Thursday, 6 September 2012

NEW items on website

New items for sale on my website! Check them out!!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Mention by Design Juices

Friday, 11 May 2012

My earrings

My final pin up

Final Images

Hopes, Fears and Opportunities- part 2

Hopes Fears and opportunities. Part 2

Reflecting back to my hopes, fears and opportunities part 1 post from the first semester, I feel I have improved on many issued raised but I also feel that there is still room for more improvement. I no longer feel that I should have my future planned and all knowledge of illustration mastered as things will change and new opportunities may come my way, so my biggest improvement is that I am less fearful of finishing my degree, still have some worries but I think that is normal after being in education all my life I know now that in a few weeks I am entering the real world and illustration industry, scary stuff.

My initial hope was to improve on independent problem solving. Each project felt different, I felt more confident with some projects than others, whether this was how I felt about the brief or how I felt in general - I sometimes let my emotions reflect in my work. I now know I its ok to feel different to each project, as long as I put as much effort in to each then I will always produce a strong and different outcome and I will feel positively challenged each time. My second hope was wanting less need for input from tutors, this has also improved as now I understand my style better, I know the right answers that will compliment my work and I can move forward with developing and understand what I want to achieve better, I still take advice from the tutors as they are extremely helpful and I make the most of them while I have chance.

My other hope was to progress ideas faster, I find it hard to commit to an idea or theme. I can waste time experimenting, changing ideas or totally freeze in fear for a few weeks, feeling that constantly thinking about my idea meant I was still working on the project but really I wasn’t moving forward and was only creating more stress, this sometimes lead to spontaneously imagery that worked well but I cannot risk this for every project, so if I create similar images from an earlier stage in the project I could produce more and have more time on final touch ups and editing. I do work better under pressure and usually backwards, where I like to create ideas from things and textures I already have. I have also learnt a new way of working where I would select a few textures and elements I already own and challenge myself to create imagery by only using this selected range of elements.

I originally feared that my confidence would hold me back from this year’s final push for work, visits and contacts. I am very pleased to say I didn’t let it! I believe in my work so much more now, maybe it was because of my contacts in London that give me a confidence boast, told me I can make it in the industry and I have a clear and confident style. I did initially hesitate when creating lists of potential contacts and sending the first email, but I was surprised with the amount of responses I got as I thought they all would be too busy to reply. I then got used to this and accepted it as part of being an illustrator. I think I will find it harder after graduating that I cannot get reassurance that my work is going well but I think this will encourage me to meet new people in the industry that can inspire and spear me on.

I also feared for my time management skills, getting off to a good start with the first semester as I was setting myself plans and deadlines, this semester I have tried to plan but this project has drifted in so many directions I thought it was best to go with the flow and plan a lot of time for being playful, As I hoped I have worked on multiple projects including 2 competitions and dividing my project into 3 smaller projects with crafts. I think this worked well for me as I sometimes felt myself getting stuck on some aspects of the project and needed to step away and look at it from fresh eyes, as time was short I didn’t waste time over thinking one project I just moved on to another.

I initially wrote ‘opportunities- take them all’ and I hoped to make the most of competition briefs- which I did, the facilities and learn the vinyl cutter- which I don’t think I did as much as I wanted as my ideas for this project didn’t require that much aided equipment and the deadlines for the equipment was quick, I didn’t have time to use the vinyl cutter, I have used it once before and this sparked an interest to use it more often. I think I can use this time between now and the end of term for using all facilities for future use, I now also know that there are other places around Manchester with similar facilities and workshops if I ever needed it. I also need to find a cheap photocopier, maybe in a library, to get my photocopied textures and the ones in uni are no longer free anyway then it wont be much different. I think I should make the most of the library books available and collect as many textures and multiple copies as possible before leaving for future use.

For my final opportunity, I also wanted to have a better knowledge of the InDesign, which I achieved in the first semester with my zine project and finding out how to print a book double sided with bleeds and stitch room. I also use InDesign for my portfolio and PDF portfolio layouts, which has made me realize I need the InDesign programme for after graduation.

I wrote a list of aims to be achieved by the end of this semester:

Strong portfolio. I think my portfolio has come on so much this year, my portfolio is up to date with current work and as my work has been getting stronger this has aided my portfolio to become stronger. I received advice positive feedback from all visits about my portfolio visits, which has helped me.

Website. I have had a website since the start of the year. and I have worked on improving it a lot over the year, I have made sure it is easy to navigate, simple design and gives out all the necessary information.  I have also worked hard on making sure it up to date with my current work. Along with my website I have worked on a lot of promotion stuff, including booklets, postcards, stickers and business cards.

Future plan for illustration. I do have a better understanding of what I want my future to be like from illustrations but I cant predict what opportunities will come my way and I have no set job. I think I would like to gain as much experience as possible from the industry, maybe as intern or part-time shop work at a craft related store. I feel that my future involves surface design and crafting along side free-lance work.

Studio Space. I am undecided as of yet if I require a studio space. I have a room at home that I call my studio and for now that has everything I need so I am unsure if I want to pay out for a studio space. I find it hard to carry my stuff home everyday from uni and wish I could keep them in one place so maybe staying at home is best for me right now. I think if I did decide to move to a rented space I would like to do it with other designs so I am surrounded by inspiration.

To be continued…..

Thursday, 10 May 2012

My beautiful business cards

My beautiful business cards, arrived just in time :)

Friday, 4 May 2012

FMP- Fat Cat

As part of my final work I am working with an illustration of a .. 'plump' cat. I started with a very confident shape so now I am not sure how to move him forward.

I decided to use some pattern's from my sketch book and decorate him, this looked good. But I think he needs something else...

