Category Archives: Field

Final Year Show building

Over the past couple of days I’ve been going in to help set up the final year show which will be open in a couple of weeks. As I’m quite hands on I decided to volunteer to be in the building group who’s main jobs are making the show walls for work to be displayed on as well as deconstructing unwanted stands so that they can be used for the plinth team.

So far the show is going up very fast and is looking great, I’m really looking forward to seeing it once everything is up and we’re ready to open the show to the public. Today we made a lot of the show walls and the painter team came in to paint them all white ready for work to be displayed on them!

I myself have asked for two plinths for my work and I’ll also be using a wall to display some of my layered paper work which I hope will work well alongside my three dimensional pieces. To give the work more context and to show that my work is mostly editorial I’m thinking of adding a small piece of text underneath each artwork to explain the article that the it was made for.

Below is a photo from the first day which just shows a stand before we took it apart for the plinth team. It’s not a very exciting but I’ll add more in later posts that show the show coming together! The floor itself at this time was very bare as we’d cleared up the space ready for walls to be made and other pieces to be brought in such as chairs for the cinema room.

Photo 03-05-2017, 10 39 54

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Site Update: A few small updates

new site

I’ve updated a few more smaller things on my website including curved edges to my thumbnails which animate to larger curves when the mouse is placed over each one. I felt this gave a bit of life to my site so it wasn’t so static and I feel the curved edges look a more up to date than having standard looking squares. I came up with this idea whilst on my iPhone and noticing the apps on the phone are all placed in curved squares and work really nicely placed next to and under each other.

I also added a small fade animation to the logo of my website so when the mouse is over it the colours slightly get fainter. This one again brings a slight bit of life to my website and also makes it more obvious to the viewer that this is a clickable button that takes you back to the homepage. I also used a fade effect on the subtitles of my site but instead these go from grey to black to highlight them when the mouse is placed over the link.

On my old website the ‘About page’ was all in third person which I was quite happy with at first but then after reading through it at a later date seemed a bit weird especially as I’m new to the illustration scene so it would be more obvious that I wrote in third person about myself. I decided to rewrite the ‘About’ page in first person which I think sounds better and gives a more personal feel the page. I also finally got a nice photo of myself to include next my write up.

All of my illustrations have a revamped description with a link to the article that they were made for if a direct link is possible which in most cases was. This allows visitors to read the original article and decide for themselves whether my illustration work well alongside it. It’s also allowed me to name drop some big newspapers which helps with Search Engine Optimization apparently which basically makes my website easier to find on search engines.

Something that you probably wouldn’t notice unless mentioned is the fact that the background of my website isn’t white anymore and instead is a very faint grey. I decided to change this because my illustrations with white backgrounds got lost in the white background of the website and especially looked weird when placed next to illustrations with a coloured background. It’s a very small change but helps a lot to separate my illustrations from the website background.

Finally I’ve added all the links to my social media accounts in the form of icons at the bottom each page. This allows visitors to easily find me on social media and give me a follow or just get more of a look into how I work and what I’ve been up to.

new site2

Currently I’m very happy with my newly revamped and believe it look a lot more professional and welcoming than my original. Although I decided to stay away from added more quirky elements the addition of moving thumbnails and mouse over interactions have given my website more life and is now less of a static site. I’m sure in the future my website will be updated again and again but for now I think it represents me well, looks modern and showcasing my work clearly.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Professional Practice Lessons

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to have Dan Peterson who has been teaching us professional practice. This has included everything from how to approach a client, how to agree a contract and even tips of business cards and websites.

As I would love to end up one day going freelance the sessions with Dan have been really helpful and have taught me a lot about what to expect in the future. I’ve learnt how competitive the art industry is and how fast freelance work gets snapped up but if anything it’s spurred me on to try even harder.

