TED article 2; being a busy bee

Parting ways now from the decision fatigue article I decided to have a shop around and check out other blogs that were tackling some interesting and yes though I did find some they weren’t exactly the gold mine of information I was hoping, more of a criticism or analysis of the goings on in todays world. Found myself gravitating toward the TED blog again as I remember all the other interesting articles that I briefly scanned over.

Todays been an awfully busy one, you could say I’ve been a busy bee *snaps fingers* 51960869_247741202828996_4147215662193836032_n.jpg

Todays article tackled the issue of taking too much on in the day, taking influence from worker bees to help digest big busy days which was a brief but uplifting read. Knowing about the current issues bee’s are having I felt compelled to do what bit I can in raising awareness in a creative way.


The day started by dissecting the article word for word, finding key words that could be mashed up with others to create an image or an idea, same as every project goes and managed to churn out 3 illustrations on the subject.


First up was the idea of a human brushing their teeth with a honey server. The idea for this illustration was a result of reading about getting into the mindset of the bee’s, my mind took that to the extreme of having a routine like a bee but also keeping human aspects of our life such as brushing our teeth in the morning. This was just a little fun and not at all a serious idea, it worked out as a sketch however not sure anything translates upon seeing the digital piece. Ah well into the portfolio it goes. at least it can be seen as an experimentation of art style

Next up; Thinking like a bee.


This one started out fun with everything looking good and feeling confident that I’ve chosen the right colours, composition and hope that the idea holds as I tie it all together to which I think it does in some aspect, it may take an extra moment to realise that the bees and hive are supposed to represent a thinking bubble, tense thinking like a bee. I think the illustration is certainly eye catching but can’t help but feel like there are some small design choices that could of helped it pop that little bit extra. The meaning of this one being a little stronger than the previous illustration I personally think.

And lastly hive clock. the is probably as minimal as these illustrations get when it comes to the article, its just a simple illustration of a clock in the honeycomb texture hinting at bees, this one being a sort of representation of the working bee, the clock on the wall suggesting working hours much like humans in jobs making a connection between working humans and working bees hopefully pointing toward an idea of thinking like them.


The narrative of this piece is probably the most fragile out the lot, it takes a lot of explaining which to me says it doesn’t translate anything that well but can still go in the portfolio as an attempt. The central composite and colours, the clean edges and subtle shading I all like and think came together well. It looks pleasing but thats about it for this one.

Onto the Next article!.






TED article illustrations: No time to waste

Given the awfully short time period I have to get these illustrations done and printed out there isn’t much time to do any developmental work for these ideas so its probably best I hunker down with the idea I have and take it straight into digital, if it turns it great its great, if not then onto the next one. I mean its not like I have a choice to mourn a bad idea I’m practically a machine at this point, churning out idea after idea, back and forth to the printer and then back and forth the the guillotine to cut them down to size. stopping occasionally for the toilet break or breath of fresh air.

First up was the ‘Exercising will power’. my sketches were pretty simple and not overworked so it was rather easy to work from the idea from my sketchbook. IMG_0196.JPGIMG_0195.JPGIMG_0200.JPG

As can be seen not much has happened in terms of branching out and working on the idea because again and ill get tired of saying this time is my worst enemy and its slowly eating away at me. I say slowly whilst it feels like I’m being engulfed in one bite. the foundation for the idea was simple ergo the final outcome was going to be simple, trying out both variations of the illustration to see what would work best and honestly think I prefer the arm, following the minimal silhouette of the head that surrounds it. tried adding a little shading to give it a sense of depth but can’t decide which I thinks best. I started with the idea of doing the pace in blue and the rest was just a happy accident, seeing what shades of blue what go with what without clashing making a little easy on the eyes to look at it.


Next up was the illustration depicting a man having to chose between a red pill or blue pill, a little nod to the matrix universe both sharing the concept of decision making. That being the heart of the article. IMG_0212.JPG

This was a simple one in the sense that again the idea was already laid out exactly how I wanted it to look in my sketchbook, wasting no time I had at it digitally and honestly kind of like the outcome. Yes its simple and scarce on the shading but looking at the reference material I have for the article I think it falls under the same category, bright block colours with central composition, and easily recognisable subjects. Lets hope the rest of the course agrees.

