Degree Show Reflection

A short reflection of the third year illustration degree show.


For the third year’s degree show a ‘river of books’ was created. I think this table in the shape of a river worked really well to draw people into the space and to get them to interact with the work that was being displayed. I think that the shape of the river table also encouraged people to walk around the space and to explore it thoroughly. I especially liked the work that was at the start of the river, a book that contained templates that could be used to make models of some of the buildings from St Fagans, a Welsh Museum. I think this project was very engaging and it made you want to discover more about it. I think that the placing of the models drew you in to the exhibition and into the project as they were so intriguing. I also liked a concertina book that explored guilt eating. I think as the format of the book was different to all of the more traditional books it drew you in. I also think that the stuffed character drew the eye and made the viewer want to find out more about it. The third piece of work that caught my eye was a tapestry hung on the wall with other images hanging off the bottom. I think because this work was so different to everyone else’s it especially stood out and because of it containing many different images it invited you to come closer to try and figure out what was going on.

Seeing this show has given me some inspiration for my own second year show, especially the concertina book as this could be a format that I would like to explore in the future.

Creative Conscience – Research

Some research into existing charities and campaigns that raise awareness about organ donation and giving blood for a new project.

For this Creative Conscience project I hope to create an animation or interactive booklet that communicates with people about why they should give blood or register to donate their organs and hopefully get people to sign up for blood and organ donation.  I chose this topic as blood donations are essential in order to treat people with serious health problems / issues. A single donation can be used to treat cancer patients, newborn babies, people who have been in serious accidents and people who need open heart surgery. In order to treat these people over 450 donations of blood are needed each day. Organ donations are as equally important, they can save lives and greatly improve the quality of life for many people. Out of the patients waiting for a lung transplant in the last 10 years over a quarter died whilst they were waiting.

I started this project by looking at existing charities that all ready do this and the campaigns that they use to do it.

The first charity that I looked at was The Welsh Blood Service. Most of their campaigns are about sharing peoples story’s whose lives have been saved by blood donations. Their most recent campaign is titled The Chilled Out Way To Save a Life, it focuses on getting young people to join the Welsh Bone Marrow Doner Registry. The idea of the campaign is to share images of dangerous, life-threatening ways to save a life in order to highlight how easy and safe it is to join the bone marrow registry. The campaign highlights the slim chances of finding a life saving match and this is why they need more donors, to increase these chances. This campaign is quite fun and silly which is more the sort of thing that I would like to do however I don’t think that the images really convey the importance of donating and it doesn’t explain why you should. I think that the focus on how easy it is to save someone’s life by joining the bone marrow registry is possibly the wrong way to go about it as it doesn’t really educate the audience on why they should.

I also looked at the campaigns used by the NHS to get people to donate blood. One campaign called the Missing Type Campaign got well known companies to remove the letters A,O and B from their adverts on the web, social media and in print. The aim of this campaign was to highlight the need for new donors. I think that this campaign was effective as it captured people’s attention because many companies took part and at first didn’t explain why they had removed these letters which created some suspense and made people curious. However though I don’t think that it was the most effective way to get people to donate their blood as it didn’t explain anything about the process which can be seen as scary, or explain anything about the reasons why their donations are needed. However I think that it worked well to get peoples attention.

The NHS also created another campaign, Bleed for England, which used rugby players to encourage people to give blood. The campaign ran alongside the Rugby World Cup, they described the campaign as a ‘rallying cry’. This campaign was effective as it encouraged 101,295 people to sign up to become a blood donor. I think that these posters communicate the need for people to register quite well but again they don’t explain anything and they aren’t really emotive considering that donating blood saves lives. I also think that the colours used are very typical and the images aren’t especially eye catching and they could easily be overlooked in public when competing with other posters.

The NHS’s most recent campaign called Make a Date to Donate uses celebrities to give an insight into the donation process and what happens when you go to give blood. It also touches on the reasons why these people chose to donate their blood.

