Archive for April, 2012

As difficult as it is to believe, I have reached my final project on my Illustration degree course, and I just don’t know where the past 3 years went. It doesn’t seem 2 minutes since we were registering on the first day of the course. So many ups and downs along the way, but I survived, and am still surviving, ready to start thinking about my final project. However, in reality I have been thinking about this final project for a very long time, as the idea has its roots in a story I have had on the back-burner for the past 8 years.  The initial idea I had for the final project was to produce character concept sheets for some of the main charcters in my story … I have had these characters in my head and have been sketching them on paper for such a long time and their appearances have gradually evolved as my skills developed and my ideas changed.  So I thought I would create a series of character concept sheets, and then look at storyboards and present the characters in a storyboard sequence.

However once I had discussed my proposed plan with the tutors, I was then encouraged to produce a series of comic book pages featuring some of my characters. I knew that I would find this a considerable challenge as I had not produced anything along the lines of comic pages since GCSE, and while I find illustrating characters straightforward, I find illustrating backgrounds, scenery and architecture far more challenging. Prepared to give it my best effort, I then decided to attempt to produce three comic pages based on the finals scene of my story, and featuring three of my characters, which would then be presented along side my character concept sheets.

The story is set in a altered reality of Victorian London, and focuses on Victorian style clothing and time-pieces, and the final scenes of the story are played out within the clocktower of Big Ben in London. I therefore focused a  lot of research on looking at this style of fashion, Victorian life and art, and on Big Ben itself, as the iconic centrepiece of my story.


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In order to promote my work further I have set up a Tumblr website which will enable me to showcase my best illustrations.


I have also purchased a professional website domain but I haven’t had the time to do anything with that as yet. Hopefully once all my artwork for finals is completed I will have time to play around with my website.

My website address: www.TarynWhittamIllustration.com  ( currently a work in progress )

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After experimenting with different illustrations on my business card I eventually went for a character illustration, as this is ideally what I want to specialise in: character concept design. I chose a pastel striped/ mottled effect background so that the illustration and the typography stand out. On one side of the card I wanted the character illustration, on the other side the typography consisting of my name, what I do, and my on-line contact details, plus a smaller illustration of a cat. The cards were designed so that the background would tie in with my Tumblr website, and my letter head and my professional website will also be designed using a similar colour scheme.

The cards actually came out looking a little more faded than anticipated, but I don’t feel this diminishes their effectiveness as business cards promoting my art style and what I hope to do. The illustration I chose to use is my character Eric Gracey, and this is the original illustration I used:

Rather than shrink down the whole illustration I have just used head and shoulders to hopefully give it more impact:

The reverse side of the card  in the final version:

Overall I was pleased with the way my business cards have turned out, although it was a struggle to fit all of the words on the card, and the size of the wording reflects this. I would perhaps try and improve the typography for future business cards in view of this, as my contact details may not stand out enough.  Ideally I would also like to produce cards with different illustrations on them, but due to time and financial restraints at the present time I just decided to use one version of the card.

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After much on line research and also looking at the type of business cards used by businesses in my locality, I began to look at the business crads used by other illustrators. It felt important to me that a business card promoting an illustrator should feature the work of the illustrator on the card, so that prospective clients could immediately see the style of the artist, and have an example of the artist’s work there in front of them. From on line research it appears that many illustrators do use their own art on their business cards, and some examples of cards that I found particularly effective and inspiring are shown below:

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I initally thought designing something as simple as a business card would be easy … until I began researching all the ways a business card can be designed. The important features of a business card are that it needs to be eye-catching, memorable and say something about what or who it is advertising …. after all, it is essentially a marketing device. It also needs to convey clear contact information such as name, website, email address, phone number etc.

The business card should ideally be small enough to fit in a wallet or purse, so the dimensions tend to be fairly standard, although beyond that there are many unusual and unique examples of business cards out there, which use different materials, shapes and other design features. Die-Cut business cards  use shape to say something about what or who they are advertising … these are particularly effective. Different materials can be used to produce business cards, the material often reflecting the business which is being marketed eg: metal, wood, perspex, fabric. Some designers move away from the traditional style business card totally.

Some of the most distinctive business cards I encountered on my research are shown below:

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