PDF Portfolio

I recently created a PDF Portfolio, which is something that I have been meaning to do for a long time. I have seen a lot of PDF portfolios in the past and most of them are very plain and straight forward as you want the audience to focus on your images. I decided to follow suit and kept the layout simple with a little bit of text so that people understand why I created the images that I did. I wanted it to look different at some point so people won’t forget me, so I decided that the first page should reflect a little bit of me and should stand out.

You can see my portfolio here!

Creative CVs

I recently started looking at the different creative CVs there are on the internet as I was thinking that perhaps when I will be applying for creative jobs they may remember me if my CV is different. The only thing that I worry about it that they won’t take me serious and also with all of the information I have would it all be too much?

I found this site with some great examples – some are more out there then others, and I don’t understand how helpful they really are? Link is here!

Here are a few of my favourites below:

8ce3d81551d9aae5f10701f86c805438 700dddf7ed828e66dd879fac98b904b2 b94b0a2b6fdd7c60bc2ccd2e93517439So all of these people are graphic designers – so having a creative CV will benefit them as it showcases a little what they can do. So perhaps as I am a photographer/retoucher I should add an image of my work somewhere? To try and draw people in so that they remember me. I think the creative CVs really showcase your personality (like the CV at the bottom), but I think the top too are more presentable as they are not too over the top and I like that they have kept the colours very simple with blacks, whites and greys.

Overall I am still unsure whether my CV needs to be that creative – but I do think it may need something else to make it sparkle so that people do not forget who I am – maybe an image of work will do this or a logo?

 

Adobe’s Creative Day London

Yesterday I got the chance to be apart of Adobe’s Creative Day in London; as you may have read before I was apart of the Creative Week last year where I was put up against a professional photographer and retoucher where we were given the same image and had to retouch it in our own ways. Last year was so much fun and this year did not disappoint! It was nice to be able to relax and enjoy it, but most of all to network with other people.

As we had a lesson on networking recently I wasn’t as afraid to approach people and just chat about what they like – because obviously we were going to have something in common as we were at a creative event. I met so many different people and because I said that I was just graduating they were really kind and they passed on so much knowledge on things that I should do if I want to be freelance and who are the best people to get to know. I am happy to say that when I walked away from that event I knew that I had already began to create my network of people that I could go to, which I have to say wasn’t as scary or hard as I thought; I think this is because we all need to help each other and the only way that you are going to progress and get work is to know different people.

I learnt that I need to use Twitter and Facebook more as a lot of people get work through those media’s, I also learnt that I have to keep on with my blog and not to forget about it because if you build up a good set of followers your reputation can go up as that’s how people will know you in some cases.

I love the Adobe events as there are always a good set of people who are invited – they all love what they do and they are always such nice people who you can get a long with and have a laugh. I have to say I don’t think I stopped smiling all day yesterday as everyone was just having a laugh and enjoying themselves.

I have to say a massive thank you to Richard Curtis as without him I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet so many nice people and I really appreciate all the guidance that he has given me so far – also check out his blog as it is fantastic!

Great day, with great people – I hope I get to do the same next year! Thanks Adobe!

Networking

We had a nice gentlemen come in from ICE (Institute For Creative Enterprise) to talk to us about networking, and how easy it actually is.

A few notes from the talk:

  • Best place to network is events, openings and exhibitions.
  • It’s ok to say that you have just graduated because this means that you are fresh and have a new perspective on things.
  • Small chit chat is best – how the weather is, how was their journey? Don’t just go into the kill and ask for a job!
  • Ask the host to introduce you to people.
  • Don’t just collect cards – if you do get cards then email them to keep in contact. Also email them in six months with a newsletter so they know what you are up to. Build relationships.
  • Don;t just go to the head of the company – work your way up by building relationships with different groups of people.
  • You want to build strong reliable contact – your reputation within your network is key; you should be good quality, dependable and trustworthy.
  • Promotion – don’t just go bounding in asking for opportunities.

One of their next events is on the 20th June and it starts at 5:30pm at the Herbert Gallery in Coventry – this is a good place to start building contacts!

Updated CV

Recently we had our CV advisor in to help us update our CVs. She was very good and gave us lots of tips on what we should add to our CV’s and that we should cater them to the jobs that we are trying to get an interview in. You have to be precise and get to the point, only show your best and showcase your experience and achievements. I haven’t had a chance to look at my CV in at least a year so it is missing a lot of information – I also need to change it from a skills based CV to an experienced based CV.

It was really good to get to show her my CV and get feedback on it – I feel that I am now prepared to go out and get a job if I wish. I also like the fact that she will be able to help me even when I leave university, so she will be able to help me get jobs that I want in the future.

