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.

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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.

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.


Reporter: Lino Printing

Lino printing is another field that I have not explored before. We began with a tutorial from Damien in which he explained the process and how it works. He demonstrated some cutting techniques and using the printing press. He provided us with some materials and we then proceeded to create some of our own. It is difficult to get your head around reversing images into negative and working out which lines are going to show when printed. I was still feeling uncertain about what I wanted the focus of my project to be, so as a practice run for the workshop I decided to use one of my 1 minute portraits from the drawing workshop. I thought my face could make a really effective lino.


I used transfer paper to place my illustrations onto the lino and began to carefully cut away. The imprint left on the transfer paper even made for an interesting image.


I found the cutting technique got easier as I went on and I was pleased with the outcome. First I printed in black and got a strong solid image. I then continued to use a bold blue and pink.


18446942_767785290066402_6106142530489247637_nI will definitely be using this technique again throughout the project.

Katie Hardcastle, A case study

Katie Hardcastle is 22years old and currently studying illustration at The John Cass Art School, London Metropolitan University. She feels the East London area has huge energy about it which she finds is perfect for her as a creative environment.

Q: So Katie, tell me about the influences you use in your work. In your poster pieces you seemed to use influences from the people close to you, would I be right in thinking that family is a key stimulus towards your work?

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Brother: Katie Hardcastle 

A: Yeah. I find I naturally turn to my personal life as it is the best way to bring passion and a connection towards my work. When starting a project, I automatically turn to memory and past experiences.

Q: Are there any practitioners in particular that have inspired you within your creative field?

A: Katherine Asher is an illustrator that works with water colour and ink and her use of portraiture is really appealing to me.

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Fashion illustration: Katherine Asher
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Ink Painting: Katherine Asher


Q: What would you say is your preferred way of working within illustration?

A: Within the Past year I discovered a new interest of mine. Screen Printing has been an extremely enjoyable practice for me. The satisfaction you gain at the end of a long process is really fulfilling. It Is also a particularly colorful way of working as well, which I love!

Screen Prints: Katie Hardcastle


Utterly Moving Words Creation

I illustrated my type in order to create relevant effects that suit the words described by them. For example the word ‘Warmer’ i created using colors such as orange and red. i used my idea of ice letters and recording them as they melt to add emphasis to climate change. I also included my interaction with the letters. I recorded myself writing some of them and used props such as rulers to emphasize measurements and the rise of sea levels. The process was long a i face some problems to solve along the way but i have definitely learned a lot more about the process of stop motion and ways to get around certain issues. I also learned more about programs such as adobe premiere, in which i used to piece all the images together.


Initially the video was slow and jumpy, that is when i discovered that i needed to compress the the video before exporting in order for it to run freely. This is an example of one of the problems i came across.

For the sound i decided to stick with idea of water and how they could create interesting sound, I recorded a lot of domestic items, such as, a boiling kettle, a running tap, washing up and dripping sounds. I sometimes found that artificially creating the sounds worked out better and came across more clearly, for example, i found that dropping chickpeas into a full bowl of water created a clearer sound of dripping water. I also used two pieces of polystyrene and rubbed them together to create the sound of footsteps crunching in the snow. However not all of these sounds worked in theme with the video. Therefor i decided the boiling kettle was the most symbolic. As the kettle gets hotter the sound grows and i found this an extremely suitable sound to reflect global warming.



Project 1. 100 Briefs

Today we were faced with a challenging task. After being giving a list of 100 mini briefs we were thrown into attempting to complete every one of them within a two minute time slot. We were faced with challenges such as , thinking outside the box, clarity, thinking on our feet and time management. At first i was skeptical, i thought the task was unrealistic and somewhat pointless. However as the day went on i began to pick up the pace and broadened my mind. Although i didn’t manage to complete all of the briefs or feel completely happy with all of the results, it was truly encouraging to know that i had gotten through 100 briefs within the space of a day. I feel that this task may change the way i think about all projects, and give me encouragement to know that i can come up with a great number of fantastic ideas if i just put my mind to it.