I thought he could need some text to accompany him so I looked into some cat poems by T.S Eliot to find some quotes.
"Curious Cat" - The Rum Tum Tugger.

"He can play any trick with a cork or spoon and a bit of fish-paste".
"His manner is vague and aloof, you would think there was nobody shyer- but his voice has been heard on the rood when he was curled by the fire. -

So, I then decided to simplify and have fun with the cat!


Another productive day on the promo side, I reworked my logo and then applied it to all social media linked with Emma Thorpe Illustration. I also have had new business cards and postcards printed, hopefully they will be delivered in time for the show.

And version 2:

My business and postcards follow the similar style. Being a bit different with my business card and having portrait ones made.

My postcards will also be double size, more fun!

I am now moving this onto my portfolio and having all pages reprinted with the updated logo, barrels on fun that will be on Thursday!

My logo is changing:

Animation- Stephen on a bike ride

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Big Illustration Party - Ep 8

For today’s class we were asked to listen to episode 8 of Big Illustration Party, hosted by Kevin Cross and Joshua Kemble, both specialize in comic book and cartoon illustrations. In all episodes they post onto their blog they talk about their experience, share advice and related stories about how to be a freelance illustrator.

In Episode 8 they discuss promotion and networking, they raise and interesting points about how to contact clients. The discuss the benefits of cold calls, something I would never do myself as I prefer to email and find cold calling to be pushy and give of an instant dislike impression. The mention that in some cases it is worth doing, mostly when illustration an event or gig. Where as emails are less pressure, can be worded correctly and less intrusive.
They go on to detail how they would create the right emails for the right people by splitting them into two groups, first emails ‘blast’ to clients you would like to work for and who you think your style would benefit, in this email you should briefly and friendly state who you are and that you would like them to keep you in mind for future work if they like what they see. Kevin and Joshua both advise against image attachments, seeing it as another step/link the viewer has to do, which I don’t know what they mean by this, maybe its as simple as adding a link to you website or they think its better to design an email with embedded images?

After this first email if you receive a positive response from someone that would be interested in you work then should add them to a mailing/favorites/subscribe list where you send them emails as newsletter with updates, usually every 3 months but nothing less. You should also include an option at the bottom stating that if the reader would like to be removed from the mailing list they could just email you the word ‘stop’ etc. Also, not to keeping email a contact after no response.

They also spoke about sending clients greetings or as they call them ‘holiday’ cards, which I think is a great and fun idea, I was advised against them by Rose Lloyd when I met her in the start of my second year, she had an experience where she spent a lot of time and money in producing Christmas cards one year then when contacting after she was told that they receive so many that its not a very original idea and they don’t have time to respond to many of them, although that is just somebody’s experience I would still try this. In the broadcast they give ideas to not being so obvious with card designs- avoid the obvious colours (red and green for Christmas) and imagery (Santa) as clients will find it refreshing and witty to bring festive cheer with more thoughtful ideas.

Also, after working with a client you should always send a thank you email after, just reminding them that you enjoyed the experience, was fun and good working with you. I think this works for any contact with others from the industry, after by meetings in London I regret not sending a thank you email just for the time they had taken to see me or consider my work.

Kevin and Joshua go on to discuss web and networking, how valuable are illustration housing websites/industries. I don’t think they suit everyone so its hard to say whether they will benefit some people. I do see how if an illustrators website is hard to come across if you have never heard of their name, but maybe if you haven’t heard of them then they haven’t put enough effort into self promotional work, but with these websites there is a charge and finding the right website to house your work may be hard. Personally I think as a freelance illustrator I will try to stick to doing everything my way and by myself. With networking becoming so popular and easy way of meeting new people I think it can only be positive for artists and designers, in the broadcast they mention how you could meet someone through odd circumstances through Flickr, Twitter, Instagram and they like to find vintage ads that they use to inspire their work. 

So, during class we discussed some interesting points from the broadcast, I was mostly interested in setting up mailing lists and designing emails for people who want to be updated with my new work, Ian suggested Mail Chimp which I am now signed up to and trying to work out, all I need know is a mailing list who want to hear my news :)
We also talked about the contradiction between some stuff that was said in the broadcast and things we have been told to do my Ian and the rest of the tutors. I think everyone prefers different things as I have hear different advice from all contacts I have had this the industry this year about mail and portfolio's, different things appeal to different people, the same with illustration style. Maybe research somewhere you are really interested in there response first and get a feel for how they like things structured of their website might help into how and email might stand out to them.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lesley Barnes

Another favourite illustrator of mine that has helped me through this semester and final project is Lesley Barnes.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Graphic Guru

 Graphic Guru- Ben Jones.                                                                                 

Today I bumped into my graphic guru, Ben Jones, in the studio and was able to get his feedback on my work so far and some advice.

We talked about promotion, I mentioned my business cards and Ben recommended I also use postcards as promotional work and mail outs, the detail in my work would benefit from the larger scale and they are better for people to pin up on notice boards and have as decorative pieces. He also advised me to keep all my details on front, although it doesn’t sound that much effort for someone to turn the card over but the details can be incorporated into the design and if someone does pin it up or keep it on their desk my details will also face them.

Ben also had a look at my website and noticed a few new pieces and style change. He really liked me bike poster ‘Coast to Coast’.

I showed him work for my FMP, he mentioned that I have been worked on a lot of things, which was nice to hear, he really liked my ‘fat cat’ piece, and suggested it would look good screen printed, adding quality. I haven’t finished my ‘fat cat’ yet so haven’t thought of printing processes, I think he needs some text to accompany him.

Monday, 30 April 2012


For my animation class I have been looking at what type of animation and ideas I want.I have decided on stop motion animation using collage, i will use an aspect of my final major project that I have already produced and make it come to life.

While researching these are some of my favourites: