2. What I expect
In a Job:
In terms of employment, ideally I would work under my own
initiative, with my own scheduled working hours. I would not
be dictated by a boss as I would be my own boss. I believe I
have a firm grasp of self discipline; I care and worry about
doing well and succeeding, therefore I believe pushing
myself to work hard and to complete work to set deadlines
would suit me. I would like some kind of home studio, where
I can work on illustrations and such, and I would organise
meetings with potential clients or email those wanting
commissions through my computer. I am fairly unsocial,
therefore having an independent job that does not demand
major interaction with co-workers gives me freedom and
forces me to guide myself. In order to achieve this kind of
lifestyle I will need to continue to improve my illustrative
skills, and train myself to be comfortable with negotiating
freelance work with companies.
In a University:
In terms of university choice, ideally I would like to study at a
place that has various facilities and supplies at their disposal. As
I am looking into illustration and animation, I would expect the
Uni to have an animation studio with state-of-the-art
technology to attend to all mediums of animation, as well as a
plethora of tools and materials to give me the most creative
freedom in my illustrative development. As well as facilities, I
would expect the university to have numerous study areas and a
large library, as well as an art shop to accommodate my class
equipment demands. I would also want the university to offer a
range of extra-curricular activities (like sports of language
courses). Most importantly, I would want the Uni to offer the
specific courses that will lead me down on my desired career
path, and the teachers of that course would need to be
engaging, enthusiastic, and helpful (should I require
3. Unis that offer good courses
As a specialist creative arts university, we have created a unique
community for our students, where like-minded people can share
in the creative process and inspire one another. Collaboration
between courses is encouraged, with fine artists studying with
budding filmmakers and fashion designers working alongside
architects. In this way, our students benefit from exposure to a
range of disciplines.
Choosing to study with us will give you the freedom to discover
your own personal style through a winning combination of
industry-focused courses, state-of-the-art facilities, and
inspirational expert staff.
Illustration as a subject has expanded from
traditional print to many forms of
communication. This course offers you the
broadest practical and critical exploration of
both subjects and possibilities. It builds key
skills in creative image communication,
enabling your practice to be successful and
develop in the direction you choose.
Graduates consistently produce
internationally recognised award-winning
Illustration Animation BA (Hons)
Illustration and Animation (Canterbury)
The facilities at Kingston impressed me; they had a fully-
fledged animation studio, as well as an auditorium that hosted
the graduate student animations. The rooms displaying the
student works were spacious and bright, and there was a large
and technologically advanced workshop for 3D work
(woodcutting/metal usage etc.). The campus is near Kingston
Town and my home, and my father vouched for the University’s
quality because he went there himself. The cafeteria was quite
small, however I would rather spend my time socialising
The facilities at UCA in Epsom were slightly underwhelming; the majority of the rooms
were heavily fashion based and I found it difficult to find the areas specific to the
discipline of illustration or animation. However this was to be expected because the UCA
has several different locations that all specialise in different areas of art; Canterbury is
the Uni that offers the Illustration Animation course, and according to their website they
have various facilities that allow for a range of art to be created. The Epsom campus was
difficult to navigate, however the work on display (especially the fashion garments and
student pieces from the Foundation course looked very professional and varied.
4. Degree Show- Kingston
After visiting Kingston University’s Illustration Animation Degree show I realised the full extent of the facilities and
pathways available within the course. Some students had fully focused on the animation side of the course and, as
a result, produced a 2-5 minute short films. These short films were all vastly different in terms of narrative and
medium; some films were made using stop-motion techniques and real props, some with hand drawn individual
frames, and some using computer graphic technology (both two dimensional and three dimensional). The focus of
each film was very different and was chosen by each student to fulfil a particular brief/talk about an issue. One film
,that was hand drawn then refined digitally, communicated the difficulties of having a mental disorder, and several
other films were made in collaboration with the Royal Opera House as animated adverts. The promotional films
were made using clay and stop-motion techniques, as well as digital 3D pieces.
Walking through the more illustrative part of the degree show I noticed each candidate had interpreted ‘illustration’
in their own way; one student created a short comic book with a vinyl model of a character from the story, another
student illustrated an existing novel and book cover with their own style and medium, another student created a
series of art prints in ink that communicated a certain message, and many students produced short animations
coupled with illustrative picture books and 3D figures.
