Tag Archives: illustrator

Working for The New Yorker

I was extremely lucky to be offered an opportunity to help with a video that will be appearing on The New Yorker website. My portfolio was passed onto Paul Trillo who is a director from the United States and he got in contact with me asking if it was something I’d be interested in. v

I was asked to create a paper cut totem pole made using common villainess targets and it would have the grim reaper on the top. I started by drawing down different styles of how the characters could look as I was asked to do them in a stylized fashion. Once a style was agreed I went on to use the same techniques on the other characters that I was asked to create. In total Paul wanted 10 characters as well as the grim reaper and I was given 6 with the remaining 4 to be decided by me as long as they were cleared with Paul.

There were a lot of revisions throughout the week and because Paul was 5 hours behind emailing could sometimes be very spaced apart. It was definitely a lot to take on but it was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip and I learnt a lot. Firstly I had never created faces before with paper especially ones that needed to look like people such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin so this was a new challenge but I welcomed it with open arms. Paul seemed really impressed with the faces that I came up with and only a few edits had to be made such as lowering of the eyes.


To put all of the totem pole together I decided to take a photo of each face individually because the totem pole was so large and it would be much easier to rearrange the faces and edit them if necessary. It was a good job I decided to this because Paul wanted a different style of grim reaper so luckily it was as easy as removing the grim reaper layer and adding the new grim reaper in. I had an idea for the grim reader to have his arms arm and scythe in hand like the wings spread on traditional totem poles, Paul seemed to really like this idea and let me add it into the final piece.

Once put together I was asked to create a simple paper style background and add a few clouds in too to show the height of the totem pole. The idea was to start the clouds off light and gradually make them darker as they rise up the totem pole and finally end in stars.

Once complete the final thing that I needed to add was a blinking layer to each of the faces so Paul could make the faces blink when he brought it into after effects. This is where folders in Photoshop became really important. I had never used folders before in Photoshop because none of my work usually has that many layers so I just give them a title instead but with so many layers it was really important for me to group different elements in folders. This not only was usual for me but would also help Paul out a lot when the file was passed over to him. Adding the blinking layer was quite easy I just duplicated each face, removed the eyes and added a small curve where the eyes would be so show a closed eye.

The file was passed onto Paul who added some details himself and brought the piece into after effects to give it some movement. The video should be up on The New Yorker’s website by the end of the month and I can’t wait to see it! The opportunity has taught me a lot about creating artwork, editing artwork and making my artwork accessible to others and I’ve taken a lot away from the experience that I will definitely be implementing with future work.

Below is the totem that was created for Paul, a few small edits were made to the background before it was took it into After Effects but as the video is still being created I can’t show the final thing at the moment.

Totem pole 23.png

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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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Working with The Philosophers Magazine

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with The Philosophers Magazine to create two illustrations for one of their articles in their latest publication. It’s been a really eye opening and enjoyable experience and because freelance illustration is what I would love to end up doing it’s been invaluable.

I believe I worked with my client professionally and if anything may have asked too many questions but I put that down to the fact that this was the first time I had done anything like this. I started by reading through the article that was sent to me and sketching out rough ideas ranging from the more obvious illustrations to more cleverly crafted pieces that weren’t so clear but worked with the text. After coming up with a range of sketches I sent them over to allow my client to look through and pick out which they felt worked best, once feedback was received I worked on my sketch to show a more refined piece.

As I had the time I agreed to create a second illustration that was once again adapted from my initial sketches. It was great to work with the client to work towards an illustration that they were happy with, usually I just make illustrations that I like but it was nice for me to have to adapt my work to suit someone else’s needs.

The second illustration I made with the 4 dice went through more stages until a final outcome was decided on. My client liked the idea of the 4 dice with maths symbols and wanted me to play around with different compositions so do to this I made the dice and took photos of different compositions and sent them 4 that I felt worked best. A composition was then picked and I took the image into Photoshop to make some final edits before finally sending over the 2 finished illustrations.

