Year 3: Questions to consider in relation to Major Project Work

Questions and answers are reflections to current progress with work to date, 06/02/2013

1. Have I considered a diverse range of strategies, in terms of concepts, stylistic approaches and media

In terms of alternative approaches to different styles and media, such experimentations in further development of the project will show a diverse range of approaches. At the point of the project work to date, there has been consideration of what part of the project should look like and why? But at the current time the work is in the planning stage, as my project deals with a journey, the journey of my time before college and during college and my experiences in London, when i secured a position at Brand Opus. The journey contains not only the main story, but a selection of short inspired stories that became apparent while commuting up to London on the trains. The whole journey therefore needs to storyboarded, as it is kind if like a visual narrative with supporting shorter narratives, the proposed ideas for the journey at the current time are as follows

  1. First part: The first part of the story is the Prelude, this is the point before college, at a time when i was just coming to terms with trying to socialise, as i had previously suffered with social anxiety, due to an unprovoked attack. At this period in my life i illustrated quite frequently to a graphic novel style, and i seemed to draw to comic panels in the graphic novel form. I had illustrated in other styles but this was one that i did more consistently. They were always black and white with spot colour, and maybe full colour depending on the story. In my project work i believe its important to take the viewer on a journey, and make it understandable to a point, so i think the part of the story should co-exist with the media and strategies that i used and learnt at the time. So the Prelude would be in a graphic novel format, to match that time, but i do not want to just do it in that style without trying other alternatives first, different styles, different media, different ways to show the start of the journey in a more creative context, such elements will be explored before concluding. But at the time the current idea is to be black and white, spot colour, some full colour depending on point in story, graphic novel paneling, subject to change if other means prove to be more useful.
  2. Second part: At the end of the novel i return to college, and this brings us into the next stage of the journey, my years at college, from national diploma to graphic design degree. This part i wish to show as typography based, as upon starting college i discovered a great fondness for type, i never saw it as i do now, when drawing in the past and i wanted words in my image i would just illustrate them in without thinking of text complementing the image, and using type in a way where you can get the same message across as a full scale illustration. I also discovered that i had a natural way when drawing type, as well as illustrating. So using type for this part fits nicely, showing typographic skills and taking the person further into this journey through illustrated type, without losing the interest of the viewer. Again experimentation into what style of type to which point in the story needs to be comprehended, but at this time this stage is just going through the thumb nailing and what words or phrases are to be used across a selection of posters.
  3. Third part: The third part following the typographic posters is a series of illustrations depict key moments in my experience in London, commuting up to London and during my placement with Brand Opus. This area has not been worked on yet it is less complicated than the previous parts, although consideration of what style to use to portray to illustrations have also to be looked into.
  4.  Fourth part: The short inspired stories are being storyboarded and are near completion 
  5. Fifth part: Possible end illustrations to conclude the story, such as a an image of me on a train with all the inspired characters around me sitting down and messing about on the commute, kind of like a panoramic illustration shot, to referance that my journey was inspired by my complete journey. Another could be of the graphics team at college who helped me get to this stage, and one more of the Brand Opus team.

2. What decisions have been made to date and how have these been shaped.

All work at the current time is in the planning stage so no major decisions have been made to change progress, apart from the short inspired stories in what ever format they become to be, are going to be presented in a box with a see through front and a cardboard character inside from the story, this originally was just going to be a plain coloured box with logo and type title, but the idea may change to a kind of train carriage box to make that connection the story.

3. How do such decisions reflect the nature of the themes concerned.

No major decisions have been made to the project at this time, but it is important that the pieces although different in media and design, should connect with the main plot line of the story and not lose the viewer in what i am trying to say.

4. How relevant are they to the intended target audience (if indeed there is a specific audience).

My project may serve no purpose to any intended target audience, but on the other hand it deals with social anxiety, overcoming fears and emotions, there is a short story that deals with bulling, and the finished artefact could serve good use to an under graduate wishing to pursue asimilar career.

The Book of Emp

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sketches from the book of Emp. The book of Emp is a sketch book i take with me everywhere especially on my commute travels to London, and the idea is to sketch other commuters and inspired ideas, sketching other people has proved to be uncomfortable as people get aggitated when your sketching them, but heres some inspired ideas from those train journeys.


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This was inspired from a train journey during the Olympics, it was hot sweaty on the train and there was a window open and a leaf blew in and hit me in the chest and stayed on my jacket. The way it landed on my shirt looked like a shirt logo, and it inspired this idea, in my head i could see this leaf blowing around fast as if there was hundreds of them, the animal came in at the last minute as i sketched this on my lunch break and on my train journey home.


