Saturday, 17 December 2011

Illustrator Questions

1. How long after your education did you start illustrating as a job? (Full-time or part-time.)
2. Was there anything you did that kick-started your career?
3. Do you think it is important to have an agent?
4. Do you feel you have had to change or style or the way you work during your time as an illustrator, to meet the needs of a client or get more work?
5.What would be your best piece of advice to pass onto someone who wants to become a full-time illustrator in the next few years?

I sent these to Will Terry (
and Shirley Ng Benitez (

I got responses too, which are in my WBL write up

Monday, 12 December 2011

Behance Portfolio

I made a portfolio on Behance Network!
Its a little confusing at first, but the results are great and looks very professional! =D

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Buckland Abbey Cider House- Rough & Final?

Rough for the new National Trust competition.
Final maybe? If not, its very close to how it will look.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Jeremiah's Journey

Here are the illustrations I entered for the Jeremiah's Journey competitions/brief.
I went a bit overboard and produced better quality artwork than was requested, but that's not bad thing.

Character Design for the main character, Jeremiah.
It was asked that Jeremiah was specifically drawn in the brief.
Character design for Nancy, the aboriginal wise woman who helps Jeremiah near the end.
Coloured version of a double page spread. I included a black and white version as requested, but also handed in the coloured one just to show them how it might looked coloured.

Update on my Children's book

Recently my self published children's book Klyde's animal alphabet' has been circulating around my local area and is being sold in the local bakery/post office. My mum orchestrated the distribution of my book and has since send it off to distant relatives and anyone else who will be willing to view it personally.
My mum has also taken the book to the schools she teaches at and they have gone down very well in the early classes.
They have photocopied pages from the books to be used as worksheets for the younger children and read out the book numerous times.
Its all seems to be going well at the moment.

I also uploaded my book onto the site Utales, which is a service offering children's books to be easily accessed through iPads and devices like that. The site is free to upload and with that you can get extremely valuable feedback from the Utales people and also the users. I got some really great feedback with I will take on-board to make the book even better.
UTales works as an app that is free to download but to read the books you either have to purchase a subscription or buy the book in its Utales format. A portion of the sales go straight to me, and a small portion also goes to charity, which is great!

Illustration Agencies
Children's book illustrators agency.
General illustration agency, but with children's illustration section.
Able to create own accounts and submit images, it seems to be an open agency.
A general agency with a strong focus on children's illustration as much as the other forms.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Penguin Design Award

I've been checking  up on the 'Penguin Design Award' all summer to find out the next brief and Its finally out and I couldn't be more excited! The book cover to illustrat this year is 'Grimm's Fairy Tales'!
I absolutely love fairy-tales and especially those of the brothers Grimm so this is really exciting and i will definitely be having a go this year as apart of the WBL module as well as the illustration practices module if I can.
Heres the link to find out more!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

First self published Book!

Over the summer I also worked on a little children's book that I was going to self publish as a little insight into how book making works and thing like that.
I came up with the idea of making an alphabet book using my character Klyde..
It took me 3 days of solid work but I made 28 full colour illustrations and a front/back cover and all the other stuff needed for the book.  I wrote it myself too, which was a challenge as I don't think im very good with writing an engaging story.. although alphabet books don't have to have much of a story.
Here are a few sneak peaks at some of the illustrations in the book.
There not too fantastic as I did them all in a short space of time, but it was mostly an experiment anyway!

It was then made up and printed by, which is a great little place to self publish providing you can put in the work to put the book together and then just upload it as a .pdf file.
I can also sell my books on the Lulu site if they come out okay. So it could make me a little bit of money and get my work out there...
The books came and they look fantastic! Im so pleased! 

This has been a great little thing to do, and a great practice into what I want to do in the future!
Id love to create and illustrate for books like this as a job... =D

Illustration Friday

Over the summer, I started doing 'Illustration Friday'.
Its a great platform to get your work noticed and also pushes me to create work based on themes I wouldn't usually work on. Theres a great community of Illustrators on there that can give great advice or show their appreciation. 
Ive learned alot from doing it every week and it has also been a great deal of fun! I think that by doing it, my illustration work has improved alot. 

