Illustration Genres

1. Bring yourself up to speed…

Produce and illustration a ‘Timetoast’ timeline that explores key events, technologies, artists, illustrations, purposes, and audiences (challenge – if you can; try to determine some target markets) that spans from the invention of the Gutenberg Press in 1452 right up until the present day.

You can find my Timetoast here.

2. The Genres (Where illustrators work)

The following list identifies a selective range of genres that exist today. Try to research as much as you can about each of the illustration genres identified. Find examples of outcomes associated with the genre that are appealing to you.

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Publishing is when you work on preparing and issuing books, journals, and other materials to be sold.

Merchandising is when you promote the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets. It can also be branded products used to promote something within popular culture, such as a fictional character, film, book, etc.

Concept art is a form of illustration that is used to convey an ideas for films, video games, animation, comic books and other media before it is finalised and used in a finished product.

Editorial is

Advertising is

Design and Packaging is

3. Interpretive vs. Technical  

Illustration can be categorized as either Interpretive: where the illustrators task is to interpret the meaning of a given text, or Technical where the aim is to show how things work or operate. The genres can be categorized as Interpretive, technical (or both). Using what you have discovered about the genres of Illustration – try to classify each of the genres


Personal Statement Drafting

Writing about the course

Why are you applying for your chosen course?

  • It will help me build a solid portfolio for jobs I apply for in the future
  • It is a subject I love to do, so I know I will have the motivation to see it through
  • It is something I have now studied for two years and know I want to pursue a career in

Why does this subject interest you? Include evidence that you understand what’s required to study the course.

  • I have been making art ever since I have been able to hold a crayon and paintbrush, and never really stopped since then
  • I would like to continue on from my 2 year ED to expand upon what I have already learned, cultivate my craft, and experience even more art making processes
  • I am interested in finding out about artists I have yet to look into, I want to find new inspiration
  • I would like to learn more about the history of Illustration and how it has shaped the industry today

Why do you think you’re suitable for the course? Do you have any particular skills and experience that will help you to succeed on the course?

  • I have been drawing my whole life unprofessionally, and have two years of studying art 24/7 under my belt
  • I am passionate about art – illustration in particular

Do your current or previous studies relate to the course that you have chosen? If so, how?

  • Did a two year BTEC Extended Diploma in Graphic Design, Illustration and Game Arts
    • Allowed me to experiment in each area and decide that I wanted to pursue Illustration
    • Gave me two years to study art – something which I had never done previously at GCSE or A-Level, let alone dedicated most of my time to

Have you taken part in any other activities that demonstrate your interest in the course?

  • I attended a Summer School at Plymouth University focusing upon Arts and Humanities

Skills and Achievements

Universities like to know the skills you have that will help you on the course, or generally with life at university, such as any accredited or non-accredited achievements. Write these down here.

  • I attended a week long Arts and Humanities Summer School at Plymouth University during the summer of 2015, which actually lead me to make the decision to leave Sixth Form and join PCA
  • I used to be a Rainbow, Cub, and Girl Guide
  • I used to be a member of Jazz band, Folk band,

Also think about any other achievements you’re proud of, positions of responsibility that you hold or have held both in and out of school, and attributes that make you interesting, special or unique.

  • I was chosen to be one of the Girl Guides that attended the Worldwide Centenary Jamboree at Tolmers’s CTT camp and represented Ivybridge Guides in 2011 – I also took care of the younger Guides/Brownies as I was one of the older kids
  • I mentored a tutor group of Year 7’s who just started at ICC when I was in Year 11

Hobbies and Interests

Make a list of your hobbies, interests and social activities. Then think about how they demonstrate your personality, skills and abilities. Try to link them to the skills and experience required for your course.

  • I play ukulele and sing
  • I like to bake
  • I go exploring a lot
  • I am sociable and enjoy making new friends
  • Attending conventions to meet people who inspired me (e.g. London Comic Con 2014 to meet Tom, Jack, Dean, Bethan…)

Work Experience

Include details of jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, particularly if it’s relevant to your chosen course . Try to link any experience to skills or qualities related to the course.