Lorna Scobie, a past graduate of the Illustration Animation course, produced an interactive children’s book called
Bradley, as well as a gaming application for android/apple products based on the book. Currently, Lorna has
launched a very successful career, has published two books, and has worked with high-end clients such as Waitrose
and Wimbledon Tennis Club.
5. Degree Show- UCA
After visiting the illustration degree show at UCA I realised that the
course is far more vast than I previously imagined. The facilities and
pathways available allowed every student to express themselves in
their own individual way. From the examples on this slide you can
see the range of approaches that each student has explored. Some
students explored the digital art pathway; Josh Lewis, for example,
digitally painted an ocean in a storm, Demetri Merry-Taylor used
traditional pencil, Jenna Brown used a combination of black and red
ink, and Emily Fluen used coloured and painted paper and other
materials to create a collage piece as well as crafting an art doll.
Each student created their pieces for different purposes, and
produced a sketchbook of their journey towards their outcomes. The
sketchbooks included initial sketches, annotated studies and
prototypes that clearly showed me how they came to create their
final works. The ocean piece was made to be sold as an art print, the
pencil drawing as an illustration for an existing novel, the ink piece a
graphic poster to demonstrate a particular message (the effect of
domestic pressure, societal demands, and bullying), and the collage a
promotional work for a clothing line website/poster. Each purpose
and approach was very different for each student’s work, this
interested me because this means that they were offered a lot of
creative freedom for the tasks they were set.
From top left to bottom right: Josh Lewis, Jenna Brown, Emily Fluen, Emily Fluen, Elizabeth Peters,
Demetri Merry- Taylor
6. Course Comparison- Kingston Illustration Animation
What the course entails (according to the official website):
A daily studio-centred structure forms a working discipline, with choice of media
from traditional image-making in drawing and painting to print, digital, interactive,
and many 3D processes. Live, set or self-initiated projects are carefully timetabled to
help understand individual, team and collaborative strategies. An integrated
sequence of theory lectures and essays parallel studio themes, and culminate in Year
Year 1 encourages an open-minded and exploratory approach to image making
within a supportive critical environment. Students will be introduced to the key
areas of illustration and animation – idea development, observation and research,
image and content relationships. Drawing, animation, digital crafts, presentation
techniques, life drawing and location workshops are all taught. There is an overseas
field trip to a destination such as New York, Berlin, Florence or Venice supported
with a travel bursary for eligible students.
Year 2 gives students the freedom to explore different ways of communicating ideas,
to critically challenge the subjects and develop their personal direction. Students will
work on set and self-initiated projects that help develop the widest possible
approach to creating effective solutions. Students may choose the option to
specialise in animation. There is also the opportunity to study for a fourth year with
an exciting choice of international exchange partner institutions and placements.
Year 3 focuses on the development and resolution of personal work, with an
awareness of professional practice and strategies. Students will explore a series of
set and live assignments that inform the writing of an extended practice-defining
self-initiated project. Industry research and engagement, web, portfolio and
curatorial workshops, all help students find the best individual presentation.
Specialist facilities include:
• digital media workshops;
• photography suite;
• printmaking studio;
• 3D materials workshop;
• state-of-the-art filming environment and animation suite; and
• architectural science and technology laboratory (ArchiLab).
The preferred entry route for this course is for applicants to be
taking a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, or the recognised
Applicants will need a minimum of 112 tariff points from
recognised level 3 qualifications.
Plus GCSE (A*–C or comparable numeric scores under the newly
reformed GCSE gradings): five subjects including English and
Maths (Key Skills Level 2 may be used in lieu of GCSE English and
7. Course Comparison- UCA Illustration Farnham
What this course entails (according to the official website):
Illustrators have a unique way of seeing the world, then interpreting and communicating this visually
to a wider audience – harnessing both the traditional processes of drawing, painting, collage,
printmaking and book production, as well as new processes and moving image, such as ceramics,
animation, photography and film.
Our specialist Illustration course has a reputation for visual narrative and storytelling, underpinned
by an understanding that the best illustrations are based on exciting, original ideas.
