Monday, 15 December 2014

The Consumer

Recently we learned about the consumer. The consumer is the person who pays to consume the goods that were produced by a particular service. The consumer is an important person involved in the sale because they are the final user of the end product. Within marketing, from beginning to end of product design, everything is aimed at the consumer. As artists, we have to design and create what it is that the consumer desires (or at least advertise it to them in a way that makes them believe it is what they want!) Selling the product to the consumer is becoming more difficult due to designers becoming more and more unique.

Previous agencies I have looked at that are relative to this and aim to create and produce for the consumer are:
A way to stay successful and keep sales to the consumer up is by getting to know them properly and therefore know who exactly you are aiming your product at.

Who am I?

  • What do I buy? I am interested in quirky handmade products made by small, not very popular companies.  I am also interested in books by most genres.
  • What demographic am I? I am a part of the young adults who are interested in quirky individual/creative makes. I am also apart of a wide range of different categories in terms of my literature interests, but within the age range of teen/young adult - adult.
  • How am I targeted? I am mostly targeted through the internet, because whilst using many different sites including social media, it is easy to be introduced to, or see an advertisement/link to a small sales page that might look inviting. Also pop ups on sites, if I have previously browsed things that are of interest to me over the internet, I can be shown a pop up which will display things to me that I have been known to look at before. This as well as leaflets, posters and advertisements on the television and radio are also a way of targeting me when at home or out and about.
  • What sets me apart from the general public? I would not say that anything much made me stand out from others in terms of my personal interests, however most people my age are more interested in things like modern day technology rather than crafts and literature. As a student of a creative industry however, I am more likely to be surrounded by people of a similar interest and am likely to tell others about particular companies.

The market 

The market is a very broad and extensive thing, which is ever changing. This in turn means that the consumer is also ever changing, as new trends come and go, as do consumers. Within the digital world for example, wants and desires change and develop much faster, due to produce constantly updating, meaning everybody wants the latest. Marketing is a way of telling the consumers exactly what they want or need to keep up to date, thus knowing the consumer is highly important, so that advertising produce to an individual ends successfully.
When looking at literature, it is obvious that with this being such a broad and detailed market, the consumer interested must be targeted exactly. The world is constantly changing, and technology is striving further and further forward, meaning that many people do not even wish to purchase the actual book itself, and would prefer to purchase just the words to read on a something like a kindle. There is a massive amount of options available to a reader, not just in terms of age ranges, genres, authors and themes but also in the latest equipment, story CDs, reading for the visual impaired etc. This also in turn means, that there is a massive amount to consider for an author or designer who is ready to put their work out onto the shelves. This site explains just a few of the things that are necessary to consider for an author who wishes to become more known. If you are looking to become more known within this kind of market, you cannot just work with something that you personally are very interested in. It is very important that you research every aspect possible in terms of what is popular today in order for the vaster majority of people to take a keen notice towards you.

Week 4: Printing workshop and taxidermy

Printing workshop 

During our second week we had the chance to take part in a printing workshop, to practice 'etching' for the first time. We each took a sketchbook of our animal work down to the printing room and chose an image to etch. This was very fun and enjoyable for me. I chose to work from a study I had done previously of my neighbors dog, because I thought that this could potentially make quite an interesting print when considering the mark making I used in the original drawing. We were given small sheets of card which on one side had a waxy coating, which looked glossy and similar to photo paper. We then had to scratch our study into this using a sharp utensil, and we were taught that we could create many different marks by doing this, like dotty ones for example. We were also able to tear parts of the waxy coating off with our hands which would later create big bold inky marks when put through the printing press. The marks that we made created an area that the ink was able to absorb into. We carefully applied the ink to the cards with rubber squeegees, and then rubbing the excess away with paper towels. This ensured that the ink had filled into the scratches and tears comfortably. The next step was putting the card through the press which a sheet of damp paper covering it, for the inked image to transfer onto. Unfortunately, I used the wrong type of paper on my first attempt and so my first print was not successful, however my second one was, which I was pleased about. Here is my result:

This was my finished result, after the second attempt! I was quite pleased with it and really enjoyed the workshop. I quite like the different effects that the varied marks have made in the study, and I would definitely like to experiment in the print room again to learn more and develop my skills. I am quite excited to try this again in the future to practice mark making more, I think it would have been good to have been able to create a few different prints so I could create different scaled pieces.
The right paper I used on the second attempt
The wrong paper I used (You can see that the ink hasn't
properly wiped off)

Taxidermy workshop
Also in our fourth week, we visited a taxidermy where we were able to illustrate the range of stuffed animals they had. This was a good chance to draw real animals that were still for us to study them and their details closely. At the workshop there were many animals like rabbits, hares, foxes, owls, otters etc, as well as many different insects. I very much enjoyed drawing the hare that they had, finding it fun to capture the details of the fur in a study. Here is what I created: 

I simply used pencil to draw out this animal finding that using the various types of pencil allowed me to create harsher and softer marks for the fur, helping to build up regular textures. I like how the hare looks as though it has been caught being very aware of itself and surroundings, as though it has frozen in a moment before racing off. 
 I think that the above drawing was my most successful from the workshop, however here are some of my others:

I used pencil to illustrate the otter but was very unhappy with it
I used bolder lines with graphite to draw the back of the bird, I was also quite unhappy with this study.
I experimented with pencil and fine liner when drawing the butterflies
I also attempted one in colour pencil to try to express the vibrant patterns on the butterfly, but am unsure as to how this looked overall.

