I've learned from those difficult first few weeks, though. And I've created a daily plan to help me deal with the workload of BAIL304 and the three self-initiated projects of BAIL301 Part 2.
We recently had a group crit in which we discussed out stage 1 outcomes, below is the feedback for my work and what I plan to do with it.
Painted Texture Collage Workshop with Caroline Pedler:
This image was quite well developed through feedback with peers and tutors by the time our 'deadline' came around. Recommended amendments were limited; with a suggestion of removing the heavy texture from the oar, providing more contrast against the boat by opting for a light, block brown and playing with the oars general shape, scaling it a bit better to the other elements.
We agreed the image was a really effective use of the techniques introduced in the workshop and that collage should be a method of image making that I utilise more often. I plan on making amendments to this image so that I can sell it as an art print.
This image is the second half of the image above. The two images were split so that they could fit better within a portfolio.
Moving beyond the boundaries of the workshop task;selecting two animals, one lucky and another unlucky, and having them interact with each other; I decided to create a narrative image based around rhyming.
So the goats were put in a boat, whilst the dog sat on a log accompanied by a frog. The dog was based on my own pet, Russett, whose litter were named after apple varieties before we owned him. I decided his little froggy friend could be called Granny Smith; hence the grey bun and funky purple cardigan.
Although the characters were considered fun, we decided the composition of this half of the image was less effective than the former. Looking straight on from behind gave a clunky silhouette that lacked expression and detail and became lost where the figures overlapped with the log (particularly the frog) and the water. This is partly attributed to me not developing the image before working into photoshop and digitally cutting the constituent parts - this image was more of an afterthought in comparison to the goats.
As this image requires some quite major amendments and the image of the goats works well on its own, I think that I will avoid returning to this image for a while, perhaps returning to it for a portfolio piece as part of BAIL302.
Widecombe Fair Poster Workshop with Phil Trenerry:
There wasn't much said about the image as a poster in terms of the typography. There were some positive comments about the characters, and that it was obvious they were going to some kind of family event. However Caroline noted that without the text, the image didn't communicate 'Widecombe Fair,' but suggested it would make a good basis for some sort of sequential narrative based around the event. I think these comments were justified, as my focus was on the design of the characters and a representation of dartmoor, rather than blatantly representing the event; instead having details within the characters that would hint towards it. Perhaps a few additional elements could help hint towards the actual fair, like a maypole or the corner of a tent in the bottom right of the image. But most importantly I think would be to remember the purpose of the poster and not let my personal interests overpower the focus of the image if I were to take on poster briefs in the future.
Taripulan Illustrator Contest: SOS with Phil Trenerry
This was an open brief, the contest simply asked for a square format image in response to the buzzword SOS. I decided to approach this subject from a christian perspective with an image of various people worshiping within a church.
Phil and Caroline and peers made note of the strong composition and effective use of the quote within the focal point of the image. Tristan made note within the portfolio surgery that the black and white iamges seemed out of place in comparison to other projects. All agreed the image seemed unfinished.
Again this was down to a lack of critical awareness and perhaps having tunnel vision, trying to get the perspective to work, rather than considering a achievable response within the time frame I had.
Phil and myself suggested using tonal elements to break up the image - perhaps filling in with grey washes. Caroline disagreed that some kind of filling in was necessary and suggested that the presence of a human silhouette would help to finish off the image nicely. I'd be open to exploring both avenues, but I do agree with Tristan that this image doesn't have much of a place within my portfolio. I also do not think that honouring my faith through my work in such a blatant way is necessary.
It would be nice to finish this image off, but it doesn't sit as a top priority of mine. It was interesting to explore perspective and I am glad that I managed to pull it off, but I will bear in mind my time constraints in the future when I consider applying it to other briefs.
This group crit was more about understanding how we could develop our personal practice by analysing these outcomes, rather than producing a list with which we can update the images.
What is most evident from these images is that I have yet to settle on a niche method of responding to briefs, a strong visual identity is something I am going to have to work towards this year; perhaps that can be achieved by pulling away various elements from these different approaches to image making.
I don't think Stage 2 is going to allow me to look backwards and finish off this Stage 1 work. However it may be good to amend the stronger images for portfolio or fund-raising purposes later in the year. (The goat image perhaps sooner, rather than later.)