Here are a few examples...

I'm really impressed with this one. The composition looks good and the colours seem to work really nicely. I pushed myself to draw more realistic characters and a more realistic setting and it really payed off.
To me, my digital work has improved alot in terms or cleanliness and its overall impact.

This was an experiment into making a storybook style illustration, using a character Id made up for use in Comics and Storybooks that I aim to produce during my second year. I think It came out really well and good easily be straight out of a storybook. 
Like it said before, my digital work is becoming much more refined and dynamic.

My Illustration Friday debut. Which was received extremely well, considering I didn't take too much care over the piece in terms of execution. 
I based alot of my IF's on constructing a character from the prompt, so in this case I created and imperfect mouldy onion character. 
This was a great idea as it pushed my character design skills which to me is the most fun part of illustration... creating the characters to play around with.

It was featured in 'Friday Favourties' on this blog-

Plymouth Music Accord Live Brief

At the end of my first year, I took on the live brief to create a new logo for 'Plymouth Music Accord'. I had to work on a new design for their logo then come up with a refined one and pass them onto Mel who would meet with the judges and choose a winning design from the other entries.
Excitedly, my design was chosen! This was great, as it was my first opportunity to work on a live brief and actually work for/with other people. 
My original logo design was this-
However there were a few adjustments to be made. The little people had to go, and there needed to be a few alterations to the text underneath, aswell as it being black and white.
I made these amendments and met with 4 of the team from 'Plymouth Music Accord' to see what they thought and make any more adjustments if needed. 
This was a bit scary as Id never really met with clients before and Im quite a shy person. But Mel assured me and went with me to meet them. They were really lovely people and were so pleased to have me onboard and creating a new logo for them!

I edited the logo some more and came up with this- 
It went down really well but after some more corresponding with Sylvia there were a few more

things to be changed, such as the thickness of the notes.
This correspondence continued for a while with lots of new ideas being thrown in on how to make the logo looks its best. 
Many different designs were sent to and from and the logo ended up looking quite different, in order to satisfy all the members of the group.
A new font was decided upon, and we changed the notes to more traditional ones, so in the end it looked rather different, but definitely suited the charity well.

Here is how the finished logo looks!
Im really pleased with how it came out, and although it went through many changes and the correspondence went on for weeks, it gave me a great insight into how working with clients is, and how they obviously want to get the best outcome they can. 

It was a really valuable experience and boosted my confidence alot!
It got me used to meeting and talking to people I dont know, and even talking to people on the phone- Something I used to shy upon. 

After it had all been settled, i went to see one of the members who wanted to personally thank me for the work and have my picture taken with her and the logo for the Plymouth Herald. 
It was lovely that she wanted to thank me personally and I had a lovely time chatting and having coffee while we waited for the photographer. 
You can see the logo on their site-

I owe alot to Mel for asking me to do this, and helping me throughout. Its definately helped to boost my confidence in my work aswell as personally, and given me a great insight into the creative working world.
Oh, and it was paid.. which is always nice. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

Health and Safety

Did this a while ago, but dont want to print it. So i put it here. =)
I did the quiz... only 2 times to get 100%.. Im a health and safety master!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Jack Teagle

An illustrator working on mostly editorial and narrative illustration. Worked on comics, t-shirts and posters during his university days and still continues to work on these things for clients such as Nobrow and working on live briefs and competitions for Anorak magazine and The Guardian.

He is inspired by Japanese things and badly drawn comics, and loves to collect toys and ‘Lucha Libre’ ephemera. He is also inspired by artists and illustrators like Gary Baseman and Ryan Heshka, drawing upon their painterly and comic styles.

He has a very bold and cartoony style, that looks almost childlike but his experience is shown is shown through the story telling details and the strong character building. Its clear that his style is heavily influenced by all the things he is interested in, and it makes the illustrations much more vibrant and imaginative. 