 I think that I may have been more pleased with my studies if I had allowed myself to experiment further with colour and media during this task. However, I found that this workshop was very beneficial towards my practice, it further enabled me to discover new animals and insects that I liked drawing, which in this case above the others was the hare. Therefore I would like to further experiment drawing hares and rabbits and see where this takes me.

Animals and creatures: artist research

Quentin Blake
 Whilst studying animals and creatures, I found some artists who have inspired my practice throughout. One of my favourite childrens book illustrators is Quentin Blake, whose artwork is very playful, colourful and creative. It seems to come alive on the page, and I quite wanted to create this feeling in my own studies. Quentin Blake is an incredibly successful artist loved by children and adults, and has been exhibiting since the 1990s. I think that the life in his drawings is incredible but I particularly took notice to this when studying Animals and Creatures, because I wanted my own studies to look lively.

found here
I took particular notice to the fluidity of the coloured marks in his work and the playful lines he uses, bringing each of his characters to life be it human or animal. I think his vibrant use of colour also plays a part in this. I took influence from his work especially in the following study:

I used watered down brusho to try to get the same vibrant colours expressed in the artists work and used ink to draw the lines on top of this. I quite enjoyed working this way and would like to experiment further in the future.

Jackie Morris

Another one of my favourites is Jackie Morris, a talented illustrator who works for both children and adults. Her work is a lot more delicate in colour but is very beautiful, gentle and captivating. I find inspiration from her work a lot, and I took notice of her work when I practiced with watercolour. I find her work fascinating, and find that she captures animals incredibly well in her work, making them look realistic and beautiful. She studies their characteristics and portrays them accurately and powerfully in her work. Here is an image of a tiger created by her, and then one of my own where she has inspired me somewhat in my creating:

Beautiful work of hers found here

My own study inspired by her

E.H. Shepard

I think above all, the artist I have found the most inspiration from that I researched is E.H. Shepard, who is mostly known for his illustrations for the classic Winnie the Pooh books, by A.A. Milne. This is where I actually found my inspiration, because although I greatly admire all of this illustrators work, like the previous artists I have discussed, E.H. Shepard has a unique way of bringing his characters to life, by using a very traditional approach. I admire the artists use of media and when taking into consideration the length of time ago these drawings first came on to the scene, they are quite quirky but with a delicate feel, theres very much a feeling of innocence in the artist work.
I have mostly been inspired by the way the artist has illustrated the character 'Rabbit' in the Winnie the Pooh drawings, here is an example:

found here

In these drawings the artist uses the correct proportions and also delicately adds the detail of the fur giving a slightly realistic quality to the character. His studies inspired me and when I was drawing rabbits in my books, I referred to E.H. Shepherd's work and he influenced my choice of media (dry) and the way I placed my marks. Here is an example.

my hare drawing

I took influence from the way his work looked alive on the page, and this is a look I hope to achieve when I continue my studies - I will keep in mind each artist but especially E.H. Shepard and will hopefully manage to create more studies like the above one which I enjoyed creating.

Animals and creatures: more sketchbook development

After our workshops and trips, I was later able to work from my photographs and research, finding that this enabled me to create studies in more time and in greater detail. I could express more with colour, marks and overall experiment further. Here is some of my sketchbook work since developing my studies and research:

A fish I painted from the aquarium using mixed media: watercolour, ink and chalk

I focused on the detail of the tigers face and stripes using fineliner

Water colour study of a tiger walking with graphite on top of this. I think it was successful

I studied the meerkat further, focusing on its face with charcoal, pencil, graphite, chalk and sanguine oil pencil
A study of the back of a lion using pencil

I studied the face of the lioness using fine liner

I drew the tarantula in more detail with fine liner, studying the texture of its fur.
I looked at some of the photos I had taken in the zoo of the tropical birds in mid flight, and sketched them with fine liner
I used brusho and ink in this study of the lizard, it was quite inspired by Quentin Blake.
More small lizard studies in fine liner
The guinea pigs in more detail using fineliner - more focused on the texture of the fur



More research I put towards the assignment was book research. I looked at the following books for inspirations to more studies: 

Mammals by Michael Clark published 2000
-Chancellor Press an imprint of Bounty Books,
a division of Octopus Publishing group Ltd