Something that is really important that Dan has taught me is different licenses that exist and what I should be aware of when giving my work to the clients. Depending on he license I can charge more for an illustration, if it’s only being used for a single purpose then I won’t charge as much but if the client would like to use it elsewhere then he price for my illustration may increase. Giving away complete rights to a illustration never seems like a good idea because once you’ve handed it over it’s not your anymore and the client can use it as many times as they want and even sell it on. Single use contracts seem like the ones I may use more often as a freelance editorial illustrator and I must make sure to make it clear that I’m only giving my client the illustration for a single use, if they want to use it again technically they’d have to pay me again.

I’m going to start by contacting as many art directors as possible from newspapers and magazines in the hope that if anything I can get my name known and my work seen. As I create papercraft artwork I’m lucky in the respect that I’m a bit different from the majority of artists who use paints and digital media. This in some ways works in my favour but it all depends on whether my papercraft artwork is something that the client would be interested in.

I think the most important thing for a new illustrator like myself to do is to get out there as much as possible. With me already covering the most popular social media sites it’s important that I keep them up to date and try to connect to as many people as possible. The more people that know about me and my work the better as I may be lucky enough to grab the attention of a potential client or even have my name brought up in conversation.

Something else that is very important is to reply to clients as soon as possible. Clients will most likely contact multiple illustrators for the same job and it may come down to whoever replies first who get the job. Freelance illustration can be very face paced and it’s important to keep on top of everything. I don’t want to disappoint any of my clients in any way because that will stick with them and they may not bother contacting me for jobs again or recommending me to others.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creating my business card

As I’d like to create a business card to hand out at the end of year show I’ve recently ordered lots of sample packs from different companies to get an idea of what’s already out there and what finishing can be achieved. Something that I think would work really well is the spot gloss finish that Vistaprint offer. The samples I received from Vistaprint were not only good quality but also very affordable compared to some other companies which is great news for me as it means more money to spend on the actual display of my work for the end of year show.

The spot gloss finish would work nicely with my idea as I could use it to give some depth to the brain that I plan on printing, it also gives a nice glossy feel to the image which shines in the light. Below shows the development of the front of my business card, I came up with the basic idea of having my brain illustration with my name and title but felt it looked a bit plain so had a play around on Photoshop. The text used for my name and title was taken directly from the same logo that I use for my website so that my business card links with what I have used already.

The idea were okay but I still wasn’t happy with them so I ended up just playing around more on Photoshop, moving things around until I came up with the idea of using a larger brain in the background but fading in black and white. The idea just came to me and it worked really well! I once again played with the positioning of the larger brain until I was happy with it and saved the image ready to send off to Vistaprint. Below is my finished front design of my business card.

Business card englarged brain background 2

The faint grey scale version of the brain works perfectly to fill what was once blank space without taking away from the coloured brain illustration and the text. I made sure it was faint enough so the text was still easy to read and stood out from the background image.

For the back I wanted a reversed brain so that when the business card was bend over the back of the brain would be a mirrored image. I wanted to keep the back simple and clearly display my contact details, at first I added my site logo but felt it looked a bit out of place and distracted away from my details below. I also played around with including ‘Paper engineer & illustrator’ just to reiterate what I do but then thought it was a bit unnecessary and drawn the attention away from my contact details which I wanted to make sure was the most prominent element on the back.

I’d researched into already existing business cards as well as already existing artist business cards and found that the most common sequence to place the contact details was mobile number, email and website address. I decided to follow this sequence as it made sense to have the most direct form of contact at the top followed by the second and third. Below shows how I tweaked the back of the business card to keep it as simple as possible removing unnecessary elements as I went.

The positioning of the contact information was very important as I had to make sure that none of it would be cut off or creased when the business card was folded. I also had to make sure that the position of the brain matched perfectly with the brain on the side so that when it was carved out the cut would follow the outline of each brain. This was quite easy to do on Photoshop as I could mirror image the front cover brain which flipped it onto the other side of the business card.

Below shows the final front and back of my business card which will be sent off to be printed as soon as possibly. I need to give myself enough time to score and calve each one so I can achieve the foldable effect that I’m planning on doing. I’ve already tested the idea out and know it works so hopefully it’ll make my business cards stand out from the rest and be memorable.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Researching business cards

I want to make a business card that can be taken away at my final end of year show but I don’t want it to be just a stand rectangular business card. As I pride myself on being a quirky papercraft illustrator I want my business card to represent that and make me stand out from the crowd.