On this course we place a real emphasis on visual experimentation, investigation and innovation,
supported by the development of strong drawing and storytelling skills. Based in studios packed
with industry-standard resources, you’ll also have access to an extensive range of facilities on
campus for printmaking, book production, animation, Mac suites, digital printing, 3D workshops,
textiles, photography and video. The course curriculum and delivery reflects recent trends in the
creative industries for illustrators to be collaborative and flexible, initiating new opportunities for
shared and individual work. You’ll be taught largely through studio-based projects and workshops,
supported by regular tutorials and group reviews. There’s also a lively programme of visiting
speakers, practical skills-based workshops, pop-up exhibitions and external visits.
Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements for this course are:
One of the following:
112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
Merit at UAL Extended Diploma, Access Diploma
And four GCSE passes at grade C or above, including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills
Communication Level 2).
• Illustration studios;
• Mac digital suites;
• Printmaking studios;
Year one we’ll help you to develop an open-minded,
flexible approach – not only to your work but also about
what illustration is and could be. This is alongside the
development of essential skills in idea development,
printmaking, drawing, digital software, storytelling and
In year two, with additional skills workshops, the emphasis
will change to give you greater freedom to develop your
work more uniquely, reflecting your own interests and
enthusiasms. We’ll also encourage you to be more
proactive and entrepreneurial, culminating in a student-
led external exhibition.
In year three your focus will be on the resolution of your
personal approach to content and style, developing your
creative skills and production to a high standard and
preparing a professional portfolio. You’ll also participate in
external competitions and shows, produce promotional
work and develop an online presence, reflecting your
ambitions for professional practice.
8. What this course entails (according to the official website):
Reflective of current practice, our BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation
course offers an ambitious and exploratory programme of study that will
support you in developing a visual voice to communicate with defined
audiences. Our course will encourage you to become an independent
critical thinker and maker, exploring relationships between research and
studio work, with a contemporary practice-led dissertation model. On
this course we offer a holistic environment for developing your work,
with small cohorts and tutored guidance at each stage, fostering
diversity of practice.
Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements for this
One of the following:
112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see
Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
And four GCSE passes at grade C or above, including English (or
Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).
Course Comparison- UCA Illustration and Animation
Canterbury In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical
workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical
and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore
your areas of specialist activity.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll
be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this
year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement
or even study abroad.
The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-
managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a
• Printmaking studios
• Digital media suites
• Photography suites
9. Student opinions on Kingston and UCA
"I have always had a passion for drawing and making my own images.
However, it wasn't until my art foundation year that I realised illustration was
the degree for me.
In my first year we had a field trip to Lisbon, Portugal and that has been one
of the main highlights of the course so far. Everyone was encouraged to
produce some really strong work while having a good time. We are off to
Krakow in Poland next.
Another highlight was the History of Illustration module in my second year. I
found the subject really interesting and inspiring. The lecturer really knows
his stuff and manages to hold everyone's attention.
All the lecturers are extremely helpful, teaching real skills that we can take
further in our careers. Most make a point of becoming a friend, enabling us
to talk to them about any problems or issues we might be having.
There's also a great atmosphere among the students. We are always working
in the studio, which means we bounce ideas off one another and build strong
friendships, while the variety of projects push us further in our work.
For me, university beats college hands down. I thought moving away from
home was going to be tough, but everyone is in the same boat, and the whole
experience has been easy. I haven't stopped enjoying myself.
Away from the University, I've found Kingston is a really nice place; it's close
enough to get to London, but you're not in the hustle and bustle. It's also a
very student-based town with plenty to do.
I am still deciding my long-term ambitions. Although illustration might seem
like a small subject to go into, it really isn't, I am always learning new things."
“What UCA delivers so successfully is a great environment
to learn, to experiment and to develop. With its vast
range of equipment at your disposal and hugely devoted
tutors to guide you, there’s nothing you can’t achieve
“From day one we were learning the core values of how
important graphic design is in modern society. With
support from the staff I was able to develop my creativity
and experiment with different mediums. I really enjoyed
screen printing, and by my final year I had focused my
discipline on designing for print, such as maps and small
10. External links and opportunities for students
Industry Partners at UCA:
Design and Art Directors Association
Far Far Away Books
Association of Illustrators
GAS Art Agency / Gina Cross, artists’ and illustrators’ agent
The Folio Society
Four Corners Books.
The course attracts a variety of guest speakers, such as
Rosy Nicolas, Tim Ellis, Tom Dowse, Graham Rawle, Gina
Cross, The Association of Illustrators, Stephen Appleby,
Olivier Kugler, Matilda Tristram and David Lemm.
