Wednesday, 18 April 2012

FMP further exploration

Final Major Project

Potential further project exploration

After my final major project hand in date on 11/05/2012, I intend to continue working on my children’s identification nursery rhyme books as a personal project. Not only will it keep me working illustratively whilst I wait for my all important first commission but it will give me additional portfolio pieces and potential works to be displayed on my website boosting my online presence. My next task will be to have the books professionally printed by a company such as Blurb. Not only will this add another dimension to my work, it will provide a comparison, for both me and creative professionals who have the privilege of seeing my work, against the hand bound and hand printed books that have been produced for my final major project. It will give me the opportunity to see which method works best for my way of working, though as I do work quite manually and organically, I do think that the hand printed and hand bound books will suit my personality better (though I am trying not to pre-empt this and take it as it comes!). Additionally, I can photograph both variations of the books to either show these in my portfolio or take the real McCoy. Either way, by doing this it will provide me with more options for when meeting professionals etc. Professionally printed books would be a better and safer option on the quality and standard side of things as I can pretty much guarantee the outcome compared to a job that is done by hand as mistakes as more frequent and likely. Other options to consider are having the books printed in limited colours to bring down the cost of the professional printing for example have them in black and white (which my work features a lot of anyhow) or a limited colour palette. Not only will this bring down printing costs but it will add further depth to the books. Printing options today are as diverse as ever, I could even look at having them printed onto newspaper like textures again to be more cost effective, it would also add another layer to the illustrations and their context. As a lot of the illustrations subtly play on the loss of natural habitats and natural resources for many of the animals printing them on 100% recycled materials and the like would be an ideal way of adding this extra layer of meaning.

I will be looking to make the books into a Zine publication for the library in Salford as I think it will be a great way to boost my confidence and add to my self-promotion efforts. Receiving feedback from this also will make me more aware of the quality and standard of my work and where I can improve once outside the protective bubble of university life. When I leave university I will lose the support and feedback from tutors and so I will have to find this elsewhere - submitting a Zine publication could be a great way of doing this. Additionally, the Zine publication is something that is hand crafted and hand bound of which my books fulfil both criteria without any further work needed.

As well as the hand printed and hand bound ‘Into the Garden’ and ‘Under the Water’ books, I have produced rough books containing all the rough workings I produced as part of the body of work I submitted for my final major project. These rough books are somewhat more intriguing than the final outcomes and so I will continue to work outside of sketchbooks in future and on individual pieces of textured paper whereby I can hand bound them into my own personality filled books. This way of working also allows me to personalize the books making them as big or as small as I need them to be. Beforehand I tended to either not fill a sketchbook or run in a second but not fill it. By working on individual sheets and hand binding them I can continue working on as many or as little sheets as I need to complete my experimentation.

Extra exploration of animal habitats and environmental resources alongside ecological factors such as global warming and the impact such factors have on animals would add a substantial learning aspect to the books. Incorporating these learning aspects would add another level to my books alongside the current identification process and introduction of song and play. I could indeed revisit the illustrations in the current two books and add in environmental resources to further add to their depth, for example ring pulls off cans and plastic carrier bags.

I would like the opportunity in my spare time to illustrate other books such as Out of Africa and On the Farm to add to my collection. However, any area that I consider for a new book needs to offer something new to the existing books. I want to expand on my set of characters whilst I am still in the ‘zone’ to hopefully end up with a set of around 35-50. Also, I will make prints of certain double page spreads from the current books and individual characters to possibly sell at markets etc and further my self-promotion and appeal to me entrepreneurial side. The characters could be printed onto birthday cards, cushions and bags etc.

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