Week 10: Editorial Gif…

Week 10 is our last brief and it is our second part of introducing animation with illustration. Last week we looked at illustrative gifs and how the gif can make a character come to life. This week we are looking at it in editorial illustration and how subtle movements can make an impact on what the gif is trying to show. For this brief we were given an article, which we would then have to create a gif for. The article was about how technology has effected the way we use our sense of direction, and that getting lost is a lot more difficult than it used to be as maps and directions are constantly at hand on our smartphone devices. I began by reading the article and highlighting key parts that would make a suitable gif, that would be well understood. I thought about how technology has impacted us and considered how I can take these thoughts and turn them in to an editorial illustration.

I began sketching out various designs so that I had a clear idea of which one would work well as a Gif. My first idea was to do a contrasting illustration of someone holding a phone on one side and someone else holding a compass on the opposite side to show the difference in modern vs traditional. The movements for this one would be subtle and focus of the phone and the compass. The second idea was to illustrate a map and have a flashing dotted line move around the map to indicate some one being lost, this idea is very simple and doesn’t really convey the ideas. My third idea is to have a character walking towards you with a phone in there hand and there will be a repetition of pin points popping up in the background. My fourth idea is to have a character walk on top of a spinning earth, on the earth there will be a selection of landmarks following the animation of the world going clockwise.

The idea I decided to pursue was my first idea as I though this would work well as a quick and easy editorial gif, that also conveys the ideas and themes of technology and naturally getting lost. I created my background image in photoshop and also animated the moving elements in photoshop too. Overall my final gif looks awful in my eyes, its really slopping and I know I could have produced something a lot better. If i was to look at this I would consider it as a development gif not my final one. My final one would look more finished and my painting technique for the illustration would be a lot stronger to convey the narrative and feel of the piece. I would also like to push my self a lot more and think of complex ways of animating in a gif, for example using keyframes because at the moment I am comfortable with frame animation. Between the two animation briefs this has been my least favourite as I’m not keen on editorial illustration, I prefer to create characters and stories.


Week 6: Children’s Books…

In week 6 we looked at illustration for children’s books. We were asked to choose a segment from the well known children’s story Little Red Riding Hood. We were asked to illustrate the segment we had been given, we had to make sure it covered a 2 double page spread, so 4 pages. We had free choice of how our illustrations looked and we could also adapt the story so it was relevant to 2016. The segment of the story I chose was “Little Red Riding Hood raised her eyes to the sky, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there, through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought “Suppose I take Grandmother a fresh bouquet of flowers, that would pleas her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time.” This was part of the wolfs plan and he laughed nastily to himself in the shadows. She started to run off towards the flowers.” I chose this part of the story as it was visually exiting and I knew i’d be able to push my self in to creating something digitally rather that traditional.

I began by highlighting the parts of my chosen segment that would correspond to each of the pages. I then started to design my red riding hood character and come up with a lay out for my pages. The character that I designed had a Russian Doll look to it which I though worked really well as creative response to adapt little red riding hood. The way that I drew my character out was very textured and made up of lots of different marks. They style I went for was influenced by two artist, who are Jill Bliss and Nick Sheehy. There styles are both very different from each other, but I liked both of there styles so I decided to pick out elements that I liked from both of there work. In Nick Sheehy’s work I liked the texture and the mark making, as well as the mix of subtle colours. I decided I would take his use of mark making in to account when designing my version of little red. Once I knew how I wanted my character to look I needed to consider how the text would incorporate in the page lay out with the illustrations, so I decided to do a plan of how I wanted to create each page. Once I had a set plan I could then make a start on bringing my illustrations to life through Photoshop and Illustrator.

Parts of my illustrations are hand drawn for instance the characters. What I did was hand draw the characters out, then scan them in so that I could take away there backgrounds. This was it would be easy to apply colour and layer up different elements. I used a range of software to create my illustrations, I used Illustrator to create the out lines for certain elements for example the trees. I would then take them in photoshop to add colour and highlights. I found that doing it this way was the most beneficial way of me creating something that looks sharp and finished. For the rest of the drawing elements and backgrounds I used photoshop as there was a variety of brushes that I could use to create textures. Once I had coloured the trees I used the watercolour paint brush to add in texture. To create this effect I chose a lighter colour then the trees and drew lines on to the trees, so that it still had that mark making effect that I wanted to show through out my illustrations.