The degree is a member of the Association of Illustrators,
which gives you access to notable industry practitioners,
workshops, lectures and seminars by some of the top
illustrators in the UK and Europe.
Competitions and collaborations on the Illustration Animation course at Kingston:
Vintage Books competition
An annual competition is run by Vintage Books with final-year students on this course.
Royal Opera House collaboration
In 2014 students on this course worked with the Royal Opera House to create a series of short
films on what opera is and how it is made.
Many members of staff also work in relevant industry sectors. This means:
•their teaching includes up-to-date professional experience;
•they can tell you what life in industry is really like; and
•they can help you balance creating inspiring, challenging work with meeting the needs of
your client. For example, Walker Books' art director, Ben Norland, takes time out to work with
Level 2 and Level 3 students.
You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at
the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options
currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian
and Spanish. (This language scheme particularly interests me as I am currently very invested in
Japan and am teaching myself the language in my spare time).
Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the
University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.
11. Specific Art & Design Discipline- Illustration
Illustration can cover a plethora of fields. The universal idea of what
illustration is, is that it involves drawing, or creating art in some sense.
An illustration is a graphic representation of a concept or ideal/idea in
a creative format such as a drawing, sketch, painting, photograph etc;
there are numerous ranges of approaches to illustration. Most often
this art has been produced for a specific purpose, to a specific client.
For example, most advertisements (e.g. posters) have been
commissioned by illustrators to design them; these designs have been
crafted to convey a deliberate message or mood. This design is what
the public sees, and what the public’s first impression of the
advertiser’s company is; this is very important as it can be the
difference between a company’s success or failure.
The ideas and values of those in the illustration industry are simple,
create art for a specified audience, for a particular reason. Illustrations
can be animations. Often illustrations act as compliments to types of
texts; websites, books, advertisements, companies (logo) etc. whereas
some illustrations work as stand-alone pieces to be sold as art prints,
postcards, clothing, art books etc.
Famous individuals in the field of illustration include: Quentin Blake,
Tim Burton, Dr Seuss, Noelle Stevenson, Natasha Allegri, Emily Carroll,
Brian O’Malley, and Philippa Rice.
13. Illustration Practitioner- Quentin Blake
Quentin Blake was born in the suburbs of London in 1932 and has drawn ever since he can remember.
He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, followed by National Service. Then he studied English at Downing
College, Cambridge, going on to do a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes
at Chelsea Art School.
He has always made his living as an illustrator, as well as teaching for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, where
he was head of the Illustration department from 1978 to 1986. He was 16 when his first drawing was published in Punch,
where the art editor pointed out that his rough sketches were better than the finished ones. This led him to develop the
sense of inky spontaneity that makes us feel, as he puts it, “like something is happening now, and hasn’t finished yet”. He
continued to draw for Punch, The Spectator and other magazines over many years, while at the same time entering the
world of children's books with A Drink of Water by John Yeoman in 1960. He is known for his collaboration with writers
such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also illustrated
classic books, including A Christmas Carol and Candide and created much-loved characters of his own, including Mister
Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread
Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the
international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian
Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given
to creators of children's books. In 2004 Quentin Blake was awarded the
'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres' by the French Government for services to
literature and in 2007 he was made Officier in the same order.
In 2014 he was admitted to the Legion d'Honneur, an honour accorded to
few people who are not French nationals. He received a knighthood for
'services to illustration' in the New Year's Honours for 2013, and became an
Honorary Freeman of the City of London in 2015.
His rapid lines – described by Ghislaine Kenyon, who has known Blake for 18
years, as themselves “a kind of flight” – are part of the landscape of
children’s literature: the dots for eyes, the retroussé noses, the flappy hands
and flat, happy, feet. When Blake draws, writes Kenyon, his pen takes off
with a “whoosh” and the paper becomes “a page of air” through which
“hordes of flying things make their way”. Kenyon notes of Blake at his
drawing board that his “whole being works unconsciously through his hand
and pen”, and he seems “genuinely surprised” by what emerges. To enhance
the element of surprise, he works with “dangerous” and “unpredictable”
media such as scratchy Waverly nibs, reeds, quill pens, and watercolour
pencils and water.
14. “I used to do drawings for the school magazine
and also for Punch. I knew someone who drew for
Punch and I started submitting drawings. I did get
some little ones accepted when I was about
sixteen or seventeen. That was a start. They paid
me seven guineas each.
