Illustration 1: Key Steps in Illustration – Assignment 1 – Say Hello Self Assessment

When first starting this assignment, I struggled with the brief a little. It specifies the were to create a greetings card, but the content of the card is so vast that it doesn’t actually seem to be what were being asked for at all. It could be any size, include and materials, and could be made in any way. I did a little secondary research into greetings cards, and I just couldn’t make the connection. Greetings cards seem to have a direct point or are for a specific occasion. Introducing yourself didn’t appear to be one of them. I think that this particular assignment would have benefitted from a change of wording. Perhaps instead of a greeting card, a postcard would have been more suitable. But I digress.

The actual content of the card I had some issues with. I couldn’t find any inspiration, and the idea’s I did want to tackle were perhaps a bit too ambitious to be crammed on to a card. I took a week or so to just draw. Doing some new sketches and getting comfortable with colour composition and some new tech I had recently bought. I did it all digitally as its the medium I am most comfortable with. I have spoken to a few other students at OCA and it appears I am not alone in this regard. It does mean that when I draw, I need to make a conscious effort to stop and save the sketch before inking and colouring them. I think when it comes to submitting assignments for formal grading, the general consensus is that we can print everything and bind it into a book of some sort.

I find it really difficult to speak about myself, my likes and dislikes without being negative. My first objective was to break my attributes down without bias. I figured the best way to do this was by spider diagram. I use these pretty regularly so I’m no stranger to them. I was still a little negative when it came to things about my health and looks, so I decided to focus only on good points, and include these in my image design.

For my final image, I actually re-used an old rough drawing I had used previously when I originally started studying Graphic Design, before the switch to Illustration. Since then though, my art style seems to have changed significantly so I redid it and changed a few things. There were however a lot of things I missed from my spider diagram. Almost everything. Instead I focused on video games, colours, food and films as the things I like.

I’m happy with my decision to use a rough digital marker for the line work and colour. My aim was to give the image a childlike quality, hoping to convey my own childishness and love of bold lines and bright colours. I could have made it a lot cleaner, with perfect lines and better anatomy, but that’s just not me. I’m very much a ‘that’ll do’ or ‘close enough’ sort of person. It’s not a great quality to have and perhaps one that I should focus on improving, but it’s gotten me this far.

The colours I chose were intended to complement each other. Purple as the background, yellow behind the character. I think perhaps the colour shades were a little off. They both could have been brighter to really draw each other out. Looking at it now, I realise there are small details I forgot to colour completely. This is pretty typical of my work. I am not good at noticing small details like this, and often rely on other people checking my work before submission.

For my display method, I again chose to go digital. I realise the brief specifies that the final image was to be printed and made into a physical card, however I thought that as an illustrator, a lot of the work I will potentially do in the future will be presented to clients as digital mock ups. I’m happy with my choice of mock ups, showing both the main image on the front of the card, and the text introducing myself within. The text was a bit of a struggle as I have already spoken to Laura, my tutor on many occasions as she was also my tutor for Graphic Design before the switch to Illustration, and the first assignment was very similar.

Overall I’d give this assignment a 6/10, and my work a 7/10. As previously mentioned, the brief wasn’t very clear, and has some conflicting ideas. I think this can be improved with better working perhaps, or a slightly different final piece other than a ‘greetings card’.

I’m relatively happy with my work. I think the quality is good, and the content is meaningful. If I didn’t feel so constrained by the term ‘greeting card’ I think I could have done more with it. I was perhaps a little afraid of putting too much detail in an image and losing it when it was shrunk down to A5, a more traditional greetings card size. I think my backup work and build up to the final image were thorough enough. Admittedly I could have done some more designs and different variations. My biggest issue creatively is having an initial idea and not being able to stray too far from it. I’m hoping this is something I will be able to improve throughout this course.

You can see everything I did for Illustration 1: Key Steps in Illustration and Assignment 1 – Say Hello here.

As always any feedback or constructive criticism are welcome.


Christmas Crafting!

So this year Chris and I are absolutely brassic. With my drop in work hours, paying work back for over-payments, and trying to save for a boat we just got nothing to spare. With all this is mind, we decided it might be nice if we made everyone something this year. We worked it all out and had 30+ people to buy for. After doing some math’s we worked out I could get all the supplies I needed for that many gifts for around £100. This is obviously a lot cheaper that spending around £20 on everyone!

Craft of choice this year was soap making! I’ve never done it, but I figured like, how hard could it be!


I went with the old melt-and-pour option, a Shea Butter option. This is purely because me and Chris are scared of lye, which I think is a healthy fear to have considering it’ll melt your face off if given the chance. And we don’t have time to wait for everything to cure, which I think can take months. And I have no idea how to actually make cold process soap. So there’s that.

Immediately I snapped a knife in half trying to cut it up, so switched to a bigger knife. That helped.

Basically everyone gets their own smelly. I was going to felt them, so they’d be all pretty and self-flanneling, but I tried it with a couple and it just takes too long. I had been standing for about 3 hours by this point as well, and for those of you that don’t know, I’ve been diagnosed with ME/CFS by my GP (though that could change again in March as I have a Rheumatology specialist appt :/ ) but I’ve been struggling a lot with leg pain, and nothing I take seems to help. So that idea got scrapped. It does mean now I have a kilo of wool roving and nothing to do with it. Typical.


I made these cute little labels a month or so ago in inDesign. I think they’re cute. I wear glasses and he has a big ol’ beard, together we make 1 whole hipster, hence the images on there.

I’m relatively happy with the turn out. There’s 3 I need to re-do but the rest are ok. I feel bad since they’re so small, but I’m hoping people will understand our plight and appreciate that they were hand made.

How’s everyone else’s Christmas planning coming?