Some reflections on the AIMS for Design Studio

♦ How can you resolve an illustration project this semester?

♦ How can you manage and structure an illustration project this semester?

♦  What are the critical aims, objectives and methods relevant to your work and proposed projects?

I have put these three questions together to answer.

In the second semester, I will embark on a fuller and more in-depth project, which is an extension of the first semester’s ‘Auld Lang Syne music illustration’, a story about Scottish culture and emotion, and a story about friendship, in which I will Create a picture book with 10-15 illustrations. This term I will complete the story idea, storyboards, and sketches (characters, scenes, color scheme), experiment with different painting techniques and decide on a final approach, and finish with 3-5 complete images. I think the odds are that this project will be part of my graduation work. For this project, I am currently designing the story and I am going to start researching Scottish music and lore. I have several versions in mind but they are incomplete at the moment and I am going to share them with you next time.

Also, I will continue to do sketches and life illustrations.


♦ What professional skills do you need to develop this semester?

In my illustration, the overall story structure and the storytelling of the visual images is something I am not very good at the moment, including the pacing of some of the story developments. Whether the illustration is created as a storybook or not, the narrative nature of the subject is still the core and first step in the creation. I want my work to be more readable, which is difficult and challenging because it involves another area of expertise, literature, prose or poetry. I will refer to the structure of some short stories or essays, and I will also try to write a short story myself.


♦ What technical skills do you need to develop this semester?

I will still be doing most of my work by hand-painted creation this term, having been more used to mixed-media painting. I have been working with watercolour, coloured pencils and pencils, but recently I have been experimenting with new materials such as soft pastel and crayon in my life sketches and I have been surprised by how much I have enjoyed working with them.


♦ What creative skills do you need to develop this semester?

I wanted to try some special compositional forms based on the theme to break the conventional picture perspective and create something as playful as possible based on the theme of the project.


♦  What does it mean to propose, justify and undertake an advanced illustration project?

I believe that advanced illustration projects, which incorporate both simple and complex touches, the dots and lines between images and text, are the visual space that illustrators need to develop. Undertaking an advanced illustration project means that the creator needs to have researched and thought about the narrative, the visuals, the audience, and even the format of the product launch and sales scenarios. What creators need to have is the ability to synthesize the creative process, not just the ability to draw a good picture.

Good work speaks for itself and the viewer’s eye is guided. The creator needs to build a coherent picture that resonates with the viewer, and the character or atmosphere that connects with the character will naturally be drawn in.

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