Then when I was at Chelsea I got a regular job
doing two drawings a week for Punch and I also
started drawing for The Spectator. I began doing
small drawings for them until they decided that
they were going to have an illustrated cover, and I
started doing that too. I suppose the first proper
book I ever illustrated was while I was on National
Service, before university.
I spent three weeks illustrating a booklet - called
English Parade. There was no alteration to my
weekly pay-packet, but I was able to live at home
and I was allowed to wear shoes instead of boots.
From time to time I had to show my work to a
lieutenant-colonel for his approval. A few
moments of silence and then: "Very good,
Sergeant Blake. But I think .. the grass in this one
ought to be shorter." "Yes sir. I'll see to it, sir." "And
I think the creases in these trousers might be
sharper." Of course, the problem with making the
grass shorter in drawings is that you can't cut it:
you have to do the drawing again. But at least it
was preparation for encounters with editors and
committees, later on.”
Most often, Blake’s art is coupled with something
else, like posters or magazines, and most famously
with children’s books. Quentin Blake’s art in Roald
Dahl books is more than just a fun picture, the
illustrations add to the words. I grew up reading
Roald Dahl, and when I think of the stories, I think of
Blake's drawings; they are iconic and nostalgic, they
flesh out the stories, make the characters more
tangible, real and relatable. The designs of the
characters are simple but effective, memorable. The
colours are occasionally watered down but also
vibrant and exciting so that children remain engaged
in the story with the visual prompts. The way in
which Blake colours his illustrations is very loose and,
arguable, messy, but it is to great effect; this
looseness gives them a youthful playfulness that
makes them friendly and unique.
15. Illustration Practitioner- Tove Jansson
Jansson studied at University
College of Arts, Crafts and
Design in Stockholm in 1930–
33, the Graphic School of the
Finnish Academy of Fine Arts
in 1933–1937 and finally at
L'École d'Adrien Holy and
L'École des Beaux-Arts in
Paris in 1938. She displayed a
number of artworks in
exhibitions during the 30s
and early 40s, and her first
solo exhibition was held in
Tove Jansson grew up in an artistic household in Helsinki. Her father, a Swedish-speaking Finn, was a
sculptor, her Swedish mother an illustrator. While her mother worked, Tove would sit by her side
drawing her own pictures. She soon added words to the images. Her first book- Sara and Pelle and the
Octopuses of the Water Sprite - was published when she was just 13.
She later said that she had drawn the first Moomin after arguing with one of her brothers about the
philosopher Immanuel Kant. She sketched "the ugliest creature imaginable" on the toilet wall and wrote
under it "Kant". It was this ugly animal, or a plumper and friendlier version of it, that later brought her
worldwide fame. Jansson studied art in Stockholm and Helsinki, then in Paris and Rome, returning to
Helsinki just before the start of World War Two.
"The war had a great effect on Tove and her family. One of her brothers, Per Olov, was in the war. They
didn't know where he was, if he was safe, and if he was coming back," says Boel Westin, a friend of
Jansson's for 20 years and a Professor of Literature at Stockholm University.
Jansson's first Moomin book - The Moomins and the Great Flood - was published in 1945, at the end of
this difficult and nerve-wracking period, with Comet in Moominland following soon afterwards.
To be a success, a children's book series needs to create an entire world, and by 1949 the Moomins had
been joined by a menagerie of snuffly creatures: Sniff, Snufkin, Little My, the Snork Maiden,
Hattifatteners, Fillyjonk and so on. The books were hugely popular in Finland and Sweden.
"Tove's anxiety and grief are embedded in the first two books. She was depressed during the war and
this is mirrored in those books because they are about catastrophes," says Westin.
"Writing a children's book about a great flood is not so common. In the Comet book, Moomintroll and
Sniff go on this journey to find out when the comet is coming and if it's coming to Moominvalley.
"There are descriptions of creatures leaving their homes. Just like here in Helsinki, people were leaving
their homes for fear of the bombs. She captured that and put it in her books."
16. In many of Tove’s illustrations, you really get a sense of space, of scope and depth; in her
highly detailed ink illustrations inside her books, she has clearly taken a great deal of time
drawing each rock and how the wind curls the clouds in the sky, she makes every attempt
to establish a real environment, one that you could almost step into. The densely detailed
black and white scenes evoke a sinister atmosphere, an ominous mysterious tone, this
makes the readers more visually involved with the book and intrigues them to not leave
the world that Tove has sculpted. Her choice of medium for her book covers helps to
convey the mood of the book- Unlike Blake, Jansson experimented with various mediums
to evoke different effects: the chalky reflections of the water in Moominpappa At Sea.
