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Ste IllustratesFreelance Illustrator

My Favourite Illustrations of 2016

Looking back at my work in 2016

So I did a post about what inspired me in 2016 so this post is the pieces I worked on in 2016 and how I felt about them, what I liked, what I disliked, what I learned and what I want to improve on. It was a big year at the start I was working on a big animation job with Splinter for the BBC, it was an interesting job and it was a lot of vector work and asset creation but also coming up with characters.

Character design and animation is a great area and one I really want to explore more, I love researching and coming up with fun and interesting characters especially one’s that can be very expressive and a bit silly but I’d also wanted to work in fashion and editorial illustration, hell even further, advertising and design but these using a more hand drawn textured style. I was really torn which way to go. I was always happier with my pencil work and felt I was losing it a lot in finished pieces, especially in vector work – the illustrations where very mechanical and I thought lost something. I struggled BADLY with a direction so there was nothing for it I had to try different things. It took a while but I hit on a style that I really enjoyed drawing and liked where it was going – don’t get me wrong I never found the final voice – that will take longer than a few months but it felt like a good starting point and that’s what I’ll build on in 2017 and beyond.

The piece that really clicked for me was the Perfect Fit editorial illustration, I just drew a guy in a suit because I love tailoring and suits and I’d just got the Miss Led tutorials so picked up a few hints and tips and with that combined the pencil line with a watercolour painting line, Deb suggested for ages to merge the two but I resisted – sorry Deb, you’re right as always. I was happy with this piece it clicked with me. I liked the look and overall feel – I wasn’t sure how it could be applied to other subjects though so tried a few other things but didn’t feel I moved on until very recently with my runners illustrations – that kind of captured the essence of the Perfect Fit piece but added a scene – which is the next step I feel, lets see – I’m excited anyway about this direction.

Full circle too by the end of the year – from wanting to move away from vectors and try more realistic stuff it became clear that the vector work was a more likely form of work for me. Infographics and animations plus use in design work means vector is more popular and it’s something I’m more experienced in.

A failed pitch idea would give me a look and style I actually really liked and oddly though it won the job it was changed later on but I liked the feel, the fun and the expression in it – so inspired by this and a Mr Porter piece by Simone Massoni I started to explore vectors again – I have so many ideas with it. My mind is a blur with it all really – I have 2 directions, very excited by both of them and know that either direction will be great to work in and produce work for. I want to use either style to create great work for whatever area is most suited. I know I have it in me and it motivates me to want to do it too. Not just make money from it (which is nice) but to make work I’m happy with proud of and each time makes me want to better it next time around.

So here we go 2017 starts now – hope to catch up with you this time 2018 and see where I’ve got up too – in the meantime want to wish you a productive and exciting 2017! Hope it brings you what you want and more.

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