Below are my CV’s before and after:

Jennifer Hearn CV

Jennifer Hearn CV June 2013

 

Abby Grewcock Feedback

JENNI

I received some feedback from Abby Grewcock today about my work which you can see above. I really appreciate her feedback, I only wished that I contacted her sooner as what she has suggested could have really helped me to enhance my work. She is a really great artist and I am really pleased that I had the opportunity to chat to her about my work.

Audience

My work can obviously sit well in a gallery, because that is where it will be in a few days, so I would have an audience of people who enjoy looking at photography/art. I think that it would fit well into an audience who enjoys fashion illustrations as that is something that I tried to create in my work, so I hope that it would have some sort of appeal to them. Considering I am from a community of people who enjoy baking and blogging I think that they would also enjoy my work, as I do share the same interests and style as them. Ady Evan’s said that she feels it is a part of the Rockabilly movement, which is something that I don’t really know about but she assured me that it has elements that they would enjoy – so I have reached out to an audience that I didn’t even know about. Lastly I think my main audience will be students as this is a part of my degree show I am sure there will be students looking for inspiration for theirs in the up and coming years.

Contextualising My Work

Steve Sharp, marketing director of Marks & Spencer says that “Nostalgia always becomes more important when times are tough,”[1] Cath Kidston’s ‘teapots and oilcloths, which embrace the image of the 1950s housewife, celebrating baking, afternoon tea and knitting, have become de rigeur for a generation of women whose busy working and home lives have led them to idealize rather than practice domesticity’; a way to nest, without actually nesting.[1] Programs like the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee, have taken the nation by storm reflecting a zeitgeist among women who want to learn these two skills once more.

Since this Angela McRobbie has stated that there is a re-traditionalisation of women, where old traditions such as baking and sewing are popular rather this time it is something that has not been forced upon women as a tradition but accepted as a pleasure. Dr Rachel Moseley describes the participants within the BBC’s shows as ‘conservative, post-feminist nostalgia for a pre-feminist past’ [2].

I have accepted this new reflexivity which reflects my position and this is strongly represented in my work. I have also mixed the art of baking with fashion which is a personal expression, Linda Scott’s Fresh Lipstick shows that this is a part of the second wave of feminism; which enforces that fashion is not an indication of submission and we should not be prevented from being free by the reduction of fashion to sexually objectifying others [5]. These two messages do contradict each other but by merging them shows that women can still be strong and driven in whatever they choose to do. It is the tension inherent in these two contradictory states that my work addresses.
The genus of which was research around Pro-Ana communities and the images that they use for inspiration, or in their terms ‘Thinspiration’. This led me to my secondary research of Debra Ferreday’s Unspeakable Bodies research paper [3], within it she claims that by Pro-Ana’s suggesting their bodies are the same as the models, they imply that the Pro-Ana community are able to reach out and claim the models as members.

At this point I trialled a thought experiment: I would develop three ‘characters’ – a young female around the age of 10, an older teenage female and a young male. These three “avatars” would then populate Pro-Ana environments online, seeking and taking advice, with visible results manifesting on the avatar’s appearance (each avatar being a composite of several people). I came across fashion illustrations whilst working this through and trying to understand how I could respond creatively to these issues as a maker which has dominated the evolution of the project.

To enable me to resolve the tensions that I found in the traditional approach to researching a highly emotive and contentious issue; by working this project through as a maker I have come to understand that Pro-Ana’s project themselves onto models the same way that illustrators project themselves onto their work. I now see that fashion illustrators creatively purge themselves into their work the same way that Pro-Ana’s harm themselves to show dedication to their cause – all in the name of fashion.

 

References

[1] Queen of florals Cath Kidston bucks the recession to profit from love of nostalgia | Life and style | The Guardian . 2009. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/09/cath-kidston-recession-floral-empire.

[2] THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE: WATCHING SEWING ON TELEVISION by Rachel Moseley. 2013 [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cstonline.tv/great-british-sewing.

[3] Ferreday, D, 2003. Erasure, embodiment and the pro-ana community. Unspeakable bodies, 6(3): 277–295, 3-17.).

[4] McRobbie, A, 1991. Feminism and Youth Culture

[5] Scott, L, 2006. Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism. 1st ed: Palgrave Macmillan

Evaluation

Now that this project is over it is always nice to look back and think about what I did and what I need to remember in the future.

