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Posted in Art, Blog, Commissions, Graphic Design

‘The Six Pack’ Website Design

I have been given several website design briefs to work from to expand my web design portfolio. The first one I have created is called “The Six Pack”, based on a fictional store with fictional characters – the brief gave me some insight into the fictional characters and the store, making the copywriting easier for me to do.

Here is a walk through of the design:

Posted in Art, Graphic Design, Personal Work, Written Work

10 Tips On How To Pick A Designer

Finding a graphic designer to help you is difficult, whether you’re a big company, small business, or an individual. But, to make it easier for you, here are some tips on picking your new designer.

  1. CV: When you receive a CV from a designer, look at the presentation. Does it look like a Designer’s CV? Or does just look like a document? The best designers will make their CV using software similar to Adobe Illustrator, it will be colourful and attractive, it will show their graphic design skills.
  2. Experience: Not every designer will have experience, some may have only just left College or University which means their portfolio may be very limited. Their portfolio will most likely consist of their work from College/University. Other designers, like myself, who will have a portfolio full of freelance work they have done while being in College/University; don’t discredit that work – it still shows their ability, and you can still get a reference from the client involved.
  3. Hiring Over The Internet: The internet is the most common place to find a designer these days. Unfortunately, the internet is also full of scam artists. The best way to decide whether or not someone is a scam or not is to look at their portfolio. If you’re unsure about their designs, and whether or not they designed them, you can always reverse search the designs.
  4. Payment: Don’t pay for your design until you’re happy with it.
  5. Price: Price doesn’t guarantee quality – look at all aspects, whether they’re charging a small amount or hundreds, their designs and talent are the main.
  6. Qualifications: For some designers, they’ve gone to College and University, while others may have only been to College – however, grading and qualification for a non-academic industry shouldn’t be the main aspect of what you’re looking for. If someone has a University Degree and their portfolio is amazing, the degree is a bonus. But don’t look at the qualifications first, some people are self-taught. After all, if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs deciding not to give up after leaving College before graduating, Apple wouldn’t have happened.
  7. Skills: Make sure to hire someone who has all the skills you’ll need. For example, if you know you’re going to need a photographer, Copywriter, and a Web Designer: hire a graphic designer who can do those things, too. It brings the labour cost down drastically! Also, if you’re going to be using them to make promotional material, make sure they know how to do demographic profiling and marketing works. If they don’t know the business side of graphic designing, it will cost you – it means you may get a useless graphic or you’ll need to higher a marketer, too.
  8. Website: Websites are pretty easy to make nowadays. You click a few buttons and all the work is done for you, which is why you should never look at someone’s website and judge the presentation of it – it may look professional, but until you see the web design skills in action or examples of their work, don’t assume they can do it.
  9. Software: Some people use Adobe, some people use Autodesk, and others use Serif. Depending on the type of work you want doing, you may need a certain software to be used. However, for general graphic designs and promotional material – Serif and Adobe are the best ones to go with. However, designers using Adobe will most likely charge more for designs due to the upkeep of the software.
  10. Ask Questions and Give Suggestions! I have occasions worked with people who refuse to input into the work, as well as feeling too shy, causing them to feel very confused. If you’re confused about something, ask the designer. And before hiring/acquiring their help, give them some input into what you want from them. Not every designer can do every type of graphic design.

And that’s the top 10. If you have any questions or need some help, let me know in the comments or Contact Me, I’m more than happy to help.

Posted in Art, Blog, My LGBT, Personal Work, Projects, Store

Pride T-Shirts Now Available!

After a couple of weeks, trying to figure out whether or not to do T-Shirt Illustrations, I have finally finished my designs. I have produced fourteen graphic designs and two illustrations.

The graphics consist of Pride flags and slogans. While the illustrations consist of ‘animals’ and rainbows.