Skeletons published 2005 

'Complete book of animals' published 1989 copyright
William Collins Son & Co Ltd 

Life Nature Library - Animal Behaviour (Didn't
really use this one in the end) 

 I was then able to create the following studies based on imagery I found within the above books:

Hedgehog with fine liner using 'Mammals' book,
pgs 42 and 45

Rabbit in pencil using Mammals, pgs 58 and 59
Hare in fine liner using Mammals pg 60 

Rat using ink with a stick: Mammals: pg 77

Leopard using fine liner - used this image to work from

Wild boar using pencil - Mammals pg 108

Deer using fine liner using Mammals pg 112

Painted deer Mammals pg 112
Deer with paint and fine liner and rabbit in fine liner
using pg 112 and 59

Week 3: Animals and creatures

Our next assignment after reportage was 'Animals and creatures'. During the assignment we were given many opportunities to draw animals and later develop these drawings. The activities that  held place for us were essential for this assignment as they gave us an excellent opportunity to study the animals up close, allowing us to concentrate on certain elements such as the movement and characteristics of the animal, the nature of it, or the texture of the animals skin or fur etc.

Workshop one - life drawing:  

In our first animal workshop, we had a selection of different animals brought into the University for us to study close up and draw. This was a fantastic opportunity, and was a great first taste of the assignment as we even got to handle some of the animals which as well as being really good fun, also allowed us to get an even better idea of the behaviors of the animal and the feel of them! Unfortunately I did not get to take many photographs of the animals, but here are some I did manage to capture which I was later able to work from: 

Yellow bearded lizards (which stayed
 nice and still for drawing!)
Baby Meerkats (which were very playful)

Frogs and toads

We were also introduced to some baby guinea pigs, stick insects and a blue tongued skink. I really enjoyed being up close to the animals and I managed to produce quite a few fast sketches of each animal and attempted to capture the shape, form, movement and textures of each. The sketches I did whilst there are very limited because of this in terms of detail, colour and media. Here are a few examples from my sketchbook: 

A quick drawing of a lizard using fine liner

Focusing on the unique details of the scorpions form using pencil
A quick drawing of the tarantula using fineliner

A drawing of the frog focusing on line

Baby guinea pig in pencil

Baby guinea pig faces in fine liner

Baby meerkats in pencil. (They were hard to draw because of how quick they were!)


  I really appreciated the opportunity to draw these animals, and despite not really having the time to illustrate them in full detail in the moment, I think that this activity was very beneficial towards my practice because it allowed me to have some personal experience with the animals and also focus on their forms and characteristics which would help me when developing my studies later on.

Workshop two - Flamingo Land

For our second animal workshop we went on a course trip to Flamingo Land Zoo, where together we drew the animals that inhabited there. There was a great range of animals there, including:

  • Tigers
  • Lions
  • Tortoises 
  • Pythons
  • Monkeys
  • Giraffes
  • Rhinos
  • Tropical birds
  • Sea lions
  • Tropical fish
  • Tortoises
  • Meerkats
  • Many more!!
I was able to catch quick photographs of some of these animals, despite them not being of the best quality I was later able to work from my images:

Tiger cubs



  Like the previous workshop, I found that it was very beneficial to have a chance to be up close to the animals, this time even getting to watch them in their own environment, and how they interact with each other. The more and more animals I got to see the more I found I was able to explore with my imagination too, it was also great to be able to expand my knowledge on the creatures.  It was very interesting watching each one move. I was particularly interested in the tigers and the tiger cubs, watching them play together was quite fascinating. We were able to watch the giraffes feed on leaves and gaze at the variety of fish swimming in large tanks in the aquarium which were also quite fascinating to watch move. 
Whilst at the zoo I was able to create quick sketches to capture the animals I was studying, in a similar style to how I created quick basic sketches of the animals in the previous workshop. I was then able to work from the pictures I had taken of them later. Here are some of the drawings from my sketchbook:

Fish drawings in pencil
More fish in pencil

Another fish study in pencil with more detail
I had some trouble getting the giraffes form right

Giraffe 1 using graphite
Giraffe 2 using graphite

  Despite having quite a lot of trouble when it came to capturing the giraffes form etc in my studies, I was quite pleased with the above drawings. I was on one page of my sketchbook drawing the giraffes head and neck in graphite, and on the other its body and legs. It then began to rain on my sketchbook, and the splashes reacted with my media, and when the page was turned this transferred onto the opposite study. Although at the time I was very frustrated with this, I later found the images and quite liked the way the marks looked on the page.

Rhino in pencil over two pages
Lions from behind using graphite and pencil

Lion body in graphite

Even though I wasn't able to create studies of the animals in full blown detail, or be expressive with colour etc in these studies, it was still a great learning experience for me and still enabled me to get a better grasp on studying the animals form and characters before I could later further focus on them using my own images.