Assignment 1

(Part 1/Getting started/Assignment 1/Say hello)

Say hello – create a greetings card



Creating my first Assignment

The brief is for a greetings card, of any practical size, which;
a) is about me for my tutor
b) shows my interests
c) shows my inspirations
d) demonstrates my favoured media
e) includes my aspirations for the course and to give the tutor an insight to my intentions

Thoughts on achieving the brief:

a) There probably needs to be an image of me, maybe a current one or one of me making some achievement or demonstrating a skill.

b) find a way to show what I like, eg; gardening, my house, painting,  photography, walking, travelling, making digital images, family/dogs. These are very diverse pass-times and need to somehow be combined into one whole – maybe a group of photos in a album, or signposts or like a bunch of flowers,  maybe a bunch of balloons.

c) This will be difficult as I am not sure what actually inspires me it must be a diversity of things as I have a fairly wide interest. The activities themselves must be inspirational and each activity will have its own motives eg walking = keeping fit, travelling = new experiences, I have a very eclectic taste in painting and other art media eg I like Patrick Caulfield and Picasso, I also like Magritte and Mondrian. I enjoy the drawings of Olivier Kugler which I have just noticed and those of Banksy whose work I examined in the last course. I love the work of Andy Goldsworthy whether it is Land art or Photography, I like a lot of domestic contemporary architecture yet I am also drawn to Art Deco style.

In other words, I have a total mish-mash of inspirations but they change, they are not fixed , they are even forgettable after a while.

d) My current favoured medium is photography/photographic imaging/ montage. However, if someone commissions a painting next week that could change and in any case I would probably use photomontage to mock up what I want to paint so would have that satisfaction.

e) My aspirations for the course are very simple. I would like a better insight into illustration and have more directed practice at it. I would very much like to write a successful childrens book and be able to illustrate it myself. I am hoping the course will point me in that direction. I am not looking to start a career as an illustrator at this stage but would nevertheless be pleased to have the recognised skill to illustrate my own work satisfactorily.

My card – a photomontage

I decided to take point a and include a recent photo of myself. This is not a typical photo but one which I nevertheless like. It suggests a personality type to which I might aspire being generally less out-going than the photo implies and not a party-animal in any sense.

In keeping with the party feel to the figure I have included 7 digitally created balloons. These demonstrate some of my enthusiasms (although I forgot to include cooking).

From left to right the balloons signify:
Walking (our two Golden Doodle dogs Dougal and Dylan), digital creation (this is an advert for ‘cheesy chips’ commissioned by a fish and chip shop), our family – four children, 8 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, painting (this is part of a poster commissioned by a local camp site), travelling (this one in Morocco) and photography (this shot in the Yorkshire Dales) The scene is set on the balcony of the house I designed and built (project manager) and below is part of my garden which is very important to me. My husband, Phil, did not want to be on the image as he said is was all about me. He is a working physio (part-time), walker, fell-runner and general good person but hearing impaired. He is pretty deaf.

Method used.

I chose a photo of the garden taken from the balcony as a starting point. I extracted the image of myself from a recent picture taken on my camera by Phil when we were on holiday and being silly in Paris. I reversed it as I was facing the wrong way.
The individual balloons were separately created from a range of suitable photographs, shown below the card, which I already had in my archive. I use a program called PhotoPlus which has a lot in common with Photoshop using the same techniques, icons etc. This is in conjunction with PagePlus, a publishing program. I also have a program called Affinity Photo which is a bit more up-to-date.
The balloons were all added as separate layers and the text added at the end. I then decided to fade the background a little as the whole thing seemed a bit ‘busy’.
Finally I added the text. I chose the same green as the grass and a light cheerful font with exclamation mark. I added a shadow to it to pull it off the deck so that the card ‘reads’ from the bottom left to the top right.

Above – This is the final card on the outside

These are 6 of the 7 pictures used in the balloons.
Digital imaging(above), painting (below), walking, dogs, travel, photography

Inside the card

Reflection – did I achieve the brief, is the finished product suited to

Hopefully what I produced is a illustrative description of myself in relation to this course. On the assumption that a picture is worth a thousand words, I have shown (almost) all my principal interests in a set of party balloons.

I have included an image of myself in relaxed mode overlooking my beloved garden. To have used words to detail all this would have taken at least a thousand.

The card shows humour and bears a friendly smile direct to the recipient. The mood is light. There is text inside to give helpful insight into the design of the front cover.

The card is large without being unwieldy and printed well on decent quality paper which should hint at the careful approach of the sender. It folds, opens and stands up. It fits a standard envelope size.

I had loads of problems printing the card, mainly to do with concentration and my use of the printer.

I followed the brief which I set out at the start, my only omission being the reference to enjoying cookery.

As a Garden Designer I have a lot of experience of interviewing my clients to elicit their exact requirements before starting any design or project so that was straighforward.

I have analysed and evaluated the finished item.