I am selling the T-Shirts, worldwide, for a small price. You can have any pattern/design on any style – whether it’s a plain t-shirt, a baseball jersey, a v-neck shirt, or a tank top. You can order them at my Etsy!

Josephine Stanford

Here are the designs so far:

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Posted in Art, Blog, College Work, Personal Work, Written Work

The Finale of My Year In Art Foundation

The year was difficult, not only because of the course but because of everything else that happened outside of it. I worked hard, trying my best to learn new techniques, and in the end, I learnt some of the most important things that I could have learnt about art.

There is no perfection in art, there is only meaning. Without meaning, art is just decoration. If it wasn’t for the fact that I tried my best, and put meaning into my work, I’m pretty certain I would have failed due to the incapability of me to do art to the same quality level of my peers.

My drawings are messy, styled as if to look unfinished, and generally quite random and childish. But, that is my work, it’s my style – just like it was Van Gogh’s to paint in spirals and Gorey’s to draw in hatches. While studying Foundation, I found myself being pulled into both traditional and digital art – but in different ways than I had been in the past.

During high school, I had been unable to paint with watercolour due to the poor techniques shown to me. Now, when painting, I exclusively use watercolours. I no longer paint in acrylics, and I despise the mess of oils. But watercolour is fluid and light, it has a pure feeling to it which makes me like the action even more.

Then there is Digital – I could never draw with a pencil on a computer; it seemed impossible, but now it’s second nature to breathing. Now, I draw on my computer daily – producing sketches and doodles; designing tattoos, illustrations, and products for clients. When I first began digital art, I was finding it hard – using Photoshop was difficult because it didn’t have the drawing freedom that I wanted it to have. I couldn’t move around my canvas fluidly and it made the experience staggering and difficult. But now, using Sketchbook – I can do everything I wanted, although it is more difficult to use when creating animation – it is much better when drawing and designing. It gives me the ability to draw and paint in different styles – there are oils, watercolours, acrylics, and inks, as well as fine art pencils. It gives me the freedom to produce the work I want to, using the correct tools, without having to search for them.

I initially started digital art in the Foundation course when Alan suggested a piece of my work may look interesting if digitally drawn. After that, I worked from the life model while using my tablet, and I often took my laptop into college so I could perform bigger drawing tasks that my tablet couldn’t handle.

This form of digital art wasn’t a comfort zone for me, though I picked the basics up fairly quickly. It was difficult to get my mind around but was effective for my first exhibition.

For my second exhibition, I decided to take a step further out of my comfort zone. I continued working on my computer but also decided to start traditionally painting. I experimented with Acrylic but it didn’t react the way I wanted it to, so I began to use watercolour. I produced a series of paintings for my exhibition, I was quite proud of them although they were very cartoon-like.

And for my final major project, I decided somewhat to play it safe – going back to what I went into the course to continue, in the first place – I went back to graphic design. I designed logos and posters, banners and book covers, as well as business cards and websites for clients who were willing to write testimonials for me.

When it got to the end of the course, however, feeling like I had let myself down by not doing something interesting, I decided to present three wooden books – with their front covers painted and burnt into them, and my short stories were written on the inside. I initially got the idea from the previous project that I had written a novelette about a modern day LGBT+ concentration camp. I’m somewhat happy of how they turned out but wish I had given myself more time.

But, in the end, while thinking I was going to fail – I arrived at college and collected my result to find that I had somehow passed and been given a Merit. If anything, I thought I was going to get the lowest passing grade. But I got a Merit. Although, I was still disappointed as I did want a distinction, I knew that with all the trouble and pain I had been through during the year, I knew that I had done well for myself.

 

I am now looking for a job as a graphic designer. So far, I’ve had two offers. One in London, the other in Wolverhampton.

Unfortunately, I want neither. I need to stay in the area – I have commitments here which I cannot give up. So, I am hoping that something will come along. Otherwise, I’ll be leaving my home, family, and friends – and I don’t particularly want to do that.