Designing my Cover

Once I had decided what I want my cover to include and after a lot of testing, I scanned in all the components I had produced. This included screen printed plant illustrations and layers of left over materials that I had used in my work over the course of the year that included my chosen colours. The outcome was effective, however very bright and almost garish. It felt a little too busy for a front cover. I did not want to loose any of the components that I had included therefor I began to think about how I could use layering to add an additional aesthetic aspect that still represented me as a practitioner. I removed the title from my first page in in design and copied it into a new blank document. I changed the colour of the title to a dark bottle green as I thought it contrasted well against the bold colours and I printed this on a thick plastic tracing paper. I then placed it over a print out of my front colourful front cover and I was really pleased with the outcome. My book instantly felt more interesting.



The Art of the Cover

I thoroughly enjoyed the art of the cover workshop with Emily today. This is my favourite way of producing work. We were asked to bring in a variety of materials including ink, paint and different paper types in order to mass produce designs and experiment in creating a cover for our book. We began the workshop with a presentation with Emily about covers and the way designs can use the space on a page. Some of the designs we looked at encouraged me to think about the way I could represent myself as a practitioner but also how I could use the space on the page to create an aesthetically pleasing front cover. The use of shape and colour became really apparent in the examples we saw.

collection cover 300.jpg

In creating my own I thought about my way of working and what I enjoy. My chosen methods usually include line drawing, screen-printing, layering and colour. Therefore, I wanted this to be reflected. I enjoy using traditional materials such as paint so began by creating shapes and colour loosely on the page. I experimented with the colours that I use most such as pink, yellow and orange. I wanted my work to reflect my love of all things natural and non-digitalized therefore I was creating fairly natural and organic shapes. I carried this through to some illustrations and produced plant form illustration. I looked through some of my existing work and took some of the paper types and leftover screen prints I had available and began layering these up.

G.F Smith Talk

Today we had a talk from G.F smith about paper types and book making. She bought in some really interesting example books and triggered a number of ideas for my own book. I also got advice from her on how I could improve my book binding skills based on a book I had made in the past which I showed her.

The books I saw encouraged not to think about my book in a generic way and I began thinking about how I could be more playful with designs and layout. Paper types is a huge part of the decision-making process. I decided that I wanted to experiment using some transparent paper types and work with layering this up. This technique would be representative of some of the work I produced within my studio projects using materials such as acrylic, acetate and tracing paper. I decided having a sleeve for my book would give a more finished and subtle effect to the way it looks.





Collection: Book making workshop

Today We had a bookmaking workshop with Michelle in which we explored a variety of ways in which you can make your own book. This included the generic perfect bound style and various other foldable and experimental methods.  We worked our way through a list of binding techniques. One of my favourites was the one cut book. We have explored this before when making foldable zines and is a really neat and effective way of making a publication. However, this is not the most practical way for us to create our collection book. We explored some 3d fun options and tramlines which I hadn’t thought to use before.

We were also shown a tutorial on creating perfect bound books with signatures. I have attempted this before and would love to continue working in this way in order to improve my skill. I am thinking of using this for my final collection book.

I would like my book to be bound myself as opposed to getting it printed elsewhere. This is because my whole ethos is about hands on craft and the enjoyment of producing work manually. I would like this to be reflected through my book that I want to represent me. I also think this would be more of a learning experience for me.



Kickstarter: My Role Within the Team


Within the Kickstarter module I am art of the ‘War of Art’ team. As a group of aspiring illustrators, our plan is to create a card game that educates and uses our own designs. We wanted to continue with our plan to produce our own illustrations, however we decided that we needed to divide this workload more equally in order to promote each and every one of us. We brainstormed some ideas for interactive printed products and games came to mind. We began thinking about producing just packs of cards illustrated by us but decided that that this was not unique enough. The game we came up with is similar to the classic top trumps Each card is a different designer/ artist that has inspired us as a student in the field.

My role within the team is to Produce my share of the Illustrations. I selected my four artists based on the ways that they have helped and inspired me within my own work. I drew them all in my favourite line drawing style using black pen. I thought this would be easier to manipulate when edited and expresses the way I usually work. I am also responsible for Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 11.26.04 AM.png

Kickstarter: My Chosen Inspirers

The artists I have chosen I have selected for certain reasons. I have chosen Hannah Hock because her use of collage inspired me to be less of a perfectionist within my work through cut and paste techniques.



I have also selected the artist Chuck Close. He is a painter and I have huge respect for his work. I also wrote an essay a few years ago on artists who have disabilities and how they adapt the way they work to them. Chuck Close suffers from the neurological disorder prosopagnosia, or face-blindness, which impairs his ability to recognize faces. Being a photorealist painter this was difficult for him. However, he modified his work with this and the result of his new paintings are beautiful.



Thirdly, I selected ‘the letterpress monster’ Iann Gabb. I find his use of colours and layering hugely attractive and often take a look at his work for inspiration.



