WOW! That was a long semester!
This semester we had the opportunity in class to go out into the scary real world and find ourselves a industry professional mentor who would help us build a portfolio worthy project. Our lovely instructor Judy gave us an extensive list of illustrators we could choose from and it was in our hands to reach out to one person of our choice and send them a professional email with a portfolio pdf. I chose the illustrator Tom Froese, http://tomfroese.com/ because I loved his style and his quality of work and I felt I could learn a lot from him and his experience in the industry. We scheduled 10am Monday morning calls every week to keep me on track and update give updates on the processes of where I was at.
I knew that I wanted to do a magazine cover and 3 spot illustrations so I set off racking the internet for magazines and articles that inspired me. I noticed while I was doing this that the articles I was collecting had a theme in common; they were all addressing environmental aspects. The one I landed on hit close to my heart as it was about salmon, and ever since I was young I would go out on my grandpa’s boat and try and score the perfect fish, so this seemed like the article for me to tackle (yes, that was a play on words).
The article I chose was called “Please enjoy your genetically engineered dinner” https://thewalrus.ca/please-enjoy-your-genetically-engineered-dinner/
This article was about GE salmon (genetically engineered salmon) and how they are now being sold in Canadian grocery stores without the proper labeling of what they are. The other aspect of the article was that theres a huge risk of GE salmon breaking out of their ocean net pens and causing a extinction of our natural wild salmon.
Whats a GE salmon you might ask? Scientists in a lab take a needle and inject a female Atlantic salmon egg with the gene from a chinook salmon to make the salmon grow faster, and a gene from an ocean pout (a creepy deep sea eel that lives in very cold water) to give the salmon anti-freeze properties so that the fish farm doesn’t have to move the salmon when the winter comes. They give these fish sex changes to have an all female process – females that create sperm that are also only females – its pretty disturbing but I think you get the gist. These fish grow 5x faster = you can produce more fish and sell them for a cheaper price, plus, people don’t have to know legally that they are actually test tube fish!
anyways, enough yacking –
I started sketching and went through 7 processes for this project – getting Tom’s professional critique on every stage was helpful for me to get a sense of what illustrating in the real world would be like. Tom gave me a creative brief with new names for the article and the two topics of the article clearly stated to help my ideation.
I went through many a sketches and finally ended up with two final concepts that I had to refine on and pick one. Through the refining process Tom and I both settled on the opposite idea that we originally chose – a fish breaking out of a gene sequence.
The whole process of going from getting a creative brief and working titles to doing many many sketches and only seeing potential in two was a very valuable experience. I learnt so much from Tom – like how to work within only 2 colours but still have so much detail in one piece – also how to build a colour palate – and how to make your spot illustrations match your main cover illustration (just to name a few) It was a great experience that will help me throughout my 4th year of university and working in the real world. Big thank you to Tom Froese for coming on this journey with me!
I have attached my presentation PDF document if you would like to see my whole process!
Ciao 3rd year!!