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Newbie Illustrator/Designer Seeking Feedback Please!

UberloserUberloser Registered User new member
edited April 2010 in Artist's Corner
Hey-o. Long time lurker, brand new poster. Been around penny-arcade for 4 or 5 years now.

I'm a graphic designer and illustrator in VA with under a year to go before graduation.
I was just wondering if I could get any feedback on anything before my first Portfolio review this Saturday. If you see anything I should fix before Portfolio, let me know.

There's always more if people are interested. Thanks in advance for any help/critiques. I've got some comics and more graphic work.

Advance apologies if I've done anything out of line by posting like this. I put descriptions in spoiler tags so it wouldn't be so cluttered.

Well. Here goes! Enjoy.

An anti-fur poster. I like to use humour and a kinda subtle voice to get the viewer to think about the subject... The girl kinda suspects something's up but barely realizes she's being haunted by the ghosts of what she's wearing. The body text reads something like "Every year, rabbits are blah de blah killed and stuff; Don't be a jerk."

Package Design project 1: Katana Knives.

The project involved going to the dollar store and picking one item that cost a dollar and re-package it to add value.

I picked a set of two knives for which I designed this container that gives the illusion it has been sliced by the knives themselves. Although the viewer knows that the cut was actually created by the knives, the connection to sharpness and quality is made just by association with such an action.

Screenprint. How I feel sometime.

Screenprint. "Brain Bleed." Also how I feel.

Part of a print ad series for MillionTreesNYC - an imitative to get people to plant trees in and around NYC. These ads use a common conversation topic amongst New Yorkers to steal attention and then redirect that attention towards planting trees.

Also in the "Brain Bleed" series. This time It's coming out of my eyes. Oh Noes! Not quite a screenprint. This is a digital mockup of one that's in production this week

First screenprint in the "Brain" series

Finished piece for illustration class - about an anonymous story - three skateboarders running through an abandoned insane asylum being chased by the cops

look up the "advice dog" on knowyourmeme if you don't get this one. I'm making fun of myself and fine art...Yeah.
This was a booth I constructed from scratch to display my figurative fine art. In this piece I'm talking about the relatively low value of representational work that is nothing more than "pretty." A juxtoposition is achieved not only through the fact that such a commercial display is in a gallery, but also that the work in the booth is hand-drawn in nature and of a higher quality than the pop music posters normally found in such a display.

This is my Artist's statement on the floor, titled "Don't Read This Artist's Statement."

I wanted people to walk on my words. Part of the idea was that the paper tear and become dirty, which it certainly did. The text is as follows:

Don't Read This Artist's Statement
I believe that concept is the most important aspect of art. Craft and execution are useful to me only insofar as they communicate my idea. As a result of this belief, I have delegated my "fine art" to a commercial poster booth similar to those found in every Wal-Mart. My drawings aren't important to me at all and are not relevant to my main idea. They're just pretty pictures, on equal terms of value with that of any pop music poster. The true value of my artwork lies in its ability to ignite discussion, communication and thought. It is my hope that my art acts as philosophy instead of just simple visual stimulation. As an artist, I believe it is my responsibility to participate in the creation, realization and communication of ideas. Our entire existence is based on the beautiful evolution of design. This all encompassing evolution is what I choose to worship. For me, Art is God.
The subtitle of my show is "Divine Comedy." Through the use of humor and visual puns, I attempt to dissect the mythos surrounding religious beliefs. There is no reason that religion shouldn't be subject to criticism or parody. Despite the social taboo of tackling this issue, religion is just like any set of chosen beliefs, such as political alignment or social stances. Rationally, there's no reason important ideas about the nature of our world shouldn't be discussed or called into question, except that we've somehow agreed not to. In the words of Douglas Adams: "Religion has certain ideas at the heart of it which we called sacred or holy. What it means is that here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about, you're just not... Why not?... Because you're not." All beliefs can be questioned and investigated; above all else, I encourage those who view my art to think. I don't intend to change anyone's mind, I just want to inspire thought, in the hope that it helps someone who didn't know they could.
I invite people to walk on my artist's statement as a form of disobedience and as a way of questioning the authority of the artist. Although, if I encourage such an act, is it still disobedience? The title of this document instructs you not to read it, but you are clearly disobeying those instructions! Good for you! The main issue I want to communicate is that only through questioning and evidence-based investigation can you learn about the world accurately and thoroughly. Authority, and especially the notion of a supernatural higher power, should and can be questioned. In this art space, I invite you to question everything... but then again, why should you listen to me?

This is a timeline of humanity's history. Did you know if you spread out your arms and at one finger is the formation of the earth 4.5 billion years ago and the finger is the present - you can shave humanity's existence off with a single stroke of a nail file. That's the concept behind this poster. The left side is the creation of the earth. All of humanity's major advances are on the far right side. -Creation of fire, cave paintings. The events and inventions in the last thousand years split off to be represented accurately proportionally. The space between each line is the relative amount of time --- like proportions on a pie chart. In the background is what the milkway galaxy looks like from earth in a 360 degree view - thanks to Astronomy picture of the day. Of course, the center figure is inspired by the Vitruvian Man.

Thanks again!
IM: Hollistagangsta7

Uberloser on


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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2010
    The weakness of you drawings are hurting your illustrations, particularly with the screen prints. I just don't feel like you are placing the lines confidently. The skateboarding illustrations suffers from the scratchy lines, it just makes an ugly texture and doesn't add to the lighting in the piece.

