Saturday, 8 November 2014


Recently we have been learning about the importance of publishing in the industry. To this day, the UK book industry export far exceeds the turnover of current/modern TV and technology sales proving that even in today's ever changing world  books are still the most popular and most desired things, for people of all ages.

The UK publishing industry is worth £4.5 billion and they have a mass market including paperbacks. 60% of the industry sales occur within the UK, with best selling fictions and non fictions.

Penguin books are the biggest book company across the world. I have discussed this company a lot in recent posts as it is definitely a very important one to look out for.

Working publishers have a lot to consider when collaborating with authors. They must intrigue those considered and interested in the book and who and what ages the book is aimed at with tone and atmosphere in their designs. They want the potential reader to look at their designed cover of a book and for them to feel intrigued and excited to explore what is within it. Book publishers must read and research the book immediately before getting to work, constantly communicating with the author and find inspiration from them whilst working almost jointly on the project. Communicating with the author is a very important part of designing the book cover, as well as researching the book is, because depending on what lies within the pages, the book might suit different types of publishing. One book might best be suited for an illustrated cover, where another perhaps photography could be used and so on. It might take a million times to get it right and often if you research a favorite book and cover, you will see the developments of the design covers produced by the publisher working on the project.

Small Press are a very interesting and small publishing company. The link to their site displays a list of all of the independent publishers they have working for them. They take hold of a small percentage of the market and therefore have a much more daring production. There is currently a bigger rise in their demand but they withhold an opportunity to be much more productive.

Nobrow is a company that holds a strong platform for graphic design, illustrators and publishers. Here I have again linked to their list of artists, because this gives me an opportunity to browse their work in the future for inspiration. Their website is very interesting to view and this is a great publishing company to look in to because of how many opportunities they hold out to you.

work by John Martz found on the Nobrow site

Gestalten books are each designed individually and uniquely. They do not stick to the same formats for each book and designed also around the author. The books are bought because they are beautiful, and are often purchased simply for decoration purposes because of how beautifully crafted they are - they are very desirable.

Book cover design is massively important because that is what sells the book commercially. The cover of the book inevitably puts that piece of literature into the readers hand, that is what draws them in.

Children's books are very important in the world, and are a very important aspect of book design and illustration to consider. Children's books are bought so often by adults, and so this is an important thing to remember if considering going down this route, because your audience varies because you are aiming to intrigue both the child and the parent, so your designs must look exciting for adults also. There is a growing market for children's books both printed and digital, and the different genres are also important to consider as they are varying: picture books, younger fiction, general fiction, teenage fiction and non fiction. Looking into children's books will benefit me as it holds onto many different aspects of illustration. It is a competitive area also because more often than enough, traditional books for children will become popular again in sales because parents want to purchase books from their own childhood for their children to enjoy. Children's books are therefore aimed at the audience of adults as well as youngsters. Teenagers books are aimed at teenagers for they buy their own as well as adult novels. 

Random House Kids are a large children's book company which have a great amount of publishers working for their team. They often use animals in their artwork because they are good for children to identify with.
Book cover from author Lesley M. M. Blume from Random House Kids

Work by Jean Webster at Random House Kids

Publishing and designing things for journals is to be considered, journals for educational, academic, medical, reference, scientific, technical and professional purposes are all very popular to design for in the field. Editorials are also important things to consider, such as newspapers, periodicals, magazines and small press like zines etc which are very big and would be exciting to work with.

The different areas of publishing include:
  •  Editorial
  • Design
  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Distrtibution
  • Legal
  • Administration 
It is important that I research into these different areas and learn more about them. After looking on the internet to find out more about the importance of editorial in the industry, I have found this site which explained that editing is very important in the publishing process because the different areas of publishing including book publishers, advertising, public relation forms and marketing companies each have their own team of editors to work on projects with, as well as proofreaders and quality control specialists. They each contribute greatly towards the publishing process and ensure that the content of the piece is well written, correct in terms of grammar and basically error free. I looked at design next, where I found this site which explained in excellent detail the impact of the designed cover of a book, and the great importance it has. This is because as I discussed previously, it advertises the whole book. The webpage explains that in supermarkets we often see books being displayed so that the cover is being faced towards the potential buyer, the cover is what draws readers in and puts the novel in the readers hands. I found that this site was very helpful in learning more about the marketing in publishing.

I have learned that I am very interested in the idea of publishing and the publishing process. I have learned a lot about it and find it quite fascinating. I like the idea of designing book covers, and the near future I plan to look into the publishers of a favorite magazine of my choice.


