Anderson M Studios and DDB

Just a couple of stills from the idents for Biosphere Connections for Star Alliance, which  were created in collaboration with Anderson M Studios, showing just what can be done with two Star Alliance plane tickets. Fantastic to see paper-work amongst DDB's collection of work. To watch the choice of idents click through here.

DDB Appointment

Within an hour or so of landing in London, myself, Holly, Mil and Rosie we were making our way to a group appointment at DDB advertising agency, which Jo had kindly set up for us. Because of our train times and hostel check-in we were running a little late and so I went into ratty-anxiety mode, completely unnecessarily as it turned out; as we arrived and were led into a meeting room where Jo and others were already waiting for Daniel Moorey to come and speak to us.

Daniel Moorey is Head of Art Buying Buying at DDB, and inevitably had an extensive collection of names of not only illustrators, but photographers, graphic designers and who know what else in his bookmarks folder which he kindly showed us. Nothing like a gigantic list of names to hit home just how inconsequential you are in the big wide world of illustration! Daniel was, however, lovely and gave a really comprehensive presentation, breaking down the commissioning of an illustrator or designer within their environment. He gave us various examples of DDB's top clients: Volkswagen, Marmite, Virgin Media etc, and how the agency related to their clients and found what they were looking for for their advertisement.

He spoke in detail about every aspect of dealing with the illustrators they commission and what he stressed in particular, was the way in which illustrators wanting work ought to present themselves when contacting agencies such as DDB. Evidently he receives an excessive number of emails from illustrators wanting to get his attention; Daniel stressed the importance of keeping your email short and sweet and not overloading the page with all of your information in one big lump; similarly he stressed the importance of a website which someone in his position could quickly and easily click through, as he's a busy person and doesn't necessarily have the time to wait around for a swish website with fade-ins and animated bit and bobs to load. 

I really appreciated hearing what he had to say as I'd yet to get the sense of how an agency such as DDB worked, having not really considered my work in the context of an advert before. As Daniel ran us through his presentation he did point out that while photographers were often the first port of call for advertisers, illustration was making it's comeback into the world of advertising and becoming more interesting. By the sounds of it he did seem to prefer his experiences of working with illustrators, though that could be, as he pointed out, because they are much less expensive and demanding than photographers, though he said that it wouldn't do any harm for illustrators to adopt some of the assertiveness of photographers!

Sitting within this professional environment, around a large table, behind a glass wall, in such a busy and successful company, it really did put the degree in context, and it was amazing to be outside of the rather closeted little world I'm so used to being tucked up in in uni. I felt more motivated on this career path than ever before.


The run up to our trip down to London was somewhat fraught, especially as we're now several weeks into our Final Major Project and everyone's beginning to feel the pace picking up! I'd been begrudging the visit a little, as it collided with a comfortable flow which I've just settled in to, nevermind the costs; considering I handed my notice in at work the other week, I 've been feeling a teensy bit tense about how much it drained my savings, though it definitely turned out to be worth it.

Many of us were unsuccessful in our hunt for portfolio viewings, partly because the timing of the trip clashed with the Bologna Book Fair, and, in my case, because I left it until the last minute to even consider where I'd want to get a viewing. Our itinerary was pretty packed though, and I got increasingly excited (but mostly nervous) about actually putting things into motion.

Despite my lack of pre-arranged visits, I made sure to update my portfolio, including some of my recent work created as part of the FMP, and I actually downsized from and A3 to an A4 portfolio, which I feel my work sits much better in. The intricacy of my paper cutting is lost when scanned in and presented at a larger scale, and I feel so much more confident with them at A4. Perhaps if I work on anything on a larger scale, then maybe I  will consider A3, but for now, it's looking lovely and snug.

In three days we managed to pack in heaps, and while keeping on track with the 'business' side of things, we also had a blast. And I definitely spent far too much money, with a little bit of encouragement from Jo! She agreed that I needed this ring, and I was too weak to resist...

