Thursday, 27 October 2011

Portfolio Visit!

Thankfully, I have finally made some headway on the portfolio visit front. I have an appointment with TaylorO'Brien in the Northern Quarter, Manchester on Monday 7th 11am. All I have to do now is get my portfolio into ship shape! Here's a copy of Helen's response to my email;

  • Re: Portfolio Visit‏

Hello Chloe,

Thank you for your note.

I have a busy week coming up next week so suggest Mon 7 November at 11am. How does that work for you?

Kind Regards


Helen Taylor
Creative Director

T +44 (0)161 236 0013
M +44 (0)7970 656 584

Taylor O'Brien, Studio 47, 47 Newton Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1FT

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On 27 Oct 2011, at 12:18, Chloe Jones wrote:

> Hi Helen,
> I'm a 3rd year illustration student studying at Stockport College. During this year I have been tasked to contact industry to gain some constructive feedback on my portfolio in an attempt to boost my confidence with my work and to develop it further where necessary (of course anything more would be a huge bonus!)
> I understand that you are extremely busy but if it is possible to arrange an appointment, at a time convenient for you it would be much appreciated.
> I wait in anticipation of your response
> Kind Regards
> Chloe Jones
> Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

More juicy feedback :)

  • More juicy feedback, this time from Jessica Horrocks;

    Re: Help!‏

To see messages related to this one, group messages by conversation.
Hi Chloe,

Your illustrations have a wonderful sense of colour and texture, and I think they're very appropriate for the target market.

My only feedback is that you could further refine the typography, as I think it is currently detracting from the strength of the illustrations.

Perhaps you could experiment with some different fonts and layouts. Perhaps you could try adding a consistently sized coloured area at the bottom of each illustration for the type, rather than layering it over the illustrations? Just a suggestion :)

Otherwise, I think these are very strong!

I hope that helps.

Colour and texture seem to be the key theme in my work, or so the feedback highlights. These themes then are positive and need to be maintains and developed within my work this year. For the front cover of the story book I will be hand rendering the type, but to do this for the whole book would have been laborious and very time consuming. So time consuming that I wouldn't have had any time for the main 'meat' of work. It is however, something that I will work towards developing in future.
On the feedback from then, so far so good, lets hope it continues :)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Reply!! :)

Right now, Ale Diaz is one of my favourite artists... and not only that, but she's replied to my mail providing constructive feedback on my work for the Uganda for Schools project so far;

Hola Chloe,

Sorry for taking so long in replying.

These pieces are looking great and I love your strong use of colour. I have always been one for that :). Also the texture that comes across in the way you create your art.

The best piece of advice i can give you at the moment is to do a lot of work, lots and lots of projects. In my experience art directors can tell who has done a lot and who has done not so much. If you are getting ready to visit some agencies, that's what you should be focusing on right now. Illustrate as many projects are you can.

Your style reminds me of someone I met, check out this artist:

If you click on the flipcard section at the menu, you will get an idea of how much I am referring to, when I say do a lot of projects, because only then we barely start coming through as artists.

Hope this helps!

This website gives me a reason to illustrate every week:

check it out


In contrast to my tutors comments about my mass use of colour Ale likes this aspect of my work considering it a 'strong' point. She agrees with the 'texture' element being a strong point too, which has been touched on in tutorials.
Focusing on the amount of work needed to be produced is a bit of a sore point. To date the only work that I have produced which I am confident enough to take to agencies is the work I am currently working on... eek! On the Mariah Burton page, she has produced LOTS of work for various projects and briefs. All that I can think of is to keep focused, concentrate and throw myself into it now I have found a comfortable way of working.
And a recommendation from Ale, to me, to you, is to check out illustration Friday's page. Not only does it give a platform to show your work but it gives you a focused piece of work for a week. The time frame is not very long and is clearly unpaid (this is where the passion comes in guys!) so it would be worthwhile spending a couple of hours a week on a 'time out' from live briefs to devote some passion to this. Those live briefs can be so draining at times and if the subject matter is intense or something I'm not interested in, I will still be producing work, this way I don't feel so lazy... it's so not procrastination ;)

Creative Review

Varoom Magazine

Edition: Winter 2010

Daniel Pudles; Old Guitar Player article

I found this article in Varoom magazine and wondered if I could have stumbled upon something any more accurate to reflect my studies currently. In it Pudles reflects on his childhood memories of Picasso’s The Old Guitar Player which he once found on one of his parents LP covers. It is somewhat fitting that he should mention how Picasso had to cram his image into the space available. I can relate to this technique as a working illustrator, if that is what you can call it… a technique. Somehow, no matter how big or small the space is that’s available, I can always bank on me not being able to get the proportions right to fit the frame. It always looks crammed in there; too much information busting at the frame’s seams. For once it would be nice to create an image where the whole of my elements would feature in said image unlike currently where the edges of certain elements are cropped off. Although, the outcome can be a positive one and maybe it’s a technique that should be embraced, something to set my work aside from others. I’d like to think of it as the ‘jam jar effect’, see how much I can possibly fit in without it overflowing the rim.

Additionally, I am looking at Picasso currently in relation to my dissertation, in particular Guernica which came later, after Picasso’s Blue Period (which Pudles looks at here). His Blue Period however, is vitally important in understanding some of the working methods and themes incorporated in his later work, such as and including Guernica.

I think this quote is my favourite of the year thus far is Pudles’ “come on get into that box!”, it feels like whenever I mention it or whoever I mention it to I should be talking about a jack-in-a-box not one of Picasso’s masterpieces!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Illustrator's feedback (fingers crossed!)

Above are two further images I have created to go alongside my 2 previous images I posted for the children's story book in association with Helping Uganda School's project.
This small collection of four images has been emailed to 2 of the illustrator's I contacted last year who have kindly agreed to provide me with some much needed constructive feedback.
Ale Diaz and Jessica Horrocks replied to my original emails below:
'Hola Chloe!!!!

Its so good to hear from you! Sorry for the late response.

Yes absolutely, send it over I would love to take a look at it and give you some feedback!

Cheers and thanks for your support to my works as well.



'Hi Chloe,

Apologies for the late reply. I would be happy to offer you some feedback on your portfolio :)


From a personal development point of view, I think that there is some definite consistency finally beginning to emerge with the painterly characters and crayons/paint wash backgrounds. This difference in media for the characters and background gives some contrast enabling the reader to associate which elements are more important in any one composition. It would be nice to see the characters such as Asobora (monkey) lighter in colour, the brown paint I used to create him is quite dark originally. Trying to lighten this in Photoshop didn't work, the white pigments from the paper underneath just shone through instead. My characters are very child friendly, they are tactile, you could pick them up off the page, they do look furry and cuddly, as a children's character should. I like the organic quality the characters have.
For future projects I think it would be wise to make a tick list of the qualities that work for me and my image making, then as I'm going along I can be ticking them off in a bid to create images that say 'Chloe' and are strong.
I think that my work will be aided by Ale's feedback especially as we appear to work in a similar way. In fact her use of exotic patterns, colours and backgrounds would act as a fitting backdrop to my African scenes. Reflecting on my work, my use of pattern is very limited. Usually backgrounds are just paint washes but more detail and attention to the what appears insignificant could make all the difference in my finished outcomes.
Additionally, I have sent out emails to illustration agencies such as AOI, Monkeyfeet Illustration, The Chase, Love and Music to try and arrange an appointment to present to them my portfolio for some more constructive feedback.
Both the illustrators I have emailed have been more than kind already, but let's see what their feedback has to offer!
(Updates hopefully to follow soon :)