I find my work comes into two forms, heavy on the context or heavy on the aesthetics, but I struggle finding a happy medium. I weigh on the side of context, because there are millions of Illustrators, artists, and creative in the world that are able to create images way past my abilities. Context is the quintessential ingredient to a amazing piece in mind, to be able to make work that conveys a message, a understanding, that people connect with is all I aim for, and if the aesthetics (which yes I do work hard on) fall into rhythm then what more could I possibly ask for in life. I believe Illustration is there to aid understanding, and to enlighten, which for me is the whole point of this degree, I wanted to learn to communicate through images (perhaps this is to do with my struggle to get my words out in a logical order when I’m scared or angered, the times I most want to speak my mind).
In previous years I’ve explored a lot with different mediums, stylistic approaches, and contextualisation. In previous years, I felt I connected better with subjects with a gritty/socially active/emotive topic, which tend to come with campaigns and editorial pieces. So when given the opportunity to create my own topic, I was at a loss with all the options, but I knew as soon as I started my dissertation I wanted my work to be based around Feminism and Everyday Sexism, both topics I have a distinct passion for.
My work is all directly fed from my own life, I didn’t want to make work I couldn’t relate to, work I couldn’t put all of myself into, hence how my ‘in plain sight’ newspaper came to be, of which the entire project came from one night of anger boiling over after work, and said anger spilling onto a page and the creative seed being planted (So cringey). It is worth noting somewhere that I while the ‘in plain sight’ newspaper was a personal passion and so I felt no guilt including ‘illustrated by Becky Watts’ where as the ‘Solidarity’ zine, was creating to support and promote International Womens Day, and so although warned against it, I chose not to include my name on it, this is because of a quote by a Gloria Steinem, of which I loved so much I included it in the newspaper;
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human right.”
its not about me, it’s about the cause.
I think it’s easy to see how I’ve developed as an Illustrator since I arrived at Cardiff three years ago, my confidence in my mark-making, and confidence in making decisions on my own work with out 3rd party feedback, I can see what’s working, and what isn’t and when I can’t, I’ve made amazing creative friends who know me and what how I like my work to look, and can give me directed advice. Specially this year and last though, I’ve learnt to be an illustrator, last year I learnt to follow and brief and this year I learnt to make my own. I’ve also developed a MAD amount technically, I’m fluent on Photoshop and have a basic understanding of InDesign, and have learnt short cuts and how to teach myself things I may need (i.e. adobe help, YouTube), plus I’ve become pretty nifty on the graphics tablet. None of these I think I’d haven’t learnt if I hadn’t been left to my own devices this year, it has given me the chance to explore things I wanted to and made me problem solve and learn in the process. All of these I’ve been told make you super employable- I’ll believe when I see it!
A side note, as I’m unsure where this should be includes, i’ve come to realise that i’m a seriel procrastinator and need to set myself regular small deadlines when working with a long deadline, so I’m not working 16 hour days for a month.
I have no idea if i’ve done this right, but what more could I possibly say about my subject work, and so I will conclude by saying I’m very happy with how it all came together at the end and probably abit too chuffed with myself, but I can quite honestly say I’ve never been so proud of single thing I’ve created.