Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Gillian Blease's Talk

Gillian was a very interesting and engaging speaker who seemed very relaxed and willing to share the techniques she used to get her work accepted by art directors.
She explained that the position she is now in did not just happen over night it has taken 10 to 15 years to get to this point.

Gillian did her foundation year at MMU and then went to Newcastle for 4years studying Fine Art. So the first half of her career was spent as a fine artist until she tried her hand at illustration.

Gillian was lucky to get a residency with ACME in London. Artist Martin Creed had a neighbouring studio and seeing the style and method of thinking behind Creed’s work made Gillian question her desire to become a fine artist.

She added to her life’s experiences by spending six weeks in Japan teaching English.
This experience has influenced her illustration work, as she likes the Japanese way of putting in elements that work together and keeping the images precise. Leaving space creates its own drama. Gillian has always liked simplicity.

The way Gillian entered illustration was by winning a competition and having her artwork published in a magazine. She also did a mini crash course in illustration.
A great idea she had was to recreate illustrations to go with existing editorials
and she sent this with her portfolio to the Guardian. She now regularly sends out mail cards. Also she thinks it is worth getting images into Illustration annuals such as the AIO for good self-promotion. Gillian has been accepted for 2009 and thought it will cost about £500. This may seem expensive but publicity is very expensive and if it is a source Art Directors look at then it is worth it.

The work Gillian produces is usually for magazines, editorial and surface pattern. She also likes graphic design and logos fascinate her but they need to be accurate. She produced about 150 images for recipes in the Guardian and these were then used in a book.

Gillian has worked for

Restaurant Magazine
Daily Express
Letters page in the Guardian
Relations Column
Letters page
Book designs
Blueprint Magazine
Articles for Stephen Fry
South Bank poster

Important facts Gillian said to be aware of
Do not let your ego get in the way
Sometimes you have to be the servant
Sometimes the clients are very certain about what they want
You are not changing the world
Deadlines can be very short
Art directors may say the readers will not get your illustrations.
If you have not had a rough passed you may have to redo the image

I thoroughly enjoyed Gillian’s talk and thought she came across very informative and quite happy to share her ideas.

I found Gillian's images on place mats on this website http://www.jennyduff.co.uk/

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