I want to try and push myself to enter competitions, we have till May to finish working and entering competitions. Competitions are a good way to challenge me, get exposure for my work and continue to develop my skills! Even when I finish University and specifically over summer I will also have time to enter competitions to bring myself some exposure. I am glad this brief made me begin to think about competitions and there benefits. 

I did some quick research into several competitions which all looked like great places to start. There is a lot of opportunity for me to work on several competitions. This term I am also looking into 2D animation and how to improve my animating skills. Therefore I need to find balance of time with all the different aspects I am working on this term.

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Some of the festivals and competitions I did research into. All of these competitions are well known in the Animation industry and will also look good on a CV if I was shortlisted for any. <– Open briefs here, look to see if any catch my eye.

Stardust brief!

Rhian at the BBC asked us if we would be interested in entering this stardust competition, it was kind of late as we had only a week left to create something but I decided to use it as a challenge. I gave myself around 3 days to come up with something, however reflecting on this I think I gave myself too much time to do it. However it has taught me working to fast deadlines.

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The Brief for Stardust. 
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Author’s own printsccreen of pintrest page. 

I like to use Pintrest to create a moodboard of inspiration. By doing this I have one place where all my inspirations are. There is no limit to how many pins I can have and I can search for many different subjects. Below is a little moodboard with some of these pins.

Author’s Own Moodbaoard

I ordered Stardust and read the book as quickly as possible, luckily I am quite a fast reader and there was only 190 pages so I was able to gain a fresh taking of the story from the Authors original words, over the successful film.

Below I began this task by creating some quick thumbnails, to think about how I could summarise the book. Some of them I don’t like, some of them are really quick and others I have tried to consider a lot.

Thumbnail designs for some ideas after reading the book. It was really great that I read the book because it is a lot different to the film and the film characters. For instance the witch when young has long raven hair completely different to the fair headed Michelle Pfeiffer. 
Author’s Own sketchbook Thumbnail designs for some of my designs, after researching into the layout of a piece I knew I wanted the aspects to guide the eyes to where I wanted them. Therefore I played around with flowy lines and constructive shapes to show the section i wanted my audience to be directed too. 
Author’s Own Sketchbook – I did several of these designs planning and being playful, I personally really try to create variations and to be experimental. The journey of the final piece is actually as important to me as the final piece. 
Author’s Own Sketchbook – Selecting some of my favourites I created some slightly bigger thumbnails. I used pen and ink to give me some tonal variations. In the end I really liked the ink tones and the black and white. I used the art of draping hair to help guide the eye you can see the third down on the left shows the witch’s hair literally dividing the image into too. I also tried to play with negative space. 
Author’s Own Sketchbook – I do not like these drawings, they were really roughly done to plot out some ideas. The bottom one hasn’t got dynamic, it is flat on and boring (I can see now the importance of utilising the tools of composition to improve it.) These shots are boring and could have been made more exciting. 
Author’s Own image Here are some of my designs for stardust illustrations again. Unlike the above, I like how playful I have been with the designs here. I tried to explore using the whole illustration to give some energy and magical touches. Obviously it is also good to experiment with simpler ideas seen below. My favourite is the bottom right because it has this beautiful way of directing your eyes to Tristain and Evaine on the Unicorn. 
Auuthor’s Own Sketchbook page 
Author’s Own Image. 

I created the below A4 sheet once, I finished with this process to document my favourite ideas. The main two ideas was Yvaine trying to reach for the stars and the characters dragging her back to earth. The second idea was to layer up different sections separated from interesting shapes. This was the idea I went for in the end.

Final favourites

Authors Own – I put together my favourite thumbnails to compare and make the decision. I also like to get feedback from others to see what they think. My ultimate favourite was the bottom image. The illustration directs your eyes to the characters but then allows you to branch out. The centre composition evokes power. 
Author’s Own – Digital sketch to see how I could play about with the idea of all the characters trying to grab Yvaine for her heart. I didn’t go with this one in the end because I felt the other one was more powerful in directing the flow of the piece. 

I really liked this idea the best. It cuts up sections and re works them together.

Authour;s Own Sketchbook – Really rough test done in 5 minutes to play about with hair length and background. I do not like this. iI did like the idea of having evaine in the centre as to not take away from the story moments above. 

