as this I am going to add more ribbons to the horse, he doesn't have enough with them only being in his hair. Other than this painting I have been working on my next professional practice project, a front cover illustration of James and the giant peach for penguin books annual competition.
Today I managed to speak to Yadzia quite in depth about my Negotiated project as well as my professional practice and its really got me thinking about what I need to do. I was really happy to learn that Yadzia likes the way in which I draw my people as i've never really had much feedback in the past about that sort of thing and she's helped me realise just how important research is, as it is a bit of a weak spot for me. I've narrowed my designs down to a few, and hopefully after a bit of further development I’ll get that idea down to one strong concept.
Lately I’ve been feeling really inspired to make some Christmas cards. I've always wanted to do it but never actually have. So the other day I bought card and got to making some designs. It was so so much fun that I just kept doing it and now I just want to carry on making them and am thinking very much about selling at a Christmas fayre if I can get in this late in November. Theres are fayre at Erddig and I am trying to get in touch with one of the organisers to ask if I can have a stall there, if so I will be over the moon! I've always liked making cards so if it works out that I can sell them, I shall be very very happy indeed. In other news, my James and the Giant Peach design is almost there and soon, hopefully I will be able to work on the colour scheme......if I don't get distracted making Christmas cards!
I have gotten in touch with a lady named Sandra Forkin, she is a lady who is in charge of organising the Llangollen Christmas craft fayre. I've decided not to try the Erddig fayre as I have never done one before, and to get a stall you have to pay £75. The Llangollen fayre charges £25, this is a more realistic price that I can make back through sales. Sandra has said that there is space at the fayre, and I have sent my booking form and money off to her, so now all I have to do is make the cards! As for James and the Giant Peach, I have spoken with my tutor and the design if fine, I just need to push it a little bit further and decide on what I want the finished look to be like, I.e really contemporary and minimalist or very traditional etc. One thing I need to do before the Christmas fayre is work out how much I need to charge to make back the money I have spent on materials and the cost of the stall.
The making of cards is going well, although I’ve run out of stretched watercolour so more will have to be stretched. I've been looking at my James and the giant peach today, and I have the overall idea of what my final piece is going to look like, but it could go one of two ways, either it could be really traditional and completed painted, or it could be a bit more contemporary with just the peach and James in the image, with a lot of white space around it. I really like this idea of it being simplistic with the focus purely on the peach and James, I think it will make it look clean and neat and all the white space would I think make it stand out on a shelf in a bookshop. The next problem for me to tackle is the typography, I really dislike type and everything to do with it, yet any career I want to have in the future that involves illustration will also involve type, so I should probably get used to the fact its in my life, man up and figure out how to use it well in my work.
Also, I’ve started something of a business for the up coming craft fayre im going to as well as the exhibition in Liverpool for the Caldecott work. I want to have business cards to hand out at both events and on them I need a contact email address, so I have set one up called: made by me designs. There’s also now a page on Facebook under the same name :) Once I had set up the page on facebook, a friend of mine sent me her girlfriends blog, as her girlfriend (a former student at Glyndwr) works for a card design company. The work on there is really nice and well made and rather inspiring, I shall be keeping track of that :) http://www.sizzix.co.uk/
Just under a week until the Christmas fayre I think its about time I sort out a business model. My business name is Made By Me Designs, i've set up an e-mail address along with getting business cards made up ready not only for the Christmas fayre, but the Caldecott exhibition in Liverpool that should be soon. So, the business model:
I have spent:
£4.99 50 Cards
£1.29 10 Cards
£0.99 15 Cards
£0.99 15 Cards
£0.99 50 Plastic self seal bags
£0.99 50 Plastic self seal bags
£0.99 Glitter pots
I already owned the watercolour paper and colour card along with the modelling material I used to create the little figures on my cards so I wont be counting those. To hire the stall cost £25, proceeds of which go to Hope House.
My materials come to, £11.27 along with the £25 for the stall hire, this comes to a total of....£36.27. If I sold all 83 of my cards made, either priced at £1.50 or £2 depending on the detail of the card, I would make........
53 cards at £2 = £106
30 cards at £1.50 = £45
= £151 Total
Giving me a profit of...... £151 - £36.27 = £114.73
Not bad :)
3rd of December
Day before my craft fayre in Llan and I think I’m all ready, I have a lot of cards to sell, paper bags for the cards and I’ve already sold a few :) I want to try and put together a questionnaire for anyone who is willing to answer a few questions, but that wont take long. My James and the Giant Peach project I think, I hope, is finally coming to an end. It's only one image and shouldn't have taken me as long as it has so I really want to get it done and dusted before we break up for Christmas so that I can start the research for my next project over the Christmas break. I'm not sure whether I like my James and the Giant Peach image, I did to start with, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't, and I don't really know why.
The craft fayre is now done, and to be honest a bit of a let down, I didn't sell half as many cards as I had been hoping to, so didn't really find it that much of a success. On the other hand, all the other stalls were also really quiet and struggling to get customers to part with money so hopefully it wasn't because my cards are rubbish. I did have rather a lot of people very interested in my cards and complimenting them saying they were lovely etc, so that’s some consolation. Another factor I think that may have affected the success of the fayre is the weather, it was absolutely freezing in Llan today, and I don't think it helped that my stall was outside! Also, I found out afterwards there was another fayre on in the town centre of Llan so perhaps a lot of the custom went there too. I spoke to someone who had a stall inside the pavilion where our fayre was and he said too that it was quiet and that he was struggling, so perhaps it was that there were two fayre on at the same time. That being said, taking into account that I spent £36 buying the stall and making my cards, I actually made a profit of £8! making a total of £44 in 7 bloody hours! It's not a huge profit but a profit none the less. However I’m not sure its worth the fact that I might had lost a little toe due to the fact that I was freezing for those 7 hours, but still, it was a very valuable experience. Next time, I know to charge people for their cards there and then if they ask me to put some to one side for them rather than say they can pay later and have them not come back (which happened with 3 cards) and hopefully sooner rather than later I will regain the feeling in my little toes!
I've been trying to focus on my Neg one lately, so much so that not much has really been done for my professional practice since then, other than I have sold more cards through my mam taking them to the place where she works, and me and my dad doing the same. So far I have made £91.50 including my earnings from the fayre, I’ve had more success after it, than I did during it. My James and the Giant Peach project has come to a stand still, I have the image done, but I need to work on the type and I’m that rubbish at typography that I need help. Yadzia has suggested I find Dave Gill, he’s the man to talk to, so all I have to do now is find him when he is available to help me. Other than that I am starting the research for me new project......eventually.