I’ve been researching into unique business cards online and have found so many inspirational ideas. There’s ones that are different shapes, ones that popup, some that fold, others that turn into a figure, even ones that are carved into and layered. I’ve been keeping track of all the ideas that inspire me by using Pinterest and made a secret folder where I can store all of the images that I find. I managed to total up 65 different unique business cards that I felt were really cool and would stand out from others.

business cards

The ones that really stood out to me and what I feel could work best for my business card were the ones that were carved out. There was one particular business card I found that I believe could work really well with the idea that I have. As I feel my brain illustration is the strongest piece of work I have I want that to be on my business card and I think that making a folded popup like the one below could make for a really cool and quirky business card that represents me well.

Wspin-Business-Card-l

The idea would show off my papercraft skills and would also show off my artwork and I could make it so that it folds onto a table almost like a name place holder that can be found on office desks. To put the idea to the test I made a very simple mock up of what the business card would look like when carved and folded and it works really well.

I did consider also making the business card a different size rather than having thefolded standard rectangle but what put me off was the fact that it might get lost in a wallet. By having a unique shape it cool to look at but once placed into a wallet with all the other business cards it would get lost behind the stand rectangles especially if another business card was placed in the same slot. I need to make sure that when my business card is in a wallet it stands out and doesn’t just blend in with the others that might already be in there.

I’m really happy with this idea and think it could really help me stand out from the crowd, it also does a great job is showcasing my papercraft skills. I’m more than likely going to have to score and cut out each business card myself although I could potentially use a laser cutting. I do think using a laser cutting could take away from the fact that all my work is handcrafted though and wouldn’t represent me as well as a personally handcrafted card. At the end of the day these will only be for my show although for now so putting in that extra effort would be worth it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mind your own business: Final week

The final week of my project was tough but it was extremely rewarding. Over the weekend I had created more chocolate for the sales event and preparing other bits and pieces such as pricing posters ready for the display that we created on Monday.

The point of sale display was very easy to put together which gave us some extra time to plan for the sales event on Tuesday. As we already had a plan of what the sales display was going to look like and how it was put together all we had to do was paint the side poles, print off the top banner and put it together. I had already made the chocolate drips out of paper which were used for the front of the display which meant I could help paint the poles and help gather the materials we needed. Overall I think the sale display looked really good and was very eye-catching which is how we planned it to be.
Tuesday was our main sales day and it was tough. As we’d already done a presale event we didn’t have to make much more before we were in profit which was great. The morning was very quiet but we managed to sell a few chocolates and cards mostly to staff. To boost our sales, I went out with Dan and later on with Aniqah to walk around the university and sell to students and staff in other areas. I knew from our presale that a lot of people didn’t know where The Box was even though we had tried to make it clear on out promotional posters so by walking around and bringing our product to customers we were sure to make more sales. It was very successful and we managed to sell quite a lot of cards and found that people knew we were around because of our promotional leaflets me and Dan put out earlier in the morning.

IMG_6931

We told later on in the day that we could also sell on Wednesday if we wanted so we decided to come in and set up our stall again to try and make a few extra sales. As expected Wednesday was very quiet as most people aren’t timetabled in but we did manage to sell which boosted our overall profit. I also walked around again but it wasn’t as successful as Tuesday although I still managed to sell a few cards here and there.

Thursday we had our company presentation which I feel went very well. Chloe had created a PowerPoint presentation and we went through it planning what each person was going to say. The presentation was laid back and I feel we dealt with the questions well.

Overall we made just under £180 which I think was great considering how cheap our products were to start with. The past 5 weeks have been very full on and tough but I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people, learning new skills and the project as a whole. I’ve learnt to screen print, use woodwork machines such as the vacuum former as learning just how much work is needed to make a business successful. Even though some days have been 8 till 8 the outcomes have been worth it and I’d love to do it again.