Overall I enjoyed this brief as I really liked creating illustrations for a lower target audience, where as before most of the briefs we were given was for editorial illustration, more of a higher target audience. Looking at my illustrations now, I am really happy with the visual style that I conveyed as it looks visually appealing to children. One thing that I could reconsider is the font. I didn’t really think about this and kind of just fell upon a font that looked ok at the time. I would probably go for something that is visually exiting, so I would think about the lay out and how it could flow with the illustrations. My favourite page out of the 4 was the last page, as I feel like I thought about this page a lot more than the others and it just works well as a whole illustration. The colours and texture of the character parents well with the cold breath and the text that glides through it. My knowledge of both softwares is coming on a lot now and i’m happy with how I am progressing, as i’m learning a lot more in terms of tools and how they work.

Week 8: Illustration for Fashion…

In week 8 we were given the option to either design an illustration for an album cover or an item of fashion with a forest theme. I considered both parts of the brief and decided that I wanted to go with the fashion item as this was allowing you to design for a wider variety of items. Firstly I did a mind map of ideas I could create that would relate to the theme of “a forest”, I thought about organic shapes, animals, seasons, florals etc. I then considered how I would adapt these ideas in to one of the fashion elements we were given, for example the tote bag, skateboard or a t-shirt. I didn’t want my design to be too complex as most illustrations for fashion stay simple. The fashion item I decided to illustrate for was the t-shirt as a simple design would benefit on this fashion item and wouldn’t get lost. There was one idea that I had and I stuck with, which was a sequence of a fox jumping head first into the snow. I considered how I wanted to lay this out, whether it would be a 4 panel comic sequence or an overlapping line drawing. As the design was for a t-shirt I decided a line drawing would work perfectly as its quite subtle for a piece of fashion.

To create my design I used Illustrator to generate the line drawings of each pose of the fox. I then coloured each part of the sequence a different colour so that they didn’t merge together and you could easily identify which part of the sequence was which. The colours I chose were autumnal colours as these matches the theme of a forest. I then dragged these into photoshop and layered them into the sequence on to the t-shirt template. I then considered what colour I wanted the base of the t-shirt to be, I played around with a few colours that matched the autumnal sequence. I didn’t want it to be too dark as the illustration was lost in the t-shirt, so I went with a beige colour as this made the illustration pop from the t-shirt and gave it an earthy feel to the whole fashion piece. I then decided to give the rims of the sleeves, neck and bottom of the t-shirt there own colour because I just felt this would finish the design off. I decided to go with orange as it suited the main fox design on the actual t-shirt.

After my final t-shirt design was complete I wanted to consider what sort of brand would be interested in my design and how they could use it on there clothing line. Theres one brand that really stood out to me and that was Jack Wolfskin. Jack Wolfskin are a high quality outdoor apparel brand, and when I looked at the current t-shirt designs that they were selling, My design would fit in perfectly with the wolf character/ paw print logo they design most of there clothing around. The target audience for my design would be for the children’s section of the brand as my wolf design looks appealing to young children and coveys a relatable narrative that the younger audience would understand. After looking at this brand and deciding this was the brand for my illustration, I incorporated there logo into my design to showcase that this is the sort of brand that would take my design into consideration.

Over all I feel like this wasn’t one of my strongest briefs as I didn’t input a lot of design into my final design, as I just chose the first thing that popped into my head. Although I am very happy with the illustration I have created, as it subtly conveys a narrative through the item of clothing. I am slowly coming to grips with Adobe Illustrator as I am learning how to use the different tools in each of the briefs given. Illustrator was especially helpful in this brief as it allowed me to draw out my design neatly by using the pen tool. If I was to recreate this brief again I would probably consider other themes and ideas instead of going with first thought. I would also create something with a lot more detail and maybe add a quote in my design so that I can experiment with fonts.

Week 9: Animated Gif…


In week 9 we were asked to create a looping Gif of a character that is based around the development of an interactive game or mobile app. We could chose from the following 3: an interactive children’s book, an online game to promote a product or service or a one touch/ tilt casual game for a mobile and tablet device. I decided that the commission I wanted to explore was the one touch/ tilt casual game for a mobile device or tablet. I chose this one as it seemed pretty straight forward to create a character and a world for a new mobile game. I have played a lot of mobile games, so I am aware of what characteristics I need to input in to my designs to make them successful.