Lastly I chose Anselm Kiefer. On a visit to one of his exhibitions at the Royal Academy I was hugely surprised and impressed by how much I appreciated the scale and intricacy of his work. Not many artists have impressed me this much when seeing their work in person.


Kickstarter: Idea Generation

As a group, we decided that we needed a new product and new brand identity following on from our market ready prints idea.

We felt that our product needed more of a focus and our last project was too vague. It is also not the Christmas period anymore so we felt the target audience would have changed.

Our team is made up of 5 students studying Illustration .

The shared task of selecting and illustrating the chosen practitioners was exciting for us and meant we all have a balanced workload within the project.

Karl Fitzgerald – Designer

Will Howells – Marketing

Jennifer Garwood – Promotions

Katie Hardcastle – Video Director and writer

Devya Kakkar – Branding

As a group of aspiring illustrators, our plan is to create a card game that educates and uses our own designs. We wanted to continue with our plan to produce our own illustrations, however we decided that we needed to divide this workload more equally in order to promote each and every one of us .

We brainstormed some ideas for interactive printed products and games came to mind. We began thinking about producing just packs of cards illustrated by us but decided that that this was not unique enough.

The game we came up with is similar to the classic top trumps Each card is a different designer/ artist that has inspired us as a students in the field.

The name came from a play on words from the book ‘the art of war’. The war of art is also well suited to this particular card game as the artist’s cards will be competing to win.

We are inspired in our own work  by Artists and practitioners


We wish to inspire others.

Each card will have a caption or quote to give a little information about the artist for the players to learn from as they go. Each design in the style of the practitioner or the style of the illustrator (us).

The designs will get our own names and styles out there as well as educating other people with an interest in art and design to learn about practitioners that are less well known.

The scores and categories will teach the players a little about the kind of practitioner they are.


There will be a variety of different styles due to our illustrations all being different and created by different members of the group. Therefore, we needed to somehow tie all the cards together to make them work as a designed pack and we did this through the use of a colour scheme.

Pastel colours following on from our agreed colour scheme throughout market ready. The logo is simple and clear, in good contrast with the busy colours and design of the illustrations of the card

The logo will be placed on the back of each card perhaps with a subtle coloured background

The way the letters are arranged acts as a symbol for the ‘W’ and the ‘A’ battling against each other.


Market Ready Presentation

The first presentation we made focused on including all the information we wanted to share. Without focusing too much on the way it looked. We used one of the google slides pre-prepared layouts and tweaked certain pages whilst leaving others which meant there was no clear structure and layout which could put accelerator off us as a brand. The presentation was also lacking a logo mark and a team name which are two of the most important aspects of a group. Ricardo gave us feedback on this, he also commented on how some of the images in our presentation were not explained and just seemed like random page fillers.


Therefore, We went away and decided to improve these aspects.

In our new presentation, we opened with a clear logo and title. We decided the dark colours did not match our product or who we are at all so we changed the theme of the presentation to our pastel colour scheme. We replaced the images that did not fit in with what we were talking about.

When performing the presentation to the panel at accelerator t felt far clearer and as a result we were more confident. In terms of our product it felt slightly too vague and this may be why we were not selected. I do not feel like our plan to make and sell cards, bags and prints of all things ‘popular culture’ is strong enough and the work load In terms of the illustrations could be divided more equally.

Overall the day at accelerator was a huge learning curve and it was interesting and exciting to see the work of the other teams.


Fig Taylor

As the AOI’s resident Portfolio Consultant, Fig Taylor has been advising illustrators on how to make the best of their portfolio since the 1980’s. Author of How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired: A Guide for Graphic Designers and Illustrators, Fig has run her own illustration agency, and subsequently worked for several others, giving her a wide overview of the industry and a wealth of valuable experience.

On meeting her she shared with us her best advice. She advised that university portfolios and professional portfolios are very different; a professional portfolio needs to be selective. The work you show needs to be relevant, therefor  , she encourages that people should do their research beforehand to make sure the employer is only seeing what they are interested in.  Fig Taylor was humorous and gave a very educational talk.

Kate Morross


Kate Morross is an illustrator, art director and designer. She can’t live without music, sugar, meat and a pen and paper.

She has always been creative and has freelanced since her first year at university. She comes from a creative family and says that this has influenced her as a practitioner. Morross focusing on good ideas behind her work over aesthetics. A lot of Morross’s work involves pattern and geometry and making something bigger out of lots of small components.


If she wasn’t an artist she would like to be an electrician as problem solving is something she enjoys.

Ways of working

I need to develop my own ways of working. I know what practices I have enjoyed in the past and foolishly have failed to continue them and apply them to my woking process. Recently and in the past print is something that I have really enjoyed. I have also grown to love letterpress practices. If I was this to be something that becomes part of who I am as an illustrator I need to play around with these practices more often and relate them to different subject matter. The more I use these techniques the more I can learn to improve them.