During this first semester I have learned many things about being a professional illustrator working in the industry. This information came to me in a few ways during this time, through illustrators who are already working and figuring out how I work as an individual and learning what I am good and what I need to improve on. The first thing we did this year was to create a series of illustrations based on different senses as opposed to looking at something and drawing from life. This was an interesting task as it forced me to think about how the objects felt or smelt and then create corresponding marks, this was difficult for some objects, however it not only gave a a wider Dictionary of patterns but also taught me the difference between artwork that has been thought about and artwork that has been done freely without a plan. Widening my mark making skills means that I now have a whole library of different marks that I can turn to use if I feel like I am lacking in that section when creating my artwork both for the rest of the duration of the course and after I have left and am creating artwork on my own.
The next task was to then apply what we had learned during the mark making classes and create a packing for a shower gel, simply using mark making to portray how the shower gel will make the user feel. One thing that assisted with this task was going over the marks that we made as a class and discussing what emotion was related to each mark, for example a rough, scratchy mark gave off angry vibes, whereas a soft, curved line made one feel calm and at ease with the art. The brand I chose to repackage was the Soap and Glory brand, and I looked at the specific Clean On Me product, the best way to describe how this smells is that it is soft and floral. My final piece for this, I ended up using long curved marks and short spiky marks, I think this translates the product well, while still looking professional enough to be sold as an actual product. What would have improved this project would be if I had actually printed a label off and stuck it on the actual product to see what it would look like in real life rather than using Photoshop to see this effect.
We then went on to choose our own topic to word under, whether we chose household, cosmetic or food packaging to work for. I chose to look at a food. For this we had to chose whether we wanted to re brand the product or create a new product from scratch; I wanted to re brand an existing product – Tequila. The first thing I did for this was to do some initial research into existing tequila brands, this would narrow down the question of if I wanted to look at an already existing brand or create my own. The one I chose to look at first was Suerte Tequila; this would be my trial creation. I created a quick design for this by drawing inspiration from the idea that paisley was what I wanted to look at rather than something as generic as sugar skulls or talavera tiles. I like how my final products turned out, I decided to go with two one with the optical illusion logo and one with the circular emblem-like logo. I think they could both be used in this situation for different types of the same tequila; for example the silver tequila could be the snake logo and the aged one could use the emblem. Or if this was going to a real art-director who had hired me, they would then choose the final but I have given them many different options to choose from.
That is another important thing I learnt – give the client options. These kinds of facts were also passed on to me from the visiting professional illustrators, Dave Eaton and Alexandra Turner. They came in and gave us a lot of information about what we should expect in the working world as an illustrator; this was extremely helpful as it, really gave me an idea of what to expect from clients and how I should improve my approach to the way I work at the moment. Key notes I took from what they said when they came was to really brush up on my professional skills, such as hand drawing and computer software use; while these skills such as the use of illustrator, may not come in handy at the moment, they will later on when I enter the working world. Another fact was to create thumbnails before starting any big piece of work; this was a point emphasised by both Dave and Alexandra. This is one helpful point because I know that this is something emphasised in study, but the fact it was emphasised by people who have worked in the industry and already have experience working on larger jobs.
I am very happy with my final tequila bottle pieces because I think all the connotations that have gone into the final designs, such as the snakes and the aspects of danger, that may not be evident at first glance, I think the overall design is quite clever and while it may need to be cleaned up, the actual design itself is good. I had my doubts while doing some of these designs and felt like changing quite a lot of times, but I pursued the optical illusion idea and got to the idea I ended up with and if the bottles were on a shelf in a store, I think they would stand out from the rest – and taking into consideration the fact that customers do tend to buy products that look good sometimes as opposed to what is actually good, I think this product would be able to sell pretty well.