My new project is going well. I've got a fair bit of research so far and no doubt will get more as I go along. I've come up with quite a few different ideas and am now working on developing the ones that I feel are strongest. I'm really enjoying this project, it's nice to be a bit conceptual and paint in a more romantic manner. The romantic manner is really how I like working. As I’m off for Christmas holidays, I’ve decided to take advantage of a bit extra time to finish a project I was meant to do aaaaaaaaaaaaages ago. A colleague of mine where I work (Wrexham Library) asked me before the start of term to do a drawing of their toddler. I really am not a fan of portraiture work, but I said I’d give it a go. So far, all I have done is the line art, so I think it's about time I put it on watercolour paper and coloured him in. I really hope it goes well, one thing I don't like about doing this kind of illustration is I have to get it to look like him, and I get very frustrated with myself and my shortcomings should it not look like the person its meant to. So I tend to avoid them :)
I'm starting to get a little bit stressed about uni work now. I've only had a few days from not drawing because of Christmas and I feel like I’ve fallen behind. For my neg one, I'm designing layouts for the actual book now, but I do also have to design the fox, because I’ve avoid it like the plague because I find them difficult to draw. And the other project is the Edgar Allen Poe poem one, which I’ve neglected due to getting stressed about my Neg one. I have two weeks of the holidays left before I go back. If I draw a few layouts for each page each day, I’ll have plenty. As well as all this, I have my dissertation, which is in large done, it just needs editing and all that. Yippee.
I haven't updated this in a month, I’ve been a bit useless. In the last month I have started and completed a small project. The project was to illustrate the poem Annabel Lee by poet Edgar Allen Poe. I really liked the romance in this poem and wanted to try and get that across in the image, I hope I have. I'm really happy with the way this has turned out, I’m really starting to see the way I want to work emerging in my paintings, especially in this Annabel Lee project. My neg one is progressing slowly. I'm not overly concerned that its not going to be finished for the assessments next week, I need to make sure I get my working method right so that when I leave, I am able to produce a picture book without having to ask someone if I’m doing it right.......as I wont be able to do that! I'm working further on layouts at the moment and trying to get the illustration and the typography to work harmoniously. I'm finding it really difficult to do this as I very much dislike typography. In further news, I’m starting the research for another new project. It is a project about the zodiac star signs. I've been thinking about this project for a couple of months now and now that I’ve gotten to the stage where I can actually start researching and sketching down my ideas I’m really excited about it. I want this project to be influenced slightly by fashion illustration so that I can really consolidate how I draw figures.
Today was my end of semester one formative assessment. It went a lot better than I was expecting it to. I'm on the right track it seems, with a better working method than I used to have. My style is best suited to publishing, which is just brilliant as that’s what I would love to end up doing. It's funny, when I first wanted to do illustration, I wanted to do book illustration, then I went back and forth over other areas of illustration and now I’ve come full circle back to book illustration. :)
The next step, for my picture book project is work further on my layouts and final design layouts and start consolidating that project so that I have enough time to do the finals before the McMillian deadline comes and goes. Yadzia and Sue also said it would be nice to try illustrating stories for older children and possibly even teenagers in black and white. I find the idea of this very interesting and I’ve been trying to think of another project to do alongside my negs, so there it is!
So at the moment, I’m trying to find a story to illustrate, I can either find a short story like something by the Brothers Grimm, or a whole novel and perhaps illustrate one of the chapters or a page at a time perhaps. I'm trying to think of authors who books I could possibly illustrate, here’s a list so far:
C S. Lewis
J K Rowling?!
Robert Louis Stevenson
Malorie Blackman (older readers)
Phillip Pullman (older readers)
Terry Pratchett (older readers)
Ali Shaw (possibly)
Stephenie Meyer (Nah!)
Aiden Chambers (older readers)
Trudi Canavan (older readers)
Today, we had our first talk with Dan about the business side of working as a freelance illustrator, it was really interesting and I don't doubt will be helpful over the weeks and months to come. We had to ask ourselves some hard questions about whether or not we actually want to be an illustrator as well as wonder what it took to be a freelance artist. These are the notes I took:
Is hard work
Requires you to plan ahead
requires business knowledge
more dedication needed than working for someone else
may take a long time before it pays off
means you have to ask yourself difficult questions
Why do you want to be an illustrator?
What do you want to achieve?
- Live comfortably from art
What problems would you face having such a career?
- Irregular income, problematic clients, lack of self motivation
How much do you know about business?
- Not much!
How much do you know about marketing and self promotion?
- Not enough
It is important to have a realistic idea of the reality of working as a freelance illustrator.
Who can help?
- AOI, Agents
What resources can I access?
Is my portfolio any good?
- will be by the end of the year!
Will it attract new work?
- any work is new work at the moment.
What kind of projects do I want to work on?
- book publishing would be ideal
Strengths and Weaknesses?
How much money do I need to survive?
Savings in the bank?
Back-up plan might be a good idea.......
What don't you know?
-The finer points of business, I know basic stuff about registering as a business and I do my own taxes and what I can claim and can't due to a lecture I attended at creative futures last year, but i'm lost with the technical stuff.
What do you need to know?
-The technical details or taxes as well as where to find clients
Where can you find this information?
-tax office, websites that list publishers etc.
Other than this lecture today I’ve just been getting on with my work. I spent the weekend designing two of the characters from the older readers book brief. The book I decided to do drawings for is His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, I loved the book so much when I read them in my teens and I have always wanted the opportunity to illustrate them, and now I have the chance. Initially I thought this project was going to be rather big, but now that I have been doing a bit of work and making plans for the final outcome I can see that its not, and for that I am rather grateful. Already I am starting with stress headaches and starting to worry about getting my work done in time, it is February already and time will be quick to slip away over the next few months. I'm worried because my neg one is just so big and my neg two is rather big as well, but hopefully I will have enough time for everything. I'm pretty good at organising my time. At the moment I am planning to get my picture book images resolved by reading week, which is two weeks today, I don't know if that is going to happen, it depends on what Yadzia has to say, but hopefully I can get some approved and at least draw those up. Once those are drawn up and getting finished I can focus on the his dark materials project whilst in class, I want to be finished with this project by the end of February, this may be a tall order but I want to at least get the finals roughs drawn and approved in order to start drawing up finals. All the while I want to be plodding along with my Neg two, I’ve done a fairly big chunk of work for it already so I’m not too worried about that at the moment and so long as my plans for the other two projects go according to plan as much as they can then I should be alright with that also. The final outcome for my Neg two I want is to produce 4 final images in full colour but also having drawn up to finished line work the other remaining 8 designs. Similar to my Neg two but with different context. If or rather, when I get all the work done, I will have 15 images for my portfolio.
