Sunday, 19 February 2012



I’ve been working on my redesigned cover for the Grimm’s fairy-tales for five weeks now and I feel as though I’ve done, on reflection, very little. I have produced a few elements which can be found within the fairy-tales which hopefully wouldn’t need too much explaining if you were to see them on the cover for example a wolf, from Little Red Riding Hood and an apple from Snow White. In the crit last week I discovered that the more recent elements do not look like the original ladybird and grasshopper which inspired this method of working which I developed whilst working on the James and the Giant Peach cover last January (which ironically was last years Puffin competition). This is mainly due to the material of choice. In previous crits it was discussed how using origami paper could be a good alternative to magazines as the colour is in a set size and I wouldn’t have to trawl through magazines for endless hours looking for the perfect colour and dimensions. But now having both to compare, it is clear that the original way or working was much more effective. The hours involved in creating the elements is worth the result! I have therefore been to the market and purchased some quality magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, Elle magazine and the likes) at discounted prices meaning that the quality of the elements now should be first class.

Having played with the technique, material and quality I should now have no excuses for producing anything other than first class from now on in. I understand now that by spending more on the materials will inevitably show in the final outcomes with them also being much better quality and higher class. Now I have this mastered I need to produce much much more material as I feel what I have produced so far is very limited and limiting for five weeks worth of supposed hard graft.

I’m also beginning to notice that I do have pre-empted ideas of what I would like the finished outcome to be and work towards this continually rather than exploring avenues to their full potential. For example, for the last two weeks I have been planning out how these elements will fit together to form the cover rather than exploring them further to their fullest potential. Instead I need to give them my full attention and only bring them together once I know and am fully satisfied with their quality and aesthetic. Though because I have been having these ‘planning’ phases, I have noticed that I am struggling with the same dilemma as last years Puffin competition – bringing the different elements together in a cohesive manner. I work quite graphically anyway (according to the pro’s) usually on a white or very pale background and paying particular attention to space. It would be nice to have a template which I could use for all book covers etc. so that an audience could associate that design with me straight away. However, this could be difficult depending on the context of the book. But potentially this idea could be quite clever. On the Wizard of Oz cover I designed, there were four elements equally spaced on one line close to the centre of the cover with the title ever so slightly above and the author quite a way down close to the bottom. This type of template would work well for the Grimm’s cover and have made a mock version to start working with.

It is a difficult situation knowing that my FMP is being led and negotiated by me, therefore if a project over-runs, I am to blame. If the next project doesn’t start on time, I am to blame and then the next project will not be completed on time and the cycle goes on. This particular project should have been finished by the end of today (19th Febrauary) otherwise my other two projects will not be explored to their fullest. Although I understand the tutors concept of wanting me to explore something fully and in depth, I also want to make sure that it is completed to schedule so that I don’t have to be thinking about it when I start the next. If I have two projects on the go at the same time it will not only confuse me but I will not be able to focus properly on either one knowing that the other is not finished.

So there you are, a small dose of my struggles currently, I’m sure I will be blogging about this again soon, probably tomorrow, or even in a few hours… but for now, goodnight people

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