He experimented with screenprinting throughout university and did a lot of self published books and sketch booking to develop his style and begin to get a name for himself.  He then began to play with toys and editing them, which influenced his work further and also kept a blog that helped him to keep in touch with other people and students.

He then began to work on a painted style and this continues till now and works alongside his digital work. He got interested in narrative painting and developed characters inspired from his travels. He finished uni and grabbed any work he could before signing on to job seekers allowance to aid his work.

After a while he began to get a lot of work and offers for clients like Nobrow and got his places at a specialist gallery exhibition at Nobrow of his work. He also had a few other gallery offers and some poster work for other clients from his agent ‘D&AD’. He worked alongside other artists on a collaborative comic called ‘Spera’ and worked on a comic for Nobrow.
He took every opportunity that was going and did alot of work for a wide range of people, particularly aiming to grab high profile clients to increase his exposure and now considers to be on the right path and things are going well.

He advised to keep copyrights on illustrations to help keep them safe and provide extra income by selling off the rights. He also said to keep blogging and doing any work you can to get yourself noticed. ‘Keep your fingers in as many pies as you can’, meaning to go for it, and work your way up in the illustration world by doing everything and being everywhere.

Overall It was good to meet a working illustrator and listen to the trails and tribulations of an upcoming artist. There was some really good advice and things to think about. Ill defiantly take on board the idea of doing any competitions or live briefs to get myself noticed and help develop the way I work.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Assertiveness and Negotiation Skills

Aggressive behaviour- The belief is that your personal rights are more important than those of others.
A tendency for I win/you lose solutions/situations
 A tendency to-
·         manipulate
·         steam roller
·         coerce

Passive Behaviour- The belief is that your personal rights are less important than those of others.
A tendency for you win/I lose solutions/situations.
 A tendency not to influence but to:
·         go along with things/people
·         not object openly
·         say, “I knew that would happen”.

Assertive Behaviour- The belief is that your personal rights are as important as those of others.
a tendency for win/win solutions/situations
 a tendency to influence by:
·         seeing from the other person's viewpoint
·         looking for benefits for all
·         trying to overcome problems.

Assertiveness techniques-
Broken Record- A Request is repeated over and over again until desired response is obtained, or a workable compromise is reached.
Fogging- Training yourself to stay calm in the face of criticism and rob the critics works of their destructive power.
Negative Assertion- Agreeing with parts of criticism that are valid but without getting your self down because of it.

Negotiation tips-
·         Plan carefully for negotiations
·         Prepare targets and fall-back positions
·         Be prepared to compromise
·         Know when to make concessions
·         Be aware of the other party and their body language
·         Know when to put your cards on the table

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Self Promotion Comparison

Illustrator self promotion comparison-

Alexandra Ball has a very simple design to her website showing a few snippets of her work on the first page, linking onto further works divided into categories. It has a very clean and seamless design, the small circles leading onto illustrations with a similar theme and there is a great deal of work.

At first it is a little hard to get through, until you realise you can click on the circles and then more of them to show more works. There are very short descriptions of her pieces that give enough information without presenting a large wall of text, which makes it easier to digest.
There is an about section, titles info which gives personal details, qualifications and a short description of how she makes her illustrations. The small illustration of her expresses her personality as a bubbly and sweet person.
She doesn’t seem to have a great list of clients, and allot of her work seems personal from what you can read in the little descriptions. But it does show that she has done alot of work, for a wide variety of things from book illustrations [for her own stories to unofficial artwork for other stories] to card illustrations. However it is rather unclear whether any of the pieces have been used in a professional context.
There is a blog which is linked to the first circle on the home page [‘Today’] which isnt clearly labelled. The blog consists of what seems to be personal work and random ideas, which show off her creativity and imagination, but also shows she seems to work in quite sporadic periods, often not updating for months.
The commission section on the homepage simply details how to contact her through her agent Illustration Ltd. There isn’t a direct contact form or a personal one and no links to facebook or twitter etc.
Overall its a good website and presents her work well, but I feel she could explain a little more about how to commission and what she has been commissioned for to give a better idea of whether she’s the right illustrator to work for you. There’s a great deal of work that shows of her style well and its fairly user friendly.