  • Joy King Chinese Takeaway, ~2 years paid evening job
    • Experience/Skills: working under pressure, leadership, prioritising, money handling (?), communication skills

Future Plans

If you know what you’d like to achieve after completing the course, explain how you want to use the knowledge and experience that you gain. How does the course relate to what you want to do in the future?

  • I would like to be a freelance illustrator
  • I can use my portfolio to apply to jobs if i should chose to change my mind
  • I will learn new processes I can use in my craft
  • I will gain experience in using Adobe CC programs proficiently which is important in industry
  • I will experience using new materials and mediums which will expand my knowledge and perhaps even my product range


Make a list of work you think you’ll put in your portfolio

  • A reworked version of my Project 5: The Future piece
  • Final Major Project: Space and Time
  • Watercolour pieces that I sell (?)
  • Star Map piece reworked

Look at 5 different uni courses you might be interested in

Find 3 jobs you might be interested in in 10 year’s time

Artist Research

Keri Rutabaga

Keri Rutabaga creates a wide range of digital paintings, a lot of which carry the theme of humans interacting with nature (and as seen in the example provided, being nature). I really love the style of her paintings, as they have wonderful colours that are bright and bold, and the highlights really make the paintings come alive.

I also really enjoy the style in which she paints – she doesn’t blend her colours to death which makes for some really interesting shapes and shadows, and she is unafraid to delve into an unorthodox colour pallet. It also means her art really walks the line between realism and cartoon, making her pieces seem all the more whimsical.

This related to the theme of “Every Human”, as every human interacts with nature on a near-daily basis. Humans could not exist without the Earth – its atmosphere, plants, and animals.

We are so far unsure of if we are alone in the universe, but what we do know is that the Earth’s temperature conditions, atmospheric elements, and a whole host of other components are miraculously perfectly suited to humans existing on it – so here we are. Humans could not naturally survive on any other planet at this moment in time, so every human is dependant on the Earth to survive.

Design to Sell


“This project is designed to enhance your professional practice and your maturity as an artist or designer. The skills and knowledge you will gain in this project will be transferable in any chosen academic or career path. It will also give you a greater insight of the Graphics, Illustration or Game Arts industries outside of college.  You will explore your pathway in a business focused environment, this brief is about creativity, collaboration and commercialism.

Collaboration will be explored and celebrated through group work and ensuring each student has a voice is vital to the success of this project. Listening, having respect for the opinions of others and acting in the best interest of the group will be key components to this project.”

This project is all about planning and producing a product/s to be sold at a GIGA Design to Sell pop-up shop. The product/s must comply with one of the three themes given in the brief – “Women Fashion Power“, “Mind Games” or “Every Human”.

In the project, we will explore our target audiences, our competitors the wider industry, developing business plans professional budgets, and marketing strategies. Collaboration with peers is crucial in this project, as we will not only be creating products, but planning, promoting, and setting up our shops. However, this does not mean we aren’t encouraged to work as an individual designer. We are being encouraged to develop our knowledge of the industry we are interested in persuing and broadening our visual language.

Within our little sub-groups (Graphic Design, Illustration, Game Arts), we will become a member of a design group and be given a specialised role that will link into either branding, marketing, or curating.

To start the ball rolling with some ideas for my products, I have done an introductory mind map.


GIGA Summer Project Masterpost

Task One: Chose your favourite body of work from PCA summer show and write down 3 reasons why it is your favourite.

My favourite piece from the summer show was Zack’s “Exploration of Comic Books”, as shown below.

Firstly, the two images he presented were absolutely stunning. I really love the composition of the left-hand image (which follows an “I” shaped poster structure), and how much depth Zack has managed to capture in it by paying very close attention to each element of the foreground, middleground, and background. The minute details such as the shading on each rock in the middleground really make the painting pop.

Secondly, the in the right-hand piece has a very Dark Souls vibe about it, which I really like. This painting also has very nice use of foreground and background to portray depth, and is very clever in how the bright torch light draws your eye in. After noting the light, your eyes wander to the mouth of the cave and the waterfall that lays outside of it, and then you are left to appreciate the texture of the cave itself. Very clever composition behind this piece also.

