My final major project has the title of: ‘Animal Alphabet’ which is going to be a children’s picture book.
I am going to be working to the brief set by The Macmillan Prize. I will be working to the brief in a similar way and delivering the final picture book, cover-to-cover including text a front cover, back cover and spine. The given length will be the full alphabet, I am yet to decide in the experimentation process if I will be including flaps, fold out pages or pop ups.
I will be investigating the manor of how to illustrate the alphabet ignorer to teach children about both letters and animals, specifically in children’s illustration. This is important because it is the area of illustration which I am particularly interested in and would like to work in the field of. I see this as an opportunity to work to a professional brief and my work will progress because doing this project will help me to have a better understanding of how to manage my time and also consider the final outcome in the required medium as well as meeting the deadline. My work will progress as I will be doing a lot of practicing in the specific field which I want to go into within illustration.
This proposed project fits into my longterm intentions and will give me a good start to understanding how creating book illustrations works. When creating illustrations for children’s books I will be briefed/commissioned on the given space to work in and my illustrations will then support the narrative. This project will give me a wider understanding on what I need to achieve in order to be successful at getting into this field. My work will visually be teaching the alphabet and what animals begin with what letters. It will be aimed at children from the age of 3 – 7 year olds. The purpose of my work will be prompt for the children’s imagination and to teach them the alphabet.
I will be using research sources such as various mediums such as published children’s books and children’s films as well as surveys as my secondary sources, and primary source research will be research which I gather myself from reading childrens books and media to see if there are any significant patterns which could have something to do with why they are so successful.
To begin generating visual ideas I am going to start with looking at children’s books of the age range which I am interested in, and look at how the compositions are put together, how the illustrations work with the text, the use of colour, and then begin rough sketches while I have ideas fresh in my head. I am then going to progress these sketches into experimenting with different medias and materials in order to create my own illustrations for my alphabet book.
I will acquire new knowledge by speaking to people who are already in the children’s illustration field because they know how to get your work noticed and also how to make your work fit into this criteria, so that it could then go on to be noticed by writers and publishers and from this they then get more work. I currently think that the weaknesses in my work are the compositions and I also feel that my drawing could be stronger. To address these issues I am going to look at how successful illustrations compose their work and look at the relationship between the text and images. As for the drawing part, I am going to do more life drawing and drawing in situ as a way to practice figures. I want to use technologies and processes which I have not used before such as a laser printer for if I decide to have fold out pages or flaps, a letterpress and a drawing tablet, as these would give a fun interactive element to my finished book. I also want to explore ways of binding books because I have only briefly done this before, and I will need to know how to do this for when I am putting my book together.
Something which I would need to build on are my skills in using software such as InDesign and Photoshop. I will speak to someone who knows how to use these programmes to see if they could give me a tutorial so that I could learn more about them and the skills I need to employ to achieve what I have planned.
From this project I will learn how to composition my work so that it is suitable for print in publishing, and learn how both type and image work together on a page. I will gain experience of working to a professional set brief in this particular area, which is something which I have not done before. I will gain skills which I can then use as a broader stretch and this will give me a wider variety of options which I can include in my future work. I will also learn what the requirements are when you are creating work to be printed into a children’s book, and this will benefit me when I am trying to gain work beyond university and in the future. I will also learn more about time management and accounting time for planning, printing and binding.
I will be submitting a bound children’s book of the alphabet. The book will be in colour and suitable for children of the age group 3 – 7. My work will be of a professional standard, and a children driven audience.
Resource requirements are published childrens books, tv programmes and films, as well as survey findings, interviews with children and medias such as a drawing tablet, Photoshop, InDesign, an A3 printer and various mediums to experiment and create my illustrations.