Tagged , , ,

Mind your own business: Field week 4

This week has all been about making our products ready to sell on Friday’s presale event and Tuesday’s sales event. I spent most of the week at home creating the chocolates for our chocolate cards which unfortunately took a lot longer to create than expected. They all came out really well though and thankfully worked as expected, I did come across a few problems mainly being the chocolates being very thin and brittle but to solve this I layered up the rest with a bit more chocolate for strength. By the end of the week I’d created over 30 chocolates that could be sold on our Friday presale and I had 16 in the fridge setting for our sale on Tuesday. I packaged them all up ready to be stuck onto the front of our postcard designs.

Our presale went really well although the morning was extremely quiet. To conquer this I had the idea of walking around the university with some products and selling them around the university, this way we could not only sell elsewhere but could use this opportunity to promote our product. We managed to sell around £60 worth of stock by the end of the 4 hours which meant that we only had to make £40 on Tuesday until we started to make our own profit.

Over the weekend I plan on making more chocolates whilst the rest of my collective prepare the rest of the cards so we can put them together ready for our sale on Tuesday. On Monday we need to finish making our sales stand which is all planned and just needs to be created. The stand it rather simple but should look really eye catching and hopefully draw customers in.

Tagged , , ,

Mind your own business: Monday Printing

On Monday me and Aniqah met to start print screening on our cards. Over the weekend Aniqah painted the cards ready to be screen printed so all we had to do was to set up on screen and start printing. I got in a bit earlier to expose the screen again so that we got the best results from each print and spoke to the technician to make sure we had everything correctly set up.

It was the first time I had screen printing since my college course but as soon as we got going it was really easy. A few mistakes were made but a talk with the technician set us back on the right path and we got into a good rhythm creating around 40 cards in about 30 minutes. By 1pm we had printed all the cards that were painted and we left them to dry before collecting them later on.

Throughout the rest of the week we will continue screen printing cards and we also plan to meet on Wednesday and Thursday to create some chocolate cards ready for our presale on Friday in the Zen bar. It will give us a good idea of how well each product sells and if we’ve priced them correctly, it will also give us a great opportunity to promote our sales event on the 9th February.

IMG_6893

Tagged , , ,

Mind your own business: Field week 3

Last week we made sure that all our designs were created so that this week we could start preparing for manufacture. Chloe had tested out the vacuum form machine with our molds and it worked perfectly, it also gave us an estimated cost of each chocolate slab so that we could sort out prices.

I did some research into pricing and went around the university with our prototype chocolate card asking how much people would pay for both the chocolate card and the screen printed cards. This was also a good opportunity to get the word out about our company and when we’d be selling. The research told us that people were mostly happy to pay £3.49 for the chocolate and around £2 for the card which gives us a good profit margin for each product.

Thankfully the plastic used for vacuuming forming was food safe and we create 4 molds of each so that they’d be ready to create our plastic cards. Me and Aniqah prepared the screens for printing on Thursday and the plan is to print and make the chocolate cards all next week ready for our presale on Friday. The presale should give us a good opportunity to test the waters and make sure the products sell as well as spreading the word out our company and getting people to come on the 9th.

Our sales stand has been designed and we need to start making that which we should be able to start text week. We want to keep it simple but stand out so that we attract as many customers as possible. I went to a carpet should to pick up 3 large cardboard inner poles which we are going to use either side of our stand and paint them like candy canes which should hopefully attract people to come over to our stand and see what we’re selling.

On Thursday we also had a guest speaker called Dan who is a freelance graphic designer and came up with the idea for Design Stuff Wales. Design stuff Wales is a self-funding event every month which has guest speakers from different design companies give talks about design. I’d never heard of it before but it sounds like a great place to meet new people who share the same passion as me. Dan was very honest and talked about how hard it was to set up and business and how we shouldn’t care what other people think of what we do. One of the things that I really liked was how he was saying that if we are passionate about something we should do it no matter what others may say, if it fails it fails but we learn from that and can improve next time. I personally thought his approach to his own ideas was great and his talk was really engaging and informative in a light hearted but meaningful way. I will definitely look into going to Design Stuff Wales next time it runs.

Tagged , , ,