Expanding my online presence

Online presence is becoming one of the most important factors to get yourself and your work noticed and I thought it would be a good idea to expand on my online presence so I can cover more of the internet and stand a better chance of being discovered. I already have my website at http://www.jamiewindsor.co.uk but without people actually knowing about me this site probably would never be visited unless I started to connect it to social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Over the past month I’ve been setting up social media accounts on some of the biggest name websites out there that I feel could really help get my work to as many people as possible. I’ve currently got my own website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an instagram, a linkedin account and a pinterest page, all of which I update with different images and information depending on what kind of platform they are, I’ve also made sure to link them all up together.

Each social media platform offers different ways to engage with the audience. For example I’m using Twitter to post small single sentence updates on what I’m currently up to, instagram I’ve used to post images of work in progress as well as finished pieces, linkedin I’ve used mainly to connect myself up to friends, potential clients and art directors, pinterest I’m using mainly post my own work and find inspiration and Facebook I have used in the same way I’m using twitter to keep people up to date. So far I’ve managed to gain quite a few new followers and have also spoke to a few potential clients.

I think social media is an extremely powerful tool if used correctly and I must make sure to keep them up to date and current with what I’m doing at the moment. A dormant page wouldn’t look good and could potentially cause me to miss an opportunity.

I’ve posted all of my social media account below so if you like you can give me a follow.

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Check me out on Instagram

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Find me on Pinterest

For my online portfolio check out my website at www.jamiewindsor.co.uk

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Editing my work

Something that was brought up when I was talking to my tutors is the fact that I need to show that my work can be changed and manipulated after I’ve created it. This is extremely important in editorial work because the original idea can go through lots of stages before the client is finally happy.

I would say that I’m getting quite good at editing but I haven’t really shown that in my online portfolio as I do most of the editing before I finally upload my work. To show clients that I can edit my work and change aspects easily I’ve started to add different versions of the same illustration to my website, these range from simple colour changes to image manipulations. It doesn’t take me too long and looks good in my portfolio as it puts clients mind at ease that if needed they can change aspects of my work without too much trouble.

As example of my editing is shown below.

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Backgrounds

One of my main struggles when it comes to illustrating my ideas is what colour background to use. I find sometimes that my background can take away from the piece of work I’m trying to show but I also feel like having a plain white background can sometimes be boring and won’t work as well as a coloured background could. An example of this would be a piece I’m working on at the moment which is about space, I felt like a black background would look too dark when placed behind the planets so I chose to go with a white background and use small yellow stars to empathize the fact that the piece was set in space. Once I had completed most of the work I felt like the background didn’t really work as expected and unfortunately didn’t quite now what to try. Below is the mentioned unedited piece with the white background.

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Luckily I’ve gotten quite good at Photoshop over the last year and can change the background without too many problems but I’m still not sure what to change it too. I feel looking at other artists work as well as a colour wheel could help me to choose colours that not only work well together but help make my work stand out and fit well in the page.

I also believe that making quite sketches of my work using different colours could really help me find what colours would work best. I tend to get fixated on a certain idea and just run with it, it’s not too much of a problem because I can edit it afterwards but it would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to edit it so much at the end.

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Super simple animation

As I’m planning on bringing some life to my illustrations I played around with stop animation using my DSLR camera. The animation is super simple but came out quite nicely and has a few different moving objects. I believe this amount of movement is probably the most I would consider and in fact believe in later pieces I’ll probably just add very subtle movement to the illustration just to give it a hint of life.

The animation below is to represent the malware problem that the Google Chrome browser has been having. It’s no where near as complete as I’d like it to be but for my first attempt with my own setup I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The white definitely need to be whiter test time but at least the colours stayed the same with each take.

Tester

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Expanding my skills

Recently I contacted Kyle Bean one of favourite illustrators asking for advice on what I should be doing in my final year at university. He was extremely helpful and gave me a few pointers and ideas that I’m working on. One of the main pieces of advice he gave me was that I should expand my skills as much as possible and be flexible in my approach so that I can appeal to more employers, being a good at paper crafting is one thing but I need my work to stand out from the others.

I’ve recently bought a DSLR camera which I not only intend on using to take professional photos of my still work but also use it to create a few stop animation pieces. Although paper is a main focus of my work I intend on offering more than just still paper illustrations and work with animated clips as well. Over the past few months I’ve tried to focus my efforts on just paper craft work which has been great but as Kyle suggested I can’t just keep all my eggs in one basket. As well as animation I intend on bringing objects back into my work when I feel they are necessary such as when I made the price cuppa piece a while ago. This piece still had a paper element being the teabag tag but the use of the cup I feel looked better than using a paper crafted cup which I did attempt.

