ThalFolio - Artwork Diary by Haley Brunton - Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Febuary 2018

Design and produce a compelling visual work that conveys something of you / your best attributes as a budding Communication Designer. Your outcome can be produced using any medium / scale / format.

Your self-presentation could be revealing, enigmatic, idealised, puzzling, a narrative, an alter-ego(?). This project, though, is not intended to be personally intrusive or invasive. You are in complete control of the image that you present of / about yourself. Excessive soul-searching or self-regard is not demanded- nor is boasting always appreciated. Instead, you should develop clever, engaging and persuasive approaches to self-portrayal, e.g. endorsements, metaphors, direct / indirect depiction, stories, etc.

Your idea / visual developments should be supported by research into effective examples of self-promotion / representation (perhaps for cultural figures / other Communication Designers). Research the eye-catching / unexpected ways in which designers show off their creativity / individuality through what they produce. Then explore how you wish to represent your best features / attributes through well-developed visuals. Remember, unoriginal concepts and poor production values could create a negative impression of your Graphic Design / Illustration abilities- so, apportion proper time / attention to these aspects.

Presentation requirements:
• Abundant visual / factual research into your approach from primary & secondary sources. Your research can include drawings, paintings, photographs, internet / library research, found artefacts, etc. This should be well evidenced- particularly on boards but also within sketchbooks.
• A substantial body of studio work showing the development and production of your ideas / designs / artwork.

When I thought about who I was, I thought back over my life and how my experiences and memories have imprinted into my brain, and shaped me into the person I am today. I wanted to make something bold and simple, an autobiographical comic with a focus on the art style rather than narrative, that skips from moment to moment like a brain thinking.
I wanted the comic to feel more like an artwork, and something for people to look at rather than read. As an extra challenge, I wanted to develop my art style into something rougher and more unique, working traditionally rather than on the computer.

I experimented with ways of presenting the comic. Allthough I had a lot of experience with making comics, many of them were simple with square borders and digitally-made speech bubbles. I looked at different ways of incorporating the text or shaping the panels. I also tried different ways to colour the comic, but eventually decided on keeping them black and white.

I began to plan the final comic by putting my memories onto post-it notes, which each one a specific memory from my life that I felt made me who I am. I then arranged them roughly in chronological order.

Once I had decided on the general story, I started sketching out layouts for the pages, trying to make each one look visually different and pushing different elements. Some pages were quite busy and exciting, others were quiet and simple, depending on my emotional state at that part of my life. I also started to work out the final text. I wanted the text to feel very natural, as if I was having a conversation, so I used phrases like ‘a few years ago’ and jumped from subject to subject.
It came to 10 pages, although I feel another two would have been ideal and it would have allowed me to start and end the book with single spreads in addition to the front and back covers. However, 10 pages worked out in the end since another 2 might not have been finished in time.

The final pages were sketched, inked and lettered traditionally, as I felt it would make the final pages feel more unified, rough, and ultimately more personal. I planned the panels out and tried to get them as straight as possible, but the final borders were inked freehand.
They were done on A3 pages, all my preliminary works were done A4 and I feel this worked better as it meant the lines were thicker – there was a more appealing balance of black and white. It took 3 days to finish all the pages.

At one point I considered making a font from my handwriting as an alternative to the actual handwriting, this idea was scrapped as I was short on time. Fortunately, the result was big enough that my writing was still legible.

Once the pages were finished, I scanned them in and cleaned them up digitally, then printed them as a A4 booklet. I am very happy with the outcome!