Saturday, 12 September 2015

Back to School Tips: Studying Art in College.

Okay so these tips are for college art, now these are things that I wish people had told me before/during my 2year Art and Design course so they may not apply to every art subject available but here goes...

  • It's very different to High School. Not only can you know where your own clothes but your class will be filled with people of different ages and the whole working system is different. But don't worry it's really easy to get the hang of. 
  • Don't quit in the first 2 weeks because you don't like it. When I first started I was so ready to pack it in and quit I hated it so much, but after I started to get used to it and the work started after the ice breaker sessions and introduction work is over it's great. Plus because every-one is stuck together in a great working environment it's great to meet so many different people.
  • Wear clothes you don't care about. You'll most likely be covered in paint, chalk and glue etc everyday, so wear clothes you don't mind getting messy. If you don't have anything old just nip to a charity shop or primark and get a mens button down shirt in a size bigger than you would normally wear and wear it over your clothes. Also if you do wear something nice and your tutor suggests wearing a apron or overall and you refuse to wear it because it's not flattering and you end up getting messy, it's your fault not your tutors so don't hold them responsible.
  • This is important... SAVE MONEY FOR SECOND YEAR. In first year I wish some-one had told me to save! In first year you have to buy your sketchbooks and materials you need but in second year you will need to buy a portfolio to store/show your work to be marked and assessed, some assessment people won't mark your work unless it's presented in a portfolio. Also if you are planning to go to Universities that are not close to you you will need to pay for transport for interviews if you do not have access to a car or fly carpet. 
  • If you are doing an Art and Design course you should start thinking about a part of art you want to focus on, this will be focused upon in your second year but also it helps you decide what you want to do in university if you decide to go. 
  • Work your butt off. If a brief says do a minimum of 5 paintings that doesn't mean stop at 5, keep going and do as many as possible. Do artist research and find artists that interest you and can influence your style and way of working. Also, Work at home. Working in your own time can be such a good thing, it shows you have the motivation to work but also you'll get stuff done.
  • Be organised. Keep a journal or a planner. Keep track of deadlines and when your homework has to be back in for. Also it's good to make a kind of timeline, if a brief says it's lasting four weeks organize what you do in each week, say like one week for experiments and research etc. and just work your way around it, that way you know how much time you have for projects rather that trying to finish a final piece in an hour (this happened to me and I was a mess, I'm oh so professional, I learnt my lesson the hard way).
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help, your tutors are most likely professional artists so they know what they are doing just ask if you are unsure.
  • Try everything. My college had great facilities that many people took for granted, but use them experiment and find out what you like. In the future you might not get the chance to use them for free. 
I absolutely loved my two years at college! Even though in the beginning I was miserable but by the end I had made amazing friends who I was so privileged to be working along side for those two years. 

Do you have any tips for people going to study Art in College? Leave them down below...

Friday, 4 September 2015

Back to School Tips: Studying Art in High School.

I'm starting this series of blog posts about studying Art at different education levels. I say series it's most likely only going to be about 3 posts but anyway. 

High school is that scary time of exams and every-one starts to say your becoming an adult (yikes). 
This will probably only apply to years 9 and above! But during years 7 & 8 this is your time to learn as much as humanly possible and experiment in art. 

Here are my main tips for studying Art at High School.

  • Take it seriously. I know so many people who came into a multiple hour art exam laid back and casual claiming it would be a piece of cake and not putting any effort what so ever into there work or exam and then they failed to get the grade they wanted. If you want to someday become an artist and make a living from your work this is the time to start working your butt off.
  • Ask for feedback on your work from teachers and other students. This helps improve in not only your work but your practice too.
  • Your teachers are Artists ask them for advice on anything, they are there to help!
  • Don't waste materials. When you buy your own materials you will understand how much materials and supplies cost, so don't waste your Art departments funds by using the expensive acrylic pants to paint a dick under the table (true story) or you may be using pound shop paint next lesson. 
  • Attend after school Art clubs. I attended Art Clubs after school clubs in high school from year 7 until I left in year 11. Not only do you surround yourself with people who love art but it also opens up opportunities for you. Me and my friend Laura attended since year 7, this meant we got to make props for the school production of 'Little Shop of Horrors'. 
  • Experiment in everything. Try new materials and techniques.
  • This one is more for year 11 students, start to think about college (arghhh i know) but the sooner into year 11 you start to think about it the easier the transition will be. Think about what you want to focus and specialize in and if your not sure ask your teachers for advice. 

Do you have any tips for high school art lessons? Leave them in the comments below!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Current Favorite PaperChase Items!

