PDP- Exhibition Reflection

Third year has been professional practice focused, which is ideal when you’re heading into the real world as soon as June comes (jeeeez). While It was heavily focused around becoming a freelance illustrator, (which for some people I think they would suit to a t) I’m not sure I have the self-motivation to find jobs and pursue work myself, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. In easter I even went about contacting various art & design companies for internships around where I live in Suffolk for summer, while I’ve had no replies I will continue the search closer to the time.

The Professional practice seminars were unbelievably helpful, they helped me understand the realities of being an illustrator; the taxes, invoices, pricing, legality, as well as simple things about how to confine to briefs and email clients. I also took on board the CV seminar and worked to make a professional creative CV I’m proud of and am happy to send to potential employers. While I faced the task of creating my CV, Business cards, Portfolio, I realised how important professional formatting, font, imagery were in order to encourage people to contact and hire you.

Another part of being a professional creative, is having a website portfolio for people to visit and view your work and learn a little about you. I spent weeks creating the perfect website for me, working to make the perfect smooth finish, simple, stylish that was diverse enough to show the variety of my work and my skills, but being sure to only show work I would be happy to do again.It never occurred to me before professional practice how imperative platforms are in promoting yourself, especially the use of hashtags/linking/tagging, and so I went about giving my social platforms a face-lift, making them more illustration based removing anything unsuitable/inappropriate, and being sure to link all my other platforms, website, blog on every-one.

All of the time I spent creating these important things, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be after I graduate, what career field I want to go into, and I began to realise through the year, as I procrastinated all my time away, that I work best with short deadlines, I work best when I’m not self run, i.e I don’t think freelance for me is an option, but rather another creative field such as a creative in a team in a company perhaps. That being said I wouldn’t rule out freelance, I think I would like to explore free-lance on the side, as its not a very financially stable career, I would purse it part-time, and see how I do.

Obviously a big part of professional practice is the degree show, in this case making and presenting all my work so that people want to see more of my work, and hire me as an illustrator, and so I created things for my show that hopefully the professionals during industry night would want to and can take home with them. I chose a subject I was passionate about which was a worry for me for a while, as I assumed that some people would have opposing views to that of me, but decided that people like to see illustrators passion and fire. I spent a long way thinking how to best show and present my work so that people want to and feel like they can take it, and so I chose disposable things such as newspaper and zines, but I also made them (hopefully) so pretty and powerful that they don’t want to dispose of them. I also chose a newspaper stand to present them in, as a it suggests that people can take them.

Since first year I’ve come to realise how important communication is, whether that’s in an email to a client, in an interview for a job, or in a meeting with your colleges, it’s impetrative to be clear and confident. In my job, I meet lots of different kinds of people, and occasionally those people are in the art and design industry and so have been taking it upon myself to make connections with these people, being sure to invite them to the industry night. I’m not sure if it’s the course or university in general, or just growing in confidence personally outside of university, but I really do think I’ve come far from the nervous reck that cried in meetings and group tuturials in first year. I can quite honestly say I’m ready for the professional world, and that this course was a big part of getting me there.

The Printing Wait…

It’s all about that waiting game…

My Business cards arrived first, sleek, in bulk and exactly how I imagined them when i was designing, in theme with my zine, and no colour-distortion. I can’t help giving them out! I carry them on me and give them out to all my friends… (I know I shouldn’t but I’ve got so many, a few can be spared!)

My Solidarity zines arrived next; theres no other way to say it, I bloody love them, they’re perfect, they’re everything I wanted and more. The paper is perfect for what they are, and the fact there are enough that people can take them away with them, especially on industry night is ideal. The colour, quality and everything was just ideal, and they were the perfect size for my newspaper stand.

My ‘In Plain Sight’ Newspaper has yet to arrive, I expect it wont arrive until monday now, but once it arrives, I think they will fit in perfectly, with the large print number (200) I think it’ll be able to stacked next to my newspaper stand with the zines, and I reckon they’ll look brilliant.(If I say so myself)

 

There is alot of pressure with deadlines and printing, and I wish I was more organised and got everything made and sent off way sooner, but I’m not worried because that extra time putting off the printing deadline meant that they are going to be the best they could possibly be. (Big up to my beautiful friend Mr Eliot Southwell for helping me with Indesign and getting these off to printer, without him i suspect I’d be in a hole crying right about now.)