Overall I am happy with my final pieces – although I wish that I hadn’t over researched this project. Due to the fact that I am not an illustrator and I didn’t know much about the art form, I did so much research that it blurred the vision that I had at the beginning of this project – so that when I came to sit down and actually produce something I couldn’t think of a good idea. What I should have done is actually sketch and take it back to the basics and then work from there – I did do this to a certain extent but I think that I should have done a lot more. I also think that I didn’t know what theme to go for with my work – most people have a social theme or an underlying message and I was unsure which road to take with this; as at the beginning of this project I was focused on creating something that looked at the issues of body issues and pro-anorexia – I feel that because I was affected and felt really down about the whole pro-ana project that I wanted to do something more upbeat and happy. Although through my journey of this project I did eventually learn that when an illustrator or and artist creates something, it is something that appeals to them and it has things that they like (unless they have been briefed to do something but even then it has their style) – I have been trying to find my style for the last three years at university and for some reason I had totally forgot about it when I started to actually create this work. I think when I caught onto this it was a little bit too late in the project and I had to go with the idea that I had and try and make it reflect me and by then I wanted to do more but feared that I wouldn’t have time to print them.

I thought the timings that I set myself for research, actually producing the images and for printing were on target and I met all of those dates. Although I did finish my work and gave more than enough time for them to get printed as I wasn’t confident enough that they would be done in time as my university isn’t the only university that is going to be having their degree shows this month, so I felt that I had to leave more than enough time than usual. Also because I was printing them on a different paper I felt if something went wrong with them I would still have enough time to get them reprinted. Due to me having them completed so quickly I felt that I didn’t give myself enough time to show others my work so that it could improve and now that I have had a lot of waiting time I kept thinking about my work and wanted to add other things that I have thought about over time to them. So I feel that I shouldn’t feel pressured to get the images out as quickly as possible – if they were too late to be printed I could have presented them in another way. However since I put them in the frames they do look good and I am happy with the frames that I chose and the overall look.

I think that the images on there own are not strong enough, but in the environment that I have created for them within the set up I think that they bring them to life more – this is also something that I have always wanted to do and I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t have just created a couple of photographs and just hang them because that is not me. I like that I have actually created something, I think that the only problem with this is that the audience will be passive, so looking at them at first it may not be obvious that I have hand painted all of them and also drew certain elements onto them. I think that is why doing a sketchbook of my blog to show the progression and inspirations for the images so that it makes it easier for people to deconstruct the images. Looking back I also wished that I recorded the process that I went through and then it would be a good element to add to the website or have a little link so people could watch on their phones – then the whole experience would have been interactive.

I think that my images are very fun and the fact that they are so bright it will bring people over to them, but I am unsure if they will take them seriously as a piece of art? This is not a concerning issue for me as I do want people to enjoy the experience more then anything.

The thing that was most unexpected in this project was the progression of the whole ‘experience’ and how that became the forefront for this project. I am more than happy with the overall look of this project and hope in reality when it is put up in the gallery it will have the same affect it does just in an image right now. I think it is something different and people will be intrigued with it. This is something that I have always wanted to do and I am glad that I did it in my final project, because it is like my projects have slowly evolved over the past three years and this is the pièce de résistance. I like the fact that I was able to pull knowledge from my hobby of baking, being an avid follower of food blogs and just being a re-traditionalised woman, and create something that is different and not well known to others – it feels like I am helping to re-invent something that once was traditional.

I am really looking forward to bringing everything together for the final exhibition and seeing it come to life. I also think that this is a project that I can develop and fit the series into a niche market, for example the pop surrealism movement. It would be good to get feedback from people at the exhibition but to also put them in circulation within a market where I think they would do well. For example the food bloggers or Pinterest as this audience enjoy artwork like this and receives inspiration for their own work, whether that would be a craft project, interior design or even a party – it is amazing where they retrieve their inspiration from. I also think they would be good to use commercially within a unique bakery or website, as trademarks or mascots for a window display/campaign.

I have learnt a lot from this project, either about myself or the way I work. There defiantly needs to be some tweaks in the future, but I think the main thing is not to fear what others think about my work, I have to create what I want to create and not worry if people enjoy it or not because there is a group of people out there who will – they may not be in my university, family or friends but out there is someone who will appreciate it. Don’t be hard on myself – go hard or go home.

 

Ice Cream Sign!

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We are in business! I have my ice cream sign and it looks amazing! I was a little bit worried as I remember Greg (the man who is helping us set up the gallery) that we couldn’t put anything that needs a plug into the gallery unless it is pack tested. The reason I was worried was because I was unsure how long this would take to be done, he told me to bring it in to him and that he would sort it for me. When I gave it him it took all of 5 minutes to be pack tested which I thought was amazing – job done and it is now ready to be put up in the gallery.