Through this module have been able to really focus in on the professional kinds of work I hope to do in the future. It has given me a greater understanding of my own approach to illustration. I have been reluctant to think about my future as a post-graduate but with the steps and guidance in place, I have been able to work towards some sort of a path.
I feel that this module specifically has been incredibly valuable in terms of realising the importance of transferable skills and how I will be able to put those into practice. It has become clear that working free-lance and doing commissions is not the kind of work I am interested in as I feel that working alone to set deadlines suits the way that I work best.
I have taken steps in order to move forward as a professional illustrator by creating my own personal portfolio website. I felt that this was the most suitable platform for my work as I believe it to be the most accessible and widest platform in order to get my work seen and potentially a tool to get work/commissions. I am also of the belief that digital is the
My work for the exhibition happened quite organically. After realising that although I love making posters, for the subject I was creating work for, it didn’t really like the right thing for me to do was to just put a statement on the wall for people read. I felt that was too confrontational. What was important for me was actually giving people the opportunity to use their own voice, which is when the idea of facilitation became more appropriate for my work.
I toyed with a few different ideas for the final magnetic piece. The first was to attach the steel to the wall, but again that felt quite confrontational and it would be fixed there permanently, which didn’t seem like the right solution. My final design meant that the board was portable and less confronting than a huge flat surface. As the piece was to be interactive, I chose to make the pieces out of acrylic. I find that acrylic catches the light beautifully and is a great choice for pieces that need to be moved as it is durable.
My hope is to be able to take this piece of work and idea to different places and communities, spreading a positive message, that all people can be part of. I would love the opportunity to work with different people from all different backgrounds and use my illustration as a way of facilitating communication and participation.
Having a strong studio culture and having access to different parts of the university have been really beneficial to me over this year as they have provided me with different options when I have felt that I was stuck. I have felt there have been a number of challenges throughout the past year, there have been times over the past year when I have felt overwhelmed and unsure of my own ability as well as more personal difficulties. I am pleased that I was able to push forward although I feel I could have exceeded what I have done in some areas.
Throughout this year, although the project topics have slightly varied, there has in hindsight, been a constant theme which has been Stoke-on-Trent, or my home. I’m sure the reason is very personal, due to the circumstances at home but it is also because it is something and somewhere close to my heart. In my first Stoke-on-Trent City of Culture project, I was keen to explore the idea of celebration as I truly believe that a celebration is a form of protest. When everyone is so intent on bringing somewhere down and only focusing on the negatives, it almost becomes subversive to go against that and postively celebrate it rather than be part of the negative. I feel that this has continued throughout my work during the year, and it’s something I will carry on doing in the future.
After the first term, it became apparent that there was a lack of development and rougher work. What I had been doing was making the work too intricate and adding unnecessary steps. I somewhat tried to move away from this specific way of working and simplify. This led me to create more digital work. I enjoyed exploring digital methods although I think in that process I lost some of the qualities of my own work. Working with paper cut, for me, it’s the hand-cut lines and textures of the paper that give it charm and depth.
For my final piece, it was a welcome change moving to working in 3D. I experimented with a few different materials, but coloured acrylic is something I have used before and has all the qualities I was looking for when making this interactive piece. Bright colours, bold shapes and durable enough to be moved around, therefore allowing the work to become participatory.
Moving on from university, I feel confident that I have some potential opportunities that could lead from it. As my project is live and potential for real-life application which I hope to pursue. This work has given me the chance to dream and think about what it is that I want to achieve in my future. I am passionate about social and political issues, and I believe that there is room and a need for more gentle, positive protest/activism that is accessible and welcoming to all.
I have chosen red card with yellow vinyl cut design to be in keeping with the work inside. I have chosen to make my professional portfolio digital as I feel it makes the work more accessible and suits the work I am presenting better.
The assembly of the A-board itself was relatively simple once I had sourced all of the components. There were a number of different things that I was especially eager to include whilst making this piece, the most important was a surface on which interchangeable pieces could be moved. After testing out a couple of different options, I decided that my best and most suitable option was a sheet of steel. I toyed with the idea of the sheets being fixed to the wall, but the idea of being confronted with a vast, flat space didn’t feel suitable and that was just too intrusive and possibly overwhelming, this is why I chose to make an A-board.
The steel sheet was screwed onto a piece of 18mm MDF, which was then attached together with a piano hinge at the top. Although I wanted the board to be portable, making it big enough to feel as if the participant was involved was also something I had to consider. I chose to make the board 1.5mx1m, this size seemed to be the best answer when considering all factors.
I decided on steel as it is magnetic, I thought about painting the steel but chose not to as the raw, polished finished felt like the right contrast to the bright acrylic pieces. The acrylic pieces were cut out on the laser cutter and then glued using tensol-12 adhesive, then the magnets on the back with superglue. This process too much longer than I was anticipating, but overall I am really pleased with the outcome.
This screen print is for a poster, which is an open invitation for conversation, with the proposal being to set up workshops where different people from the community can meet and it is encouraged to have open conversationsource and ask questions that they wouldn’t normally. It would be my aim to invite cultural leaders of the community as well as a range of other people, making the conversation varied and insightful in order to gain understanding and acceptance which therefor would create solutions.
Invitation: move the pieces, use your voice, connect with people around you.
The starting point for this project was looking at the simultaneous celebration and decline of the circus in my hometown and used this as a metaphor for communities separating and loss of connection with international popular culture.
This interactive piece is a gentle protest, an antidote to the mainstream media’s manipulation of social division, hate crime, and injustice. It creates common ground on which to celebrate positive ideas.
This is a new departure from working with print and paper-based media. Choosing a haptic medium, with familiar associations with the fridge magnet and fairground, allows me to continue to work with vibrant colours and bold shapes.
“It is a huge danger to pretend that awful things do not happen. But you need enough hope to keep going. I am trying to make hope. Flowers grow out of darkness”
– Corita Kent
After revisiting to DIY protest poster kit project, I have decided that the way for me to move forward is by creating an interactive experience where the participant can create their own poster.
This seems like a solution for bring together both my poster making and the idea of facilitation. By making it interactive, it will encourage people to get involved whilst creating something. As the pieces are movable, it means the creations/posters won’t ever be permanent, which will emphasising the fact that it’s not intimidating.