I've been looking a lot today at Mucha work for my Neg two. I think what attracts me to Muchas work other than it being GORGEOUS is that most of the work he does is part of a set, one of four or something. Yet every one of them could stand alone by itself, and doesn't need to be part of a set to make sense or work. I want this to be the case with my star sign project. I want each image to be a separate entity, yet if you put them next to each other, you can tell they are part of a set.
For my other Neg two project, His Dark Materials, I have now picked four pages in which to illustrate, one of them is going to be a double page spread so its technically 5 pages I suppose. The pages I have picked, aren't necessarily the most action packed parts of the story, but they are important scenes to me for one reason. It was a fair few years ago when I read these books, but when I was thinking about which author to illustrate and I though of Phillip Pullman, the images I instantly thought of were the images I had in my head when I read the novel for the first time. This is an important sign to me that these books are special, that if after so many years since I read them I can still conjure to mind certain parts of the novel that have stuck with me all these years, I can do nothing else but illustrate them now I have the chance.
Today we had a lecture with Des about different websites that can be used for self promotion and self publishing. By self publishing your work, you have more freedom to produce work the way you want it to be produced without outside interference, as well as being more in control of the profits.
Etsy.com is a very easy website to use where you can self any wares you may have to offer. Folksy.com is another similar website
BigCartel.com is free to use and very easy to use as well
CargoCollective.com is a website where you have to apply to be able to sell your wares, giving it a bit more of a reputation (rather than having just any old rubbish for sale like Etsy)
Flickr.com (I already have one of these, as well as a deviantart account.)
Envelop.eu is a website where you can personalise products but again you have to apply to be able to allowed to put your work on their goods.
Thecleverbaggers.co.uk looks like a good website, as a side part to my zodiac project, I want to get the images printed onto material bags, so this may be a site in which to do that.
Spoonflower.co.uk a website to print onto fabric
Lulu.com looks veeeeeeeeery good for printing books, definitely a good website for my neg one as well as the possibility of printing my portfolio in this way to send to clients and for them to keep.
Blurb.com is another website similar to lulu.
Issuu.com can make your online portfolio look like an actual book instead of just a list of images. Nice presentation.
Second lecture with Dan – Pricing work, Time and creating a budget
Time is one of the most valuable resources to have, it always runs out faster than you expect it to, can affect the quality of the work, your ability of meet deadlines and your frame of mind!
Time management can be difficult to master ( I don't mean this in a bragging way, but i'll always been pretty good at managing my time effectively)
When are you most creative?
What time of day are you best at mundane tasks?
Pay attention, plan accordingly and make the most of the day. Look ahead.
Make lists, goals for the day, week, month. It is important to stay on top of things, and will give you a sense of accomplishment when you can tick one of the jobs on the list off. Give yourself daily duties, specific days for specific tasks, i.e.
Monday – marketing
Tuesday – Emailing, invoicing
Wednesday – blog maintenance etc
Make realistic goals, be honest with deadlines that you give to the client, don't pretend to be able to do it in a shorter space of time than you actually can. Complete the project ahead of schedule to impress the client.
Break projects up, make them more bitesize.
Try a time management technique – Pomodoro technique
It it doesn't work, change it.
Create a budget
Analyse your finances and develop a plan for the future. It is an essential step towards protecting against unexpected costs and invest in the growth of the business.
Spend money to make money
website design etc
Only spend on what is necessary
Outgoing committed to?
How often to you have to pay out?
3 months saving buffer to protect from slow periods of time, and equipment failure. Without this protection you are in a fragile position.
You could do it yourself or hire a creative professional who's job it is to balance the money of those in the creative industries. Hiring a professional will allow you to keep within the law, keep up to date with regulations and find loopholes in the system. It will also free up your time in order you yo to be creative and do the thing you want to do.
How much to charge?
Each person is unique, each commission is unique so a definite fixed sum of money is not possible. There are key factors to consider. What is it for? Where is it going? Do they want exclusivity? Will you get royalties? Consider the intended use of the image, and its value to the customer.
If it is going to have a wide range of applications it should in theory be possible to demand a higher price.
Pricing and ethical guidelines book.
AOI pricing hotline – not always reliable.
Privately estimate how much it is going to cost you to produce the image but charge them more, quote overall project of the price, not hourly rate. This will help the client understand what they can expect to pay for finished work. Be honest if you can't reach a deadline. Keep revisions of artwork in mind and charge for them. Work out minimum amount of money needed to create the artwork, it will help inform your decision on final estimated charge. Consider the complexity of the project when pricing. Its importance and how many other jobs you have to do.
'Pain-in-the-bum' fee perhaps charge a little more to those more demanding and difficult customers.
It has to be an informed decision, and it has to be one you make for yourself.
My mam recently asked me to make her a “New Home” card for a lady she works with, so here it is :)
Aaaaaallll my time at the moment is being taken up drawing up the final images for my picture book project. I want to done by the end of reading week so that when I go back, I can show Yadzia, hopefully get her approval and then paint up my finals.......i hope! Lulu.com looks like a really good site for this picture book project. I plan to put the book on there once all of the images are painted and finished (after university) so that I can get it published myself, the website links straight to Amazon so people could buy it on there as well as getting a few copies printed for my local library. Lulu also prints calendars, which is a good thing for my zodiac project. So all round lulu is a good website for me to join :)
Finally I have finished drawing my picture book finals. Yadzia seemed rather pleased with them with only a few minor alterations, which is definitely a good thing. My next task with that is to scan in the images I’ve drawn and fit them into the text layouts to see how they fit and adjust accordingly. My zodiac project is coming along nicely, I’ve been developing my colour lately and am about to move I
onto typography.......which should be loads of fun. My His Dark Materials project is at a bit of a stand still at the moment, I’ve not seen anyone about it since I started it, having to dedicate time with tutors to my picture book work, but as that is now turning into something I do at home and don't need feedback for as much hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to see tutors about His Dark Materials and my Zodiac project. I have also lately had to go back to my James and the Giant Peach book jacket cover and sort out the type for it. I am hopeful that the finish line is in sight for this however, its taken up a stupid amount of my time and I’m ready to see the back of it. At the moment I have to work on an image for the back cover and wiggle the text about a bit.
