Key Steps in Illustration: Tutor’s Feedback – Part 2

I was excited to receive my second tutor’s feedback, because I was not quite sure what to expect. Compared to part one, part two included a great variety of different exercises; I struggeled more with some than with others, and so I was looking forward to receiving some feedback on what is going well, and which areas need improvement.

Overall I found the feedback was positive, and included constructive comments on how to develop as an illustrator.

One suggestion that I already incorporated was to restructure this learning blog to include the exercise’s title in the headline instead of numbers. I guess it makes it easier to look for a certain exercise. I also added a new structure to the menu in the header, which now includes the individual parts and their exercises to make it easier to look at the ones per part.

Some areas that I can improve on:

  • Exploring ideas further, and experiment more, e.g. with different materials, larger scales, new/unusual perspectives, by loosening up,add found materials, etc. I have already tried to incorporate this recommendation in the first exercises for part three, and am trying to explore more options, perspectives, and ideas for the next exercises rather than sticking to the first thing that comes to my mind. I guess it will help me not to jump to conclusions too early, which I tend to do I think. What I have noticed is that if I give some projects more time, and e.g. do something else inbetween for a few days, I often come up with new fresh  ideas that frequently lead me to the final artwork. Sometimes I also come up with an idea when I’m on the road and haven’t worked on anything for a few days.
  • Practise more life drawing, and develop drawing skills by sketching everyday objects every day in a seperate smaller sketchbook. I guess this is something that I will find difficult, but I will try to keep it up, even if I just manage five or ten minutes per day on some long days. I’ve already tried to keep up a new instagram project about sweets with some small sketches in colour in a seperate sketchbook. Even though they are not the most advanced drawings, they are still fun to do.
  • Add another small sketchbook for exploring printmaking. I’m looking to do more printmaking over the next few months, so hopefully I will be able to work on different techniques and try out new things.
  • For some exercises, e.g. the 1950s room, I didn’t include a thought process that lead to the final image – and that frankly is because I did not put anything in my sketchbook. I had it in my mind, but did not document it or try out different versions. I understand that it is important, also to evaluate my work in the assessment, so I will try to include more of my thought process that lead the final pieces.
  • Work big! One suggestion is to draw big to identify any weakness. I think I often tend to work with smaller sketches in my sketchbook, because I often find it difficult to spend a lot of time with sketches. My sketchbook for the course is DinA4 – so not that small. However, when I work out my ideas on paper, it is also either DinA4 or DinA5, not larger. I will get some new papers shortly, then I can work out a somewhat larger scale.
  • My tutor also suggested to look at illustrators like Aubrey Beardsley and Edward Bawdens.

As mentioned earlier, I find this feedback very constructive and helpful to improve, and I I aiming at incorporating as much as possible in the future exercises. I think overall I have the feeling that I’m not progressing as fast in the course as I was hoping for. Then again, I think it is important to not rush certain projects, especially since I’m working full time and have to squeeze the projects in my spare time. I guess I have to be patient, and accept that certain things just take time.

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