I'll set the scene, I was in town and I had left my sketchbook at home (horror) so I run into paperchase and found this bad boy! It has plain cream paper at the front at back and in the middle it has brown kraft paper. It is made up of 90 sheets of plain paper giving you 180 pages. The binding is really sturdy I have had this in my bang for nearly a month now and as well as tearing pages out, folding it around itself and it has hardly any marks on it at all. The paper it's self is so smooth and is great to sketch on. Even though this is classed as a note book I have been using this as a sketchbook since I bought it and it's doing to job just fine. 
When it's not in my bag it's always kind of with me for when I get a sudden bolt of inspiration.
At £3.00 you can't really go wrong and it's really high quality, will most likely be buying a lot more in the future I love it! Plus the plain cover is great for random doodles!


This is the small photo album, I couldn't find it on the website so I don't know what it's actually called. It's a postcard sized photo album which has about 20 sleeves in. I'm currently using it to hold the postcards of my illustrations and it's great, it's strong and the sleeves are easy to put things in which I find with some files like this especially cheap ones that the sleeves are rubbish and you have to spend ages trying to put things in, but I had no trouble with this one. I think this was about £2.

I bought these the same day I bought the Kraft Notebook mentioned above.
I'll start with the Pen - The pen is very smooth when writing and is great for cursive writing as it flows really nicely. As with all pens like this once you have written something you kind of have to wait a while before touching it as the ink dries, but it didn't seem to take as long as some other pens I have had in the past. So far this pen hasn't left blotches or splodges of ink on the page so that's always a bonus. For sketching it's alright, but the ink does seem to just give up at point but if you are going for a sketchy look it works just fine but if you want a clean line this isn't going to do that for you.
Now for the pencil - I first started using mechanical pencils about three years ago and I had one that was about the same size as a regular pencil and I found after a few weeks of using it I just didn't like it. I found this one and was interested to try it out, it's chunky and feels comfortable in my hand. I think was I like about it is it feels very much like I'm holding a pen and not a pencil. It's great so lightly sketching a small details but like with all mechanical pencils and all pencils actually it will snap if you press to hard. This was used to do the Coraline sketch above.

Something else I want to talk about is Paperchase's new 'Treat me Cards'. This is a bonus card and is free to sign up, if you go in paperchase a lot I would highly recommend getting one. You get a free coffee and 10% off food from the cafe with any purchase in store, which lasts for a week after your purchase. £5 to spend when it's your birthday (24 days til mine yay!) and £5 off when you spend £50 and what's good about this you don't have to spend £50 in one go you just buy your stuff and it mounts up and you can check how much you have to go on your online account. Free click and collect. A free upgrade to next day delivery, this basically means if you order something and want it the next day you will only have to pay the standard shipping. They also do other bonus treats! So sign up, its free and some great perks!

Photo album (this isn't the exact one it's bigger) 
Couldn't find the pen online. Sorry.

Disclaimer:  I bought these products with my own money and paperchase did not ask for this review, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Quick Comic Review - '3 Parts Mad' Issue 1.

3 Parts Mad is written by Josh Moorby and illustrated by Sarah Docker
This comic is a collection of flash fiction, stand alone art and poetry that when put together is stunning. I love how when you're reading it you can just feel how much love and attention Josh and Sarah have given to this project. 

This comic does it's job to show comics to be more than just one straight forward mundane story, it can be so much more, like poetry and stories that make you think and ask questions, something that keeps you guessing. Plus not only is the writing amazing but the illustrations by Sarah are stunning and really blend well with the writing. 

This comic is a serious labor of love and I would highly recommend purchasing a copy and support two up and coming creatives! 

Perfect for Fans of... Great writing and great art (duh). The Twilight Zone (I don't know just something that came to mind while I was reading!)

Where to find 3 Parts Mad 

Disclaimer - I know Sarah personally but this in no way impacted this review, the opinions expressed no matter how small are my own. 

Friday, 21 August 2015

When your job is your passion what happens when nothing is working out?
I think every-one gets in these moods and moments when nothing seems to be going the way you planned or the way you want. 

Some days my illustrations are going amazing and I'm super proud of what I'm producing but some days it's like a physical effort to pick up materials and work because nothing seems to be going right. After ages of thinking I was the only one, but after going to college and university and being surrounded by other Illustrators and creatives in training all day I quickly realized I was not in the slightest bit alone. 

Being in this mood is difficult and can make you doubt not only your work but also yourself, I'd be lying to you if I hadn't thought at some point when something wasn't working "That's it, I'm never going to be able to draw anything good again. I'm done." 