Desk Presentation

The components of my desk are as follows; my sketch book, and first mini sketch book, of which the large one is divided by a colour soding system, I chose to leave all my work in the stetch book and cover it in black sugar paper to keep it with the aesthetic, as the sketchbook feel organic and shows my process, more than it would taking all the images out and presenting them that way.

desk 4

I also got printed an A3 professional porfolio, although i do have a website, I felt I wanted an A3 portfolio to accompany it, with little explainations of the project, i think this was because personally I like looking at physical work, and I like having something to look at and feel and interact with. The only problem with this is that I didn’t have time to get my ‘In plain sight’ project in there. On top of my physical portfolio I also had a memory stick (I bought a new sleek one to fit the aesthetic of my desk) on which I put PDF copies of both my zine and my newspaper, although it was primarily for my newspaper as I knew it wouldn’t be printed in time for the desk submission. I also included copies of all the reciepts and dispatch information in regards to my newspaper.

desk 3

As one of my final handed in products, I really wanted to show my zine of, pride of place, and thought it looked nice, showing my developement process, below you see, top left of the quare my two prep zines, then a high quality print of each page to the right of them, below which I have a few copies of my final printed zine, which came a few days before the deadline. Also on the table i have a mock-up copy of my newspaper “In plain sight” obviously it isn’t the right proportion size, but the newspaper it’s self was hard to print due to it’s unusual size so it was the best I could do.

At the top you can see a fan of my business cards next to a box, which also contains business cards.

desk 2

Finally on the left of my desk you can see a large A2 folder, in which contains my large prep work and final images I then scanned in, I chose to back on the images onto the same size black sugar paper, and then split the sections up with simple dividers on the top image, on which it says what it is; i.e. “Solidarity” or “In plain Sight; Prepatory work”.

desk 1

On the back board, I just have simple black sugar paper on a MDF board bought from wickes, to hide the ugly plastic electics panel, and a tracing paper sheet with important information, following the organisation themes of the rest of the desk.

I used tap to secure and specify, as it added a big of colour, as well as made everything look abit more relaxed and authentic.

 

Degree Show Presentation

My degree show presentation, much like my work reflects an air of simplicity and strength. I knew I didn’t want my work presented on a wall, or on a shelf, although I was considering a shelf at one point when I couldn’t think of a better way of presenting my zines.

Originally, I was planning a short run of a only a few zines, hand made, this would have looked fine on a shelf, however when I decided to make the print run large, and the zines of a more light weight disposable paper, this became impractable and aesthetically, it wouldn’t look right or fit the concept of the work.

While the zines became an issue of presentation, my newspapers were clear, I knew exactly how I wanted them to be presented, in a tradition corner shop newspaper stand, the wire kind they present magazines and newspapers in.

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I knew exactly what I wanted, and so with very little effort, but a fair amount of money, I purchased the above. It arrived, it was perfect, and the next day, my zines arrived, a box of 100. On a whim I put them in the stand, thinking at least until I come up with a solution its a good way to store them, but when in, they actually looked brilliant, they showed off the cover perfectly. So that resolved the how I was to present the zine, but created a new one, how will I present my newspaper now that I’ve used the designated stand for zines.

At this point in time, the only solution I can come up with, is to have the newspapers stacked free beside the stand, because its’ll fit the non-shalant nature of everyday sexism, the disposable nature of the press and newspapers, and just in general it’ll fit the aesthetic.

I got a print run of 200 papers, so hopefully it’ll look okay, should it not I’ll work it out as an when, I may have to make of find some kind of stand to raise them off the floor.

Professional Printed Portfolio

Over the last few days I’ve been compiling my work to be printed and put into a professional portfolio;

The images I’ve chosen are images that reflect my skills as an artist and illustrator, but also show what I like to do, would be happy to do again, as I didn’t want to include any project, no matter how successful if I wouldn’t be happy to do similiar work again.

My Professional Portfolio is more or less a visual representation of what I have stated on my CV. I will be adding and editing this selection as and when I create new work. All of these images were originally scanned at a high definition, and I will be printing these A3 at the Print Studio on campus.

I’ve added a boarder round the images to make them look professional as the images are different size, and the less distortion of size and layout, the better. I also made sure when presenting the images in my portfolio that the portfolio doesn’t need to be rotated in order to see the images.

With each project, I also did an accompanying text, with the project title, a small description, with some a quote and then the mediums used.

The first page is simplistic, with a elegent easy to ready font, with my name, what it is, and my website address.

 

Printed Porfolio

Attached above is a PDF copy of my Printed Portfolio.

 

Business Cards

Simple, sleek, uncomplicated- all things I knew I wanted, however it wasn’t until after i did my zine that I knew what image to use.

The image choice is not only stylish and in theme with my current work, but when making my zine, I chose not to associate my name witht he images, as theyre a non-profit piece of promotion for a good empowering cause, however it occured after they were sent to the printer, that they are in no-way associated with  my name, and so the image choice was made for me;

but in no-way am I complaigning, I love this image as image choice, I even chose to use the front from the zine’s back cover, as the front for my information side.

I chose not to give myself a title of Illustrator, because it felt redundant, it being in both my email and my website address!