In stark contrast to Alenxrandra Ball’s website, Jeremy Love’s is extremely slick, modern and dark. It presents a very user friendly interface with a simple menu and update section of the front page. The gallery and bio links are easily seen and accessible aswell as contact and resume.
In the gallery section there is a Professional work section which consists of freelance work and mostly game artwork, and a personal work section with illustrations and sketchbook work. The images do take a little while to load up, but that’s due to them being at a high resolution and a fairly big scale so the details can be properly viewed. The gallery is full on concept work for games and shows of his imagination and skills as an artist.
The bio section consists of a large wall of text and a kiwi [he’s from new Zealand] , it’s all very factual and not basically telling a short biography which although is informative, isn’t very exciting.  It does show that he has worked on a variety of projects, working on the third Narnia film, working as a signwriter and graphic artist for 10 years, and currently working with THQ studios. There isnt any client testimonials but there is a clear selection of big projects he has worked on, giving a good idea of what he would work on.
The contact page is very minimal and consists of ‘enquiries email’ and ‘chat’ email, which presents him as an approachable person and suggest he works for himself. He is contactable by email but there is no phone number or any other details or explanation of the exact process of commissioning, which may put new clients off.
I do like his website and think it is very slick and professional, but it does present him to be very professional himself which may put off new clients. Its a little easier to navigate than Alexandra Ball’s but dosen’t present that light heartedness and idea of his personality.

Timothy banks website seems to have it all, and appears to promote himself really well from it. The site is clean and organized well showing off his art, projects and sketch videos in an easily digestible way. It has a unique scrapbook feel with lots of links and looks very easy on the eye. The large illustrations and bright colours make it approachable to most audiences.
There’s a few galleries, a portfolio and a few specialised galleries featuring work from his personal projects. The images load quickly and are presented cleanly, some with descriptions and some without, making it easy to read but sometimes leaving out titles and descriptions can make a few illustrations get lost.
His ‘about’ page is written from someone else view, which dosent give the personal touch, but there is a lot of information there including a quick bio on his life and also a client list and awards he has gained. The client list is impressive, from Nike to Cartoon Network and the few awards he has one don’t seem as impressive but still show him as a recognized illustrator.
He has a very interesting blog on the site too, that shows works in progress and development of projects. IT gives a good insight into how he works and ideas generation and although not updated too regularly, it’s still good to see how he thinks through ideas and a rough scale of how long he takes to produce work.
His contact page is the most useful of all the sites and it includes a contact form for easy communication and it also has a direct email address and easy access to his portfolio. Also on the front page has links to his Facebook fan page, Flickr and twitter which makes him really easy to follow and contact on unofficial business.
Overall its a really good website, and has all the good things of the other two sites and more. It presents him as a really successful illustrator, but the ease of contact make him seem more approachable to clients, unlike Jeremy Love.

What about me?
Taking upon all the good points of all of these websites will give me a good chance of self promotion, and at the moment I promote myself through a personal blog and that seems to suit me fine at the moment.
If I had clients and other illustrations work beside my persona l stuff, maybe a website would be better, and enable me to present all my works clearly without having to scroll through a blog. Its important to make whatever I do, user friendly and present me as an approachable illustrator to potential clients.

I Love Google

Its really lovely when you type 'Toby Allen Illustration/Illustrator' into google...
 and I pop up! WOOP!
Im famous!!! [Well on google I am]

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

In 5 years time...

I'd originally done one with me as a teacher, but im unsure thats what i want to do anymore so I went for something more generic. Its basically me at the moment, but with proper commissions for book illustrations and maybe even some vinyl toys or something depending on how the Toy Making module goes for Complimentary Studies. 
I did it in a more mature painterly style, to suggest how my style might evolve in a few years time.. I dont have the patience to do something in this style at the moment... Takes far too long! 