I had this one idea straight away, so I decided to mind map that idea out and see where it would take me. I slowly developed 3 solid ideas that I could consider designing. These were a mechanical world, natural/ woodland warrior princess or a borrowers theme. I decided on my first idea of the mechanical world as I was more drawn to this and I know I could create something visually exiting. I expanded on the idea of a mechanical world and come up with and idea about the world being split up into 4 quadrants and each quadrant having there own season. Each season would contain various levels you would have to complete to advance in the game further. Each of the quadrants would then have a there own quest you have to complete on each level, weather this be to find an object or collect a certain amount out points. This would then follow through each quadrant till you completed the game. For me this sounded like a very solid idea and I began designing what the base of my character would look like. Would it be big, small, round, straight, tall or short etc. All of my designs looked very human like and didn’t show much visual creativity as I would have liked. So in the development to make it look like a robot that would come from winter I added things to the robot which would help them survive in the conditions of winter. I added ice skates to the feet so they wouldn’t fall over on the ice. I made there body a lot bigger and placed a furnace inside so that it would keep them warm. I kept to the original face and head as that is something I would carry out through all of the seasonal robots.

After creating my character I needed to think about how I wanted to animate my robot. We only had 2 seconds as it was a looping gif, because of this I wanted to show something simple. I decided I wanted to show the smoke coming out of the burners funnel as this was a simple sequence for a looping gif. I began to work on the artwork for my final gif, I drew the outline of the character in illustrator as I know I could create a clean finish. I then dragged that into to photoshop to add colour and shade. Once I had created my character I then needed a background for my character so I used a combination of illustrator and photoshop to create a winter scene for my robot to stand in. I kept it pretty simple as I didn’t want the robot to blend into the background. Once I had my character and my background I could begin animating. We were asked to animate our gifs in photoshop. I created my animation by using the frame animation mode, this is there I had to draw out each frame just like traditional animators do. This is my favourite type of animation as its very free flowing and for the idea of my gif it works well with the smoke as it’ll look natural.

Overall I really enjoyed this brief as animation is an area I am interested in and would like to go back to in the future. The idea of the robots and the mechanical world was my favourite out of the three ideas and I’m glad I went with that one as I feel my winter design was visually successful and would I would like to create the other 3 robots to see the contrast between them all. The animation part of the brief was good and it did what I wanted it to do, but I know I can push my self further and possibly use key frames to make other parts of the robot move because at the minute it looks very static.

Week 7: Adult Publishing…

In week 7 of illustration practice we looked at adult publishing and how we can adapt our skills to create different work for different target audiences. We were given short stories to illustrate, I was given The Sniper by Liam O’ Flaherty. We were asked to create a front and back cover for the book, we were told to carefully consider which aspects of the story we wanted to depict and how we would communicate them through our designs. To begin with I started by reading the whole story and then mind mapping key characters, themes and parts of the narrative that would work well in an illustration for the front cover.

In the story there are two main snipers and I wanted to show this on my front cover. I also wanted to show that they were enemies so I drew up some thumbnails of how I could show this. I knew I wanted the front cover to be simplistic, as I have looked at what adult publishings are out there now and how the look. Most of them stick to the simplistic and symbolic feel with a bold title so this is the look I wanted to go with in my designs. The deigns I thought about where having the two characters back to back, the characters being the health bar or just creating a pattern of sniper riffles and changing the colours of two to show the two characters in a symbolic way. I wanted my overall feel of my illustration to be like a video game effect, so I went with the second design. In my final design I would have the two characters opposite each other and have sort of a health bar look next to them. Going forward with this idea the two characters would have to be different colours so I went with blue and red as these are normally the colours for to oppositions in a video game. I thought about how I would tie it all together and I thought about creating a pattern of a sniper riffle being repeated so that it would cover the whole of the front and back cover. This way I could also incorporate my health bar look.

I began playing around in Photoshop to see if I could create the illustration that I saw in my head as that is always the difficult part for me. I wanted to create a pattern for my background so I went in to Illustrator and made the sniper riffle pattern that I wanted and imported it into photoshop where I could then work on the colour scheme and where I wanted to put both of my Sniper characters. I had a play around with the different layouts until I was happy with them being in opposite corners too each other. I then selected the riffles that were on the same line as the silhouette of the sniper and coloured them in to fit with the colour they had been given, either being blue or red. The pattern tool really helped me in this brief as it was a quick and easy solution to creating a pattern, instead of placing each element down your self in photoshop.

