Friday, 23 January 2015

the waiting game

top: h&m
necklaces: lilac edge
skirt: primark
gilet: boohoo
boots: primark

since presenting for one module last week and handing my dissertation in yesterday, i've essentially been playing a huge waiting game, nervously anticipating my results from my first module of the year which were said to be given to us before the end of this week, so as you can imagine i'm currently sat around frustrated at the fact that they still haven't gone live. i just need to know so i can lay it to rest (!!!!!!!) 

in other news, had you noticed that stripes are my new go-to? well if not, they are. this top and skirt combo is an outfit i've been reaching for lately when i can't be bothered to properly plan an outfit, simply because i know it works and it's a comfortable option. i've been feeling a bit icky and a little ashamed of myself lately, so i've picked my bum up now i've recovered from my stint of illness over the last week or so and am back on with doing the 30 day shred again to try and get back into shape after failing to do so over the summer. seeing as i failed this summer just gone, hopefully i can make up for it by making it my goal to be in shape again by this summer!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

lush | a well deserved bubble bath

since my assessment last tuesday i'd been promising myself a well deserved indulgent bath with some of the lush products i'd bought recently, however i didn't end up getting around to it until the sunday just passed, which actually worked out perfectly in the end after spending the entirety of friday and saturday and then the morning of sunday feeling pretty ill. i don't tend to get ill all that often, so when illness does strike i end up acting really self pitying and pathetic (lame, i know,) so to give myself an hour to run a bath, have a soak and unwind was the perfect pick me up that i needed to pull me out out of my state of self pity. 

i picked up the bubble bar over christmas, and after using it once on its own i was a little underwhelmed, so i decided i was going to team it with a bath bomb for my next lush bath, and space girl was my bath bomb of choice after being taken in by its subtle shimmer and its delicious scent that reminded me somewhat of parma violets (ie, my favourite sweets ever.) the combination of the bubble bar and bath bomb meant that my water ended up a fantastic magenta colour while providing my skin with a well needed silky, moisturising, nourishing rinse. i did find that the bubble bar left a bit of residue on my skin, but nothing too uncomfortable, and i'm definitely looking forward to the next time i decide to indulge in lush and pick up some more bath bombs to give a try. lush baths, you've won me over.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

alice in wonderland: from first ideas to finals

as this week has been committed to giving presentations and chilling the fuck out after completing my first module of third year, i thought now would be a good chance to talk about the development and process behind creating my final three alice in wonderland illustrations because i haven't really done all that much else creatively this week, but hey, sometimes you've just got to give yourself some time off, and i've done that in generous amounts this last week as the week coming will be spent refining my dissertation for its final hand in this coming friday. so, without further ado, i'll talk through my process as briefly as possible and let the images do the talking. 

character design

for me, character design seemed to be the obvious place to start after choosing which scenes i was going to illustrate. alice in wonderland is such an iconic, well loved story, and as such has been reinterpreted countless times, so i really had to think about what these characters said to me personally, and how i then wanted to interpret them. alice is undoubtedly the centrepiece of the entire story and as such i focused a lot of energy into her, and in the end i wanted her to have a bit more of an edge and an attitude than the alices i've so often seen in films, because in the story i found that she became really quite head strong and confident as it progressed.

composition development

as part of the brief, a portrait format was set for each illustration and i initially found it pretty hard to work around, particularly for the mad hatter's tea party scene, where there's just so much going on. after countless thumbnails and reconsiderations of the scenes, i think i ended up with compositions that helped to show off the personalities i'd developed for the characters rather than masking them in an attempt to fit the brief's specifications, and while i think that perhaps i may have strayed away from the initial brief a little, i think it helped to add the life and vibrancy to them that my work so very much needed.

first drafts to finals

when the drafting is over, that's when the work really begins (or at least for me it is, anyway.) i very much feel at home in my sketchbook and never feel more relaxed or confident than when it's just me and my pencil, so when the time comes to start adding colours, textures and really considering how each element is gonna slot together, i begin to panic a little, which i think is really apparent in some of the earlier drafts of the illustrations. while drafting and redrafting is something of a frustrating process, especially when you have tight deadlines to meet, i can completely see why so much drafting is required to get to the final piece, because you can really look at all the good and bad within your work and work towards making it the best it possibly can be when the final draft eventually rolls around.

i hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my sketchbook and my working process, showing such initial stages of my work really is something of a daunting task for me, but i know from experience that it's nice to see the inner workings and bare bones of other creatives' projects, so i thought it'd be nice to open up for once and lay my creative process down entirely barely for others to have a peek into. i hope you've enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

makeup of the moment

as much as the term 'heroin chic' makes me cringe, i must admit that i've been loving donning the look at the moment; dark, tired eyes, a strong contour and a nude lip are easy enough to throw on and suit my current state of "oh my god i have so much work to do where is my time to sleep??" admittedly i'm pretty good at fitting my 8 hours a night in, so this look helps to give off the overworked vibe i'm currently feelin' at the moment, regardless of whether or not my sleeping pattern reflects that. girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do (and i just gotta get my 8 hours, man.)