    I enjoy conceptual art, but I feel like you aren't seeing it though to the end. For instance, your life drawings being in the Walmart display. More effort could be put into making it look like they belonged in that display, right now they look sort of free hanging, and I've never seen a poster bin without cardboard backings when there were varying size. You could also try to print those letters in vinyl or paint them on rather than just taking on a piece of paper. Craft has a relationship with concept that you cannot ignore, even if you want too.

    I rather like the knife box, I wish I could see some angles of it. I'd consider taking some better shots of it so there isn't a harsh shadow or distracting table edge, if that's what you want in your portfolio.

    Iruka on
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    earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The standout piece for me is the brain kite with the spinal tail.

    earthwormadam on
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    TamTam Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Clarify something for us here: are you going to try and find a job in the industry, stay in academia, or strike out on your own?

    Tam on
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    GrennGrenn Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Welcome to the AC. I like your work and think there's certainly a lot of potential.

    For me personally, I think the silkscreen prints are the strongest pieces - even though the art is a little scratchy, your strokes retain a lot of character and I like the off-registration look. Having a look at the other work on your Flickr, I note you've got a lot more vector work on there also, and here is where my crit comes in...

    it actually reminds me of where I was at a few years ago - trying out many different directions, both stylistically and in terms of process and practice, and referring to myself as a 'creative allrounder.' I really wanted to make sure that my portfolio covered all the things that I felt I could do, to show potential clients that I was good at lots of different things. In reality I was actually watering down the stronger pieces with lots of weaker work.

    This is kinda the vibe I'm getting from your work.

    For the time being, as you're still in school, I think this is absolutely fine and to be encouraged but at some point I think you would really benefit from establishing the direction you want to go in and sticking to it. Obviously it doesn't mean you stop experimenting or trying out new things but in terms of how you present your work and your skillset, it needs to be more refined and focused.

    One of the best things I ever did with my own work (certainly with my website) was go through a refining process, putting together a portfolio that feels more like a cohesive body of work rather than lots of disperate ideas, experiments and attempts. I still do lots of other things when required but I present a portfolio of the type of work I specialise in and which I would prefer to be hired to do.

    But like I say, you should enjoy being able to stretch your creative legs for the time being, but bear in mind that you'll need to focus a little more if you want to be doing meaningful, commercial work.

    Hope that helps - keep working and enjoying what you do!

    Grenn on
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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2010
    I like the idea behind the last piece, but you haven't integrated the drawing with the original image in a cohesive way. The random line placement and poor anatomy just make it look like some numpty scribbled all over a cool poster. I appreciate that you probably want to retain a loose, scratchy feel to the lineart, but I think your intent could be better communicated if more thought was given to the planning process. You can still retain that energy using a well-crafted drawing.

    tynic on
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    UberloserUberloser Registered User new member
    edited April 2010
    Wowsers. I've gotten better criticism in one day on PA than I have in my whole three years of art school. You guys rock. Thanks for taking the time to say something.

    I absolutely agree with pretty much everything. Talk about eyes being opened. I knew I had a long way to go, but now I know which direction I need to move in.

    I'm attempting to get a job in the industry at a studio or whatnot, but I end up being being a mini-professor in my classes, so I'll probably drift back to Academia where I've been comfortable my whole life.

    I've got my first major portfolio review this Saturday -- I'll probably get a beating, but I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again. I'll be sure to stick around and lurk some more.

    Uberloser on
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    beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    hey welcome to the forums!
    stop lurking haha

    as others have said, i see a lot of potential in your work, but you seem to be pulling yourself in a lot of different directions... which honestly? i do the same damn thing, so i should also take some of the advice around here
    it's just a part of learning
    you have to experiment to figure out what you're good at and what you like and want to pursue further.
    so posting that stuff here is awesome, you'll get tons of feedback from a range of disciplines.

    some specific advice, in the image with the kid crying it's brain out, the colors are making it fall a little flat. it's a very dramatic image with very drab coloring.
    you've used different tones of the same hue for your shading. to make this image pop more, i'd try using a simple, yet more dramatic color palette with one really bold color. right now you've got kind of a bunch of muted colors, and it's not helping the composition.

    also, it's funny that you mention that you get more in a day at PA.
    I learned everything I know about illustration and drawing from internet forums
    this year I went and did a foundation year at my local art university and I actually felt like I was going backwards.
    It's the benefit of learning from impartial people who are working in various art fields. There's something to be said about being behind a screen too, it's hard to say exactly what you think to someone's face, you don't want to be pegged as "that bitch in class who speaks her mind" hahah.

    I hope you stick around, and again, welcome! there's a chat thread where we all sort of hang out and chat about random stuff, join in!

    beavotron on
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    rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Oh man Ghostbusters holding down Jesus with their proton packs is so terrible but so great. I would however like to see the easter bunny coming in and tackling the ghostbusters.

    I am also disturbed by how that one figure drawing looks like a naked disabled person in a wheelchair.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
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    EdilithEdilith Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hello from a fellow lurker! You have some great pieces here and I feel you have a lot of potential.

    The first image of the lady in fur stood out for me (probably due to the adorable floating ghost bunnies but also the imagery), but I feel the strength of it is kind of lessened due to her facial expression. To me she looks fairly neutral, even smiling a little, and replacing that with a more uneasy/curious expression would give that punch I think. Maybe lessening the transparency of the bunnies would be a good idea too? Or fading out their 'tails' instead, since they're fairly bold at the moment.

    As Grenn said I think your screenprint pieces stand out in particular, I like the concept of the brain/kite especially but it took me a few seconds to realise it was a brain and not a funny coloured cloud (might just be me though!). The timeline is a wonderful idea too but is let down by the scratchiness some already mentioned - I think more confident lines will come naturally in time though. Very nice work though, keep at it!

    Edilith on
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