Tag 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

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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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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Mind your own business: Field week 2

This week has been about getting all of our product designs together and starting to prepare everything ready for the making of the product next week. Over the weekend I thought of a product which we could sell alongside the cards which was chocolate love hearts with our chosen comical phrases formed on them. Everyone seemed to like the idea and we discussed it more on Monday’s meet up which is where Chloe thought of a great idea. Chloe had been off the week before but we kept in up to date with what was going on and her idea was to make chocolate cards with our phrases on. Taken from my love heart idea, instead of love hearts we’d create individual chocolate squares that would have a phrase on and a card attached to the pack so that it could be written on and given to a partner or friend. I spent the rest of the day coming up with different designs for each card so that as a collective we’d have a range of designs to choose from.

I made sure to research into already existing ideas being careful not to copy them and adapt designs in my own so that our cards were truly original and one of a kind. Throughout the week we adapted the design of the chocolate card until we came up with molding a chocolate design on the front of the chocolate and then placing the phrase on the cellophane that incased the card. We then had a postcard on the back outer casing of the card which could be wrote on and when taken off the phrase would be printed on the other side. This came about as we found that once the chocolate had been eating the person would be left with a blank sided postcard with personal text on the back which wouldn’t have worked as its own individual card.

We then led a blind folded taste test to find out what chocolates were the best tasting for our potential customers. Before running the test we’d already decided to include both white chocolate and milk chocolate in our chocolate card designs. The shape on the card itself for example the bicep for our #STUD design would be created in white chocolate and the square background would be in milk causing the shapes to jump out from the card and be a lot more visible. Our taste text shown that Sainsbury’s milk chocolate came out on top as well as Asda’s white chocolate which can be bought for 30p and 60p. How much of each we’d need to make each mold is still yet to be found out but we’re hoping to calculate that over the weekend.

After selecting the designs which we intended to use Chloe came back with them make from molding clay and we went about making our first mold. Our first attempt was a disaster, we attempted to use molding plaster which I had at home but when the plaster had set over the clay design it gripped too hard and ended up sticking to the design which not only caused the design to break apart but also the mold to fail. We had another idea which was to use the vacuum former but we had to make that the plastic we used was food safe.

So far the field project has been very intense but it should be extremely rewarding. Now that everything’s started to come together I definitely feel like my collective could be really successful in selling our product. As soon as we get our molds made we can start experimenting with melting the chocolate and forming the designs. We can then see just how much we can make and sell the chocolates for.

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Mind your own business: Field week 1

This week I started my new field module called Mind Your Own Business which is a 5 week assignment. This first week has been all about gathering up ideas and starting to set up our very own business in our groups. Over the next 5 weeks we’ll be creating a company that will be selling a product at university, how we approach this is completely up to us and it’ll surely be a very intense 5 weeks. Considering the sale date of our product is on the 9th of February we’ve decided as a group that it would be a great idea to take advantage of valentine’s day on the 14th.

As we started to come up with a company name Dan told us one that he had already thought of which we all instantly loved. The name was The Little Things and played on the fact that it’s the little things that can make a big difference. We wrote the name down and started to pick away at it making sure that the name was strong, memorable and related to our company. I personally thought the name was very catchy and memorable and it was broad enough that it didn’t just have to relate itself to valentine’s day.

We decided to sell Valentine cards as well as something else such as chocolates as we thought the markup on cards wouldn’t be enough to make profit unless we sold them at a high price or a very large quantity of them. Considering cards can be bought for less than 99p and not everyone has someone to give a card too by adding another product to sell alongside the card we can maximize on overall profit. We also decided we didn’t want to sell the usual cheesy overdone valentines gifts and wanted to take a more laid back comical approach that we feel would interest our target market a lot more. I’d already seen funny valentine’s cards that I feel are now a lot more popular especially with the younger generation and so started to look online for existed products.

As a group we’ve already started to work out everyone’s strengths and weakness’ and have started to split off in our own expertise. As an illustrator I’ve took on the job of coming up with potential card designs that we could use and also started thinking another product to sell alongside them.

On Thursday we had a talk from Lauren Davies about marketing which covered why marketing is so important and a range of ways businesses use marketing to sell products. It was a great help to all of us as marketing our product is the most important we can do to help the product sell, even the worst products if marketed well will sell.

Something that I found really interesting was Twitters advanced search that businesses use for market research and also directly marketing their products to individuals who are posting about the businesses niche. Twitter not only allows people to find tweets but you can also narrow the search down to certain areas which would be extremely useful if you’re a local business or sell a certain product related to a certain area.

I also learnt about how important brands are to a business and what elements must be considered when designing one. The graphic designer in our group is in charge of creating the logo and will hopefully consider all the elements that was discussed on the day. We’ll be meeting up Monday to see what everyone has come up with so far and put all our ideas together.
Next week we’re going to start looking at potentially materials, start creating our brand and also decide on what we want to make alongside the valentine’s cards. It’ll be a very intense week but I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited to see what we come up with in the next 5 weeks.

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Playing at work is allowed

Companies are starting to realize just how important play is to the creative process and huge companies such as Google do lots of things to make sure their employees are not only happy but work at their hardest.


Google have a completely free food court and free vending machines around campus and is packed with games such as table tennis, table football and more. The idea is to give their employees a place to work but also a play they can relax and enjoy themselves whilst keeping everyone together. The workspaces are also created so that you are forced to sit with new people which is meant to get you sharing ideas as well as maintaining a healthy ‘out of work’ social life.

The amazing is that Google has created their workplace so that employees don’t have to leave; they have everything they need right there. They’re also encouraging employees to play as this is when they are most creative which also means problems solving is at an all-time high. Say you’re having an unproductive say and can’t get your head around something, you go off to get free food, sit down next to someone you don’t know and start talking to them. Next thing you know you are discussing ideas over a game of pool and suddenly the concept you were stuck on suddenly makes sense! It sounds silly but by allowing yourself to play and relax you forget what you were stressing about and by having a new perspective you’ve allowed yourself to work out what you were stuck on without even working.

I think that relaxation when trying to work is extremely important, for me especially when I get stressed I can’t think properly and I’m never happy with what I achieve when I come back to it. It’s always important for me to take a breather and do something I enjoy just to take my mind of work. There’s been many times where I’ve stopped working because I’ve come to a bit of a standstill and out of nowhere whilst I’m doing something completely unrelated an idea pops into my head and I jot it down on my phone so I don’t forget it.

Google aren’t the only company to adopt this idea of play, many other companies such as Apple have incorporated play in their workplace to maximize productivity and overall employee happiness and it seems to work extremely well.



Field: Play & Creativity

For field this year I’m studying Play and Creativity with Gareth Loudon. I’m looking forward to finding out just how important play is as part of the design process, personally I think that playing is lost as we get older and it’s more about doing what we are told and trying to be as productive as possible. I also believe that others may frown on the idea of letting their employees play as it’s seen to be quite a childish thing to do.

I like the idea of messing around and playing with different things especially in art as the outcomes we achieve can really help us discover new ways of using materials. I don’t think there is a certain way to create art or a certain way to use art equipment, it’s not just in art where we should play though I believe play is extremely important in all jobs as it gets us thinking and allows us to relax.

In the next 5 weeks I plan on experimenting and exploring different ways of playing and find how it affects how I feel and create my work. I’m hoping to discover a certain approach where I am most productive yet relaxed and enjoying myself at the same time.