Numero tre, This one also having a human subject being centrally composed in the illustration, this one I had much more fun illustrating.


Reason being everything fell and worked together first time without any effort, that being the choice of colour for background which gives an overall ‘down in the dumps’ feeling. obviously that being the purpose of the illustration as it depicts a subject being bogged down his thoughts due to decision fatigue. One thing that this illustration made me realise which I think would be an important in creating digital illustrations for an article is the orientation of the work, I assume most would be in landscape stretching across the top of the article like a banner. Much like we see in the TED article.

Nearing the end now. Probably the quickest piece of the day, more of an illustration to break up the long day I’ve had. IMG_0206.JPG

This one depicting a figure of sorts choosing from a supposed menu, not sure if this translates well to others but that was the intent, bringing to attention again decision making. Rather an abstract looking one, being the utter definition of minimalism which I’m secretly a fan of so it was nice to stretch out the simple thinking part of my brain. Colours and composition work well in my opinion however again I’m not sure if the meaning of the piece translates well so this one can go in the ‘Meh’ pile.

And finally the energy bank.


The words ‘energy bank’ were used in the article and immediately thought of a some sort of piggy bank inn the shape of a battery with green coins being tossed into it representing the charge. probably one of my favourites as this is where my creativity peaked and the choice of colours and composition came together well, in the context of the article I think you could find a meaning out of it however thats up to Ian and the group to decide on Friday. Using an isometric grid to get the perspectives right was one of the beauties of digital illustration, giving it a much cleaner and professional look.

Its sad to see this article go as I’ve had a lot of fun with it, even though technically I’ve only spent 2 days with it stretched out over the course of a week. time to get back onto the Ted blog or perhaps another blog and find another captivating article to illustrate for!



TED article illustrations: generating ideas

Now that we’ve gotten out of the rut that was the howls moving castle illustrations its nice to come at something with a fresh mind, new ideas and perspectives to explore on a new subject Ive never delved into. Digital illustration being one of my strongest skills its only now making sense to look at online articles and observe the accompanying illustration and this is all thanks to my tutor Ian being the Shepard and guiding me onto the right path. The article that I chose was one by TED, Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 18.04.51.png

An incredibly interesting read regardless if you’re feeling a little fatigued creatively on a day to day and this article gives you some pointers on how to combat that and spread out your decisions wisely throughout the day. giving the article a few reads through and getting the general gist of what the message is inside I decided to print it out and post it in my book and direct each line and word to see if I can find a specific subject to summarise the article. I had some god reference as the article already had an accompanying illustration which gave me a feel for what the market is in the digital illustration for web articles. Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 18.04.57.png

Minimal, bloc colours, no shading, basic composition and easily identifiable objects, its funny looking at this piece and realising that in my previous unit X project I used a sale much similar to this however not as minimal. so its safe to say its a zone I’m comfortable in. After deserting the texts and jotted down every key word that stood out to me and sparked an idea in a very fast paced manor, not letting any idea slip and escape I sketched them out roughly and fast cementing my though process. IMG_0187.JPG

highlighting the fundamental rules of the illustration, the overall tone I’m trying to achieve so it somewhat fits in with the theme that the TED blog has. It was a slow start but as soon as I gained traction I was off, idea after idea and often trying to do different renditions of certain illustrations. Looking back to the RSA magazines and how the translated articles subject matters mostly in the use of some witty and clever photography, well it seems the stars hath aligned because I have a new to capable of doing such that. 51630128_440139436526962_1098603839193350144_n.jpg

I think this will be a great time to experiment with this piece if technology and with some of the ideas that I jotted down I often tried to think if it were possible that it could be translated into photography, very minimal, bright colours and basic composition, certainly feel inspired and motivated to try it out. IMG_0188.JPG

Rounding off the generating ideas phase with some great ideas (I personally think) plenty to explore in the sense of photography which I could then later take into photoshop to manipulate and even enhance the saturation and levels making the images pop a little more, and even in the illustration sense where I already have a foundation of a style try each one in, easily said that I’m feeling incredibly motivated to pursue these ideas in the development stage and get experimental with a new medium of art. tomorrow cannot come quick enough.

