Thursday, 28 November 2013

Inspiration Project Brief

Last week I was set a short project brief based on inspirations. After expressing what inspires me on a personal level on my previous blog post 'My Personal Inspirations' and sharing my thoughts with the rest of my peers at University, we were set a challenge in randomised pairs to create an illustration based on the other persons own inspirations.

I was paired up with Katie Mcternan who's personal work can be found on her blog at: http://katiemcternanillustration.tumblr.com/

Katie's Inspirations:

Nature- Andy Goldsworthy, man made vs nature (destruction of nature)- Julian Schnabel, patterns - Yellena James and Beatriz Milhazes, texture, butterflies - colour and pattern - Damien Hirst, Fiona Rae, visiting galleries, collect objects and images of things I like to make mood/inspiration boards, taking photos of things I see and like, time- decay- watching things age, experimentation with materials, life drawing, drawing.

Interestingly, I found many similarities with my own personal inspirations. Therefore, I naturally focused on these things and decided that to create my illustrative interpretation I would use the themes of nature and decaying over time. I also looked at the artists which were given and actually really loved the work of Yellena James who uses plenty of colour and pattern in her illustrations in a subtle and delicate way.

After researching and thinking about potential ideas for my illustration, I came up with an initial sketch:


The idea behind this was to illustrate how trees lose their leaves throughout the seasons. I visualised this as a form of decay and thought it linked quite well with Katie's inspirations. Furthermore, the bird signifies the beauty of nature and I thought that a bird would be a perfect icon for representation to reflect this. 

I then went on to develop this further with watercolour as my choice of media to reflect on the subtle beauty of nature.

Original watercolour illustration

Digitalised version of original illustration. Applied manipulation of brightness/ contrast, hue and saturation.


Final version of digital illustration



I believe that the final illustration I created was successful in the sense it portrays a sense of time and decay in a simple manner. The dark space gives the composition a sense of space, but also reflects the negativity of the theme of decay. The birds are almost 'dancing' in the air which gives a sense of juxtaposition and calm when the surroundings and themselves appear to be deteriorating.

Once digitalised, I feel it has enhanced my original illustration and made it stronger. It is not giving too much away and allows the viewer to interpret the illustration in their own way.

Cropping the image right makes the birds iconic without needing the rest of the image to understand the theme of decay within nature.


Reflection on Project

Overall I have found this project has given me a sense of relief from the main 'The Black Mirror' project. Forcing me to work at a fast pace has actually been a huge benefit to my approach to creating illustration, allowing me to illustrate my ideas visually without over-thinking or questioning them. As a matter of fact I believe through the creation of this illustration I can move forward with my main project and produce more visuals for my final outcomes.


Katie's Illustration based on my own Inspirations

As I was paired up with Katie for this brief, she also created an illustration based on my own personal inspirations (which can be seen on a previous post 'My Personal Inspirations').


After seeing Katie's illustration it immediately struck me how similar our compositions appeared to be, and how we both picked out the nature elements of our inspirations. We both also used watercolour as our choice of media which was interesting and demonstrated how similar our inspirations actually are. I think Katie has done a great job of depicting my personal inspirations, and how she chose to illustrate my childhood within quite a maturely painted and subtle background.