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This has become an idea for a short dark story. On my commute to work on the central line train the train pulled in at Mile end station, and a red metal   door caught my attention. It provided the inspired short story of people alone on the platform get exposed to a gas without them knowing, and then end up getting dragged by big hooks through this red door, what happens on the other side who knows?


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Just around the corner from my work is Foyles book store, and my other half informed me that James Herbert, the number one chiller writer was attending there, and we spent an evening with him, as he spoke about his new book Ash.


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wacom test1

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Wacom tests

Above are tests done with a wacom tablet, its the first time i had used a tablet in this way, but i think with some more consistent use i will be able to use one as fluent as a pencil.

I will keep putting more relevant pages on when appropriate, don’t want to give to much away!!

my journey log

My Final Major Project, is based on a Journey, a personal Journey inspired by a commute in London. This notion of a Journey whether it becomes a spiritual, geographical, or a personal process of ones self, 0ther Journeys from practitioners past and present, have provided useful research into how  this theme of a Journey has been accomplished from different perspectives.





   I had looked at other forms of journeys, to help the creative process, and further inspire my initial ideas. Such journeys as William Blakes Dantes Divine Comedy, a story about Dantes descent through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, Blake had illustrated 125 panels to show this journey. The Bayeux Tapestry, was one of the main inspirations early on in the project process, how the story of the conquest of England was shown across 70 metres of tapestry, which inspired my project.

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copy 2013Heres my visual proposal, that better informs the initial ideas and intentions of the project.

My project is based on this notion of a Journey, which breaks into a range of multi narratives, that are comprised of short storys which were inspired by my commute into London. The stories contents are a diverse range of topics, which are aimed to tell the story using alternative approaches, they were inspired by train journeys which at the time provoked memories that helped to create the story. For example one of my storys is Vic n Tim ….vic

This story was inspired one morning as i had overheard a child speaking to his mother saying he hated school, not sure what age he was but he must have been around 12. Anyway this had inspired an idea about a boy who is extremely bullied at school because of not having the finer things that most other kids his age have, and gets teased because he has nits. You will have to read the story to get the full benefit, as i at this time am unable to show the idea until it is completed. But the story is to show insecurity, and a boy who finds it difficult to mix in society because of an incident that was out of his control, the same issues i had to deal with before previously going back to college. The project has different parts that should take the viewer on a visual journey, a break down of my journey to what was before college to the point where i am now, working as a visualiser at Brand Opus, and i had achieved this in my secound year of my degree.


ideas 3idea 2


just below are some images from the beginning of my journey, which is based on my time before college, leading up to college. The prelude is the beginning of my whole experience, i had been the victim in a nasty attack which was out of my control, and left me with some challenging after affects, that stopped me from socializing, leaving the house, each time i felt like i wanted to leave, i came over with dizzy spells, and the world outside seemed to warp. I know there are more extreme cases of social anxiety disorder, but this had effected me in a particular way. The story itself would have to be read all the way to understand what it is about, but even if people dont have the time to read through, they hopefully will be blown away by the illustrations.

pre 6 copy

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pre 4 copy

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pre 2 copy

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pre 1 copy

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Box Packaging

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One of the ideas was to have the stories contained within some form of box packaging that will be based on train carriages, during my commute into London. Template above is mock up example of what i want the box to look like.

logo ideas journey proj

A logo ideas panel, trying to establish the right branded logo that will be used across my project, that will hopefully unify the project. This design approach proved particularly awkward at times, i wanted to test if i could create a logo from using only digital, opposed to fully illustrating as i would  normally do, it went ok, at times, i only illustrated a few elements, couldn’t help it.

Bi – Polar Hand Grenade

Bi – polar is a short story based on watching your back when at cash points, it is a whimsical slight dark take on pin protection.

bi-polar gren pg 1-2

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I e-mailed the bi-polar around at work, to get some feedback from an industry of professionals, and had acquired some positive feedback. Here are some of the responses.

Love it, That’s brilliant!, “This is bloody amazing!”,Haha nice!, Nice!, Amazing. I like’s it!!, Real good man!,

This is brilliant – and would love to see an illustration of the christmas photo!, Looks amazing!, That’s great Stephen – a neat idea.,

 Hi Stephen
I thought I would just send to you rather than ‘reply to all’ so I could give a bit more focused feedback.
From a creative standpoint, you have a good commercial style, nice use of contrast
and framing. It would be good to develop the style further and tighten up the narrative
in terms of the flow of the different panels.
Was the bi-polar reference just for effect or was it trying to illustrate an underlying
challenge that those suffering with it face daily? Maybe I just read too much into it,
But that’s what I do!
I started off at college learning different forms of comic styles then moved onto Graphic design so I’m always
a fan of good crafted work. Keep it up! Designers that indulge in their natural drawing ability
are always in high demand.

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