Skills and Pros and Cons

Examples of transferable skills, and skills essential for working successfully-
  • Communication
  • Organisation
  • Time Management
  • Teamwork
  • Patience
  • Felixibility
  • Determination
  • Practical Skills and Knowledge
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Interpersonal Communication [Thinking of others around you]

Pros and Cons of possible future careers-

Games Designer/Concept Artist-
  1. Prolific area of work, ie. a wide range of jobs.
  2. Good financial opportunities
  3. Incorporates a range of skills, from animation to 3d modeling.
  1. Can be very technical and time consuming.
  2. Constantly updating software.
  3. Not much exposure for individuals. [Can get lost amoungst a big corporation]
Freelance Illustrator-
  1. Allows yourself to take on a wide range of work
  2. Can be very rewarding.
  3. Work on projects you feel comfortable with. 
  1. Have to be very self motivated.
  2. Working on your own dosent suit everyone.
  3. Can be hard to get yourself known.
Art Lecturer/Teacher-
  1. Rewarding area of work
  2. Work in school hours ands school year, so can be good if you have a family.
  3. Dynamic and changing work, dealing with different things everyday. [Could be exciting]
  1. Could be quite stressful, and have to put in alot of work.
  2. Depending on age of students, can be difficult to work with.
  3. Big responsibilities. 

Self Promotion strategies

All the different kinds of Self Promotion out there...

Self Promotions Pros and Cons

Blogs/Twitter etc
  • Quick and easy, anyone can set one up
  • Can put up a new post in seconds
  • Can be viewed by most people [with an internet connection]
  • Mobile devices ever more compatible with such services to make it even easier to view/post
  • Blogs can be easily modified to show off creativity and personality
  • Twitter can be used for instant broadcasting to a wide audience
  • Its FREE!
  • Blogs can only be commented upon/followed if you are a member [Same for Facebook and DeviantART]
  • Can be hard to get noticed
  • Its hard to find the real person [many copy cats out there, particularly on twitter]
  • Not accessible to people with no internet, successfulness of the blog etc depends on target audience
  • Self censorship, have to be careful what you say/post sometimes
  • Susceptible to 'Trolls', people who just post random rubbish and spam
Business Cards
  • Small and formal 
  • Can come in many different forms
  • Fairly Cheap to buy in bulk
  • Can make them however you like
  • Something tangible that the client can keep hold of for future offers
  • Can be easily distributed
  • If you've got no money at all, then its not easy to print them
  • Can easily be thrown away
  • Depends on client/audience whether its a successful way to promote [young kids aren't likely to hold on to them for long]
Sticker Bombing
  • Depending on audience, It can be a quick and fairly cheap way to promote
  • Instant inpact, will get message across quickly
  • Generally frowned upon, if not illegal
  • Stickers size limits information
  • Susceptible to weather conditions... eg. Rain
  • Wont work for everyone
  • Much like business cards, easily distributed
  • Bigger then said cards, so more information can be communicated
  • Allot of people collect postcards 
  • People may be more likely to spend a little money on a postcard beachwear they could be seen as small prints
  • Fairly Cheap, depends on paper quality which may affect its successfulness
  • Could be found everywhere, shop windows, art fairs etc.
  • Not everyone's cup of tea
  • Easily thrown away
  • Still not much space to put information, have to be sensible what image to use as it may be all the potential client will see of your work
  • Free postcards are great, but charge for them and it may not be as successful
  • Can be expensive, depends on paper etc.
  • Big competitions can give great coverage and promotion, but do have to be prepared to put in the work
  • There is always a competition running somewhere
  • Cash prizes are always great
  • Other prizes can really boost career and aid production of art [eg, art materials]
  • National recognition, depending on competition
  • You don't always win [obviously]
  • Some competitions can put an extra workload ontop of current uni work/illustration work
  • Have to be very self motivated

Possible work placement

We got told about this in our emails and in our contextual seminar-

'The Book Project at College Road Primary School.