If you’re wanting to check out the blog here’s a link: https://ideas.ted.com/want-to-save-your-mental-energy-for-the-stuff-that-really-matters-set-a-decision-budget/

Howls moving castle week?…;day 374

Its fair to say at this point I have lost all enthusiasm for this project, Ive found myself following the same style as the book cover in the beginning but this has resulted in myself feeling caged into specific style that I’m struggling to find decent ideas for and pull off correctly.

We finish this stretched out week by doing the final illustration of three as well as a book cover. 50891682_416193329125761_1667501888527925248_n.jpg

Alongside my sketch for illustration number two we have 12 boxes of quick rough sketches of ideas that I could possibly do for my final illustration, it took me 9 tries to finally get a decent enough result well one that I could improve on anyways. This was a fun process to be honest as my pencils are reaching the size of a peanut with all the sharpening I’ve been doing which has resulted in my holding the pencil in a new way, one that I kinda like as it forces me to hold it differently and this makes completely different pencil strokes, more confident and flowing which I was fond of. 51014080_236631220449386_3095323612433874944_n.jpg

Once choosing the one I seen had the most potential I went into the same process I had done with the two illustrations previous and draw it out and practice certain elements of the drawing till I’m feeling confident enough to take it into procreate on my iPad.


Now time to sketch out the final drawing and I know I’m just working with silhouettes but I got a little carried away whilst sketching the witch which was fun realising that I’m enjoying drawing again to the point where I have to refrain from doing any  details. As I’m aware non of the cheek bones, jaw lines or wrinkles will be seen in the silhouette.


Taking the castle from the previous illustrations and combing it with the witches head makes for an interesting result, still trying to figure out if its for the better or worse but at this point I don’t really have any time to worry or invest anything else into it. of course adding the halftone texture because at this point it just gives it a little depth quickly which is what I’m after.


Adding the flame and there protagonists of the book inside the silhouette of the witch and castle, compositional wise I’m not sure if it works, I am not exactly happy with how it was looking at the point or have any faith that it be deemed an illustration but must press on.


Once I began to finalise everything I think this is the best we are going to get out of me on this topic, its rushed and no attention or care has gone into perfecting the final outcome, this may be because my mind is already trying to switch to the next topic with what little time I have left. A rough painful end to a project I ran out of steam for after the first illustration. Talk about a one hit wonder. Anyways onto something a little more editorial now, this is exciting for me being given a few RSA magazines with some interesting articles accompanied by just as interesting illustrations or representations of the article alongside, this could be new territory for me given the reason I have recently purchased a Digital camera, perhaps photography could spark a new routine or creative response.


Howls moving castle week; Day two

And here it is already the end of the week and only day two on my planned week of drawing and desiging illustrations for the howls moving castle. Today i started on my second illuistration of the bunch and found a little more success in some areas and taking a few steps back in others.


The process of turning the idea into a digital illustration started with 4-5 pages of sketchging out this idea would go, the inital idea centering around the use of sillouhettes again with sharp blocky colours much like the previous illustrations before it. Once i was happy with then overall look i decided to take this snapshot and take it into procreate this time not using the 3D modeling software and going with my linework and see how that results.


Once getting all the line work in order and feeling confident to cast them as sillouhettes i took the colours from the previous works and threw them together.


At this point i realised that the image istelf was feeling a little empty so decided to experiment with colours and textures and see where that got me which wasnt anywhere ground-breaking so i moved on.


Deciding to add the castle in the background i thought was a good choice in time i had and saving this illustration a littler bit, making it feel a little fuller but also remembering my feedback from Ian on adding some clouds which i went on to do so


This being the final finished piece and feeling like maybe it wasnt as punctual as i was expecting, kind of feeling like I didn’t learn anything from this piece but I suppose its important to reflect on pieces like this so you can improve and refine.

