Week 12

This week was a hectic week to say the least. I was flat out trying to get these spreads done, considering its now a mere six weeks to finish this last project, revisit some previous projects and to have our show up and ready for the external examiner! After a chat with my tutor yesterday, I’m feeling a lot more confident about my approach as I floundered and struggled a bit earlier on in the week. I’ve got an already more confident and interesting colour scheme (no more cliché greens and browns!) and composition so feeling happy enough to tackle the remaining three spreads in the same vein next week. I also have the entire storyboard to do up in pencil roughs for the competition submission so I will more than plenty to get on with. I aim to have this project done by the end next week, giving me four weeks to work on my previous work, my show and my personal promotion.

spread so far


This weekend I will try to get started on my website, during my research last week I found that the majority of agencies are looking to see a website. I want to strike the iron while its hot (i.e. while I still have funds in the bank!) and get sent off to my chosen agencies ASAP.


Hopefully by the end of next week I’ll have four finished spreads to show you!



Week 11

After a much-needed break over Easter weekend I started the week off with doing a bit of career research, reading “How to be an Illustrator” by Darrel Rees and currently reading “Steal Like an Artist” and “Show your Work!” by Austin Kleon. I have found these very helpful contributions towards my next steps after final year. Sadly, I didn’t get the time to research web design yet but I have a few ideas about illustrating some navigation buttons…



I also did some research into Illustration agencies and where I might like to apply to be once my degree is over. I made a list, noting whether they were accepting applications, their location, if they had any illustrators similar to myself and other notes like how big their representation was.


The ones I’ve decided to prioritise applying for when I have my website sorted out are Hear Agency, Eye Candy Illustration, Handsome Frank, Agency Rush, Illozoo, Inky Illustration and Owl Illustration…unless my tutors reckon otherwise!

As for work my writer got back to me with her script- its a little long but I reckon I can pare it back for the average 6-8 year old.I managed to get my first set of illustrations done this week …I’ve deicded in terms of process to resarch as I go along, and get the images sorted first as they’re what I’ll be judged most fiercely on. Then once my images are finalised I will start to consider typography and layout. I’m hoping two and a half weeks will be enough time to finish, chop and change what I must and also provide the rough complete storyboard/book dummy for the competition deadline on the 19th!


first spread images

Week 10

It is the first week of the Easter holidays but I’ve had my nose to the grindstone! With the submission for Pan Macmillan in just under a month’s time I’ve got no time to waste.

I’ve drawn up my schedule and got down to some serious research. Illustrating for children is not something I’ve done before so just like John Lewis I need to look at how its already done by professionals before attempting anything myself.

The only thing I know about my project for sure is that it’s going to be a bilingual book aimed at 5-7 year olds to make learning Irish more fun. Unfortunately, my writer has been away at the USI conference this week so she hasn’t had time to get in touch with me but I’m hoping to grab her next week after I’ve had a break over Easter weekend. This hasn’t inhibited me from research and some early ideas and will at least give us somewhere to start when writing the story.I spent a lot of time this week just looking at books and websites on children’s illustration and trying to get a feel for the field, the type of art style I should be looking to lean towards etc. and also, obviously, at the work of some well-known children’s illustrators such as Oliver Jeffers, Quentin Blake and Jon Klassen. I feel now I’ve done this I’ve got a strong reference point to work from when it comes towards laying out my own picture book towards the end of next week.

My business cards also arrived from moo.com and they look great! I didn’t want anything too flashy, just my brand on one side and contact details on the other, the detail is in the edging, a black coloured edge to reflect the black outlines I do in my work! Very excited to get into doing my CV and Website next week!



Week 9- Ulster Uni Project

With D&AD out of the way I could finally focus on my week-long short project: “Ulster Universiy: A Civic Building” the brief was none too inspiring but one question caught my eye: “What does it meant to be part of Belfast School of Art?” It was originally going to be a piece of satire, calling out some of the major hypocrisies of how the University is run (for example, axing 200 teaching staff only to appoint an over-paid PVC with a flashy title with, no doubt, a six figure salary)

…but then the Brussels terror attacks happened on Tuesday the next week. And I knew there were more important things in the world to make comment on. “Make Art, Not War” is a well-known protest slogan, but I also felt it is my duty as not only an illustrator but straight-up an artist to do my bit to make the world a better place through my work. I can only hope one day that the only red on the streets of the world is red paint.

Update: I have since developed this project so below are the three stages of development from initial outcome to final outcome.





Week 7

After Amsterdam and a bout of the flu, spent this week catching up with D&AD and pushing to get it finished by the deadline on the 16th of March. I’m pleased to say it is now finished with a few days spare to get together my research material and a presentation for submission.

final final submission

I just need to add a few small tweaks such as the John Lewis logo and a link to their website and I’ll be good to go! I’ll spend some time this week going through the brief and making sure I’ve reached all the requirements.

I’m now undertaking a short project and then after next week I’ll be drawing up a schedule for Macmillan 2016 for a bilingual children’s book to make learning Irish fun and easy for the 8-10 year old age group…exciting stuff!

I also have undertaken some part time working doing Photoshop for a fashion company in Belfast…not the most creative stuff but definitely something to hone my software skills and to put on my CV.


That’s all for now,


Semester 2, Week 4,5&6

I seem to have omitted week 4, but seeing as I was off sick for the majority of that week there isn’t a lot to report other than I finalised my digital YCN designs!

So this week has been…a crazy one to say the least. My boyfriend was in A&E with a fractured arm (which has also meant taking on most of the household chores) as well as being in my part time job covering for someone. So this week hasn’t been as productive as I would have liked. I did however manage to finish up YCN for the time being last weekend, printing out and applying my designs to physical bottles, and even designing and printing a card wrap to go around them:


20160219_131602 20160219_131627 20160219_131554


I also got back working at D&AD as best I could and considering how hectic things have been this week I’m please with the progress I’ve made and I feel well on the way to making good progress. I experimented more with scale and layout and after speaking to my tutor I think I need to research more into the story and have more scenery and symbolism going on, for example this week I’ve developed Persephone’s hair so that it flows into the River Styx (the river that divided the mortal world and underworld, according to Greek mythology):


20160222_163015digital mock up final


On top of this, I’ve also been asked to design a logo and Facebook cover for someone who has just set up her own craft framing business the prototype of which I’ve sent out this weekend. I wanted to use my illustration skills to portray the hand-made aspect of her business:


sarah logo work high res-01

I’ve included Week 6 in the title because I don’t know what work I’ll get done because I’ll be in Amsterdam and then its my birthday but hopefully I’ll get some more D&AD done next weekend as the deadline is the week after that and I need to get a move on.

See you next time!



Semester 2, Week 3

I spent this week experimenting for possible outcomes for YCN as I have scheduled to have it completed by next Thursday in my plan for the semester. I have sourced where I can buy Fever Tree bottles for my end of year show and also experimented by mocking up an initial outcome onto a bottle. After a bit of struggle I finally feel happy with the side facing portraits as I feel they work better with hand-drawn type and give a new dynamic to the label. I didn’t get a chance to work on D&AD this week but will make that my priority after my deadline for YCN. I will review this project on the week of the 24th of March ready for submission. Next week I plan to finalise my design and get it mocked up both digitally and physically, and hopefully even get a chance to photograph my work.



Inspirations #1