Publish! Reflection

Initially I had hoped to gain work experience in this term’s field. With this not being possible, I was drawn towards ‘Publish’, because I had done some editorial work before on magazine layouts, at College, which I enjoyed, and haven’t done anything like that since.

First in the ‘Publish’ group, we were introduced into the theme explaining that it would focus on editorial and layout. We made small hand-made books to play about with layouts. I struggled with this; I was working slowly and was not happy with anything I created. It seems harder for me when there is no process of ideas generation before making. After that I was slightly concerned, as it made me realise that editorial work is not my most comfortable area in Graphics. However it did make me think that maybe I was in the right option, to learn and improve.

We were then set a project as a group, to create a set of small books, but I wasn’t able to go in for the presentation, due to a migraine. I was really disappointed, as I was happier with this than the workshop.

In another group project to produce two magazine covers, conventional and unconventional, I found imagery and made the masthead for the conventional, working with another member to combine this with text. For the unconventional one I felt I did a lot of it myself. It seemed that when working with others, it was more like working independently.

Working on magazine covers I found easier to generate ideas. This is probably because an element of magazine covers is making a masthead, which is similar to coming up with a brand identity, which is one of my stronger areas. I joined the group having missed the brief, missing the idea generation, but still did a lot of the creation.

I have found it difficult collaborating with others, when we have different visions for how images should look and seem to put in very different amounts of effort. One thing I have learnt from this process is that I often seem to find myself taking a lead. When collaborating with others, while we all have our skills and ideas to bring to a project, it needs someone to pull it together.

For the final project, I wasn’t initially sure what I wanted to do; there wasn’t anything I was particularly inspired by, that I hadn’t done before. I didn’t want to create a magazine, so I then thought of producing an illustrative story book. I have not done much illustration before, and never a whole story book. Both myself and Toby said we wanted to do something interesting that we hadn’t done before and both liked the idea.

I browsed on Behance and searched for anything to spark an idea. I found an illustrated story book, with a distinctive style. The use of a limited colour range, still managed to create real depth in the imagery, which I really liked. It reminded me of the clever use of a limited colour range, which I enjoyed using in a previous project; my first real illustration.

We started with each of us going away to explore possible stories. After this, we came together and Toby wrote up the story for a five page spread, which we then storyboarded. After this, it was a case of going away and producing the work. We started by producing the scenery and backgrounds, leaving out the characters. I made the characters and applied them across all the spreads; keeping consistency across all pages.

Talking to out tutor, he suggested changing in to a close-up of the character, which gave a better focus on one main character. Throughout the book it created variety and interest, seeing parts of the story from different perspectives.

I finally gave the spreads to Toby, who applied the text to complete the layouts. In the end, I was very happy with the images I had created from the layout, but I was unhappy with the way the type fell on the illustration, feeling it did not complement the illustration. Time meant that I was not able to talk these views through with Toby.

This project has been crazy stressful; the most stressful thin I have done at Uni. I think I underestimated quite how long the illustration would take to do… well! I am glad that I have taken the time to do it well as I think the illustrations are very good, but I am frustrated with how the overall project works together.

I have never worked with anyone else on a main project. It was good using someone else’s skills in generating the story, but I think I would have been happier with the end result had I worked on my own; not giving myself such a lot of work to do in such a short space of time.

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