Recently I have been working on an illustration competition to win the opportunity to illustrate a children's Christmas book in association with the Helping Uganda Schools charity. The concept was to illustrate a section of the book (which has already been written by Alex Tracey) creating two vignettes, a single page and a double page spread. The result would be two double page spreads to pitch to Denise Ead the project manager. The finished result will be a 32 page children's book which would be printed and sold over the Christmas period to raise funds towards building a new school in Uganda.
I pitched my work (above) on Monday 19th September and although I didn't win the competition, I did receive some much appreciated feedback:
'We really liked Chloe's adaptation of the characters. She made Asobora the monkey (the main character of the story) seem very cuddly and lifelike, due to her use of paint and warm colours. We almost felt as if her vision of Asobora could be lifted off the page. She took a lot of time developing the characters and that was evident in her work. She also contrasted the darkness of Asobora and Magesi (an elephant character) with bright backgrounds, which is of course very appealing to children. Chloe mentioned that she worked in a school one day a week, therefore giving her an invaluable insight to what children like, she definitely used this to her advantage.'
I think that this feedback is positive for me as I don't usually have a 'set style' which I work with consistently. Through this project however, I feel some progress has been made. I am working with paint more and I like editing my work utilising a good sense of space. I am starting to make a check sheet of the things that work for me and the elements that don't work so well. I had so much fun creating my characters and little scenes that I have decided to switch my personal project which I was working on over the summer for this. So, for my personal project I will now be illustrating (hopefully, time permitting!) the whole story which Denise and Alex have provided. With these set boundaries I feel that my outcome will be much stronger aided by a sense of direction. My outcome will be a fully illustrated children's book which I will get professionally bound and printed.
I am starting to produce more work now than ever. I feel as though the past 3 weeks I have produced more work and sketchbook material than I did through the entire course of last year. This development will no doubt increase my confidence and style of working.
Finally I have some work that I am truly proud of for my portfolio. I think my portfolio will be a work in progress this year as so far I don't have anything that I am truly confident in (considering I am expected to show 20-24 pieces of work!). Hopefully this will increase some with the development and experimental work I will be pursuing in the Uganda/Personal Project.