In the mean time, today we had another lecture with Dan about the business side of freelance work, this time focusing on Contracts and Rights
Note: Dan Berry is not a solicitor and the content of this lecture was based on research and experience.....so don't sue him if its wrong :)
A contract is:
A legal document – Both parties involved will have a signed copy which outlines the project specifics to avoid confusion and a sticky situation.
A safety net – A bad sitiation can be made worse without a contract. It is a good thing to turn to in a difficult situation. Everyone knows whats expected of the by outlining specifics of the project.
Highlights project specifics – Amount of work/Illos/ Sizes, Media to be used, project names, intended use, phased payments. Revisions (its best to limit revision if you ever want to get the work done)
States the rights of the parties involved
Provides contact information
Includes the terms of payment – Total payment? Will it be paid in one lump sum or in installments?
Is for everyone’s protection – Can the client use your work before the contract has been completed in full?
Clients could pull out half way through, and if they do, having a kill fee arranged in the terms of the contract means you wont be out of pocket with time and money, A kill fee is an arranged percentage of the fee that would have been charged had the project been completed, this can be anything up to 100% of what they should have paid you if they hadn't had to pull out.
The kill fee could be a proportionate payment equal to how much work you have been able to complete before they pulled the plug.
What are you selling?
What are your rights?
How will you be credited for your work? What will you receive? (Copies of the books etc) How much will it cost them If they don't want to credit you in print? ( Some people double the price for not being credited, it pretty much ensures they are credited)
Make sure you have key contact information and a signature for at least one person who will be responsible for payment. It is for your protection.
A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper is is printed on.
Always get a contract, don't be tempted to avoid signing because you like the client, it won't put them off by asking for a contract, they are business people and expect it.
What to do
Find out about the company before you sign a contract giving the licence to use your work. Google them and try to find reviews about whether they are respectable or if they are going to swindle you. When writing a contract with a lot of legal talk it is an idea to talk to a solicitor, find out what you need to know, for this however you will probably have to pay to shop around for the best price.
Freedom to do something..... This is basically giving them a licence to use whatever work you agree to in the contract. Can use your work in a certain way, with restrictions. Also informs the parties involved about where they can use the image, not just on what products, but where geographically.
Can't reproduce without your permission
Selling a licence you sell some reproduction rights, ensure that this is only for a limited amount of time, once the time limit is up it is yours again and you can do with it as you please and if they still want it, you can sell it back to them.
Look out for:
Names of specific works you'll be licensing to them, as well as what kinds of products it will be reproduced onto.
Agreement to put your copyright notice on everything that is sold that features your artwork.
Countries in which it will be sold
Period of time in which the company will have to bring the product to market, or else they must give up the reproduction rights.
A termination date
Indemnification clause that says that the company will protect you legally.
You can cancel the agreement if they don;'t abide by terms.
It covers you if the company goes bankrupt to make sure you get your reproduction rights back.
Non-refundable advance payment to be made to you against future royalties, the frequency of this payment and a statement to see how they arrived at this figure.
You also have the right to pay for an audit of their books at your expense to make sure you have been fairly paid.
Never give full copyright to anyone for your work
Never give them full reproduction rights
never give them a sub licence of your work so that they can go to other companies with your work without your approval and signature for each sub licensing agreement.
Put your rights into the contract, how you can use your work whilst they own the licence.
Update on progress: My picture book stuff is now done and ready for me to paint. I've shown Yadzia my final illustrations and she was happy with them, suggesting only a few minor alterations that are easily taken care of with Photoshop. I have also put all of my illustrations into InDesign, after seven hours battling with a very small scanner and not so small illustrations, shouting at Photoshop for not being helpful, and being rather new to InDesign I finally got there – woo! I didn't think however when I was speaking to Yadzia to ask her which four images I should paint for final artwork. Off my own preferences I have chosen four that I think show a variety of different things. I’m going to paint one of them up, simply because I want to start to get them done as time is disappearing very quickly and this week is creative futures so I’m not going to get a chance to speak to Yadzia. I am however going to try and find her just to ask her opinion before I spend a long time on something that is wrong. My James and the Giant Peach book cover is awaiting Dan's final stamp of approval and I can then send it to Penguin books and get it out of my life. As for my other projects, I’m currently trying out a few different fonts for my Zodiac project which is going all right. I'm a bit worried about my Zodiac project as I’ve not actually spoken to anyone in depth about this project since I’ve started it and I’ve filled a sketchbook and a half. This self directed way of working I do think is really important, in a few months the training wheels will be coming off and I will be left to my own devices, with no safety net. This is why I’ve tried to progress with all of my projects as much as I can without getting feedback, in order to prepare myself for being completely reliant on myself, its another reason why I want to pick my four images myself and paint them up. My His Dark Materials project is going well too, I’ve designed my four pages and settled on a black and white media that suits the way I work well. I recently spoke to Sue about it, this being the first feedback session I’ve had for this project. She liked the progress that I have made and said the next step would be to work on making the poses of each of the scenes look more natural and realistic......which I now have done. This Creative Futures week, although I see the benefit of it is really annoying, a week is going to go by now with the possibility that I’m not going to see any tutors, I am going to hunt Yadzia out tomorrow to hopefully discuss my picture book stuff but there’s no guarantee. I think its too late in the year for us to just miss a week of tutorials and sit in a lecture theatre for four hours every day.
Today was the last day of creative futures. There were a few lectures that were rather interesting and I managed to get a lot of notes. They are as follows:
Keynote Speech: Barry Purves
Barry Purves is an annimator. He has worked on things such as Rupert the Bear, Wind in the Willows, Mar Attacks and King Kong.
“Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde.
Although this lecture was rather interesting when it came to different ways of creating a narrative, I didn't feel like it was completely relevant to me, also a lot of videos were shown and its not easy to write notes about that :)
Artist Books/ Fine Art: Emily Speed
She is interested in space ad architecture and a lot of her work is based on this. She likes the idea of decay and ruin.
“The body is a building that houses the mind.”
She has a blog called, “Getting Paid.”
Artist books, These are made along side an exhibition and aren't too literal. They are a nice cheap way of people obtaining your work.
She writes for AN about making a living.
Some helpful websites:
Businessline from Wrexham Library: Gareth Hatton
Businessline is a business support service and provides business information. They can help with business start-ups as well as existing SME's, business students, Job seekers and can find information on marketing such as key market issues. This service is free, it would save an artist time and money. They can provide current and authoritative information which can help you make better informed decisions.
