In this project, I set out to design a collection of cards for children under the age of 10, with the intent to encourage them to be creative and explore nature. I created only a single card design combining both traditional and digital methods of illustration. Organising a self-directed project came as a challenge but allowed me to get some insight into the professional creative industry and how all kinds of design is carried out.
To start, I put together an action plan, outlining what I need to do each week. Throughout most of the project, I found it difficult to plan more than 3 weeks ahead and determine what I will do at that time. This meant I spent too much time on planning and research which in turn left me with less time than I was comfortable with to experiment and create. For organisation, I colour coded my action plan depending on whether each task is to be done, to be finished or finished. This was extremely helpful in staying organised and on track. I found it difficult to come up with a concept for my work as there were no prompts to guide me. I should have made this my priority from the start.
The next stage in the project was research. Beforehand, I gathered some relevant online resources and planned what information I would take from these. As instructed, I put together a bibliography which included mostly websites and some books. The importance of referencing resources encouraged me to check the authenticity and trustworthiness of them. I separated my research into 4 sections; Industry, Artists, Design and Market. I noticed that my design research was the strongest and market, the weakest. As market research was the last category I focused on, I hadn’t allowed myself enough time to explore my target audience. Furthermore, my work didn’t fit the age range of 10 and under as I expected. A better description could have been ‘children learning to read and write’. As for my artist research, I looked at several illustrators with similar styles and could have branched out more. Although I found a lot of information on the artists, I could have done more experiments based on them.
To start the experimentation portion of the project, I produced an illustration of a tree using a traditional to digital technique. I wasn’t happy with the work but it inspired further experimentation. I also spent too much time on this illustration, causing me to fall behind, reducing the time I had to make the final piece later on. A strong point in my experimentation was the study I did into making and printing with stamps although I didn’t take it any further than making leaves. I could have expanded on this to make it a focal point in my design to give me some strong developmental work but I didn’t have an idea on what I could do with it. After this, I was inspired by an I looked at, Peter Brown, to create a new tree illustration that became the focal point of my design. I composed the design from there.
Overall, there is room for many details to be added but this project was much more organised and better planned out that previous ones and my developmental work was stronger. I have gained useful skills including Harvard Referencing and different printing processes through workshops and personal study. Next time, I need to prioritise detail in my work and think more about how I am influenced by the things I learn as well as incorporating the these things into my art. I have also gained a sense of professionalism that I will take into future work.