 

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Plan of action

The final year of my illustration course has started to get very close to an end and I have a very busy couple of months ahead of me. To keep me working hard I’d devised a simple plan of action that will hopefully give me targets to aim for each week.

My first goal is to design and create two new pieces of artwork each one with at least one being a response to an editorial article. The editorial article will be chosen by myself from a website or newspaper and will be something that I feel would suit my quirky and playful style of working well.

In the next few weeks I will start to plan out my mock viva ready for me to present it on the week starting 20th March. As well as planning out my mock viva I’m going to start thinking up ideas for my final show display and research into already existing shows and how they displayed their work.

With all new work being created every week I will have to make sure that my website is up to date and ready to be sent out as my online portfolio to potential employers. So far my website is looking good but as my work improves I will have to select which pieces I feel represent me and my work best.

During the holidays I would like to start to really push my work out there and contact as many potential employers as possible. I plan on sending a personalised letter with a keep sake and an invitation to the final show. I may be lucky enough to find some sort of work experience during the holiday which would be a great opportunity to see what it’s like to  work as an illustrator.

As well as promoting my work I’d also like to continue to improve my paper cut and photoshop skills as well as start learn more animation software techniques. It would be great to be able to bring my work alive with small animations that really make my work catch people’s attention.

It’s going to be a very busy few months but hopefully it’ll all be worth it in the end!

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Instagram account set up!

reading-minds

So to promote my work a bit and see what others think of it I decided to set up an Instagram account where I plan on posted all my work including photos of projects that are works in progress.

So far it’s been great to see that people like my work and it’s also been really nice to see other artists work as well. I found that whilst looking through other artists work it gave me lots of new fresh ideas that I could use in future projects which is really useful. Instagram has also spurred me on to challenge myself to create more frequent artwork and really push myself to make my work as professional as possible.

I’ve discovered lots of really talented artists and have found a few artists that create really beautiful gifs which I really want to get into. I’m planning on learning how to use Adobe After Effects so I can bring my work to life a bit more which I feel will definitely help me in the future.

You can follow me on Instagram through this link: Jamie Windsor’s Instagram

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Star Wars Stormtrooper papercraft

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This paper cutout wasn’t for anything in particular I just thought it would look really cool. Out of my paper cuts so far this one was by far the most tricky with around 5 different layers going on. As the stormtrooper helmet is all black and white I had to choose the colours I used wisely so none of them clashed when together.

I enjoyed making this one so much that I’m thinking of making more Star Wars themed paper cutouts and putting them in a small collection. This could easily be used as framed wall art or even printed out onto cards!

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Revisited EDITORIAL – ENERGY DRINK HEALTH ISSUES

new-can

Here’s another editorial piece of mine that I’ve revisited and created into a papercraft piece. I’m really happy with how this one turned out and genuinely think I prefer this one to the original. Compared to the cup of tea papercraft this one took at lot more time and has more layers which I think is one of the reasons like it more. I’m thinking of experimenting with depth and seeing how my papercraft work could look if it went inwards instead of being layered paper, it’s hard to explain but I’ll have something up soon hopefully. Currently working on another papercraft just for fun which I’ll post up as soon as it’s finished.

The original version of this idea can be found here, which do you prefer?

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REvisited editorial now carved out

new-cup

So as my dissertation is done now I can really start to focus on my artwork more and where I want to take it. I’ve always loved working with card and try to incorporate it wherever I can in my work, but lately I feel that I’ve left it slightly behind which isn’t a bad thing as such but I want to bring it back and make it my main focus.

To kick start things I’m revisiting my editorial pieces and completely transforming them in papercraft work. To start I went back and took on my cup of tea editorial piece, I found that printing the work out and then carving the original out gives me  a guide as to how big individual pieces of the work need to be. I also wanted to attempt to mimic the same shadows cast by the cup so gave the paper cut out a slight lift to create a nice shadow.

I’m happy with how it turned but wherever it is better than the original I’m not quite sure. I have had comments saying the paper cutout version looks better but I’m undecided at the moment, I’m sure with more experimenting I’ll find a perfect middle ground.

The original can be found here

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