We are currently creating a book about the area they live in, not in a stuff history book way, but more of a by kids for kids annual style book.

We want it to be bright, funky and very image based. As part of the book we will be writing a comicsection in which a character goes back in time and goes on an adventure(sneaking some history in).

The children will write the comics and roughly draw them but we need someone to properly draw theartwork for the book.

We are looking to work with someone who would be willing to come into the school and work with a bunchof wild 8-9 year olds?!'

This is really exciting prospect, and Id love to be a part of it. Im still unsure where I want to go in my future, so some proper experience in the field of education and art based work for a client will be really valuable and help me to evaluate my aims.
However, I dont feel confident enough to take on something like this at the moment, Im very new to Plymouth so going on my own to a school Ive never seen before Is very scary and not something I feel capable of doing just yet.
It is a real shame, and a great opportunity as book illustration is something else that I find really exciting. It would be easier for me to get work experience in a school nearer to me or at the one my mum works at, If i still think thats an area I want to explore for my future. 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Treasure Island Animation

Ive spent my weekend making 9 characters from Treasure Island using Super Sculpey.
The characters all have separate heads and arms [attached with blu tak] so that they can be put into various positions. They'll be used at my mum's school Bishop Bronescombe in Cornwall, and the kids in class 9 will make a little animation of Treasure Island using my models.
I was asked by the teacher and my mum [who works as a HL Teaching Assistant] to make the models and only have the weekend to do it, so they're not as clean or amazing as I would like. But nevertheless, Im rather proud of them, considering I made all 9 of them in such a short time.
If I had more time, I'd had like to of made little joints in the arms and legs to make them more posable and sturdy, but alas I couldn't.
The finished animation will be shown at the local White River Cinema in St.Austell Town centre on 28th March at a little film festival the school is running.
Hopefully Ill get a copy of the animation.. Shame I cant go an see it [and all the little films the classes are making].. I have uni on that monday...

A few poor quality photos...

Lets Reflect..

Mel sent some questions before Reading Week for us to think about and put on our blogs. 

How am I progressing? 
I think in terms of the course in progressing well. I have achieved grades of 70% or over in my first two projects and am hoping to work towards a similar grade in the print process module we're currently doing. I feel I have learnt alot since starting in September and have broadened my range of experimentation and knowledge in the field of illustration greatly.
Contextual lectures and seminars have really helped me to explore the world through illustrations, drawing in ideas i'd not previously thought to be connected. I remember in the first tutorial, I was a little mythed at the subjects we were covering the in the lectures, but now I see them as little eye openers into a way of thinking more critically about the world of illustration and art.
Ive opened up to alot more ways of working, and even elements such as print making that i initial wasn't looking forward to, seem more exciting and I could see myself using them more in my everyday work.

Personally, I have progressed more then I ever would have thought. For example, I started this course in September, only being on a train 3 times before and the thought of doing it every day was terrifying! My confidence has grown tenfold, I even found it hard to even buy things in shops last year, but now from being more independent Its not a problem.
The course [and support from lecturers and friends] has helped me to become more confidant with who I am by subtly pushing me out of my comfort zones work wise and socially, making it easier to work with other people and not be so frightened of little things.

What am I looking forward to?   

Like I said before, the idea of using the techniques and processes ive learned in my everyday work is very exciting and I guess that is something to look forward to both inside and outside of the course.  Finding that I can create lino prints at home has given me many ideas for personal work and college work, and having learnt to use the laser cuter has really fired me up with all the possibilities.
One apsect of the course im looking forward to is the toy making. We have already started it and are doing design work at the moment, but I cant wait to get stuck and and start creating molds and eventually, actual resin toys. Ive always thought of things like that to be outside of my grasp, and something that only proper toy people do but no thats not the case. Obviously my outcomes arent going to be amazing or the quality of proper toys, but they'll be a start that may lead onto bigger and better things in my future!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Talking on ze train