I regret nothing.

Thumbtack Press

A good few months have gone by since my last blog post, though they've been an extremely productive few months indeed! So, prepare for a barrage of posts, there's an awful lot for me to catch up on!

Last week I was contacted by the curator and owner of Thumbtack Press, Barry Friedland, as he'd come across my feature and interview with Olaf Hajek. He was kind enough to inform me that Thumbtack Press had recently acquired Olaf Hajek as one of their many prolific, contemporary artists and illustrators selling their prints through the site. As a huge fan of Olaf Hajek's work (though having previously thought I couldn't quite afford his prints), I was happy to find that through Thumbtack Press I could buy a very reasonably prints of Hajek's work at around £12.75 or $19.99!

Natureman 2 - Olaf Hajek

They provide open-edition prints, with no limit on availability, making them much more accessible, particularly for art lovers, like myself, who may not quite have the funds to match their ever-growing collection. Thumbtack Press' collection of lobrow and contemporary artists and illustrators has been carefully curated and the site recently refurbished, providing a refreshing combination of features and functionality, making it easier to discover new artists and their artwork. This, in particular appeals to me as the useful 'Randomizer' feature has introduced me to loads of new work, which I'd otherwise have never come across! Plus, they're always expanding, adding new artists to the site; with most artists comes a biography and links to their websites and any blogs or additional information they have out on the web, which, as an Illustration student, is additionally useful, providing greater insight into their work.

Amazing Discoveries - Quincy Sutton

I'm currently saving up for a trip to London, but it's nice to know that there will still be plenty of Olaf Hajek's prints available on Thumbtack Press when I've got some money to spare! 

It's definitely worth a look:

Image source: Thumbtack Press

FMP Development

The first few weeks of the Final Major Project feel like they've gone incredibly slowly! Considering that I'm moving more in the direction of paper-cutting, as opposed to painting or drawing, I'm still adjusting to the change. I've found that I'm diving straight into cuttings, rather than sketching out ideas first, though not unsuccessfully. A lot of my plans for the project are circulating in my head, and when I've tried to plan things out in a sketchbook it's made then executing a paper-cutting a little over-wrought. I'm much happier 'sketching', as it were, with a scalpel and working out the details as I go along. 

Currently I'm just fiddling around with a few small pieces, as well as attempting sketchbook work, all of which is to be translated onto 'aged' pages, which i've begun to tea-stain, as I'd like the book to be tactile, the focus being centred however, on the paper-cuttings. So many problems could arise from this decision, I suppose, but I'm going to stick with it for now. 

With the trip to London looming, it does feel as if everyone's kind of putting off getting too stuck in, especially as there are things such as updating portfolios to think about, not to mention attempting to get portfolio visits. My head's a little bit all over the place. I am admittedly loving this new way of working. I may have dug my heels in a bit (a lot) at first about Gary and Ian's insistence that I  move towards the cutting, but I feel so much more confident doing it, and I'm rather loving the challenge of something new. Fingers crossed I still feel this way in a couple of months!

Business Cards

Last week I sent off to have five designs printed as business cards by, in preparation for the upcoming pootle down to London. I've stubbornly stuck with my blog and website title image; the Fortuna piece from last module; a cutting which I've recently finished for the fmp, and inverted, as it looks rather interesting as a white cutting against black; and the stars which were leftover from another recent piece, which I felt worked quite nicely as an ambiguous, subtle image. They may not get given out much, but I'm fond of them; they're lovely and smooth to the touch.

I also decided to downsize to an A4 portfolio, as opposed to my A3 one. My old work looks dreadful on such a large scale, as it was produced on a small one! And as I'm not keen on it anyway, I like it even less when it's more 'in your face'! I think both my old and new work looks much cleaner and professional printed within an A4 boundary, and I'm already much more confident in the appearance of my portfolio at this size. Plus the inside's purple.

Over and out.
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