Business Opportunity Profiles
Businesslines Start-up pack (which I have)
Business start-up workshops
Start-up grants and funding.
They can do credit checks on companies as well as the name of who to contact within the company.
They have directories that include publisher and client names and addresses which can lead you jobs. They can help you find out about art trade shows.
The writers and artists handbook can be expensive, but Businessline have copies that are accessible. Advice can be given about finding an agent, and a list of agencies. They can help you price your work, advise on start-up costs, promotional costs, legislation etc
The Welsh Assembly Government run start-up classes that are free and worth going to.
They can provide market research. You'll need a business plan which includes identifying trends and predictions, and businessline can provide the information and market research you will need for it, free of charge.
Register with HMRC as self employed.
Industry Reports and statistics
Identify a niche in the market.
Contact local manufacturers
Used to source suppliers
marketing and telesales
Business networking groups is a good way to get jobs
Professional Diversity: Jonathan Edwards
Works for Guardian 46 covers, the most done by one artist.
Editorial is a quick way of working, you have very short deadlines
Same day deadlines on occasions
Negociated with art director for more images in a book for Nissan. Turned 6 illustrations into 26 and it became a fully illustrated book. Nissan job led to other such as Black Eyed Peas – my humps.
He has always drawn comics, has dome one called, A Bag of Anteaters, Ian Carney is the write.
Comic based on Belle and Sebastian songs.
Does character designs for animations, Illustrations for sports wear t-shirts which just shows the diversity of his illustrations.
Felt Mistress (his partner) makes stuffed figures of his characters and are sold in shops originally for £30 but the price has risen to £500 to £800 when sold through Selfridges.
Twitter is a good way of getting your work seen.
Don't wait to be asked, just do it.
Go straight for the top companies, they give you more freedom the small companies may
Designs of character has been rendered to look like a toy and way later made into one.
Do things and approach people with it.
Set yourself goals and stick to them, get disciplined.
Making a living with Words and Pictures: Daisy Dawes
Daisy Dawes, a model maker, animator, childrens illustrator. Made model for the first Harry Potter movie, she was in charge making windows for the models.
It's very possible to work on a film like Harry Potter and then work on the check out in Tesco whilst waiting for next job.
Research types of publishers and what type of thing they are looking for. Publishers might want to make your work more marketable, don't let them.
Versatility – How your work can be made into different things.
Be aware of the market, but don't bend to it.
Coincide with the publisher, with what they want, and what you want. You have to both want the same thing and move in the same direction.
Stick at it, stay inspired and surround yourself with the things that inspire you.
Meet other people – Networking
Get involved with kids if you are writing for them.
Your faith in your work has to keep you going, you have to wholeheartedly believe in it.
Reading can help you write.
CV – Profile. Picture, List of projects, Full manuscripts.
London Book fair
Bologna Book fair.
Giving packs to potential clients could leave you open to your work being stolen – you have to trust them. You have to be able to trust people to not rip you off.
Sell you and your work as a package deal.
Look over contract, do research before signing anything, if you have an agent that is their purpose. Be really careful with rights, state in the contract the rights each party would have.
Six years out of uni: Joe List
Get to know the Adobe suit (nooooooooooooo! :( )
Answer Me This is a book Joe has illustrated. He also do the annotated weekend where he gets the guardian (I think) and draws all over it and posts it online.
Don't stop drawing, impose deadlines in yourself.
Don't lose the charm.
Take part in competitions, collaborate whenever you can, keep sketchbooks.
Don't get demoralized
Don't work for free
Don't let yourself be taken advantage of
Don't hide your work – show people, make sure you're credited.
John K's blog
RexBox – creative director for little big planet
Grain Edit – feast for the eyes.
He's on Twitter and recommends it
Social media helps if you don't live in London
Helps you connect
Get a brand, a website, and e-mail, look at ways of presenting your work and be organised, make it accessible.
In one place so that you can be proud of it.
Write everything down so you don't forget awesome ideas!
Marketing yourself and working with recruitment agencies
Find a specialist who deals with clients that you want to work with.
Brand Republic, print week
Don't send you CV to every recruiter you can find, it will show a lack of commitment to them. They may also end up sending your CV to the same client, causing a conflict. The client will dump you in a second to prevent a nasty arguement.
S Segmentation – Where do you want to work?
T Target – Who do you need to impress?
P Position – Make yourself attractive the the client. Aim to talk to line managers and creative directors.
You will have 15 seconds to impress no matter how long the interview is.
Employers aren't interested in you they only wan to know what you can do for them. You have to relate to the employers needs.
Segment? Market sectors, Sectors within sectors, Have a tailored approach
Target? Potential employers Decision makers, Hiring managers, use magazines and internet. Get, LinkedIN
Position? What you can do for them. Having work experience is good. Its now what they can do but what you can do for them and why YOU are special.
A good CV will not guarantee you a job, but a bad CV will destroy your chance at a job.
What are you up against?
Competitive job market, Easy options – Internal or experienced
Volume of applications
Time 15-20 seconds to impress
Prejudice – take your hobbies off your CV, sanitize Facebook page (not a problem for me, I don't have a life! :) )
If its not relevant to the role you are applying for, get rid of it.
Keep it relevant
Short paragraphs and scentences, Bullet points if you can. Snappy and easy to read.
Highligh relevant achievements
No novelty CV'S – Take too long to get through
No sample packs
No portfolios – unless its stuff that is relevant
Blanket applications are a waste of time
Research the company
Highlight why you and not someone else.
Interviewer is looking for:
ability to do the job
you being able to get up to speed quickly with minimum training.
Potential to developing
relevant achievements and experience
attitude and flexibility
They are looking for REASONS NOT TO EMPLOY YOU
Reality check – Employers discount ones they don't like, and employ the one that is left.
other candidates who have more experience, better qualified, better prepared, more driven.
10-15 mins to impress in interviewer
Stand out not ruled out. Dress to suit audience
research the rose – job spec?
learn your CV – talk about parts of it
Prepare arguments, why you are right for the role, “i am special because I can do this for you...”
How do you like to be managed
what do you want to achieve in the next 5 years
what is your biggest achievement in work and personal
why do you want this job
biggest mistake you've ever made and what did you learn from it
Why should I employ you
what motivates/de motivates you
what skills will you bring to the company
A good CV?
Clear and simple
relevant and job specific
Achievements/ experience – Scale and scope, what you achieved.