So here are some of my tips for when this mood strikes. Obviously this won't work for every-one but something might just click.

  1. Draw something you know, something you always draw. For me I always draw a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe or Annabel Lee, during college I drew them a lot for a project so I got used to drawing them. 
  2. Re-draw an old piece of work. This is great for when you don't feel as if you're not improving. Then once you're done put the new and old piece together. 
  3. Put on your favorite album, really loud and just draw. This sounds daft but trust me, even if you just draw random shapes, just draw. The world is made up of random shapes see what come out of it. 
  4. Read a book you haven't read. This works super well for me. I love trying to figure out how the characters would look and what clothes they would wear.
  5. Go out. Take a sketchbook and go out to the park, go to a coffee shop it doesn't matter and draw what you see.
  6. Pinterest. Go on your pinterest homepage and scroll with your eyes closed and open them whatever image you cursor lands on when you stop draw that image.
  7. Try a new material that you don't use and don't be afraid to get messy.  
What do you do when your in these moods? Comment down below.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award.

I was nominated by the lovely Sarah, thank-you so much. I'm excited to answer your questions! Let's do this. Again thank-you so much you lovely lady you!

Rules of the Award - 
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link them in your post.
2. Answer the ten questions you have been sent.
3. Come up with 10 questions of your own.
4. Spread the love and nominate up to 10 bloggers. 

These are the questions given to me by Sarah...

1. What's your favourite thing about yourself?
My imagination. Since I was little I used to love making up stories for my toys and then as I got older writing stories and creating characters and worlds for them to explore. I love writing but I don't think I'm very good.

2. If you could wake up and speak one other language fluently, what would it be? 
I'd love to be able to speak Latin, even though it's considered a dead language I still think it would be great to know.

3. Are you an introvert or extrovert? 
70% introvert and 30% extrovert. I suffer from anxiety and major confidence issues which sometimes gets in my way. When I'm with new people I can hardly speak and if I do find the confidence to speak it's muttered and mumbled but once I get comfortable around a person or group I am able to talk freely as myself, but it takes a while for me to get comfortable around new people.

4. What would you consider your 'spirit animal' and why? 
Probably a manatee, I got too see some in Florida a few years back and I could happily have watched them float around and eat cabbage all day, I don't know I just felt so content and connected with them at that moment. Also Manatees are what sailors used to think were mermaids, go look um up they are amazing.

6. Do you prefer Summer or Winter and Why?
Winter. No competition. I like layering up clothes and wearing big scarves and getting lovely hot drinks. And warm cuddles with my dogs in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book! Can't beat it. Suck it Summer!

7. If you could take a trip into space would you?
Probably not, every book, film or tv show revolving around space has gone bad, so no thanks.

8. Are there any books you've read that you wish you had written first?
YES!  So many. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, I devoured this book and I didn't want to come back to reality. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab PIRATES AND LADIES DRESSED AS MEN AND BLOOD MAGIC OH HOW GLORIOUS! Alas I probably wouldn't have made such masterpieces as these ladies have done.

9. What's your biggest fear?
Massive over crowded spaces with no exits or openness.

10. What did you want to be when you were little and where are you now?
I wanted to be a lot of things when I was little. I wanted to be a hairdresser like my cousin, I just to mess around with my Nanna's hair and putting as many Claire's accessories on her head as humanly possible. Also, a guide dog trainer, a songwriter(Why? You may ask, I blame my Jonas Brothers phase, don't judge me). During high school when I found out people actually made a living doing Art I wanted to be a Tattoo Artist and maybe an Art Teacher. As I got older and started finding artists I liked and were inspired by I noticed most of the things I like were Illustration based. So that brings me to the now, I'm studying Illustration and I have hopes of being a Concept Artist for Film and TV and also designing and illustrating books.

I don't know why but I felt the need to do an evil manic laugh after typing that! so...

1. If you could switch lives with a character from any book, who would you be and why?
2. You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life which do you pick?
3. Who would play you in the movie of your life?
4. If your pet could speak, what would be the first thing they would say to you?
5. If you got to choose your last meal on earth and you could have ANYTHING, what would you have?
6. Last Read Book, what did you think?
7. What was the first film you remember seeing at the cinema?
8. What inspires you on a daily basis?
9. Your favorite quote?
10. If you could get any tattoo regardless of pain and cost what would you get and where would you get it?

I nominate ...
Emily, Sarah (if I can re-nominate?) and Ion. Please let me know when your answers are up!