Over the Summer holidays we were given an extremely open project: Come up with an enquiry, and fill a sketchbook relating to said enquiry.
At first as the brief was so open, I wasn’t quite sure what approach to take, which lead me into a vicious cycle of choosing topics which didn’t interest me/ wouldn’t fit well with my particular style/ process of curating illustrations. I switched between 3 enquiries. At first I was going to investigate the theory of if all humans really say the same colour, as we are taught to incorporate words with the colours we see, one’s purple could be another person’s yellow, yet both would call it purple, as that is what we have been taught the name of that particular colour we individually see is.
I ended up investigating “if we were not here, what would be?” In which I researched into how humans may have looked if they went through alternative evolution, such as taking more of a lion’s form as they’re just below us in the food chain, or if we would be more like dolphins as they have a very high intelligence. I also questioned the theory of evolution due to the queries brought to conversations through philosopher’s writings. For example, one quote I found was “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” which launched me further into my investigation.
I found that over my past projects I didn’t focus on research prior to the creation of my final pieces, so wanted to focus on improving my research skills throughout this project. Sadly though, this in turn meant that I was not able to make my own final pieces in time as I focused so strongly on research, although I still found the work I curated to be very insightful to who I am as an Illustrator. I now understand that I like to work in a very descriptive and anatomical way, as I enjoy learning whilst I’m illustrating. Whether it be facts about animals or issues going on in todays society, I enjoy gaining knowledge whilst being creative.
I looked at 3 artists: Dougal Dixon, Liu Xue and Benedetta Bonichi. All of these artists had very different styles, one being a surrealist painter, the other being a sculptor, and the other being an artist/photographer. This also allowed me to explore how I can use those very contrasting styles to influence my own, yet still be recognised as my own work.
To summarise, this summer project has left me being more confident in terms of understanding what my passions are within my practice of illustration, and I managed to gain many more tools which will aid me in this coming year in order to enhance the quality of work which I will produce.
Some pictures of my work are included below: