We recently had professors from UK Art Schools come in and give us a talk about their curriculum, what they find interesting in an aspiring artist, and where to find what in terms of schools and summer courses. Pretty interesting, especially the first part, the workshop! which basically consisted of creating characters out of paper and glue.
The first step was drawing six sketches of a character, based on 3 random words we picked from a bag. We could only use black markers, which I usually like, but this was harder because we had to make something out of thin air, and the details (which, being a perfectionist, I focus on first) didn’t stand out as much.
My words were: childish, smooth and flaky. Lol. If you know how to combine ‘smooth’ and ‘flaky’, please show me or tell me because I was stuck on that for a while! smooth was ok; I made the character round and shiny. But how do you associate that with flaky?
Anyways, these are my –very rough- sketches: I named the guy the Round Flaky kid. (:
Next was Collaging: Same thing, except we had to make the character out of black, grey and opaque paper, still 2D though. It took me a bit longer for this part due to the multiple layers. It was also harder to make the Round Flaky kid, well, ‘flaky’.
Last was my favorite part. We paired up (many thanks to M. for putting up with my weird piranhas and frustratingly out-of-scale character!) and made the ‘environment’ for both our characters. The professor made us pick another set of words from a different bag, and we got ‘jungle’ and ‘sunrise’. Pretty simple, you’ll say, but have you ever seen a sunrise from inside the jungle? Figuring out how to make it ‘shine through’ was our only problem.
Otherwise, I thought it was pretty fun, although slightly too long of a workshop (more than 40 minutes for each step). Most students appeared to like the getting dirty and digging in part. I did too! If you are considering studying illustration, I suggest you try the first or second exercise: mix up a couple of fun adjectives and pick two or three of these, come up with a character and draw it under different angles. This exercise helps the ‘creation’ process, as explained by the teachers: it helps develop the part of the brain that is believed to hold your imagination and dreams, which in turn may help your spacial reasoning.