Below is some of my designs for characters, environment and just several sketches that helped me work out how the characters were going to look. I liked to draw several characters to help me create a look.

Author’s Own – I liked the renaissance look of this character. The face has a charm but I could have played with a better pose, this is something I need to improve doing. 
Author’s Own – Using the pen also allowed me to play with harshness of lines. Using such a bold pen creates more tension over a delicate pencil line. This was a look I really liked in the end. 


Author’s Own – Above are some illustrations of exploring the Witches character. i wanted her to be menacing with the thick long raven hair mentioned in the book. I like the variety of characters I did here. 
Author’s Own – Stardust Yvaine’s character, I like using the ink wash. 
Author’s Own – Environmental designs. I carried on using the ink pen as it created this nice atmosphere. I wished I inked the final piece in the end looking back. 
Author’s Own – Sketchbook pages of Yvain designs. I love the right image of the character. I was inspired by Jane Morris in this shot. A model used by many in the Renaissancy painting. 
Author’s Own – I explored creating shadow over my characters face using ink, to introduce more tension. 
Author’s Own – On the left is my final character chosen for the witch. I loved her menacing expression here. It helped me explore getting her character across. 


Author’s Own image – Above is a  variety of Yvaine Character exploration, I did not like these as they lacked appear to me. I feel some of them just don’t work .
Author’s Own image 
Author’s Own image – I liked these experiments again using the broad shoulders to play with the power of the character. The ink in this really inspired me. 
Author’s Own  The majority of these drawings are not too good but they show my experimentation. I like the character in the middle meant for the witch. It was great to play around with the features and explore the character. 
Author’s Own – I wanted to play with creating different characters, I Like this page because I was using the ink in an interesting way, creating shadows to exaggerate more evil characters and keeping light on the Tristains face seen to the right to exaggerate the characteristics. 

Below are some Unicorn designs. I tried to be playful and create a charming character. Some of them simply do not work. Whilst others have a powerful personality about them.

Author’s Own Unicorn designs
Author’s Own Unicorn designs
Author’s Own Unicorn designs I love the drawing to the right, the expressions shows a powerful character. i used horses to help me think of how a unicorn would walk/look. Here I exaggerated the expression. 
Author’s Own Unicorn designs
Author’s Own Unicorn designs
Author’s Own Unicorn designs
Author’s Own  I wanted Yvaine to fall in the illustrations so playing with this I played about how I could used ink to exaggerate the different characters. 

More Designs for Tristains.

I like to play around with the look of the characters. Looking back I spent too long on this aspect I need to learn to refrain from creating so many character designs.

Author’s Own sketchbook page 
Author’s Own sketchbook page  I love the character at the top here the best, I like the charming character coming through


I created some quick character designs for Yvaine and the witch below. I did this in about an hour just to play with colour and some digital versions. I like to mix the two mediums to play about with the piece.

Author’s Own Gif 
Author’s Own sillustratio Witch transformed to her youth
Author’s Own – rough sketches of the updated version. I wish i used the air in the way it was spread across the page in the end. However it is ok that I went for a different idea it goes to show after a month of creating the piece that I have developed and can see what is wrong with the piece. 


Here you can see the digital sketch and the below sketch, in the end I wanted to add some of the sketchy ink lines so I scanned in and worked it all together. I am not happy with my end result, but I could not spend any more time on this competition. I want to come back to it maybe in my own time or if I have time to re work it. There is a lot I want to change, so I don’t think the piece is successful.

Author’s own Submitted Final Piece. Here is my final piece, I used digital and traditional to create this piece. I like how this piece came together and the piece is really experimental. However in the end I don’t like it. I used the night sky to guide our eyes around the picture. I think there are too many elements and I could have made this piece simpler. In the end I am so happy I entered the competition, it allowed me to be creative and play with illustration. I loved doing it and the whole process has made me want to look into illustrating further. This is something I hope to improve and make better. 
Ruth from Ravensbourne will be entering the weather animation from Ravensbourne into a competition for “best collaboration between a university and employer.” Me and Alice submitted a line to explain our experience. It is a good opportunity as it brings more exposure to our work, the uni and BBC radio 4.




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