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Contemporary Topics: Week 3

Wow! I love the energy in our class! I am so happy to get such thoughtful and design-centered feedback. Like every week, I hit the ground running after class when your feedback is fresh... I'm loving the direction of this project and Bosler's advice in the steps that it should take. So this week I will be focusing on the message and style of my illustration advocacy/self-promo piece.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm completely in stitches about "Illustration is my double rainbow"... It is sweet, funny and corny- but most importantly it is hip and everyone that I'm targeting gets it. If you don't get it and realize it refers to that uplifting youtube video (that I died of joy and laughter when I first watched) it's still a great line! So I think it's a great place to start and lift off. Plus I love rainbows because they're beautiful and magical, and love all the people they represent.

As far as illustration style, I have two styles or rather two techniques in my back pack... I paint in an illustrative and graphic style based on Fraktur imagery this is exclusively hand-drawn and hand-painted. I will scan in and edit a bit sometimes, but not often. I also have used a more collage-based illustrative style in my book Penny Olive, which is about a little girl that sews (so it was appropriate for her story). This collage style starts with a hand-drawn sketch and then is scanned in and the rest is done in PhotoShop. Generally speaking my hand-painted illustrations have been usually inspired by Fraktur or a PA Dutch (not Amish) mythical creature (Wassernix or water nymph and Belsnickel or PA Dutch Santa type). When I used my more digital collage style illustration it was for a story that was based on my life and experiences. So these are interesting observations about my two techniques. I do feel that both techniques feel similar enough to be recognizable as my work, but I'm curious to see which resonates more with you all. When created Penny Olive my target audience was children from 3-10, this time, my target audience is much older. I am excited to see what people think.

I would like to at least explore a third technique of illustration and take advantage of having all of your feedback seeing these ideas unfold in the three different styles. I really wanted to take Illustration I this semester with Professor Cunfer. Unfortunately with my schedule and new job, I was unable to take it. She highly recommended getting feedback for my illustrations from Bosler, which is perfect! Cunfer advised me to try taking some of my hand-made illustrations and creating vector images from them.

A side note.... this is why I love the graduate program at KUCD.... great, talented, like-minded professors coming together to elevate the MFA candidates experience and talent. I love that our conversation didn't end with me telling her I couldn't take her course and I was really bummed... she gave me great advice and pointed me in the right direction to find another amazing professor to help me reach my goals.

As I think about what I want this project to look like and feel like there are definite in my mind's eye:

  • I want it to be fun and positive.

  • I want it to be authentic and relatable.

  • I want it to tell a story, my story.

  • I want it to have a clear and relatable take away of illustration advocacy and self advocacy

These message and style choices will inform the type of illustrative style I chose. I think my next step this week is to sketch and present at least two different styles in class on Friday. As part of my own self-promotion, I also share a lot of my process on my fb and ig, please friend or follow me if you'd like.

I have found this works two ways for me, it keeps people interested and invested in what I am working on (since I have very little time to work, I don't post a lot of finished pieces, posting WIP images helps keep people hooked and keep my relevant to them). Secondly it gives me great feedback or data (sorry Mary) or what illustrations are popular and well received and what are not. These simple self-promotional effort definitely informs my future work and since I sell at least 50% of my work to followers, they are my target audience in my personal work. I will be definitely posting my WIP images during this class and look forward to my friends and followers feedback.

I also went straight to Bosler's pinterest to see really good examples of save-worthy self-promotion, I'm so excited and inspired! I think it all comes down to play, and having something that is playful and initiates play with the viewer. I think it this way, the piece can be very fluid in target audience because everyone (especially creatives) has a child inside that loves play.

Some of my work....

Some of my favorite project inspirations....

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