Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen a number of artists look back at the work they did in 2018. I might be running a little late but I think my art massively improved during 2018. Between working on a portfolio to use for art school and trying out new techniques like screen printing and cyanotype. I created a huge amount of work in 2018 which I’m really proud of. So today I thought I would share some of my art & design work from the last year.
MY ART & DESIGN WORK FROM 2018
Throughout 2018 I spent time working with texture and mark making. Creating pieces of abstract art. The inspiration for these pieces came from many sources. At first, I used techniques I learned during a dot, line and shape project at college. Combining this with views from my local surroundings. As much as I hate winter the first few months of 2018 were massively inspiring. I came to realise how lucky I am to live where I do. It’s something which is easy to take for granted. My first pieces of abstract art tried to capture these feelings.
I continued this idea but also became more conscious of the environmental impact of my work. The first step of my design process is to create a series of textured pages. These would go on to influence my design decisions and many times were included as part of my designs. However, as I work mainly on the computer these original sheets were thrown in the bin after their usefulness ran out. I tried to change that with collage, turning these textured pages into art in their own right.
As part of this, I tried a number of different challenges. I signed up to a workshop ran by Sticks + Ink. This was a guided tutorial on how to turn pieces of collage into final works of abstract art. Though I didn’t like the end result I created from the workshop I did learn many things about collage from going through this process.
CELEBRATING DAVID BOWIE
The last project I worked on at college was very exciting. David Bowie is a singer I’ve loved since I was a child so creating a publication entirely dedicated to Bowie was an opportunity I had to create. It wasn’t easy, this was such a personal project to me that it was hard to be objective.
In a way, it would have been easier for me to choose a different project. Looking back the publication makes sense to me in a way that’s hard to explain. What you see in those pages are what I see when listening to Blackstar.
But I was very happy with my final publication. It meant a lot to me that I could make something based on one of my favourite musicians. I created a huge amount of artwork from this one project and am still working on themes I started during it.
100 DAYS OF CALLIGRAPHY
At the beginning of May, I started a new challenge, the 100-day project. This is run every summer where artists challenge themselves to create a piece of artwork every day. I chose to focus on calligraphy. This is something which I have been fascinated with for years but still needed to work on.
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I didn’t quite finish this challenge, making it to day 70. But I still noticed a huge difference in my work. Not only did my calligraphy skills improve. But as I was posting each piece on Instagram every day my photography skills improved too. This is something which has been massively helpful for my blog as well as advertising my portfolio on Instagram.
Over the summer I was asked by a client to create a wedding suite. Obviously, because of privacy reasons, I can’t share much from this project but it has been really fun to work on. Wedding stationery is nothing like what I’ve done so far at college and university but it has been a really good learning opportunity. My hand lettering practice has turned out to be massively helpful with this project and it is something I really want to continue in 2019.
I wouldn’t say photography really fits in with my art & design work but I thought I would mention this anyway. One of the workshops available to me at university is a darkroom. This means I was able to learn about the developing process and actually developed my own b&w film. This brought back a hobby which I haven’t been invested in for many years. Before starting my blog I was very active on Flickr and other photo sharing sites.
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However, film photography was something I never managed to get in to. This all changed in 2018 when I bought my first film camera, a Holga 120n. I love the unpredictable nature of film photography and from this type of camera especially. I’ve had so much fun over the last few months getting to try out something new.
One of the last projects I worked on in 2018 was a brief I got at university. This was to create a publication about modernist art. This was a really good project to end the year with. It shows the massive improvement I have made over the last year in graphic design. This publication combined elements I had learned during my David Bowie project and work I’ve done since joining the student magazine design team in September.
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I went with a very minimal style for my publication which is very tricky to do well. Creating a minimal page layout is actually harder because the elements which do appear on the page need more consideration. I was very pleased with this outcome and I can see just how much my typography skills have improved over the last year.
That was my review of my art & design work from 2018. I’ve learned a huge amount this year. More than just how to make nice art. I’ve become more confident about my work, the tools I use and I feel happier acknowledging when I’ve created something good.
When it comes to art, being confident with your work is just as important as creating good work. Getting a place at university has massively helped with this, but going to university has meant I had to be more confident as well.