I sat next to a lovely little old lady on the train earlier today. It was great to speak to someone on the train for a change, and she was incredibly friendly and had lots of stories to tell of her life and those of her children.
Her son had done a 2 year internship with Disney over in America, and now works as an illustrator in Leicester. He daughter is trained as a PA, but went for a random job in London and now works with people in the field of Horse Shows and Dressage etc, and travels all over the world.
Her other son plays rugby for the Cornish All Blacks after working as something completely unrelated for a long while before.
She said to grap things when they come up, and take life by the horns. When something crops up you never know what it will lead to so go for it! I was saying that I used to be set on becoming a teacher and yet now im not so sure, but she said that I would make a great teacher from the way I was chatting away happily to her. But then she said not to worry to much about where i want to be in the future, I should be open to new ideas and see where life takes me!
She wished me all the luck for the future and whatever I may be doing, and I left to get off the train.
The chat really helped to boost my confidence, not only from actually talking to a random stranger but also my confidence in where i want to go and what I want to be in the future.
Bless the little old lady, I hope I made her day as much as she made mine! =D

Monday, 21 February 2011

Things I does...

I've never worked in a proper sense, and always thought id never done anything beneficial or good with my art or whatever. But thinking about it, I do quite a few things that could be considered as experience or go towards aiding my future.
They are as follows-

Do ALOT of personal artwork-
Constantly illustrating and producing artwork to further expand on skills and develop my style. I illustrate my own ideas and concept aswell as producing 'fanart', based upon books, games and film that inspire me. The later opening me up to different styles as well as refining mine by looking deeper into stylization etc.

Produce artwork for other people-
I work alongside indie game designers to produce artwork for use in their games, 'clients' have approached me for use in RPG Maker games, iphone games as well as general use. [for 'Zesty Monsters' my collection of monster graphics for free use in whatever.] I also produce minor request work [free commissions basically] for fanart or other works of art.
I will be expanding my 'uses' into general game art for the Indie Game community soon, producing concept work for Visual Novels, and title screens etc/character art for other games.

Work[ed] alongside other artists-
I used to work with a small group on DeviantART, creating an animation entitled 'Zakuro Sketch.' I had to pull out due to college work and my skills weren't as developed in terms of working as a background artist.
Id love to rework on this project as it was a good opportunity to work with fellow artists,  and build up relations.
I also work alongside others on the Indie Game scene.

Work out achievable art projects for primary school pupils-
I help my mum with working out achievable art projects for he pupil to produce at the school she works at. I come up with ideas for art, and produce mock-ups to help give the children a sense that the work is achievable and to provide inspirations for them.
At the moment I dont have time to aid my mum with teaching the pupils or working with them on the projects, but its something i may look into. Providing a little experience of teaching in an art field.

These things may not stand up to physical work, and it is all free work. But it does give me experience of working with unprofessional clients [which can sometimes be very hard to work with], and it goes towards developing my skills as an illustrator and what i want to do with my future.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Job Profiles

Illustrator Job Profile-

Illustrators combine art, design and creative skills to develop ideas and produce original visual images for a wide range of products including books, magazines, animations, computer games, websites, sales brochures and reference materials.
An illustrator should-
  • have excellent drawing and IT skills
  • be able to work to a brief and adapt their style if needed
  • have an understanding of the context in which they are working
  • know the audience they are aiming at
  • be able to conduct good research
  • have a high level of creativity and an eye for detail and design
  • have good communication and negotiation skills
  • be able to work within budgets
  • be self-motivated and able to work to deadlines
  • have a good general knowledge and an awareness of current affairs
  • have good initiative.

Illustrators work throughout the UK. Most illustrators are self-employed and often have other paid jobs while they build up their business. It is a competitive area of work.
Many illustrators employ agents to promote their work and pay a percentage commission for their services. Many illustrators also have a web presence to promote their work. There are also websites that allow illustrators to upload their work for potential commissioners to see, often for a fee.

There are no set entry requirements to become an illustrator. However, most professional illustrators have a degree in illustration or another art-related subject such as graphic design or fine art. It is important to have a high level of illustration ability, an extensive portfolio of quality work and self-promotional skills to obtain work. Getting work experience through an internship in a relevant field such as advertising or publishing may help.