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My Website

My professional website is up and running, linked on all my social media platforms, it is basically an online collection of my favourite work, a more extensive version of what will be in my professional Portfolio.

How I made my wesbite;

A good website should be simple, elegent, clutter free and show simply the answer to these questions;

  1. Who is this person?
  2. Where are they based?
  3. What work have they done before?
  4. Examples of recent work?
  5. How much do they charge? (Dayrate)
  6. How do I contact this person?

It should also be easy to navigate with a simple introduction saying who you are, what you do(shory and sweet). The work displayed should be categorised and clearly labelled, showing a varied and carefully selected varitey of work.

The work shown should be alongside context for the work, with a client brief/process/description/relevent links to articles or websites.

It should include an about me Page, with a compelling biography, that should sell yourself and your work, by showing your skills, work and experience all of which should be simple and conversational yet factual.

The about me will be written as if talking to a stranger, saying who you are, where you do it, why you do it and how you do it, all of which you should say by being humble yet confident in you ability. The most important thing for your wesbite though is to make it as easy as possible for potential employees and people looking for an illustrator to contact you, this is most easily achieved by having a contact me page, on which you should put links to all your social media, a phone/email address if you so wish to share this, and a contact form.

When designing my website it took me a while to think of catagories that would best summarise my work, I went with types of editorial work;

  • HOME- Which is just my favourite work, with my name and menu catagories under.
  • PROMOTIONAL- Which includes my favourite select promotion based work, i.e. things I’ve made to promote a subject, the images I chose were from a charity project, and a post I made to promote a shadow puppet performance. These show my techiqual painting skills, and my paper-cut, collaborative skills.
  • EDITORIAL- Of which includes my favourite select editorial based work. The images I chose were four images from my Illustra-TED project from second year, two images from my War Horse Project, and a GIF I made to go with a news article, also from second year. these show my techniqual artistic skills, especially my use of ink, water colour, plus my ability to make a GIF.
  • NARRATIVE- Of which includes my favourite select narrative based work. The images I chose were three collage based pieces, two from my Biographies project, which using collage and paper cut, and one from the 28 Days of Something project, which is a purely collage based piece. These show my ability to use the adobe suite, and my paper cut and collage skills.
  • RECENT- Which gives a little summary of what my most recent work entails, plus a tease image of what the work will be based around.
  • ABOUT- Which includes a little summary of my creative life and work, plus where I’m based, and my rates. I have also listed my key skills on this page.
  • CONTACT- This has links to all my social media, an email address they can contact me on, plus a form that can be filled in to contact me directly and quickly, using my website.

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Above shows screen shots of each of the pages on my website, for a closer inspection, please feel free to have a look on my wesbite;

Becky’s Website

What Am I like? PP Workshop

 

WHAT DO I HAVE TO OFFER?

I’m creative and can draw (obviously), as well as being good with technology, specifically Photoshop/adobe suite basic knowledge. I am very good at coming up with ideas.

WHAT ARE MY PROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES, SKILLS, APTITUDES, AND TALENTS? (INTERPERSONAL SKILLS)

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

  • Social/Personable
  • Good Communicator
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Detail Orientated
  • Ability to Multi-Task
  • Reliable
  • Ability to Priotise
  • Concientious thinker
  • Self Motivated
  • Works well in pressure/time sensitive situations

CREATIVE/TECHNICAL

  • Indian Inks
  • Digital Drawing
  • Watercolour
  • Etching
  • Screen Printing
  • Perspective Drawing
  • Versatile with Mediums
  • Creative and Innovative thinker
  • Adobe Suite Proficient
  • Microsoft Office Proficient
  • Experienced using Graphic Design Tablets
  • 2D Design

AM I A CONNECTOR/ MAVEN/ SPOKESPERSON/ ARTIST/ THINKER/ FACILIATOR?

I am an artist and thinker.

Am I a Natural Freelancer? Employee? Entrepreneur?

FREELANCER; I personally think I am lacking the personal motivation, and am probably too lazy to make any kind of success of myself.

EMPLOYEE; I am good at following instructions so yes, I believe I’d make a good employee, I have worked for two people in the past for long periods of time and have been told I am a briliant employee.

ENTREPRENEUR; Long term I have various Business ideas but in most I would need a Business partner for support and motivation, as i work best when I have to get things done for others to do what they need to do.

WHAT ARE MY AMBITIONS, CURIOSITIES, NATURAL LEANINGS, MOTIVATION?

To work as part of a creative team, maybe eventually aim to be in a role such as creative director or maybe create my own Creative consultancy firm. I personally think freelance is too much pressure for me, and I don’t think I’d do well in it, I would still like to do freelance work occasionally or on the side but not full time.

WHAT VALUES UNDERPIN MY WORK?

Social Change, Social Issues, Feminism, Sexism,(Gender Inequality) Women, Sociatial Normalities, Accepted Normalities.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNT ABOUT MY CREATIVE POTENTIAL THOUGH MY DEGREE COURSE? 