Howls Moving castle week

As scheduled on my calendar this week has been allocated to drafting up and producing 3 Howls moving castle illustrations since I had done the book cover and it turned out so well. Granted the week has started pretty late it being Thursday but who doesn’t love the pressure to get it finished.


I filtered back through the drawings I did in November for the book cover and see if I could recycle any decent ideas that would perhaps work with the silhouettes and colour scheme I had going on and found a contender.


That being the scarecrow and the castle towering over him, I practiced the image and then went on to test and experiment with out I was going to make to castle look. A few tries in and I had the shape I wanted but then figured that I could use vanishing points from perspective drawing systems to achieve the towering look I wanted. Testing this drawing system out and finally feeling confident in creating this image. This being the first time have practiced an image several times before actually doing the main one made me feel much more confident in the look and feel I wanted to go for, something to remember to take on for next time.


I used a 3D model poser app on my iPad to further cement the perspective and scope of the illustration, this helped a lot too and speeded the process up by hours.


Using the 3D model as a base I traced over the figure instead doing a scarecrow and the squares representing the tower in the distance being a guide to follow, eventually altering the shapes to make it feel a little but more natural and as if it was a tower of box room slotted together with windowsills, roofs and vents.


Using the original book cover as my colour palette I traced the sketchy lines from the shape of the castle and blocked it in with colour, casting it up against that distinctive red you see in the cover, being consistent in the style was important to me.


Next up tracing the scarecrow and the floor adding a few little details like grass and stones to make it feel more natural but not over doing it.


Then adding lit up windows just like in the book cover to further bring them closer as a collection of drawings or at this point, a pair. Putting shadows underneath the grass and stones to highlights them and break up the blocky colour at the bottom of the piece.


This was where I got a little experimental and decided to play around with textures, in my recent digital pieces I have always found myself using the halftone texture quite a lot, its simple and not too overpowering, it seems to give the piece here a little bit more depth as its used more as a gradient than painting in detailed shadows. It gives the castle the sense that it is towering over the scarecrow as you can see it gets lighter the further away it gets as any tall or distant object would.


All in all considering I managed to do this work in a day I am pleased with and find that when I work at this fast pace I tend not to hold on to ideas, quickly trail testing and finding out if it works or not and not getting attached to finer and because of this having the freedom to experiment with colours, tools and textures. overall I am pleased with the piece in the timeframe I had with it and I think it fits nicely in with the book cover this respecting the  and blocky colour scheme however this time on the castle and scarecrow having a little but more of a sense of realism.

A rough start to 2019

After handing in my 20% interim assessment it was safe to say that not much drawing was done after that, I turned my attention to the critical analysis albiet that not being the best stratagey however the deadline loomed a head for me and I thought it’d be best to get it out the way so I can go back to focusing on drawing. However this turned out problematic as by the time I had finished the analysis it was mid January and I had realised I hadn’t done any drawing for a solid 3 weeks resulting in an unenthusiastic start to the year for drawing and thinking creatively.

Today marks the first day I have sat down and put some serious thought its how I’m going to plan out the next 5 weeks ready for the 80% assessment in February, having the time table printed out was an excellent start as I could strategically plan out what days to do what and how I would manage said days, it helped to see this visually and in-front of me colour coded.

The next 5 weeks start on Monday however with some time left over today from planning I shall make my life a little easier and do some work or preparation for when I come back in Wednesday hitting the floor with a peaceful jog at best. The killer being working 2 days of the week them being Monday and Tuesday, this shortens down the 5 week period for me and adds a little bit of pressure which is probably what resulted in e colour coding and planning these coming weeks out. throughout these 5 weeks I will be tackling 3 projects/briefs them being; Howls Moving Castle book illustrations – I had tackled this project briefly and only managed to make one illustration that being a cover for the book and with feedback from Ian I was instructed to go back and finish 3 final illustrations for inside the book, even though the project deadline ended last week it’d be nice to revisit and create 3 illustrations in the style of the book cover.

