My name is Marian Hester and in May 2015 I joined the Illustration Online Art Course course taught by Spencer Hill and just completed it in September 2016 with a distinction, which I am very proud of!
I joined this course because, although I have studied art and graphics in the distant past, I had lost my confidence in myself as a potential illustrator. I always wanted to study it but was getting nowhere on my own, and I just wasn’t getting started. So I guessed this was a good general course to try and hone some skills and see how I would fare.
I was delighted when I received the course material, it looked very exciting, which covered the main genres of illustration: Editorial, graphic design (logos), sequential imagery/cartoons, children’s illustration and illustrating words and poetry. Although I wanted to read at it all in advance, I made sure I only skimmed the material because I didn’t want to ruin the freshness of the brief as I embarked upon each one. So, I only studied them one at a time, which I think was the best option since you pay full attention to each brief and let the surprises unfold throughout the course.
I found the content very interesting and it gave a sound pathway throughout the course of building up skills and becoming more challenging as the course progressed. It really gives you a good idea of what area you would like to concentrate more of on. I am surprised to find that the areas I thought I would be more interested in, such as editorial, were not as of much interest to me such as sequential illustration, which I now love. I also loved how the briefs are totally open regarding media use and style changes. Each assignment really got the creative juices flowing and provided the initial excitement of thinking up ideas and to just get sketching.
Spencer is an amazing tutor who really takes the time to reply with detailed emails whenever you have any sort of question, even general questions about how you go about answering a brief, or on running out of ideas or inspiration. That’s really important when you are studying on a creative distance learning course and you are tired in the evenings and finding it a struggle to meet the deadlines. I really liked how he gave examples about his own ongoing work outside the college as an illustrator. He’s also great at giving your confidence a boost when you are full of self-criticism (which is any artist’s lot!) and provides such encouraging positive feedback as well as criticism without being negative about it at all.
I felt quite sad when the last assignment was looming as I was enjoying the course so much. I am now wondering how I will keep the momentum going now that I don’t have any more of those lovely assignments!!!
The examples I have submitted are for a logo design for Magic Beans coffee shop, an open sequential illustration brief on a subject I chose, an editorial illustration on an article for keeping chickens happy in winter, and my first assignment, illustrating the song ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin.
So finally, many thanks to London Art College for renewing my passion for illustration!