I have learnt that I have plenty of creative and fascinating ideas/concepts with potential but have very little follow through(scared of failure, better to never try than to fail) so wouldn’t make a brilliant freenlancer as stands, so I should use my creativity in other ways, as I can draw without issue but fear of failure is a very real issue for me.

HOW READY AM I FOR A PROFESSIONAL LIFE?

To be a freelancer; not at all, but to in a professional working environment, I think I am ready, other than my feer of public speaking but I am improving dramatically in that respect, although I think the pressure of the End of Year Viva may be too much for me, and I could well crack under that pressure.

 

 

Social Media

In preparation for post-graduation I have spent quite a lot of time making social media a heavier part of my life, before only really using facebook and occasionally posting on instagram, but never really sharing my work, I suppose in the hesitation of potential judgement. I have left my facebook for purely social reasons, but have been working on my twitter and Instgram regulary since February.

TWITTER

Firstly I decided instead of creating a new handle (which purhaps I should have done in hind-sight) I went about logging onto my long forgotton twitter handle from high school, after about a day I was finally able to log on and saw the disaster of a mess it was. I bagan by deleting all existing tweets, which was easier said than done, although it could have been far worse, as I only had around a thousand tweets, which wasn’t go bad once I got into the rythm of deleteing. Then I went about improving the appearence of my twiiter, by changing the header image, the about me section, and linking my instagram, as I suspect I will posting more regulary on there, and my website.

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I was trying to post onto twitter daily but that task was too much as I wanted my twitter to be purely Illustration based, with no or little personal content, unless relevent to my work.

I have realised how important the use of hashtags are when using instagram, so have been careful about what I write and which hastags I should use as obviously there is a limited word count on twitter. For examples, I’ve been using hastags such as #illustration and/or #illustrator, #editorial to gain the attention of those with a passion of interest in illustration, or hopefully other illustrators. I’ve also been using the hashtags #Cardiff, as lots of Cardiff based twitter pages like to promote things based in Cardiff. Lastly I’ve been tagging CSAD Illustration and CSAD, which has resolted in re-posting.

If you’d be interested in checking it out, or even following me (I will start posting more regually when I’ve not got quite so much work to do) heres the link!

Becky’s Illustration Twitter

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a social media I am much more aware of as a platform, having until last summer used instagram fairly regulary, posting and hashtagging, but the content was very varied and not over considered when it came to compositon and editing.

I decided again to keep my same Instagram account, but rather than deleting all conent, I left it, and just changed the bia to a more proffesional information section, and adding illustrative work images to the account every-once and a while, as I personally like to not-just see someones work, but see the person and theyre life.

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I aim to upload every two days, at prime times, which during the week in the UK is at 9pm, and during the weekend tends to be in the morning or lunch-afternoon, as peoples are more busy during the evenings of weekends and tend not to check social media as much.

Hashtagging also plays a vital role in instagram posting;

examples being;

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I use both relative tags to the image and popular hashtags such as #photoftheday #instaoftheday #instalike. I also split the comment section into two parts, the top part with people will see underneigh the picture, and then leave some blank space, a line, and then the hashtags, as people only want to the see the comment, and if the tags are shown people can find them irritating.

If you’d be interested in checking it out, or even following me (I’m still doing okay at posting regulary but of late have had a laps due to high work load) heres the link!

Beckys Instagram

or my handle is ;

becky_watts_96

PP- CV 

All people looking to find a job or career know that you need to have a CV for your potential employers to look before you can get even close to an interview.  As illustration students, its hard enough to get yourself onto the career ladder, but to become a professional in the art industry you become quickly aware your going to need TWO CVs (I thought one was bad enough!).

Having worked part time since e age of 17, I was well on the way to having done before I’d even started! I already had a professionally finished CV, which has proved successful at getting me employement, although admittedly, through the workshops I realised it had a few issues, such as dates being reversed, and the content being far too elaborate. These changes were only minor to make, but I’d like to think these difference could make the difference in a potential employer glancing at my CV just to put it straight back down, and giving me an interview.

Below you can see it’s simplistic but professional and stylish and gets the job done;

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Once I had made the changes to my regular CV, I made a copy of this document and made the quintessential changes to make it into a Artist CV. Firstly I changed my personal statement to more of an artist statement, following this I have added an artist skills section, I would also add my exhibitions or awards I’ve won, although at this point in time I have very little to add in that respect. I believe my CV is quite empty for a Artist but I think this is to be expected from an artist straight out of university, with very little professional experience under their belt.

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Apart from the odd gramatical error, this is an accurate representation of my CV’s of current. I will be updating the image at the top to a more up-to-date piece of work once my degree project is done.

Becky Watts Creative CV