Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Q's adventures in HE

(That's Higher Education if you were wondering)

A couple of weeks ago, I attended an open evening at my local Uni. I had gone hoping to sign up for two evening courses that were being run. At the end of the courses I would attain 15 credits as they were actually degree modules that you could 'pick and choose' from. The courses I had hoped to attend were Lifedrawing and Digital Image Manipulation (Photoshop).

Unfortunately, they were cancelled due to a low response but...

I ended up going back again last week and somehow managed to be signed up for a BA Hons in Illustration which I'll be studying part time.

Woo hoo I hear you say. Well, yeah I am over the moon if I'm honest. I'm the oldest person on the course by about 10-8 years, I feel decrepit if the truth be known and so far the group dynamic is how can I say? Well, I've seen more spark in a dead battery but it's the first week and I'm guessing the majority of students are either shy or homesick. I missed the induction week where everybody got to know each other and I'm sure it will get better once we 'know' or at least remember each other's names.

I'm really pleased I got onto the Illustration course as this is something I would like to expand on. My first three modules are research in art & design, visual communication (working in Photoshop) and yesterday, Lifedrawing.

I was pleased with what I produced yesterday. I am rusty as a rusty bucket of rusty nails when it comes to drawing models. The last Lifedrawing class I took was 12 years ago at 16. While I was a bit hesitant in my first couple of sketches, I feel I soon got more confident in my lines.

I needed to retrain as I can't go back to the type of jobs I'd previously worked in due to personal reasons. I spent 10 years working in the care and voluntary sector as well as caring for my late father who had a terminal illness. I'd had enough and it was making me ill. It made me ill.

Some people can cope with it and make a career out of it but I think a combination of holding three jobs down while looking after my dad managed to burn any last remaining desire to work in that sector. Plus, it's the kind of work where you're never appreciated. You go in with so many hopes and ambitions to try and help people or change the system only to be knocked down by beaurocracy and petty Jobsworths.

Concentrating on my art in the past year has been a cathartic process in a way. As I explained in my very first post on this blog, I hadn't picked up a pen or pencil in a good many years. Not having the time or energy to do so. I know my dad would have been so pleased with me, he was very enthusiastic about my artwork and my family all seem to be behind me 100% which is great.

I'm also working on losing my inhibitions when it comes to showing others my artwork. Posting here and also on the Belle, Book and Kandle webcomic has helped. I've never been confident with showing people my drawings, basically I had hang-ups with what I produce. I never feel it is good enough or I get embarrassed by peoples' reactions. I feel I'm getting over that hurdle and I'm happy with what I'm producing. I know I have a long way to go yet and there's always room for improvement but I'm getting there.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'll still be posting up bits and bobs on this blog. It's been a good way of documenting my artwork in an amateur fashion as I haven't got my physical profile of work together as of yet. That is something I desperately need to do along with a hundred other things!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Ghoul of Paris

Next up in the Belle, Book and Kandle webcomic is an encounter with the famous 'Ghoul of Paris'! The above flyer is of course a Toulouse Lautrec parody.

I've been quite pleased with how this strip has turned out, I've noticed myself that I'm starting to loosen up my drawing style. I shall post a link to the comic when it goes live.

EDIT: and here is the link to the webcomic, The Ghoul of Paris. It will be updated every other day.