Project 2. sound track of our lives development

I wanted to attempt screen printing as a way to create my finished posters. I wanted my colors to be bold and for them to work well when overlapped to represent movement, vibrations and the coming together of color.

I prepared six A2 prints of block circles each slightly offset from each-other, and for some they are continuing onto the next page to tie all the posters together and add to the idea of community. The reason i aimed to screenprint came from the fact that screen printing has been a successful and ongoing way of creating posters and creating them in bulk. Preparing the screens was a long process, as each poster needed two screens. I washed, dried, put the photosensitive emulsion, dried, exposed and re washed each of the screens. Unfortunately i must have  made a mistake through the process, as my screens didn’t work. I am still unsure why but the ink couldn’t make its way through the screen and left nothing hut a blank page on the other side.

I left them for the time being and headed back home. However, i had also been thinking about the art of airbrushing. I knew this was another possibility as you can get a really precise effect. I could create even lightweight colors and tone and the overlapping of the colors would work well. I have acrylic inks and knew that the colors i had were the ones i had in mind for the posters. Therefor i decided to carry out some tests to see what effects i would get. Initially i didn’t like the first test i carried out. I had used the airbrush too heavily leaving really opaquer block colors and visible pencil lines. However i saw the potential and knew where i had gone wrong.

I went for it again, this time with more precision and the knowledge i took from some of the reductive mark making techniques we worked on during the mark-making workshops earlier in the year. I was more careful with my scalpel and use of masking tape to attempt the perfect circles. I held back much more with the airbrush knowing when to stop. As a result i got a much more refines circles and really delicate layers of color. The colors were a much more accurate reflection of the mood of each song. I learnt that simplicity and minimalism is something to be respected.

The final images worked well as a series and one color from each poster was mirrored in one of the others keeping them in theme.



Mark making city scapes


I personally love a city landscape which is why I particularly enjoyed this workshop. We were asked to select a section of the landscape that we would like to create artworks from. We were also told to consider the different colours that were within our view. It was a particularly foggy day which slightly changes a landscape and how bold the buildings are the further away they get. I chose a particularly busy area of the view as I thought it would create more interesting shapes in a reductive piece of artwork. We learnt the difference between reductive and additive mark making techniques. Reductive means removing materials in order to create an image as opposed to adding outlines to a page. Admittedly I had never worked properly in this way and was looking forward to trying it out.
I created a lot of my pieces using masking tape. I found the efftext that is left is really striking and you can create a number of different textures and patterns within the remaining shape. On a couple of my favourite pieces as I was tearing away the tape the paper was ripping. This was due to me not being careful enough in my attempt to get many different examples completed. However once I applied granite powder to this it created different shades over the textured paper where it had torn. I learnt that my favourite results came from those attempts where the paper was torn. It created a dark shadowed effect which was a perfect reflection of the wether and the mood that was felt in the sky that day. I completed two of these graphite powder reductive images and placed them against each other creating a mirrored effect. One was much dark and one more transparent. I thought these contrasted each other well. I also photocopied theses and played around with the intensity of the colours creating one much bolder, darker and more animated final image.

The Clenched Fist Archetype

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It is difficult to create a poster using an archetype with a background that is so well recognized. I decided not to look at the archetype in its original representation and began thinking more about the act of clenching a fist. After researching body language and what a clenched fist fundamentally indicates about a person, I discovered that all though it is quite a powerful, and often aggressive symbol, it is essentially a form of relaxation. I took this idea of stress relief and decided I could make a poster using shape and color to represent the progression from frustrations towards relaxation.

The background is made up of idealistic calming colours such as lilac and blue. I used circular shape to reflect calm by avoiding harsh lines. I found and image of a limp open hand and placed this strategically as part of the background to create a contrast with the clenched fist symbolism. Layering images of the typical clenched teeth and fists in the foreground presents a clear disparity between the two emotions reflected. The bolder lines and colours of these images force them to stand out.

I placed the symbolic crown from the iconic “keep calm and carry on” posters. Using this single component of the archetype suggests the Idea of calm without copying the entire design of that particular poster.