Friday, 22 April 2011

Personal Review Of The First Year

One of the first things I would like to see more of is the staff. 
I realise that it has been an extremely difficult year for them, this time around. 
Lots of tumultuous incidents and unfortunate events. 

I really sympathise, but it is necessary to have more interaction, so we can improve and gain more confidence. 
Mainly though, we are interested in what you have to say "oh wise ones!" :D 

I've gained a lot of insight from the critical studies lessons. I enjoyed the method of presentation and it made it easy to absorb. 
It also teaches us how to use artistic judgement more constructively. And how to perceive the choices others have made, artistically and with relevance.

(This is just for an example - Although I have drawn in a vaguely similar style in the past, I do not like Anthro art!) 

I can't put this persons name on here, it just wouldn't be right. 

They obviously have skill. But it creeps me out when I look at it!

Urgh! Here is an actually Anthro Fox.
I feel like my eyes are dirty!
This is all kinds of wrong.
I would never presume to think that I am more knowledgeable than any one else, I am a little older than most on the course, yet I'm still learning, always will be. 

All I know is, I want to know a lot more! :)
So I can make the right decisions with my art.

Feed your Braaains!
I've had some sleepless nights tackling 3Dsmax. But despite that fact, I have enjoyed it! 
(I've also loathed and detested it ;p) 
But I'm a lot happier with my progress now. I've just come to accept that when I do a 3D project, random sh*t will happen. 
Thank you for your patience Heather :)

I think that I've demonstrated good progress with the software, especially in the last project - Weapon of Choice
Weapon of Choice  - Murasame Blade

For once it was smooth sailing! Not one problem :D 
When I look back at the first few weeks of the year, I can't believe that I could produce something like this so soon. 
I'm quite proud of how it turned out. 

The Vehicle project really taxed my abilities at that time. 
I really wanted it to be precise when I submitted it. 
It was the best I could do at that point in the semester. But overall, I'm pleased with the end result. 
It looks like a van! (A very tiny van)

Also my Gurus Project looked quite tidy. 
I learned why a Poly budget is advised! I had none left for his zip :( 
When it came to laying out my textures, I had no clue.

When I start the second year I hope to have mastered laying out an efficient texture template. 
I still look at UVW's and think "where do I start?"

I really need to make a few different character models to experiment with varying body types. 

Even though I've always made an effort to understand anatomy when drawing, it wasn't entirely accomplished with my Gladiator Model -


I'm beginning to like my visual design work again. 

I started off the year very confident and lost that somewhere along the way. 

I sat for hours sketching this :)

I think it was just the gaps in my knowledge using traditional media. Yes, I can draw. But paint?

I couldn't remember how to use a brush, it had been so long! I knew that I would never be any good, especially in my own eyes, if I didn't start with the basics all over again. 

Acrylics - I tried to emulate the lividity of my skin.
If you look at my wrist you can only just see two large blueish veins.

I tried to emulate a Water-Colour style in Photoshop.
It's good progress. I'm getting better.

I played around with custom brush settings for this image.
It helped especially with the foliage as each plant is so different.

I'm getting a lot more confident again. 
I need to think about my points of interest in my images in the future. Some aspects of the subject matter can be changed or removed to improve the composition. 

Overall I feel there is still so much to learn. I need to relax more when I work too. 

Here is an image I drew in Painter just before we started the course - 

It isn't great. It's not even finished! But I was totally relaxed when I worked on it. 

I feel I stressed myself out in the middle of the first semester and couldn't concentrate properly.
I was operating like it was a race to the finish. Subsequently I did very little prep work and just threw myself into final pieces. 
Well, I realise I won't learn anything with that approach. If only I'd realised sooner :)

Luckily Chris was continually supportive throughout the whole period.

 I think it would be good to observe Chris producing some work alongside us. So we can see how to apply this artistic judgement we are developing. :)

Maybe if we all sat and painted the same subject? 
I know a lot of the work is self directed study but I really enjoyed the moments when everyone was in the same room working. It just felt good! 

I think that is why some people fell behind. If we're all grouped together there is always someone  to ask for advice or opinion on their own work. 

The workshop that Mike Pickton and Tristan put together at the end of semester two was a great idea. It was very positive and constructive. I think it should be a regular occurrence. 


I recently played a Board Game (of sorts) called Identik by Asmodee

It really encourages artistic judgement and conveying visual information efficiently to the other players. 
And it was fun
 (I should have just said visual communication! Fail!)

What decides the winner is not necessarily artistic ability but also the ability to interpret the key elements that make up the whole picture. 

Read the description below - 

The drawing game where drawing talent is optional!

Each round, one player (the Portrayer) describes an image, while the other players (artists) draw the image using a list of hidden criteria. The more details the Artists get right, the higher their score.


-Innovative drawing game
-No ''down-time''- all players play every round
-Guaranteed laughs
-Great for parties

(£23 on

Someone may discover they have the latent abilities of an Art Director waiting to blossom.
Maybe we could invest in a copy? Or just simulate the rules? 

It's the process I'm interested in exploring with the class.


We could all benefit from combining all our resources as well. 
Between us we have a wealth of tutorials and videos that some have yet to discover. 
And the library, although it has a vast selection, is missing some vital sources. 

We also need to discover some new locations to study for visual design. 
Although I would love to help get our current options reopened, I just don't believe they will ever get enough funding to maintain them and that is very sad. 
Meanwhile we're missing out on visiting stimulating places. We need to feed our brains!
(With the exception of Bradgate Park, which is awesome)


I did find an alternative Pumping Station in Nottingham. :)
It would require the hiring of a mini-bus though.
The Beam Engines inside are lovingly cared for by the staff. 
You can walk right up to them too! No barriers!


The situation needs a lot more dedication and support than we can provide. It's really the public's waning interest that is the cause, something we have little control over. 

Maybe if they set up a themed bar in the museums? 

I joke
But that is probably the most successful route they could take. Especially in Leicester.

I think it is just the state of things at this point in time, our government has almost turned it's back on the arts. 
So let's not rely on them. 

One thing the course needs is recognition. Especially if we are competing to gain the next batch of students paying £9, 000 a year.
Maybe this year we can have more presence at Game City. (Or other conventions)
A stall informing potential students what we do. 
With some of the best examples of student artwork. 

There are a lot of key figures trying to push for a more computer literate educational system.

If we can spread awareness of our course and the industry it is geared towards we can only benefit from the attention. :) 

Maybe an article in about the course? 

At this stage, I can't think of a practical solution but I hope what I have said can be of use.

Self Portrait - Acrylic on Canvas
Inspired by Eward Hopper

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