Thursday, 28 July 2011


 (Just found this post in my drafts from back in May, must have totally forgotten to post it! unless I did and can't find it....anywhere here it is, better late than never!)

I've posted below 3 pieces of advice that I have heard or been given this year.

1.  "...if you want to go further in your own work then sometimes shutting out what others have done gives you more of a fresh approach in your thinking and it also means less chance of being too overly influenced by someone’s else’s work that you end up subconsciously creating something that’s a bit too close to their vision." - Scott Balmer

This was a nice piece of advice Scott gave me when I sent him a few questions. It definitely makes sense and is something I really should take on board. I do spend a lot of time looking at the work of other people, and I think a lot of the things I do end up being a bad mix of loads of stuff I've seen rather than something of my own. I find it really hard to get something out of my head once I've seen it and it usually ends making an appearance in my work in a rather substandard fashion. I tend to avoid drawing as i think it looks really bad, so I usually end up jumping straight on the computer and making something that has no real basis to it. I think this is such a ridiculous way of working for an illustrator! I really need to sit down without looking at other peoples work, work on my drawing and develop that through to a final piece instead of starting on the computer and just chancing that something make come out of it. I'm hardly ever happy with my final pieces because I can see how I've tried to work like someone else and it hasn't worked out. Definitely need to sort this out!

2.  "Use the internet to your advantage. Share your ideas with other people and collaborate with them." - Dan Matutina 

This a piece of advice I'm starting to see the benefit of already. There are so many sites and networking applications at our disposal as illustrators, many of them free. They can be a great way to promote your own work and meet other designers. I think we've all taken a step in the right direction just by creating a blog, but there are a few other sites/platforms I think I could benefit from using, for example facebook, tumblr, behance, etc. Signing up to twitter has been really interesting for me also. I don't post many personal tweets but its great place to post links to my blog, and is cool for informally chatting to other illustrators who are on there; of which there are many. Only recently I heard of a charity exhibition opportunity via twitter, and as able to share it with other people in the class as something for us to get involved with, so I really do think this is a great piece of advice, and probably an opportunity missed if we don't take advantage of what we can do via the internet.

3.  "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" - someone clever

Originally by Aristotle but adopted by uni, this quote was on a hand out of composition principles given to us not long ago. In the context of design it's their way of telling us about how simplifying an image down and making it less crowded can really help the composition and look of a piece. I always try and think about this when coming up with an idea, and seeing as though I'm quite partial to minimalist film posters and alike, I always seem to find myself doing the opposite. I think sometimes my ideas are a bit weak and I try and compensate by adding more elements, either in the form of bits of imagery, or more textures or marks. I think I probably convince myself that adding more stuff will solve the problem, but obviously if the idea isn't sound then it's not really going to make any difference. I do this as I'm going along also so I end up deviating from what I originally wanted to do,and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Oddly enough I think that on the flip side, I sometimes make things too simple and they end up being a bit boring, or not easy to understand. I'm definitely aiming to create a piece that has both a strong idea, and a strong efficient visual that includes just the vital elements without any added extras. That's the plan anyway...

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