Second Year: Subject Evaluation PDP

Second year, for me, has been a long year with many ups and downs and the confidence I have hadin my work as fluctuated along with it. The projects I was given over the year, I feel, have been designed exceedingly well in a way that has helped me to develop my identity as an illustrator and has pushed me in the direction I want to be heading. They have left my confidence on an overall high.

At the beginning of the year, having been advised to move away from fineliner in the first project, Kaplan, I was originally apprehensive. Believing that fineliner was going to be “my thing” as an illustrator, I was determined to work towards improving my skills with that rather than trying out anything else. However, once I put the fineliner down, I realised very quickly that that wasn’t what this year was supposed to be about for me. Rather than choosing one thing and practicing it, I needed to try out as many different things as possible, playing with concepts and designs as well as medias in order to refine myself as a good illustrator.

Since that project, I decided to stay away from fineliner as much as I could, realising it wasn’t doing anything to help my work. I took advantage of the print room and did some plastic etchings. I also used the technique of creating line with a needle and thread to create the lines I may have originally thought to draw with fineliner.

As well as this, I used my digital tablet to attempt to create some more clean and professional small scale images. It was great to hear positive feedback for the work I did through this because it is probably by far my favourite method of illustrating and is one I’d like to explore more in third year. However, I am also going to keep in mind to carry on experimenting with methods and materials in order to push the boundaries of my skills yet further.

The projects which we were asked to do were often difficult in terms of handling potentially delicate subjects. I think it’s valuable as a story teller to understand as many difficult subjects as you can and be able to consider them in your work. This is why I chose to do gender representation for my dissertation.

I am glad that I had the support of my tutors and peers to help me push my work and ideas in the right directions, just as I am happy to have had to opportunity to observe and critique my peers. I always found the tutorials – group or single – to be very insightful and, looking back, I wish I had gone to more of them.

Personally I feel like I have really grown as an artist and illustrator this year; I feel like I have somewhat found my footing and am ready to take the challenge third year head on. The projects I have faced this year have been difficult, but not unnacomplishable – despite what I might have thought at the time, so with this new found confidence and enthusiasm I am looking forward to a summer of self-directed project work.


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