Tag Archives: artwork



This month’s Pupil Spotlight is on a pupil from my Int 2 Photography class. Jenna M (OLSP) didn’t really think she had a skill for photography, though I completely disagree. Her shots display a level of layers that peel apart, the more you examine the image.

jenna manray b&w

The above image is Jenna’s Manray inspired image. Several different poses were photographed and each variation on the left eye was placed and merged onto her cheek using Photoshop. This photo reminds me of the work of Charles Burns, expecially his ‘Black Hole’ graphic novel. It’s got that mutant feel, though still looks very pretty.

Below, Jenna creates a single cover for the band ‘Passenger’. Using a variety of different photographs (taken herself, no Google Images here!), composited together and then, looking at the type of David Carson, she laid out the image (finding and downloading her own free for use fonts). It’s absolutely brilliant and one of the best designs I’ve seen from a pupil. It’s things like this that make me happy to be a teacher. Great work!!

jenna album cover flat bw final cover

The Best Artwork Ever (As Voted By You)

A few months ago I asked Art Classroom readers to vote on the best artwork ever featured on the blog. The polls (blog poll, twitter poll, Facebook poll and email suggestions) are now closed and the votes have been counted. It was a close contest for the first few weeks, but in the end, Anna C’s ‘Fail’ (Oban High) topped the polls by over 23 votes and showed itself as the clear winner. It is very rewarding seeing the talent and quality of the work that has been displayed on the blog in the past two years and I love the ironic twist that a painting named ‘Fail’ is the winning piece. Congratulations to Anna, an iTunes Gift Card will be on its way to you this week.

Artwork Invoice

Becoming A Professional Artist / Designer – Part 2

As promised, please find an Artist’s/ Designer’s invoice available for download below from the ‘box’ (bottom of the right hand column). This invoice will let you see how invoices are laid out, to help you create your own, or you can download it, print it out and fill in the details. It is completely free for use. I can’t take any responsibility for the success of your work, your job or the passing of funds, though this should help those who are just starting out, or those that never knew how to invoice properly. As with all exchanges of money, you will need to clear such funds with the tax office and it will be likely that you will have to pay tax on the amount if you earn more than £5000. There will also be National Insurance Contributions to be made. More information on Self Employment and contributions can be found here. This always sounds a bit complicated, but it needn’t be. Most employers will automatically take contributions and tax from you before you get paid, so you don’t need to claim again or you’ll earn so little when you start off that you’ll be exempt from tax. It helps to know how to stay on the right side of the law though.

You should always clear with you client about what they are purchasing. Are they getting complete rights to the work for use and reproduction or are they buying a one-off piece that cannot be tampered with. As with all good invoices, I have left a rights and reproduction line for you to delete as appropriate, though this should not be considered as a contract, that may also be needed to protect your agreement.

I hope this helps some of you out there. Good luck and if you do use it, successfully or unsuccessfully, let me know.

Artwork For Friends

Becoming A Professional Designer – Part One

I’ve recently been working on a friend’s band album art and t-shirt design. It’s always incredibly difficult to work for friends, deciding if you should charge them, what you should charge and if you give away a freebie, will you be stuck providing freebies for the rest of your life. As an ex-freelance designer, I used to find it difficult to say ‘no’ to work, no matter if it was free work or paid. Every job is an opportunity to sell yourself, every job is another step closer to getting the perfect job. Though I have learned to say ‘no’, I can now pick and choose the design jobs I want to get involved in. I don’t need to prove myself, I don’t even need to do them anymore financially, teaching pays my mortgage.

As an ex-freelance designer, I always have time for my friends. Lots of the artists turned professional, that I know, forget about their friends awfully quickly after they’ve had a little bit of success or fame. They start to believe the hype pushed onto them and when that dies down, the fall is so much greater and without your friends there, there’s no one to catch you on the way down. I always have time for my friends, for their ideas, for their trust and for their loyalty in asking me for my talents.

Always make time for your friends, do the best job you can for them, if they are a friend, they’ll see the work and they’ll pay you in whatever way they can. If you’re wondering what to charge, I’d always charge a friend rate of £80 (usually for around £20 an hour for 4 hours work), it’s not a lot, but it’s a little gauge of the work that you have put into it, especially in your spare time. Most of my friends who I have invoiced end up paying more for the work anyway, they don’t want to offend you for paying you pittance for your talents. Friends are friends and time is money, you’ll have to find your own compromise.

If you do the work and you’re not happy with the feedback or payment, next time, just say ‘no’. You can’t feel forced to involve your talents for something that annoys you.

I have been doing these Clay covers on and off for over ten years now, I enjoy pleasing my friends and giving them what they what, while staying true to myself and producing something I’m still proud to attach my name to. It’s a tough thing to do in design. It’s a very fine balance to keep.

This week I’ll upload some forms to help you handle your design work professionally. Tomorrow I will start the whole thing off by featuring an invoice form for claiming your cash.

In Paula’s Hands

Unfortunately due my laziness, the blog has fallen into a bit of a slump. I thought I should kick start it back on track with some great skill from Paula A H (S3, OLSP High) who’s work from home was featured two weeks ago. Paula has been working on analytical drawings of her own hands (one with her drawing hand, the other with her non-drawing hand (above)), and a pastel study as an alternative to  portraiture.

Paula’s skill is very obvious, even in her pastel piece that is still to be finished. Paula starts off the piece by drawing an outline of the shapes, she then adds highlighted blobs of colour to build up the form. When using pastel it is advisable to work from light to dark colours as it is easy to cover a white pastel with black, but impossible to cover a black pastel with white.

Really beautiful work. I’ll update this post when the piece has been finished. Well Done Paula.