Overall I am happy with my front and back cover design for the short story the sniper, as I have stuck to my thumbnail idea and how I imagined it in my head. My only thought is, is it appropriate to the target audience of adults? Looking at my final illustration I feel its a too bold and I could have possibly made it a more subtle so that it would appeal to the target audience instead of making it stand out too much. The layout of the final illustration could have been thought out a bit more as it looks to simplistic in some ways but I like the way the design spreads out on to both sides of the cover. I could have also considered the font as well, because this is one of the key elements to a front cover, so I should have tied it in to my illustration in some way. So maybe I could have designed it so that there were bullet holes in some of the letters, so that it does tie in with the narrative. The software on the other hand, I want to continue in learning how to use some of the tools in Illustrator so that I can broaden my illustrative style to suit the briefs we are given in the future. As before I have alway been dismissive with new software and stuck to Photoshop.

Week 5: Editorial Illustration 3…

This our last Editorial Illustration brief, and for this week we were asked to produce a piece of work in response to an issue that you feel passionately about. Once I was given the brief I thought about issues that are personal to me and the one thing I thought about was my childhood and how it is different if I was 10 years old now. There are a lot of differences between the two childhoods, the ones we see today are full of technology and I feel like technology is over powering and the children today aren’t getting enough out of there childhood and missing out on a lot that I had. Today most children would rather play on video games, stay indoors instead of having an adventure outdoors with friends. My childhood was full of outdoor adventures, getting messy in the dirt and activities that didn’t include technology. So this was my main concept I wanted to portray in my illustration.

I began brainstorming on a mind map, generating ideas of the differences between the two childhoods and I came up with a lot of ideas. Ideas of children being locked into a world of virtual reality, children focus more on how they look now and how technology wasn’t as evolved as it is now. I had a concept in my head that I wanted to try out, and this was to draw out children playing on video games or reaching for technology, then on top overlay a faded illustration of them doing activities I would have done as a child. I had this part of the illustration in colour to show how much fun you can have when you use your imagination. I then took this idea and put it together in photoshop I drew out each element and combined them together with digital elements with text.

Overall I feel like the illustration its self just looks like a draft and the idea could probably have been conveyed a lot stronger and cleaner. But I like the way it looks, it has a collage feel to it and I like all the hand drawn elements. I want to take some of this style into next weeks brief of children’s books as I feel this could really relate to a style that a children’s book has. The text part of my illustration wasn’t really consider when designing this and I really did just add something in there last minute that probably didn’t fit with what I was trying to say. So next time I want to try to incorporate the words so that they suit the illustrations and also flow nicely in to the piece.


Week 4: Editorial Illustration 2…

For week 4 of Illustration Practice we were asked to illustrate for an article that we had been given. The article I was given was “Think Before You Drink”.  As soon as I was given the article I read through it and analysed it bit by bit, picking out key elements of information and transferring it to a mind map. I then read what I had written and started to think of ideas that related to key words with in the article. Now I had a few ideas and needed to draw thumbnails as to what I could produce, that would work well with the brief and article.

There was one idea I was really keen on and developed that to create something visually strong. I decided on the idea of creating an illustration that looks like an athlete running away from water, and the water is positioned in a way that looks like a hand, like its trying to grab the athlete. We were asked to use Photoshop and Illustrator in this brief to see if we could combine Vector graphics with collage. I decided to just use Photoshop as this is where I was most comfortable, and I knew how to use various tools to create the look I wanted. We were also told that our illustrations must contain: 3 Graphic Shapes or Symbols, 3 Patterns or Textures and 3 Photographic Layers. I tried my hardest to contain all of these elements to generate a solid illustration that conveys the article.

Overall I feel I have a strong illustration that fits well with the article, on the other hand I don’t think I have I have answered all of the brief. I have only added a few of the elements that we were told our illustrations must contain. I like the concept I have created with the waves looking like a hand grabbing the athlete but what if I used an actual hand and applied the wave image over it so its not confusing for the readers. I also like the colour pallet that I selected, Blue and Red, as they contrast each other nicely and convey the article. Lastly I feel like I have a strong illustration but I feel like it could be polished off as this is something I rushed and didn’t really consider the placements and textures of my final illustration.