As well as making the illustrations I had to make sure the dimensions and resolutions was correct which was easy enough to do but was also something that I’d never really had to consider before.

They have been kind enough to send me a copy of the magazine that will have my illustrations printed in and I’m excited to see my work. The whole experience has been great and I’ve really enjoyed myself, hopefully this is just the start.

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Price Cuppa Revisit – 3D

A while back I decided to redo my Pricey Cuppa illustration but made it from paper instead of using an actual cup and saucer. At the time I was really happy with the piece but felt compared to my latest work it looked a bit out of place so I decided to redo it one final time. This time I wanted to make the cup out of 3-dimensional paper rather than mount the paper onto a piece of paper and use shadows to cast the illustration of it being a 3D piece.
To give the cup a paper feel I decided to use sharp edges and give the cup a pentagon
shape, I felt this added a nice touch and stepped away from the realistic original. Using a printed out pentagon I used this as my guide to create the cups shape and placed a carefully cut piece of mount board at the bottom to make sure that it kept its shape when I started gluing it all together.

Photo 04-04-2017, 15 09 38

Once together I decided to cut individual strips of paper for each of the pentagon’s angles cut them too long on purpose so I could fold them over the edges which gave a nice smooth, slightly rounded edge to the lip of the cup.

Photo 04-04-2017, 16 29 10

I then worked on the handle of the cup which I decided to cut from foamboard first and then cover in paper so that it wasn’t too fiddly yet still gave the impression that it was made from paper alone. This worked perfectly and also gave the handle some strength rather than created the small handle out of paper. The handle was then carefully stuck onto the side of the cup making sure it was in the centre and that the top of the handle came to the same height as the top of the cup.

Photo 04-04-2017, 17 22 17 (1)

The contents of the mug was created using another pentagon piece of foamboard which was then covered in brown tea like card. To bring this pentagon to the top of the cup I just used a stack of cut foamboard which was stuck to the top of the foam board at the bottom of the cup and the bottom of tea coloured pentagon. The price tag was simply made from cut coloured card and I used string that was threaded through make it look like it was coming from a teabag inside the cup.

Using a larger pentagon I created the plate which was simply cut out foamboard once again covered in paper to give the effect that it was 3-dimensional paper.

I also decided to create 2 biscuits just to add to the final illustration. These were made from foamboard covered in coloured card and to add the biscuit texture I scored the bordering piece of paper and used a small needed to create the holes in the biscuits. I tried to make them look as realistic as possible and think it adds nicely to the cup and saucer.


Below is the final illustration which I photographed and edited on Photoshop. I looked at already existing photos of cups of tea as well as playing around with different coloured paper to decide on the background to use. Although the blue background is quite bright I think it works to push the cup out and make it pop from the page. I believe this version is my strongest yet and would be the best option to use with the original article as its eye catching and the overall quality of the image is better.

Pricey Tea Finished 6

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Background Colour Research

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been researching into colour combinations and colour theory. I’ve never been very good with choosing the right colours for backgrounds and wanted to learn more about colour so I had a better understanding of which colours work well with each other. As well as looking at lots of different colour schemes and researching into colour theory I also looked at the work of some of my favourite artists to see how they choose background colours.

Something that I saw a lot was the use of light pastel colours for the background which caused the focus to be on the illustration. I feel some of the backgrounds I’ve chosen in some of my past work mould into my illustration causing it to get lost and fall back rather than jump out from the page and catch the attention of the audition. To test out the pastel background idea I chose to use a pastel blue in my newest piece to see how it worked and I’m very happy with the results. Although I kept to a bright background by choosing a slightly lighter pastel shade I think it’s really helped to keep the focus on the main work. With future work I’ll try out more pastel colours and see how they work and hopefully they’ll have the same effect.

As well as choosing to stick with pastel backgrounds I’ve decided to choose a colour scheme for backgrounds so my illustrations all work together when placed side by side. Over time I will change the colour scheme to keep my work looking fresh but for now I think sticking with this particular fixed colour scheme will help bring all of my work together.

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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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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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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.


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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