i got this little ted baker eyeshadow kit as a gift for my birthday, and after finding out that ted baker was indeed cruelty free i was more than eager to give the middle colour a go. after a bit of playing around with it it became my eyeshadow of choice, with a little bit of the darkest colour to its right along my upper lashline to give off the impression of thicker lashes. i've trawled the internet for places that sell this product to no avail, so i'm thinking that when this palette's had its time (which will be a while, admittedly,) i'll have to find myself a dupe from somewhere to carry on the lazy, somewhat trashy but still put together look that i've welcomed into my daily routine with open arms.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

back in the swing of things

shirt: charity shop
necklace: h&m
boots: primark

hi world, i'm back! i was presenting my work at 9.30 this morning, which means that i now have all day to myself before going out for celebratory drinks tonight, so i thought why not finally get some new blog stuff done to drag it out of its mini hiatus?! last week i decided i was going to treat myself a little when my loan came through because a) i worked bloody hard over christmas, and b) i didn't really spend all that much on clothes or makeup throughout term one, so i went along to boohoo and found some things i'd been after for a while.

the gilet and tapestry skirt were part of my order, as well as a metallic dress that i plan on wearing tonight. i'd been after a shaggy gilet for a while, and this fit the bill perfectly for £15. tapestry skirts are always something i eye up but never end up purchasing, so i thought to hell with it and finally added one to my wardrobe. i'm a bit wary of ordering from cheap online shops such as boohoo and missguided because the quality's often questionable, but i really seemed to drop on with the three items i chose because they're all fab. the boots here are also a recent addition to my collection within the last week as i decided it was time to finally replace my old primark chelsea boots as the heel was starting to come loose, and i really didn't want to risk any unfortunate mishaps in public... 

here's to hoping my blogging mojo's back, ey? hope you've all been keeping well!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

sunday synopsis

after the chaos that was my christmas break, this last week before my assessment on tuesday has been surprisingly calm; i sacked off reattempting a project because it just wasn't going anywhere and then got good feedback on my work for my two major projects this term, and from there i was calm and collected (well, mostly) while i made the finishing touches to those before heading out to get my portfolio sheets printed on friday. heck, i was so ahead of myself i even managed to take myself shopping with a friend on saturday and treated myself to some well needed new boots (i'm not kidding either, the heel on my old ones was giving in) and another lush bath bomb that i intend to use tomorrow during an indulgent pre-assessment soak.

with what feels like a lifetime of spare time over the weekend, i've actually managed to pull together some blog photos that'll be used for future blog content, and i'm even hoping to fit a couple of outfit posts into the next week seeing as i'll have a couple of mornings free! happy days! i've accumulated a few new favourite pieces in the last 6 weeks or however long it's been since my last outfit post, and i'm excited to share how i've been wearing them lately, like back in the good old days before blogging became a bit of a chore on top of my university work, so that's nice. i'm hoping once my dissertation has been handed in in a couple of weeks i'll be able to resume blogging as normal, but as ever, we'll see how i do for time and inspiration; at least for now i have a few ideas jotted down. 

as for today, i've mainly chilled out and planned my presentation ready for tuesday. tomorrow i intend to get the presentation put together and my work ready for presenting first thing on tuesday morning, and if i manage that, i'm thinking i might take another trip back to lush...

Saturday, 10 January 2015

saturday scribbles

well it was three months of tackling seven different briefs of differing calibres as well as writing a dissertation, but i've made it to the end of my live projects & competitions module and i can thankfully say that i've at least gotten one portfolio piece out of it that i'm pleased with. my alice work was a bit of a bittersweet journey, with lots of character development that ended up being a little futile after realising just how constrictive the required formats were, and then lots of rethinking of the compositions i'd chosen to fit within the formats, but i've made it to the end and now as i look at all three pieces together, i think collectively they've almost made the last three months of toils all worth it for me. as with my picture book in second year, i think i've managed to create three pieces that look like they're mine. it's perhaps something of an odd thing to say, but i think that they're different enough to a lot of illustration i look at for them to become recognisable as my own, as opposed to a regurgitation of someone else's work. whether they work or not is then an entirely different story, but hey, at least i think they have 'robyn' written all over them. i was quick to pop all these three images onto my online portfolio, and if i'm being honest, i'm liking how it's starting to shape up. hopefully the rest of my time at uni will provide me with another three (hopefully successful!) projects to add to it which will then make up my graduate portfolio – eep!

another project from the module which has received surprisingly good feedback is my work for the nhs live project which i've been working on with a coursemate, where in which i've dealt with character design and the illustrative visuals, and he's created a functioning app and some relevant motion work. for assessment, me and ashley simply had to have some rough visuals and a motion piece to propose our idea as somebody from our local hospital is going to pitch the idea to some funders to see if the project will be picked up and brought into reality, so for now it's staying as it is in its somewhat primitive stage. i'm not too sure when the pitch will be made, but after that we'll know if the project will be carried on or not and whether i'll be developing the visuals and characters more. fingers crossed that it does get picked up though, because however much it'll mean having on my plate for the last few months of uni, it would be pretty cool to see my work brought to life for a client as big as the nhs!

so, there we have it, the last three months of my creative life in a nutshell. it's been a little bit more negative than i'd have hoped, but i think i'm finishing on a positive. obviously it's a happy ending, but i do wish i could cut out the self loathing that occurs while working through briefs for my own good and the good of those around me. perhaps that comes with time though? let's hope.