Most illustrators are self-employed and work freelance. They are paid an agreed fee for each commission, which varies widely. Earnings may range from £5,000 to £50,000 a year. Some extremely successful illustrators may earn £250,000 a year or more.


[‘illustrator’ is a broad term, and I feel at the moment that it is defiantly where I want to go. The earnings are very uncertain, but that dosen’t effect me decision. I believe I have enough skills and determination to mean that this is a suitable job for me.]

Animator Job Profile-

As an animator, you would bring drawings or models to life on screen. Your work could be used in animated short and full-length films, television cartoons, adverts, computer games, music videos, websites and movie visual effects.
Skills Necessary-
  • creativity and imagination
  • good drawing or modelling skills
  • patience and concentration
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • good computer skills, preferably including graphics and animation software
  • communication and presentation skills
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • good teamworking skills.
Income can start at around £20,000 a year, but with experience and skills one can earn up to £40,000 a year.
To become an animator, you will need skills in drawing, modelling or using computer animation packages. Some animators are self-taught, but many start by taking an animation or art-related course to develop their skills before looking for work.
You can get into the industry with qualifications in relevant subjects such as:
  • illustration
  • graphic design
  • computer programming
  • model making or sculpture
  • 3-D design
  • multimedia design.

[An animator would be a really interesting career to look further into, I would need to work with some of the 3d modelling and animation programs first as I have no experience at all. If i were to go into animation, maybe an animation specific course would be a good Idea. Apart from the technology side of things, I feel it could be very achievable and the income looks good. So maybe its a good career to go down?]

Higher education lecturer job description-

Higher education (HE) lecturers facilitate learning and carry out research activities in universities and some colleges of further education (FE). They teach academic or vocational subjects to undergraduate and postgraduate students aged 18 upwards. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratory demonstrations, field work and e-learning. Multimedia technologies are increasingly used.
Most HE lecturers pursue their own areas of research and develop these in order to contribute to the wider research activities of their department/institution.
Administrative tasks take up a significant part of the working day. Many lecturers also take on a pastoral role with their students. As HE lecturers progress along their career paths, they may be expected to undertake a managerial role.
Work activities vary according to individual areas of responsibility and research. Progression to managerial posts will also have an impact on work responsibilities.
Tasks typically involve-

  • §  developing and implementing new methods of teaching to reflect changes in research;
  • §  designing, preparing and developing teaching materials;
  • §  delivering lectures, seminars and tutorials;
  • §  assessing students' coursework;
  • §  setting and marking examinations;
  • §  supporting students through a pastoral/advisory role;
  • §  undertaking personal research projects and actively contributing to the institution’s research profile;
  • §  writing up research and preparing it for publication;
  • §  supervising students’ research activities;
  • §  undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) and participating in staff training activities;
  • §  undertaking administrative tasks related to the department, such as student admissions, induction programmes and involvement in committees and boards;
  • §  managing and supervising staff - at a senior level this may include the role of head of department;
  • §  representing the institution at professional conferences and seminars, and contributing to these as necessary;
  • §  establishing collaborative links outside the university with industrial, commercial and public organisations.

Salaries for higher education (HE) lecturers range from £30,500 - £40,000+ (salary data collected June 2009).
Although this area of work is open to all graduates, undergraduate and doctoral degrees relevant to the post are required, along with:
§  demonstrable experience of (or clear potential for) teaching;
§  the ability to produce original research for peers;
§  early publication of academic work.

Entry without a degree is not possible.
Entry without a PhD (or nearing completion of a PhD) is difficult. However, for more vocational or specialised courses, expertise in the relevant field may be just as valuable as a PhD.
[Ive always wanted to teach to older students, and teaching higher education has become more recently a good idea. I think it would make sense to maybe consider this later in my career, when maybe have the money and its is the right time to further my own education and further better my chances of working as a HE lecturer.]