The brief for this assignment was to produce an illustration to introduce myself to my tutor. Within this, I had to include and show about myself, my interests, inspirations, materials I feel happy working with and what I want to get from the course. I was able to produce this in any medium and size, just as long as the end result was greetings card size.
I started this task using my sketchbook and noting down in rough scribbles – everything I could think of for each of these points. I gave myself 30 seconds to do this, so it was everything that came to me instantly. As you can see below… very messy. Also, it doesn’t seem to make much sense – it did to me and it was a start.
The thoughts that spilled out of my mind within the 30 seconds I had given myself were varied. The mixture of things and the variety does however, sum up who I am. After completing these rough notes, I noticed that there were some aspects about myself that were missing. However, when I sit and think about these pieces of information, they are subjects and topics that I wouldn’t necessarily want to share with everyone as they are personal and some are negative things from my past, so these things I decided to omit from this piece of work.
Following this, I decided to draw the outline of a greetings card size to give myself a rough idea of the size I needed to create:
Looking at this was slightly daunting, as it is obviously not that big of a space, however, I was intrigued by the challenge.
To portray the message and representation of myself in an illustration, I knew that this wouldn’t be one single image, but multiple elements combined – probably expressing more of myself than I could with words. Realising this, I created 5 spider diagrams in my sketchbook for each category: ‘about me’, ‘interests’, ‘inspirations’, ‘materials I feel happy working with’ and ‘what I want to get from the course’. I didn’t give myself a time limit with this part, as I allowed my mind to take in the questions, and think logically and openly about what was required, and just let the thoughts appear when they did.
As apparent above, a huge array of thoughts came flooding out, some pieces fit into more than one category, others very specific. I feel as though I also learnt a lot about myself from creating these spider diagrams.
I needed to whittle this list down to have any hope of creating a greetings card size illustration. This task I found tricky – time for an elimination/priorities process. I narrowed my cluttered spider diagrams down to a bullet pointed list of 16.
When I observed this list, and thought carefully about each point, I felt as though I could justify why each of these points were not omitted. Therefore, I was satisfied and content with my choice. Now was a matter of transforming each of these things into images that could blend together into my final illustration.
I did a few rough sketches. I began with a ‘buddha’ and a pencil, pen and paintbrush to represent my ‘art’ choice.
From this point on, I continued turning my rough sketches for each point into neater, arranged images within my greetings card space. This developed into my final illustration being created.
I then uploaded my illustration and digitally added a black and white filter which I think assists the image perfectly:
Below is a list of items I included and why:
- Art – my love of everything art & design I portrayed through 3 drawings: a mechanical pencil, a fine line black pen and a paintbrush. These three items are also my favourite materials to use when creating work.
- Music – I play guitar and use my vocals to cover songs acoustically in my spare time, I also am an avid music listener – I find it the most effective form of chill and relaxation. – I have included this aspect through the use of musical notes. I combined these musical notes by creating a border around my greetings card, and I love the effect it created.
- My wife & wedding – My favourite day and my favourite person, as well as my biggest inspiration. These particular pieces of my work were the most special and important to include, and I did this by writing my wife’s name: ‘Carys’ and drawing two wedding rings – one scripted: ‘love faith hope’ which is inscribed on my own wedding ring and the other i scribed our wedding date.
- My dog (Arlo) – My best friend and the most loyal, loving companion: my little boy Arlo was an absolute no-brainer when it came to thinking about what I should include in my final illustration and I have done this by drawing paw prints. I love using dotwork/pointillism in work that i create, and I think it has worked flawlessly with the paw prints.
- Snowboarding – A love of mine: to watch, do and study. I have included this aspect through a minimalist drawing of a snowboard. I admire its simplicity, but also its contribution to the final image.
- Mountains – As a snowboard lover, I have experienced the mountains, and there is nothing quite like ‘flying high’ and ‘feeling free’ than being at the top of a snowy, care-free mountain. Due to this, I have added two mountains within my illustration and included some dot work again – I feel that this really portrays the mountains meaning well and it also expresses my creativity. Within this, I have also included a tree, I designed this similarly to how I envision the trees when on the mountains. I am so proud of the half snowboard, half tree effect I have produced, and it is one of my favourite pieces within this illustration.
- Buddha – I have had a fair amount of struggles throughout my life, but am not someone to want pity, or feel sorry for myself. however, there are times when everything is clouded and my mind is like a blurry, messy fog – so as a human being, I do struggle and I struggle to maintain a positive mindset. Due to this reason, I have begun following Buddha and practicing the teachings and learning. I have also began studying mindfulness and I complete a mindfulness ritual every day, whether that is in the morning or before bed, or from a book or from my app ‘Calm’. Capturing Buddha within my final illustration was essential and shows the new me – in a positive uplifting manner.
- Pixar – Okay, I’m obsessed. There isn’t much to say in reference to this point, other than I am a HUGE Disney and Pixar fan. The joy each of their films give me from an artist point of view, or from pure enjoyment, is that of a young child at christmas. I included the iconic Pixar lamp, and although not perfect – I am proud of its abstract feel.
- Tattoos – I have many. As an art lover, its difficult to not become addicted. I find this ultimately refreshing and each tattoo I have is a self reflection. Tattoos in my final piece are combined with another of my inspirations – Pro snowboarder: Shaun White. I have included his tattoo that he has on his arm within my illustration as it blends my love for the two effortlessly and beautifully.
- Graduation – Ultimately, when I have completed this course, I want to feel proud. One method of achieving this, will be for me to graduate. I know that I will complete this course, with a high standard of skills and knowledge, of some things I probably would have never dreamed I’d know, or be able to accomplish – for this reason I have drawn a graduation cap.
- Lego – I have expressed my love for this toy/product/creation/masterpiece (whatever you would want to call it) so simply, but so historically and I am utterly satisfied by it. The traditional lego brick.
- Marvel – as well as Disney and Pixar; I am also a HUGE Marvel fan, in particular The Avengers. I represented The Avengers with the symbol, and there is something about the shape that I find so intriguing and creative, and blocking it out in solid black made it stand out a lot more.
- Macklemore – My favourite music artist. A master at what he does, and a true believer and fighter for everything I believe in. What better way to represent his man, then one of my favourite lyrics of his: “A life lived for art is never a life wasted”.
I had many ideas for this assignment, but portraying these ideas and thoughts successfully concerned me, especially as they were a reflection of who I am. However, despite this, I enjoyed this task and it was that concern that made me very conscious at every step to portray each message correctly.
One of my main issues was deciding on style of this final illustration. I did want to incorporate acrylic paint, however when I finished all my drawings in pencil, I made the decision that acrylics would not enforce my work in the right manner, so I decided to stick with a black fine liner – which is also my favourite material to use, and I am happy with the final outcome.
In the future, I would be really intrigued to try this task with Photoshop as I think this could bring lots of new possibilities and lots of aspects that I could learn and explore. In particular, using backgrounds and layers to pull my illustration together.