No gaps or turn off's
Don't hide your age
How to prepare
Research the company
Match your skills to the requirements
Read how they have described and worded the advertisement and use their terminology in your application. Find out trends of their market, Identify core responsibility and skills required.
Think about reservations employer might have when hiring you. What would turn them off, and figure out how to solve it. Be open about short falls.
Shows interest and understanding of company and role.
Answers their questions before they actually ask them.
Photocopies, get good quality paper
find out who you are sending it too and write their name on the letter is a good thing!
poor quality print and paper
fancy graphics – send a sample of portfolio instead
quirky hobbies – gives someone the opportunity to dislike you
2-3 pages is plenty
get rid of a personal statement, employers will ignore it because everyone who applies for the job will say the same thing. e.g team player, can work independently, punctual etc
Education – they aren't that bothered about which gcse's you have just the number of how many you have is enough, put most recent first.
Qualifications – not swimming badges, again put the most recent first
Experience – most recent first.
Why Prepare? It shows understanding of the company
Dress smart (clean your shoes) assume smart dress when in doubt.
Clean neat tidy hair,
remove excess jewellery
Arrive approx 15 mins early
Take copy of CV
Know who you are seeing and their position in the company. Know where you are going and have a contact number should anything happen which makes you late.
Firm hand shake (2 shakes)
maintain eye contact
Too much perfume
lack of preparation
candidates no having questions – prepare questions, even if they answer them in the interview, don't just say that they answered them, go through your list and tick them all off so that they can see you took the time to think of questions.
Uncomfortable body language
Ask if they have reservations and address them
ask next stage
make a case for employing you
Who's idea is it anyway? - Welsh Assembly Government
Understanding intellectual property
Assert moral and financial rights
Walmart is the No #1 most valuable brand in 2010
75% of value is intangible because of intellectual property
Trade marks – protect business name/brand/logo/slogan
Can use the R in a circle symbol
Apply at IP office
Specify which goods and class of goods
can have UK EC Community
Can be 3D marks (verging on designs)
Can be extremely valuable
UK trademarks: IPO.GOV.UK
EC Trademarks: OAMI,EUROPA.EU
Can licence brand out and make money from it that way if the brand has a good reputations
pay for trademark every 10 years
tend to use the TM symbol
con only protect by “passing off” action
have to have a reputation expensive (but better than nothing)
maximum duration 20 years
territorial (UKM US, FE, DE etc)
Protect innovations that are:
these things are expensive
apply for registration
duration up to 25 years
protects appearance – its the design that protect, the design of the function
important marketing role
Unregistered design right
duration up to 15 years
prevents copying (like copyright)
UK or EC unregistered design right
arises automatically for originality of work
protects against copyright
lasts for life of the author + 70 years
software programs = “literary works”
ownership of copyright in commissioned work
rests with author unless agreed otherwise
keep records of what works you create, dates etc
mark work with copyright statement
introduced by copyright designs and patents act 1988
To be acknowledged as the author or creator
to object to false attractions
not to have his/her work subjected to 'derogatory' treatment
subjects of “private/domestic” photos can restrict other uses
moral rights cannot be be transferred but can be waived
rights must be asserted
do not arise in work produced by staff during the course of their employment (n.b not commissioned)
Profiting for IP
protecting your IP
profiting from IP
no copyright on an idea
need to have it in writing
consider realistic value of 'sweat equity' vs cash investment
agree on decision – making method, think long termination
Anti copying in Design (ACID)
Today we had a workshop that ended up lasting all day with Felt Mistress. After seeing a talk with Jonathan Edwards in the week, I was so glad I had put my name down to do the workshop. Her work, based on Jonathans designs are absolutely wonderful and it was a great experience being a bit more crafty than usual and doing some stitching! Felt Mistress or Louise is a lovely person and a wonderful artist, it was really nice getting a chance to work with her, and I think she's inspired a lot of us to try and create some felt characters of our own! On another note, I took all this week to paint my picture book images. I've painted six of them this week and i'm really happy with the way they are looking. I plan on taking them to uni tomorrow to get feedback from Yadzia, so all I have to do is design and paint a front cover and them hopefully I can put this project to bed....finally!
I've just this minute set up a Twitter account, as well as a blog spot. I think I have enough places now where I have to remember passwords. I'm thinking of getting an account on Big Cartel, i've got one on Etsy but that seems to be more handmade one offs whereas Big Cartel seems to be more duplicates of the same thing. I don't know, there’s so many different places you can sign up to, it can all get a bit out of hand and carried away. So, I have a facebook account group thing where I put my art up, its more about my hand made cards but still, im on facebook as MadeByMeDesigns. I'm also on Twitter and BlogSpot under that name, all linked to the same MadeByMeDesigns e-mail address. On Etsy I am MadeByNia because madebymedesigns was taken – boooooo! Now all I need to do is create an actual website where I can put all these things together! Another time I think.
I have been getting so frustrated with my work lately, but finally, my James and the Giant Peach image is done and sent to Penguin Books....so there’s no going back :) I really want to be done and dusted with my picture book project too. It's neg one, which technically should have been done by January. Granted my deadline for McMillan is May but still, i've got two briefs making up my neg two to complete as well. I'd be really happy to finish my Zodiac project pretty soon, i've gotten to a stage with it where i'm happy with my final images, but whenever I show it to tutors, theres always something else I can try or change and its just confusing me. I've had to sit down and think about what the aim of that project is because advice given was pushing me away from my original intent. Mostly it is to do with colour, i've picked my colour scheme based on colours associated with the sign I.e colours associated with Cancer are white and silver. And not based on colours linking them to their element. I don't know why the suggestion that I change the colours to better suit the element each sign is linked to bothered me so much. My original aim for this project what to not be obvious with the colours, to make them look different to things that have already been produced and my making it obvious through colour what element each star sign is just doesn't appeal to me. The background image is there to hint at which element each star sign is and I like it. I have tried to change the colours slightly to fit better with the element but I didn't change them so much as to compromise the colours associated with each sign......I have no idea if I what I just wrote makes sense, it does in my mind! :) My his dark materials is a bit back and forth at the moment too, but for the better I think. Its making me change my compositions and make them more interesting and tell more of the story, which can only be good, i'm just really conscious of the lack of time left and I don't do well under stress, I don' produce my best work, I produce my worst and don't want my final pieces to be left to the very last few weeks, because then, my portfolio will look rubbish. My plan is to get my images resolved by the Easter break, which is four weeks away so that over the two week break I can do the finals. After the break there’s three weeks until assessments begin, given me enough time to make changes should they be needed and get them looking all fancy and presented nicely. So long as I stick to this plan, I shall be fine and not loose the plot :)
I'M SO ILL! And i'm annoyed at myself for being so useless because i'm ill. A cold hasn't knocked me for six like this in a loooong long time. :( Not happy.