Next up; The penguin book cover competition ‘Student Design Awards’ I wanted to partake in this, it being one of the first competitions ill be entering and I’m excited to apply myself to a specific topic/brief and see how I react and the creative response I manage to conjure up. There being a choice of 3 books, the one peaking my interest is The Establishment by Owen Jones, it being centred around politics and being Non-Fiction, it should be an interesting change of pace having to base my work off real events and not some mystical, Electronic piece of fiction. Wanting to see if this provokes a serious response and see how this response compares alongside the rest of my work.

And lastly as a self directed project I will be touching on the topic of A.I., this being a sensible choice and at least a safety net if the other briefs happen to fall apart (Lets hope they don’t). Reason being is technology being one of my specialities and something tat always peaks my interest, this can be seen in my last two UNIT X projects. Also the fact that I have recently written my critical analysis on the topic of A.I so I have plenty of reference and research already laid out and written for me so that should be a cushty start.

Knowing all of these briefs and seeing them all planned out on a timetable will hopefully give me a sense of security and that not everything up in the air, this gives me closure and lets hope that this has a positive effect on my work knowing that I can relax and do what is allocated of me to do that day. Lets open the curtains on January, push it out of bed and remind it theres not much time left in University.


Cartoonist ideas

Having a look at some of the reference I have collected and seeing throughout the characters and the cartoonist style of illustration I wanted to try my hand at creating one instead of using the sharp souls figures I tend to use in my illustrations this far, perhaps this can be putting my foot in the door trying to find my identity and a style thats authentic and one I enjoy the process of, so I got to work on designing a character based on a few works I had collected. 47579535_2223057821315371_1464714487956242432_n.jpg

aside from one final sketch of the Facebook pillory idea (one I am currently working on taking into photoshop) but before I do that I thought it would be nice to just change the generic figure I often use, as you can see there is a selection of faces I have sketches, each with their own styles and characteristics, rounder heads, more square heads, noses and eyes and in some instances hair. I thought out of the lot I would go for number 2 as this seems to be a style I am wanting to achieve and I think gives the character a bit more life and relatable. once choosing a head I tried a few more styles with them specific rules for instance size and spacing of the eyes, nose and blushes along with some different types of body shapes and builds, Just to get a feel for how I wanted to portray this character and the emotions he would give off, finally settling on a body build and facial features that I’m happy with, I will be taking this figure into photoshop and digitising him in different positions and colours before implementing him into the facebook pillory and perhaps if his image succeeds I could take him on as a figure filler, insetting him into any illustration that contains a figure. Maybe even trying a female rendition of him.

Im not too sure what this will solve in terms of coming up with ideas for said topic but it was grinding away at me coming up with these illustration ideas for social media logos and not having a character or stylistic character to complete the illustration, instead having a bare faced generic man be the place filler, sort of hoping that this won’t be a waste of time but time will tell once I have developed him into photoshop.


sticking in a piece of research I’ve had lying around for a few weeks now from the child mind institute talking about social media and self doubt I have briefly scanned through it and picked out little sentences that stuck out to me that could perhaps spawn ideas for more illustrations, one of them quotes involving photoshop, a software I know all too much about. I got to thinking about turning these ideas into more of a cartoonist section illustration, one you would perhaps see on a web article or even in a newspaper which encouraged me to be as witty and as narrative as possible, but still keeping it minimal, a few of these ideas involve the icon itself touching up another social media icon on a tablet, changing its figure or as its called ‘been photoshopped’. I wanted to play around with this term because its a common phrase thats thrown about all over which spawned the next idea, an actual photoshop. One where people could go into and get themselves photoshopped in a dystopian sort of way. lastly the two involving a photoshop detector is pretty explanatory and the famous Hue Hefner as replaced with the photoshop icon symbolising that the icon itself can make girls famous and wanted much like Hue Hefner did to the playboys as little I know on that subject.

