Today’s Messy Fun Time!

Following the rule of thumb for my Major Project: Nautical Idioms / Proverbs and my will for experimentation in mixed mediums, I took to the letterpress room and used a rather dark green ink to bash these prints out!
The effects were pretty awesome and took two hours to produce. I may have turned a little into She Hulk, but that’s all worth the fun!

Today’s Design Antics….

As part of my Professional Practice: Promotion and Employability unit, I have to design my own identity and promotional materials. Now those of you who follow Hotham Designs, you’ll notice my current icon. Yeah…. I am scrapping that from College…..

After four pages of sketches, and one page full of typefaces I have decided to stick with this circus / fairground style character. ‘J’ is the start of my name, I am part of a Circus Society, and I love to be playful and experimental with my design work so this is the perfect style for me to go with.

Obviously it needs work, so separate print layers with the cut out. I will also be digitally crafting this and hand painting it too, to see how the effect works. Then I can focus on the promotional materials, colours, and of course my portfolio site which I hope to hand code in HTML and CSS with a small amount of Java Script if I can get to grips with it in time.

Using woodblock printing inks and Greyboard this is today’s messy fun time!!! I enjoy using different mediums and I am finally getting back into it with my Major Project and this one too!

Watch this space for developments on my identity as a Graphic Designer!

Another week gone…..

This week has been an interesting one….

I’ve been in the studio everyday this week focusing on my research project. Thankfully I have pinned down a solid idea that answers my question, of the relevance of album artwork in today’s digital era. I think once I get experimenting this whole thing will look rather interesting.

I have also been set my unit that is, Design Breifs and Competitions on Wednesday. This left me feeling scared, worried and immediately sent me into over–thinking mode. I’m okay about it now, but seeing as the ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers) and the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) are both international and very professional competitions with possible awards I am rather terrified. Not as terrified as I was for the YCN, I may have to approach this the same way but expand on my experiments.

However, saying that the briefs are rather interesting and a couple take my interest.

I have also started my Major Project, just brainstorming and listing some ideas for now, but hopefully I will have something that will make a fantastic project. Not only have I started this, I have signed up to take part in the Adobe ACA exams which are tests in the adobe software (Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign). It’s a professional qualification, that costs a bit of money outside of university (I get it for free while in uni) so I will be studying and practicing for those exams.

Another experiment / FREE ART FRIDAY


This one turned out better, sort of Roy Litchenstein inspired, it fits within the pop art era.

I left it out somewhere in Portsmouth, for my first free art friday!!!

2nd Year has begun!!!!

Yesterday, was the start of lectures and my first two units. Both have set assignments, and certain time lengths.

The first, is a unit named ‘Developing Design Practice’ which is a six week unit, where at the end of it I will have a handmade / designed book. Even though the course work seems heavy, I feel this will be an enjoyable unit and one that I have been looking forward to since the end of the last academic year.

The second unit, is an option that I chose at the end of my first year, ‘Professional Practice : Live Design Briefs’ this entails a selection of assigned briefs for clients. The first, is for a company called ‘Fenner Paper’ who supply 100% recycled papers. The task is to design a poster, in 7 weeks, convincing the people about the power of the poster. This is going to be interesting, as it’s fully open to what ever I (And my course mates) want to do. We can either work individually, or in teams of 2.

I know for a fact, that this unit will run over the whole year, AND we (as in myself and my course mates) will be participating in the YCN awards, with a choice of many live briefs from them.

I believe that this year is going to challenge me in ways, that I had never thought of before. I can’t wait to see what I can come up with.


Spinnaker Tower Constructivism

Spinnaker Tower Constructivism

While sneakily adding in experiments to my RIDT (Research Informed Design Thinking) Blog, I was in a constructivism mood, and thought why not combine this style with something iconic from Portsmouth. This is the result.

Discovering Portsmouth | Graveyard Symbolism

For my Research Informed Design Thinking unit at university, we were asked to create a Tumblr blog, uploading images and selected sources and developing primary and secondary research in and around Portsmouth. This being our main aim, we were also required to design and make a booklet around the theme of ‘Discovering Portsmouth’.

My booklet is made up of self produced photography, of selected gravestones in a cemetery in Portsmouth, detailing the meanings around the symbols featured. This was a highly enjoyable process and it gained good feedback amongst my peers. I am pleased with this design as it works well with both fold and theme. It also reads well and the images are suited to my objectives.

ASPEX Volunteer work

Recently I applied for a volunteering position at a local gallery here in Portsmouth. It is my third week now and I have enjoyed it so far. The gallery is a small but quirky place hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Gunwarf Quays, in an old naval stock room. The brick work is warn, but the character still remains with the tall ceilings and big rooms. Aspex specialise in showing off the works of up and coming artists and craft makers, the work is indeed contemporary and modern. 

Volunteering here does have it’s benefits. I meet new people, occasionally speak to other artists that come in, I can bring in work to do if I need to. Other times I just sit and draw in my new found sketchbook. The gifts and items available are quirky. The cards have humour and are well designed. They also sell the design magazines such as Creative Review, Eye, and Wire as well as others. I see this as an opportunity to gain a little experience in a creative environment, even if it is manning the front desk and being a friendly, welcoming face.