The deep oil painted blues in the sea convey a richness and real depth, and the
perspective of the ocean piece suggests a vast tale of danger and exploration. In The
Great Flood book cover, the misty humid effect of the ominous forest, the sooty inked
creatures and watery, hazy forest suggests a tale of mystery and discovery. Tove also
illustrated her own comic strips using simple inked line art and little shading, and made
Moomin figurines out of felt, beads, and wiring.
Both Blake and Jansson shared similarities in their work; their illustrations are additions
to stories, and they are coupled with fantastical tales to engage the readers in a visual
sense. Blake, however, puts an emphasis on character expression, originality, and
movement, whereas Tove focussed on crafting a landscape in which her very simple
characters from Moominvalley could be immersed in. Blake’s scratchy style and radical
appliance of watery colours gives his illustrations a spontaneity and an energetic life that
feeds itself into the stories they are with. Tove’s illustrations, especially those within her
books, seem to be crafted with an accuracy and detail that forces the reader to feel in
that world themselves; her characters boast far less expression, as they are far calmer
and rational beings than Roald Dahl’s flamboyant and, occasionally wicked, ones. Both
Blake and Jansson are masters at their craft, and both practitioners express themselves
with very different mediums to suit the mood of the written materials their drawings
17. Poster design 1
For my initial poster design I thought about what interested me personally. I have always held
great affection for Japan, so I thought about how I could include elements of the country in the
poster. From watching Japanese documentaries and Japanese vlogs I developed an interest in
Japanese city life, particularly the retail districts and crowded narrow alleys; the life and energy
that they seemed to radiate gave me the idea to draw a Japanese-style retail street. I wanted to
convey the excitement of the area, and this would hopefully suggest to the viewer that a career in
illustration is just as energized and busy. I thought about composition, and wanted to give the
impression that the viewer is included in the scene, that they feel they are walking down the
street themselves, so the perspective gradually gets narrower towards the middle of the drawing.
I wanted the colours to exhume a warmth and energy, so I restricted my palette to warming hues
such as orange, red, pink, yellow, and light blue. When drawing this piece, I thought about Tove
Jansson, and how she created detailed illustrations of her characters in various locations; for this
drawing I wanted to create a real world with fine details and depth so that an observer could feel
as if they could walk down the street themselves. Even though I am fairly pleased with the result
of my design, I couldn’t help but feel slightly ‘closed in’ and claustrophobic looking at it, therefore
I thought of a new concept for a poster instead.
18. Poster design 2
My second idea took on a completely different angle to the previous one. Away from
consumerism and retail, I wanted to create a mood of relaxation, where you could take a breath
and take in the beauty of the world around you. Aside from Japan, I have a deep love for the
natural world and exploration, and I wanted to display this passion in my design. Growing up,
my family and I went to Richmond Park, Bushy Park, and Kew Gardens all the time, and I always
got a sense of adventure and peacefulness whenever we went, leaving behind the worries of
the modern world and appreciating the great outdoors. In terms of composition, I wanted the
design to have an ‘open’ feel, and the colours I chose were naturalistic and warm so that the
observer could get a comfortable feel from the scene. For this idea, I wanted my poster to
suggest a fantastical world of infinite possibility and exploration, this links to the field of
illustration as the discipline is vast and exciting, and those who choose to go down that path (a
leafy path shown in the poster) have a life of adventure and creativity ahead of them. I also
experimented with ‘artistic effects’ on the computer to create a simpler, softer version of my
19. Post Uni Plan A - Being a freelance Illustrator
My first progression choice would be to leave University and start a freelance
career as an Illustrator.
As an illustrator, you would produce drawings, paintings or diagrams that
help make products more attractive or easier to understand. This could
include books, book jackets, greetings cards, advertisements, packaging and
detailed technical diagrams. If you are talented at drawing, and have
creativity and imagination, this might be the perfect job for you. You’ll need
to be creative while sticking to your customer's design brief.
Time management is something you’ll need to use when meeting publication
or client deadlines. Many professional illustrators have a degree in
illustration or other art related degree subjects. If you are creative, have
artistic talent and the determination to succeed you could still be successful
in illustration without a degree.