Taking a look at my work thus far has made me realised I haven’t been straying too far from the logos, every piece I have drafted up and every idea has been entered around a social media logo one way or another and yes, I still have quite some ground to cover still with a few ideas I do wish to bring to photoshop but I can feel myself yearning for something else. I feel trapped in this cycle of getting a logo and just attacking it with ideas, developing one and moving on and its making the purpose for this project a little foggy and hazy. the time is soon coming to stretch out a liitle take a different path or try out a new way of developing ideas, something a little more hands on. or even by the wise words of my tutor perhaps change to a different subject for a while..

Imprisonment tests

Upon being given my portfolio back with my assessment grade a key piece of advice that I agreed with was the lack of development of an idea before I turn it into a final image on Photoshop, so I made it my mission to develop an idea a little further well in the stylistic sense anyways. I stared looking at wired magazine illustrations for inspiration and to try and see what the demand was for the article illustrations and the style was clear to me, most of them consisting from sharp geometric portrayals of figures which is where I started.

After doing a few renditions in different styles I decided to throw them all together to see how the figure would look and translate and compared to my empty static figures in my previous ears works from this project id say I made a little progress. perhaps not where I want to be but at least it has a little more life in them. My first rendition was from the crucified facebook F an idea I thought was quick and effective and this is the resultCrucified.jpg

Its incredibly simplistic in every sense, I wasn’t looking to finalise it or give it polish as I just wanted a sense of how the figure would translate digitally especially if I added small shadows and highlights here and there bringing it out in a more 3D sense and Im pleased with it, a few tweaks on its anatomy shape and form, perhaps giving it a little more life with clothing or hair? but I think its a good start nonetheless.

Next illustration was again from imprisonment however this time being the ball and chain idea, again with this one just to get a perspective of giving the figure some colour and bringing it out with highlights and shadows. Social chain.jpg

its safe to say theres are far from being polished and in a final piece as I’m wanting to add texture to them and a context for them to be in but its a start and a start I’m happy with.

Back to reality

After a long much needed two weeks off (should of been one but managed to catch a winter cold) its time to get back into the full swing of things with my authorship project about the effects of social media. I prepared myself last night whilst falling asleep about possible ways I could explore next with the world of social media and I was reminded of the note I had left it on that being imprisonment 47236649_305555526734793_8286569356687572992_n.jpg

with my last illustration showing a person being locked in behind notifications I was thinking of other ways imprisonment could be symbolised so I started safely with hand-cuffs. I decided to change the actual cuffs themselves to social media logos and realised I hadn’t really illustrated that well enough in my sketch of the idea, so decided to do a few variations as you can see below the hands, the first two which are in the sketch being instagram and twitter. The next two being hearts which is used In instagram and twitter representing a like however this made it look a bit raunchy and the idea could easily be lost in translation or make it hard for people to associate with. I then tried a like with a comment but came to the same conclusion of it not coming across easy. The idea was a simple but not a strong one, however a good way to get me started and back in the groove.


Thinking of other ways people could be imprisoned and immediately thought of a ball of chain with the easy association of changing the call out with iconic social media logos, such as twitter,snapchat and instagram. This again being a nice simple idea but I think this one translates much better, it could be taken as the weight of having to keep up with social media or how it holds us down. An idea I might develop further on this is a group of people walking off without the burden of social media, making us more antisocial In a way. A pillory, this one was easy when combing the facebook logo with imprisonment and I think it works nicely, simple and can be seen as relatable. Other facebook logo implementations include it in the shape of a syringe which could be seen as a drug, an addiction and this could be a brilliant Segway into how social media is addictive like a drug, transforming the platforms into drugs or addictive substances and perhaps drawing/sketching scenarios. Last but not least the crucified person on the facebook F, I think this one pays off nicely and like I mention in my annotations this could be taken many different ways, one could be on the path of cyberbullying, or perhaps crucifying your opinions and thoughts on the platform of social media. All very exciting pathways I could take this in which is reassuring knowing Im not running short of ideas not to mention taking these ideas into photoshop to better illustrate them and play around with style as un-important it is…