Monday, 13 October 2014


Recently in our Professional Studies lectures, we have been learning about Agencies. All illustrators if not freelance work within an agency or design house. Within our lesson, we were introduced to various design houses. One of these industry's was a London based company called Pearlfisher who also have an institute in New York and are very successful, with workers all around the world. They work at creating great, positive imagery to support commercial companies and mostly design big well known food packaging such as Dairy Milk Chocolate, The Natural Confectionery Company, Ritz and so on. Each of the designs for these brands is very successful, and meets the needs set by the companies and the concepts behind the brands, resulting in very appropriate, well known and well designed product packaging. Below are some visual examples of the packaging design created by Pearlfisher for companies I have previously mentioned.

I very much admire the designs produced by the Pearlfisher company and would really like to keep this company in mind, not only to inspire me and my studio practice but also because when thinking about how I would like to be professional in the future and when finishing University, I would like many options available to me and would like to consider the idea of working for a company like this one further.
Klaus Haapaniemi / Isetan Christmas Campaign
We also looked at an agency called Big Active, a great company in which the designers working for it usually produce big, well known music packaging designs. I have looked at their website which I have discovered is an excellent site to visit as it allows you to view the artists who work who represent the company. I have looked at the artist Klaus, an artist who designs for various things including book covers. An example of his work is shown here, an illustration of an Owl created for the Iseton Christmas Campaign. I find this illustration and other examples of his work shown on the website very influential and they are also fun to look at.
I have also looked at the artist Jody Barton who works for the Big Active Company too/ I think her work is also very beautiful and I admire the use of text in some of her pieces. She designs for all kinds of companies and produces for various types of commissions. I have shown some examples of her work here.
Jody Barton / Mont St Michel

Jody Barton / No Time Like The Past

Jody Barton / Black Hole Keyhole

I very much admire these examples of Jody Bartons' work, as well as her technique.One more artist I also discovered through viewing this site was Sanna Annukka who has also produced some very interesting designs and illustrations. She has produced music packaging designs for artists like Keane, an example which I have displayed below.
Sanna Annukka / Keane / Album Cover

We also looked at the artist Kate Moross, who was actually originally a freelance illustrator and then created her own agency, which is very much the opposite to what people in this profession usually do. I very much admire her work and style, as well as how she has made it so far and become so well known despite changing her direction throughout her journey.

Where do I see myself?
After researching these sites, I have in turn had to consider where I would like to see myself in the industry. I now have to consider elements such as, how I want to be represented, perceived by the market and I also have to think about how I want to win commissions.
Right now, I find it hard to envision where I will be or even where I want to be upon graduating. I like the idea of working for a design house, due to how I could potentially be designing for very well known companies or music industries etc, the vast popularity of which would gain me great recognition. This kind of choice would also keep me motivated to work, whereas being a freelance illustrator I would be working upon my own demands which although might be tricky I still find the idea quite interesting. This however may not allow me to become quite as recognized as the other, so perhaps it would be a good idea to become a member of a design house and make my way through collaborating with others, and later becoming a freelance illustrator. I would like to be perceived as an illustrator who would be willing to collaborate with others, design for a wide range of industries and companies and who's work would match many different companies wishes. I would hope to win commissions also by displaying these points.
I currently do not have to consider these things too much as I still have so much to learn, but I definitely have to begin thinking about how I would like to be seen professionally etc.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Industry Structure Update

Since posting about our industry structure lecture, I have researched a little bit more into artist events etc across the country. I have looked into the Pick Me Up site which posts about upcoming events that I might be interested in that are held across the UK for artists who are involved with illustration, graphic design and more.

I plan to look at the events page on this site regularly to find out what kind of events being held might be available for me to get involved with.

I also plan to look further into competitions that may be held for illustrators of book companies such as the Puffin and Penguin books. I will also check websites regularly to help me keep track of upcoming competitions I could potentially become involved with, as these book companies are aimed at both children's books and adults which I think would be exciting to maybe illustrate for in the future.

