After finishing A-level I knew I wasn’t ready to go straight to university so by doing a foundation course I was given the opportunity to find my feet and explore my creative skills. From this course I was able to find my strength in Illustration, which has a broad occurrence throughout my time at Blackburn.

A theme of ‘Café Cultures’ has run throughout my final project, which has lead me up to my final piece, consisting of a visual reality of individuals in a variety of atmospheres. When creating my final outcome for exhibition I had to consider what was actually relevant to my theme and how I would represent the varied cultures in cafes, this developed my skills as a working practitioner as I felt as if my work was fully my own and I was extending my skills in developing my thought processes. I first decided that initially I would base my final outcome on my research of individuals in cafes, which involved observational sketches, photographs and written conversations, illustrating the true meaning of scene. When it came to composition I initially wanted to create a book, A5 size, with a range of different pages comparing my research, however, I decided that this wasn’t what I wanted to show in exhibition, and that I wanted something more simple and on a bigger scale so that you can see it without having to look into it like book, and so therefor I then had the idea of creating a ‘comic strip’ like illustration A0 size, which consists of different sections with each one representing a different café within a different location. One section may seem busier and fuller than other sections due to its representation of a lively atmosphere where another part will have limited detail and the simplicity of it signifies a quiet and subtle atmosphere within the café, which subsequently provides the audience with a insight to café cultures.

I was highly influenced with the Comic strip composition idea by an artist named Rupert Smissen, a particular illustration of his involved a similar composition of three strips. The illustrations he had used were observational sketches, which share great similarities with my designs involving the observation of individuals. My initial idea was to create one long illustration, however after looking at Smissen’s work I decided that the piece would look more full and visually appealing. With the designs all blocked together I feel like the piece becomes a narrative and allows the reader to have a better understanding of my work, so this is what I began to work on, trying out different combinations of strips that I had created and fitting them all together. At times this process became difficult as I wanted my final outcome to involve three completely different pieces, however due to creating a number of


Self Assessment

Context: Distinction – I believe that I have shown a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of subject context used to communicate complex concepts, articulate ambitions and clarify purpose in my project proposal.

Research: Merit – I would currently grade myself a Merit in this section as I feel as if I need to continue to research methods and concepts to develop my ideas. I am currently in the progress of doing this therefor I am not concerned about this section.

Problem solving: Merit –  I think I am currently working towards a merit for this section as I have shown effective problem solving and I have adapted to a range of unplanned challenges. In order to make this section a Distinction I intend to solve my practical and theoretical problems in an advanced style, rather than opting for the easiest way possible.

Planning and Production: Pass – I believe that currently this section would only be a pass as I have showed evidence of planning and evaluation against aims which has contributed to a completion of a task, however in order to make this a distinction I will need to work more closely to a work plan and show evidence of this. To help plan I will need to set myself targets more frequently so I can then work towards them. 

Practical skills: Merit – I think that I am currently working towards a Merit grade for this section as I have provided within my project consistent and appropriate processes, skills and knowledge, however to stretch this grade into a Distinction I will need to include a wider range of methods and concepts which I am currently in the process of doing e.g preparing to dry point print, creating some double exposure images on Photoshop, Printing images off and working hands on with them (painting/drawing).

Evaluation and refection:


Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.32.32Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.32.43

Tutorial with Jo

After coming back from the holidays I had a quick tutorial with Jo so I could inform her on what I had been doing. The first thing Jo advised me to do was to self assess my project and give myself a grade on the work I had done so far, that way I can see what I need to do to improve and get the highest grade possible.

We then spoke about what my intentions where for the exhibition and my final piece, and I have come to the decision that I would like to create a ‘comic-strip’ style piece of work on a big scale accompanied by a zine. In preparation for the bigger scaled work I intend to practice and experiment on rolls of wallpaper so that I am comfortable when it comes to my final piece.

Due to my illustrations having a double exposure feel to it I have decided to create some double exposure pieces with my own images on Photoshop. When overlaying the images on top of each other it will create a time lapse style of the location I chose to develop. To extend this method further I intend to print over these outcomes.


Tutorial with Jo

Today I had a short one-to-one tutorial with Jo where I gave her an update on all my recent work. After showing Jo some of my recent illustrations she recommended a book for me to take a look at called ‘Larry Rivers Art and the Artist’ which provides a range of artists who work in a similar style to my current work e.g the figurative/portraiture work with the overlapping of illustrations. One thing I did pick out of the book was the use of colour which is something I am going to experiment with and include in my illustrations.

I have set myself some targets for over the Easter holidays some of which include:

  • Prepare my acetate for my dry point prints, for when I get back after easter
  • Travel down to Manchester and get pictures/research of some of the more ‘trendy’ cafes such as ‘Home Sweet Home’
  • Start filling my sketchbook with experimentation/illustrations/paintings
  • Keep researching Artists and experimental concepts

My aim for when I get back to college after easter is to start putting together my guide of cafe cultures, I will hopefully start to be able to see the differences between my range of locations.

Targets following Group Crit

I think that my targets now after the group crit is to:

  • Read thoroughly the feedback my peers have given me and work towards it
  • Start researching more artists
  • Make some more visits to different locations such as Blackburn and Manchester within the next few days
  • Collect more research: Photographs, observational drawings, written research
  • Start thinking about working with different materials such as prints (dry point and mono)
  • Start thinking about my exhibition space
  • Move out of my sketch book, think about scale and composition



Group Crit

Today the vis comm pathway and I had our first group crit for FMP. It was interesting to see what other students have chosen to do. I found that a large amount wanted to carry on from the previous unit where as I had completely changed from unit 5 and wanted to start with a completely new project. At this point not a lot of work had been created as a lot of us had been gathering research so it was really helpful for us to give feedback and suggest ideas on what we could do and where we could go from this point on. As we went round and spoke about our ideas we were all jotting down some feedback for the speaker so that they could then go away and reflect on it.

I received some really positive feedback and suggestions and was also given some artists too look at. I feel like now I have a lot of work to be getting on with and need to think and reflect on what has been said by the other students. The group crit was very positive and was a very relax atmosphere so it was nice to see everyone was comfortable about talking about their work and also comfortable about receiving feedback.

My next step from here is to continue gathering research and visiting cafes to extend my research. I’m hoping to do this within the next week and travel down to manchester.From my images I also wish to start creating some prints  and digital collages so I can start putting my book/guide together which will start revealing the comparisons in ‘Cafe Cultures’.