I think this video works well to communicate how easy giving blood is and how anyone can do it. I also think it’s good having an insight into why others choose to do it and that after doing it for the first time they will continue to do it. I also think that this video is aimed towards younger people which seems to be the focus of most of the campaigns as they need new donors that will continue donating for as long as they are able. I think that the campaigns that are more fun and less serious are the most effective and I think that is something that I would like to explore in this project.

I want my project’s call to action to be to get more people to be blood donors and to sign up for organ donation but I also want to educate people on why they should give blood and how easy the process is as I think that this will help to get more people to register and donate.

Space is the Animated Place – Reflection

A short reflection on what I have learnt during the project Space is the Animated Space and what I would do to improve my work if I had the chance.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 14.52.41.pngI enjoyed this project as it allowed me to explore a new type of animation that is less controlled and more experimental. I was also able to play with materials and their properties which is something that I enjoy doing. I used a tablet on a tripod to film my animation which isn’t something that I had done before and I discovered that it has pros and cons. It was quite unstable which made some of the films jerky and not very smooth. I enjoyed the process of this animation and making things up as we go along. One scene which I think worked well was the scene where my monster eats a cactus, this was fairly improvised as we weren’t sure if it was going to work or if it would look effective but I the end I think that it worked really well.

I found working in a group to have its advantages and its disadvantages. It was interesting as we were all able to combine our ideas and our different skills in order to create the animation. This was really helpful at the beginning when we were discussing how the animation could start and how all our monsters and spirits could encounter each other. The disadvantages of working in a group became apparent when people were absent as this slowed the animation process as we weren’t able to discuss what we were going to do next and it became harder to animate all of the characters and film at the same time with fewer people.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 14.57.11Some of the things that I think could be improved in our animations are the framing and lighting in some shots. In the clip that we filmed of the spirits going up the stairs it was hard to include the larger monster in shot and to make the smaller spirits noticeable at the same time. We could have filmed close ups of the spirits travelling up the stairs with a better quality camera in order for them to be more clear, we could have then added this in in the editing process. I could have also filmed some close ups of my spirit for the scene where it escapes the sketchbook. This would have allowed me to show my character in more detail and to have more of a focus on it on the screen as toward the end of the sequence it travels to the edge of the frame where it is harder to see. I think that we would have done these things if we had had more time, but as this was a relatively short project we focused on filming the main narrative of our animation.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 15.00.07.pngI was already interested in animation but I think that this project has made me want to explore the idea of  sketchbook animation further and to experiment with the technique of using a tablet to animate as it is an easy, instant process that I think could work really well for short, relatively simple animations. I also like the idea of found animations, creating something from similar shapes and colours, linking them all together.

Penguin Project – Research

Some research on eye catching book jackets that I have done for my latest project Penguin Book Project in which I have to create a book cover for the story Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

Image result for penguin book covers
One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Illustrated by Ioana Negulescu 2012

I think that this image works well as a book cover as its quite striking and bold. I also like how the image relates to the story but it doesn’t give too much away. I like the use of colour, I think that they work well together to make the image lively but not too busy. I also like the different textures in the image, I think that the texture of the bark of the tree contrasts well with the texture on the pills.

To Kill A Mockingbird Illustrated by Madelyn Farley 2017

I think that this image works well as a book cover as it is very dynamic and striking. The contrast between the bright yellow background and black hand makes the book very eye-catching and intriguing. I also like the handwritten font, I think that it works really well with the image, I think that it allows the image to communicate in a more personal way.

The Big Sleep Illustrated by Hayley Warnham 2013


I think that this image works well as a cover as it is also quite dynamic. I also like the use of collage as I think that it contrasts nicely with the block colours behind it. I also like the use of negative space within the image. I think that the type font also works to well because of the sharp edges between the colours and the collage. I think that if a handwritten font was used it would just look messy and unprofessional in contrast to the other aspects of the image.

Grimms Fairy Tales Illustrated by Tim Parker 2012

I really like this book cover and I think that it really stands out as a design. I like all the different textures in the image, the wolf’s fur, the tree trunk spine and the red tongue. I also like the contrast between the blacks and greys with the red tongue and yellow eyes, it makes these features stand out in the image. I also think that the mixture of handwritten font and typed font works really well, I also like that some of the words are bigger than others to emphasise them.

Editorial Project Summary

A short summary of The Editorial Project in which we had to choose two articles and produce an illustration in response to each of them.

I have enjoyed this project as I have been able to explore a new type of visual language that I haven’t worked with before although I have found the project challenging because of the fast pace that is required for this type of work. I have enjoyed playing with materials in this project and experimenting with collage. This has given a new dimension to my illustrations which has helped to portray messages and ideas through them which is an important aspect of this project. This project has also allowed me to learn about the way in which I work and that my practice relies heavily on experimenting with materials and making them an important part of the images that I produce.

final imageFor my first article the image that I produced was a direct response to the article. I picked up on certain aspects of the feature and decided to illustrate them, making the link between the image and the article clear. I tried to include aspects of the whole article but I think that I failed to include the idea of the article being about online dating as well as disability. However, I feel that my image is quite empathetic and sensitive in communicating the themes of the article. I also think that the use of collage adds a certain charm to the image.

finished 4

For the second article I chose to take a less direct approach. I decided to portray the theme of the article rather than actual events or discoveries discussed within it. I decided to convey the theme and main idea of the article, which is the fact that people enjoy frightening themselves, in a fun and light-hearted way. I chose loud and interesting textures to fashion the haunted dolls house. I think this combination of materials gives the image charm allows it to communicate in a quirky, playful way. I think this works well with the article as it adds some interest to the serious article.

Degree Show Review

A short review of two pieces of student’s work from the degree show at university.

For part of my assessment for uni we were given the mini brief of completing a review of two pieces of work from the third year degree show. We had to choose one piece of work from an illustration student and one from a student from another discipline.


I chose this piece from an Illustration student, Polly Colquhoun, because I liked that it was a 3D piece and I found it intriguing. I also liked the texture within the piece. This piece of work consists of 3 3D scenes that are displayed within a wall. The scenes are accompanied by text which are lines from a contemporary opera called Death’s Other Kingdom. The scenes are quite small but they are illuminated from within which makes them eye catching. All of the scenes consist of black prints on white paper or card. The scenes occupied a space that was quite hidden, this allowed the viewer to stumble upon these little glimpses of a different world. It also allowed the viewer to explore these pieces in the quiet as it was slightly removed from the rest of the show.

This work communicates quietly as the pieces are quite small and almost hidden within the wall. They are there to be discovered rather than there to exclaim their presence. This work is imaginative because it looks unique and consideration has gone into the process of designing and making it. The printing technique and the conversion from flat pieces of work to a 3D scene demonstrates skills. I find the piece captivating because of the little details within the piece and because of how simplistic and rustic the different components look.

The work is inviting and intriguing as it resembles little worlds there for the viewer to explore and experience. The work as a whole coheres well, all of the scenes were made using the same technique of printing and they are all in black and white which makes them fit together well. They all have text underneath which adds more intrigue to the work.



I chose this piece by an Artist Designer Maker student, Sofia Calatrava, because of the interesting way that illustration has been combined with ceramics. I also like the animated ceramic piece that spins to highlight the transition shown on the pot. This piece  consist of multiple ceramic pieces that have been decorated with illustrations of faces. This piece is about personality and emotions. It portrays divided feelings. All of the pots follow the same design, glazed white with dark illustrations. A mirror is used to show the opposite side of some of the ceramic pieces, which also demonstrates the split emotion theme of the work. Some of the pots are quite large compared to others which could show that some of the feelings portrayed are stronger than others.

The work communicates quite boldly, the faces on the ceramic are quite imposing and hard to miss. The illustrations clearly show a split or a conflict of the artists feelings. I think that this piece is imaginative because of the combination of illustration and ceramics which is quite unique. It also demonstrates a number of skills which are needed to produce this work. The purpose of the work is to portray the artists self-perception and I think that this is communicated clearly.

This work is intriguing and slightly unnerving because of the stark faces present on the pots. It encourages the viewer to question their own self-perception and think about how they view others. The work coheres as a whole because of the uniformity of the ceramic pieces even if the illustrations differ. The work isn’t hidden in its space, its noticeable and confrontational in the way that it demands people attention.