You may be able to specialise in one type of illustration, such as heritage
illustration, designing pictures for guidebooks, leaflets or maps for stately
homes and castles. You might also work in educational illustration designing
websites, leaflets and publications for an academic institution. If you work
freelance as a self-employed illustrator you will need business skills so you
can market your goods and services. You’ll also need to develop the skills to
deal with your own finances and build up and promote your own business.
20. To be an illustrator you will need:
• excellent drawing skills
• attention to detail
• the ability to work to a customer brief
• creativity and imagination
• knowledge of computer graphics
• the ability to manage your time and meet deadlines
• technical knowledge of a specialist area (for some types
• good communication skills for making presentations and
Your work would typically include:
• discussing requirements or briefs with authors, editors or designers
• negotiating prices and time scales
• deciding on the right style for illustrations
• creating illustrations using hand drawing, painting or computer design packages
• speaking with the client and changing designs if necessary
• making sure the work is completed within set budgets and deadlines
You would usually arrange your own working hours, depending on your workload and the
deadlines you have to meet. You could be based at home or in a studio, and may spend time
visiting clients to market your work and discuss briefs. If you are involved in technical,
scientific or engineering illustration you may also make site visits.
As a freelance illustrator you would usually negotiate a fee for your services with your client.
Some Illustrators employ an agent who would agree a fee on your behalf. Fees charged may
depend on the time it would take you to complete the project.
There is no fixed route to become an illustrator. Many illustrators have a degree in illustration
or another art related subject. Even without a degree you can still be successful if you have
artistic flair, creativity, a strong portfolio and employers like your work. Relevant degree
subjects include: illustration fine art graphic design.
As a freelance illustrator you will need to think of creative ways of getting your work noticed.
You’ll also need to start building up a portfolio of your work to show prospective clients or for
entry onto courses. Building a website or starting a blog where you can showcase your work is
one way to get noticed. Social media such as Twitter is also a great way of connecting with
the public and future customers. Many illustrators also produce promotional material such as
postcards, graphic novels or comics to send out to customers and contacts in the industry.
You could market your work by contacting relevant companies directly.
21. Post Uni Plan B - Being an animator
My second progression choice would be to leave University and start a
career in animation.
Animators bring drawings or computer generated characters to life on
screen. If you want to use your imagination, and have creative skills like
drawing or modelling, this job could be perfect for you. To create an
image that communicates with your audience, you’ll need patience and
the ability to concentrate so that your work is accurate and has detail.
You’ll also need good computer skills. Artistic talent is highly valued
within the animation industry and you can still become an animator
based on self-taught skills and experience. It's becoming more common
for new animators to begin their careers by taking an animation or art-
related course to develop their skills before looking for work.
As an animator, your work could be used in animated films or television
cartoons. It may also be used for adverts, computer games, websites and
music videos. You could specialise in one of the following animation
techniques: 2D hand-drawn or traditional, 2D computer-generated, 3D
computer-generated imagery (CGI), stop-frame, stop-motion or model
Producing an animation involves many stages and processes. This can
include generating ideas in the development stage to building models
during production, and editing the final piece in post-production.
22. To become an animator, you will need skills in drawing, modelling or using computer animation
packages. Some animators are self-taught, but many start by taking an animation or art-related
course to develop their skills before looking for work.
You would often start as an animation studio runner. You don't need qualifications to work in this
role, although many people who start at this level are graduates. You could then progress to
junior roles like storyboard assistant, digital painter, inbetweener or assistant animator.
To become an animator, you will need to have:
• creativity and imagination
• good drawing or modelling skills
• patience and concentration
• acting skills to bring characters to life
• accuracy and attention to detail
• the ability to take direction good computer skills, preferably including graphics and animation
• communication and presentation skills
• the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
• good teamwork skills
In terms of opportunities, you could work for large or small animation studios, computer games
developers, interactive media designers, or post-production houses for animated film and TV titles
and credits. Freelance fixed-term contracts are common. The main centres for animation in the UK
are London, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee and Manchester. CGI is the fastest growing sector of
animation, but there is still a demand for people with good drawing skills. The more skills you can
offer, the more employment options you will have.
You do not have to necessarily start in a full animation position, you could join an animation
studio and work as an inbetweener or storyboard artist, and work your way up.