Industry Structure

In our second lecture for Professional Studies, we were introduced to 'Industry Structure', and therefore learned about some of our options for industry work upon leaving university, and what types of industries are available for us to work in, and what it would be like. We were firstly introduced to design houses, where we would be employed by a particular design company and work within their house style and whatever their company was about, be it food, flowers, clothes etc. We would have to work from and without briefs, and so either would be bringing our own ideas to the field or developing another persons. We would also be managed by a creative director. I personally do not mind the idea of working from a design house, I find the idea quite interesting right now and feel as though it could be a good option as I do not mind the idea of working for others.
We also learned about what it might be like to become freelance illustrators. This is where we would be working fully for ourselves, with secure commissioned work whenever there was interest by others. Commissions would mean having to work to a legal structure, therefore having to negotiate reasonable prices and work towards meeting targets for potential buyers. I have discovered that I am most likely to become a freelance illustrator after leaving University due to the difficulties of finding work straight away, and therefore will have to consider this option carefully. I must build an extensive portfolio whilst studying, so that I have a great variety of my work constantly available to provide to others when searching for work and trying to earn for my creative work. I am most likely to be earning very little whilst being a freelance artist, and it is therefore essential that I am prepared for this in terms of having a portfolio ready. I do not mind the idea of working independently like this for a short or long term upon graduating, as I feel like this will give me much more experience before finding a steady workplace, and will hopefully allow me to be more known in the industry.
Networking is another option for when I leave, which is similar in terms of independent work. I would have to build a network and support it greatly as well as my market and also introduce myself to new markets. This will help me to expand my opportunities, and I will have to consider creating CV's for this. I will think more carefully about this later, however. Collaborating is an experience very similar, although I would be building a network with other independent artists. This is an idea I find intriguing, as I think it would be quite interesting to work fully and closely with others, and perhaps rather helpful also, as I would be able to gain their opinions and advice to my work and give my own towards theirs. I also think that this might be quite helpful also in terms of becoming more widely known in the industry, as their would be more of us their to promote.
I find the idea of exhibitions interesting also, because here I would be selling my own art and original pieces. I could advertise limited edition works, have installations and would be self initiated. I could install commissioned work. I like the idea of exhibiting but would imagine it to be quite hard to become involved with and would like to research this idea further because of this.
I have discovered that it would be quite important to get to know photographers, so that when I have created works that I would like to advertise etc and for exhibits, I could do it professionally.

Entering competitions is going to be greatly important to me, because if I happened to be successful in my entry it could gain me great recognition both nationally and internationally. It would open many possibilities for me which is very exciting to think about, and would most definitely expose me to a wider audience. Work of mine could be published if it was successful in competitions or even exhibited, which would definitely gain me more recognition. There is also the possibility of prize money involved which would definitely be appreciated as it could help fund for my supplies and everything else that could help me move forward, including traveling to art festivals etc.
Self promoting would definitely help me get to where I need to be. I will be careful to watch how I do this, and which networks to use if doing so online. It is a good idea to create business cards, and send CV's, and I will consider doing so in the near future. I also plan to research competitions soon, and will consider entering some to gain some recognition. I would like to also research new events across the country that I could perhaps visit and get involved with, that focus on illustration and today's young artists. This could help me to meet new artists or illustrators to potentially collaborate with and also give me a better insight as to what is happening in the industry today. At this moment I do not need to worry too much about how I intend to work creatively as an illustrator as I am still currently studying to become one. I will however keep each option that is available to me in mind as I progress through this journey because I still have a lot to learn and my choices and opinions will inevitably alter and develop over time.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Plagiarism original piece by Hokusai - piece inspired by Hokusai

In our first lecture and introduction to professional studies, we were introduced to plagiarism. Plagiarism is wrongfully taking another creators ideas and presenting them as your own, and inevitably being rewarded for work that is not yours. Often the original artists of a piece of plagiarized work lose incredible amounts of money that their work could have earned them, had it not have been stolen. People have famously been caught plagiarising pieces of work and I have learned now that legal action can be taken against a person for this, especially in cases where great amounts of money have been earned. It is common for people to post their work inspired by other artists in this way online, gaining fame, respect and appreciation for work that is not theirs.  Plagiarism is a subject that I must take close notice to, as I need to become much more aware of the affects of it, and how to avoid ever having to suffer these affects within my own personal practice. Plagiarism is to be greatly avoided. I wish to develop my own individual style over time and although hope to find inspiration from artists who I admire, will not consider stealing their styles or ideas and making them my own. I also hope to never have this happen to myself, and after this lecture I have learned the many consequences of being involved with it. If you were to take a popular piece of art for example 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' and develop this yourself, it is not considered plagiarism due to it being so wildly known, it is obvious where you have found your influence from and you are therefore not considered to be attempting to gain credit for the original study. In the images I have shown above, the first is the original piece and the second a study created with obvious influence from this artist which has been developed slightly. It is important to state whether or not your work has been inspired by another artists, so that the credit for this will be given purely to them. In my practice if I have found inspiration from another source I will be certain to document this. I have discovered that legal action can be taken against a person for plagiarism. I plan to also reference any photographs from the internet or books etc I have worked from in my studies, and also begin to take my own photographs to work from as this will not only ensure that my work is fully my own but I will also have a greater control of my studies.