At the moment I'm thinking of things to do. Theres looooooooads of things I could do, but not that many that I can do without seeing a tutor just for reassurance that i'm not going to do something and then have them say no its wrong re-do it, because that would make me cry. I've done the final line work for my star sign project, and included a little swatch colour scheme with it. So for this project I just want to show it to Yadzia, as she hasn't seen it yet) and get her in put before I do final artwork. My picture book project is nearly done, I just need Dan to see the line work, get his input and then paint that up. My his dark materials is the only one that’s a bit lacking at the moment, but i've decided on a way of creating the final artwork that i'm happy with, so as soon as I get feedback on my designs, I might start to get somewhere with it. I'm also trying to do a bit embossing for my star sign project, I had a bit of a set back on Friday when the press squashed what I was embossing into the paper and it got a bit wrecked. I've put yacht varnish on the other things I want to emboss so hopeful that will work. Things are still going not badly, i'm ahead of schedule, but I think that’s a good thing. If I have time i've found a fun competition online that i'd like to enter, but I don't know how likely it will be that I can get it done, my other projects are quite big.
3rd April - Happy Mothers Day!
Well, its safe to say I’m getting a little bit stressed now. I've cried three times this week due to worrying that I’m not going to get everything done in time, but I’ve made a list! And no-one can fail who has written a list! I've decided to not feel worried about not getting my work done, because the stress wont get me anywhere, instead, I’ve decided to be excited. I've worked hard this year, and now finally over the next few weeks my projects are going to get finished and I get to see the fruits of my labour, more to get excited about than stressed me thinks. Anywho, I’ve drawn up all four of my final designs for the star sign project, I’m going to see Yadzia about them tomorrow, get her approval and then I can paint them – woo! I'm try to focus my time between now and Easter on resolving my His Dark Materials brief, I got good feedback off Dan last week and am currently working on the final four designs, I need to discuss with him the size the final artwork should be, but after that I can draw them up and paint them – woo again! Yadzia this week also gave me another brief, I was rather flattered that she thought of me out of the other 3rd years due to the style that I work in. It's a brief involving Chirk Castle. Stories have been written about it and a bunch of illustrators have to do one A5 illustration for their chosen story. I've picked one of a boy who draws all over books, and whilst he's asleep the pictures in the book he's drawn on invade his dream to teach him a lesson. My drawing is going to be of a huge princess pointing down at the boy who is in his PJ's and she’s got an eye patch and a beard because that’s what he drew on her. :) This project has got me rather excited, there’s a short deadline and working quick is essential here and i'm really happy with how quickly I’ve come up with my design, all I have to do is draw the final line work and get it approved by yadzia - Woo once more!
Oh! I also spoke to Dan about branding and he's suggested I get rid of Made By Me and use my name, its more individual as there aren't other artists called Nia Ellis out there. So i've bought niaellis.com. Aces.
Notes from lecture on the 14th of Feb:
The Business of Freelance – Portfolios and Branding
Your portfolio must:
display a high standard of work
consist of a recognizable style
convey an ability to tell a story, solve a problem and or communicate a message in some way
express creative vision and aesthetic preference
What should you put into a portfolio?
Quality work, no 'padding' good quality work is much more important that a large quantity of mediocre work. Having 5 amazing pieces is better than 30 meh images.
Ask yourself what an art director would want to see. Detach yourself from your work emotionally. Clients wont have the same attachment. They want to solve a problem that they have, with your work. Look for work that doesn't fit, and get rid of it.
Be brutally honest, you'll have a stronger portfolio for it.
Your portfolio must flow. Strong beginning strong end. Put similar themes together etc. Lots of illustrators have a few different styles, put the styles together. There must still be a unique identity to your work.
What makes a confusing portfolio?
Mix of styles, media, graphics, techniques and sizes etc
Varying of styles wildly from cartoony to fine art etc.
Inconsistent approach to subject matter when it comes to humour.
“Jack of all trades and master of none”
Change portfolio to suit job
Same thing over again in different colours
Break done content
Segment work into manageable chunks
reduce opportunities for client to become frustrated with your work
Portfolios are a work in progress that grows and evolves as you develop as an artist.
Best piece today would be worst tomorrow
Use it to measure your development.
Your brand follows through onto your business cards to invoice, website etc
Brand is more than simply a logo or snappy name, it is an extension of your personality and who you are as an artist.
Aspect of approach to your brand will add up to tell people something about your business.
Visual branding must be strong to establish you as a professional. It can speak volumes about style, your traget market and area of expertise.
Key elements to consider when deciding how to present yourself as a unique brand:
Logo: it is the most widely viewed aspect. Make sure it conveys the style you are promoting. Effective for target market. Transfer into different media? - Will it look good in a small space? Make sure colour scheme fits your personality. Compatible with your style and expression.
Will it fax?
Finding Clients and Social Networking
Build mailing list and find clients. Have a social network strategy. Make sure the list is relevant to target market – more likely to hire you that way.
Make sure the contact information is up to date.
Illustration Now! Spectrum, 3X3 and AOI list in their books who has commissioned the artwork in their books. Look for pieces that are similar to yours either in style, approach or target market and look who commissioned them and add it to your list.
Go to library or bookshop, go through magazines and make nots of editors and art directors.
Only select publications that relate to what you do or what you want to do.
Look at portfolio sites of other illustrators and see who represents them.
Your mailing list is a WIP so keep it up to date, people move and change jobs.
Build and maintain relationships with art directors.
You have to be active.
You are not limited in who you can work with at any stage in your creative career.
Aim work locally or globally, to small businesses of global companies.
Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and ask who is the best person to send promo material to.
It's very easy for someone to delete in impersonal e-mail, so phone them instead – Be Nice.
Tell people you are an illustrator.
Tell people you are looking for work.
Get involved in group shows, submit work to things going on.
Type into Google:
“Illustration call for submissions.”
“Illustration collective UK”
Put your own shows on
Get in touch with gallery
Length of time?
People to the show?
Who handles marketing and promo? Ask for samples.
When is the gallery space available?
Incorporate social networking to broadcast your brand and build relationships.
Take time to read how platform works (i.e. Facebook, Twitter etc)
Decide which one suits your approach and personality
Profile you have as a student is different to one as a professional.
Seek out people in industry and engage them.
Be a human – be genuine
Engage people on a social personal level rather than acting like a salesman at all times.
Be a generous human
Share what you have learned with asked, this will establish you as an expert.
Treat people as you want to be treated.
Set boundaries when it comes to sharing personal details – don't share too much.
Unless you are providing something of value – don't share.
Be an active human
An active and productive artist is a good artist :)
Be consistent in updates, even if you busy, don't disappear.
People will be engaging if you are.
Be consistent – expand your brand across different platforms.
Be Broad. Be sure to connect with art directors, editors and representative as well as peers.
Always link back to portfolio site
Be analogue and digital
Don't forget to connect face to face
All rules apply to way you conduct yourself online as you do offline.
I'm getting really stressed now. Stupidly so, my heart races quite a bit at the moment and I just keep panicking that I wont get everything done. I know I will, I've got 9 paintings to paint and 6 weeks to do them, they aren't big and 5 of them are black and white. My aim is to get them all done by the second week of the Easter holidays, giving me a week to arrange them and alter them on photoshop and arrange them with type on InDesign. Giving me three weeks when I get back to get them all print and mounted......Plenty of time. Pity I’m a worrier.
Well, it's Easter holidays.....not much of a holiday though really. My parents have gone on holiday, leaving me on my own but i've got plenty to do. I'm counting down the days now until my work is handed in, I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. I've made a new list full of things that I have to do. Almost all the things to do are basically getting things ready for assessment and end of year show, I feel I should be busier than I am and i'm worried that i'm not. Stupid really, I worry when i've got loads to do, and worry when I don't! I'm planning on going into uni on Monday to make a mock up book of my picture book ready to send to McMillan after the “holiday”. I will be really glad when this picture book is out of my life, as much as I like drawing and painting them, all the requirements for this brief as well as varying requirements from Yadzia have really started to get on my nerves. As for all my other work, i've been working in InDesign to put everything in a nice layout for my portfolio. I'm hoping i've done this right but I'm going to send it off to Dan for approval before I spend money getting it printed out. I've also been working really hard on my website. I find it really difficult to get it to work, i'm creating the page through Dreamweaver which then somehow sends it to the domain people. I'm happy with my website at the moment but it is pretty basic looking really and nothing fancy in the slightest, but I guess it does the job.I've managed to link my website to my blog, my Twitter, my facebook and my DeviantArt, which I was very proud of. I also plan on having a link to a shop, but to create a shop I need a PayPal account, I have one of these but can't access it because PayPal hates me and I it. So i'm trying to sort out things with that so that hopefully soon, I can set my shop up. I've also e-mailed a printer that I intend to use for printing my portfolio for extra information of what they need from me. I've had an idea of getting my name logo cut out into thick plastic for my exhibition. I could probably do this in uni on the new laser cutter, but I don't see the point in getting attached to something I wont get much time to use as I leave in 5 weeks and one day.....see I told you I was counting it down. Because all of my art work is actually done, i've decided to do one more project. It's a small one off image for a competition on DA, I wanted to do it when I first discovered it but thought I had too much work on but because I have made good progress, i'm going to do it :)
Disaster hit the other day when, after I had finished making up my mock up book for the McMillan project I realised that two of the pages were bloody missing! AAAAARGH! Thankfully though, after a major panic I realised it was possible to slot the pages in and there would be no need to make a whole new book. I went into uni today and saw Yadzia and she helped me fix the book, so i'm a lot less stressed than i was a couple of nights ago. I've just gotten off the phone with the writer of Flint the Reluctant Dragon and arrange a day next week to go and show him my work before it gets sent off to McMillan :) so now i'm free to get on with sorting out my layouts for my portfolio and painting my Lady of the Lake painting i'm doing for the DA competition I mentioned last time. I think perhaps I might slowly be getting there. I've also been looking into writing a contract to put a sample contract and invoice in my professional practice project. It's lovely and sunny outside.....
Well, i've just finished the DA competition brief with my painting of the Lady of the Lake. I'm really happy with the way its turned out and the colour scheme I decided to use. I feel like doing another painting however, I can enter up to three entries for this competition so I might as well enter another one. This time I want to do something with Celtic mythology. I've decided to do an interpretation of Morrigan, a Celtic Goddess of war and death but also life. I want to do something a bit dark and not so “cute” you can only stand hearing your work being called cute for so long before you have to paint somebody surrounded by dead bodies. I'm excited about this project, I want to make her terrifying, as well as strong and sexy without giving her massive boobs that are on show......there’s other ways of looking sexy without being skanky and it reeeeally annoys me that most drawings online have woman’s boobs on show, it takes away their power because people only see the boobs instead of the actual image. I don't usually get annoyed about things like this, but theres tasteful sexy, and then there’s just plain pervy.
I've hit a bit of a slump, I don't feel i'm doing as much as I possibly should be. I'm getting on with designing my Morrigan image and i've done a sample contract and invoice and am about to do my CV. Perhaps I should enjoy the sunshine and “holiday” while I still can.
Well, theres little over two weeks left to go! I went last week to the writers house who wrote Flint the Reluctant Dragon. I went to show him my final images and the mock up book I’ve made. He and his wife were very impressed and happy with what I have done, which is lovely! I'm back in uni now too, although I’ve not really spent much time there, there’s not much I can actually do in the studio at this stage so my time is better spent elsewhere. I do however have to go in tomorrow to speak to Dan about my layouts, once I have his nod of approval I can get everything printed – woo! I've also created some stickers with my logo on them and postcards with some of my images on to give out at various opportunities I might have. I'm struggling with my CV however, I just don't like writing them and find it hard to tell people why I’m awesome and they should hire me.
I spoke to Dan about my portfolio, and it seems there was a lot to do! I spent the rest of the afternoon yesterday tweaking and changing all the little things Dan had recommended I change, and it does look better to be honest. I'm determined not to stress out however. So long as I get my portfolio printed sometime next week I will be alright, its better to get it right, and then I can spend the following and last week arranging it and deciding whether or not it needs to be window mounted or not, I’m not quite sure. I think I’m going to get the final pieces that I have submitted to McMillan printed out, just in case for some reason I don't get them back in time. My business cards are ready to go and I’ve also decided to buy some postcards and stickers with my work too. I just have this horrible feeling something is going to go wrong.