Finally, the use of light opposing dark in both pieces really makes them appear to be related images. The bright fiery colours really cut through the rest of the dark blues and browns and blacks, drawing your eye to them and allowing you to explore the rest of the painting(s).

Task Two: Fill a matchbox with things beginning with the first initial of your first name.

My matchbox contains:

  • Extinguished matches
  • An ear bud
  • Erasers
  • An elastic band
  • An eaten Pistachio
  • A pair of earphones
  • An earphone jack

Full set of photographs from our baking escapades can be found here on imgur so they can be seen in all their high resolution glory.

Credits go to Dan Skillman for his lovely photography!

Task 4: Interview a maker/seller

For this task, I interviewed a popular artist from Instagram, Frannerd.

Q: Who are you? What do you do for a living?

A: My name is Fran Meneses and I am a full-time freelance Illustrator and online shop owner. I work from my home in London, UK, where I not only Illustrate but create YouTube videos!

Q: Do you enjoy working from home?

A: Yes I do! It can be lonely sometimes but I love all the freedoms it brings. It means I can plan my days out how I want them to be, such as when I take breaks for coffee, lunch, and exercise. 

Q: How do you structure your days when you work? How about your weeks?

A: I usually break my days up into working from roughly 10am-6pm and taking 3 breaks in those hours – 2 for coffee (15-30 mins) and 1 for lunch (1hr 30mins). I like to keep my evenings free for me to relax. As for my weeks I like to spend 5 days working in some way, 1 day working on my house (cleaning, washing clothes, etc), and 1 day I leave open for friends. If I don’t meet any friends on that day I usually end up working anyway!

Q: What do you enjoy doing alongside your job?

A: I really love to exercise 3 times a week, watch TV shows on netflix, and play with my cats. I really love my job so i spend most of my life drawing!

Q: Where do you sell your illustrations and why?

A: I sell most of my illustrations through Etsy because it is very user-friendly, and an interface I am comfortable and used to. However, I also take client commissions via my email address for custom work and more expensive pieces.

Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring maker/seller?

A: Don’t be afraid to experiment and branch out. Build yourself a good platform and audience for your work and sell it on a platform you have researched and are comfortable with. Which brings me onto the point of DO YOUR RESEARCH ON EVERYTHING!!! It makes your life so much easier in the long run, and you will be happier when your head is filled with knowledge on something. Take every opportunity you can to improve yourself as an artist, and most of all have fun! 🙂

Task Five: Follow 10 new creative professionals on Instagram.

I have followed a fair few more than 10, so here is a small selection of them.












Task Six: Find out about an exhibition. Go to the exhibition. Draw something at the exhibition.











PCA Made@EU exhibition

Task Seven: Photograph 10 visually interesting door numbers 1-10.

First and foremost, after walking around many different local areas I simply could not find any notably interesting door numbers, especially not in such a niche of numbers for 1-10. Secondly, even if I had, I would have felt very odd walking up to people’s front doors just to take a picture of the number on it. To remedy this, I searched online to complete this task.

Task Eight: Look up the meaning of ‘Identity Packages’ and make a board of examples on Pinterest.

Identity Packages are a way to create a coherent identity for your brand. They are often sold by design companies, so that the brand they are sold to can really become a brand, instead of being a company behind a logo.

Brands go far deeper than just a logo (while the logo is an integral part of it – it is almost the signature of the company), they include everything from name, letters, numbers, shapes, a slogan, a specific typeface, etc. Everything on that list except name can be changed and altered throughout the brands lifetime, which is known as “rebranding”.

Identity packages seem very repetitive, which is not a bad thing! This allows for a coherent theme to flow through products, business cards, packaging, letterheads, envelopes, among other things – which in turn really helps in creating a successful campaign.

You can click this link to check out my board of examples!

Task Nine: Collage your own name using lettering from waste packaging.

Stuck down using (very bad) old tape that should be in the trash onto recycled paper!

Packaging letters found from places including (but not limited to): Milkybar Buttons, Haribo, Kitkat, and Wilko.

Task Ten: Find 4 local design agencies and outline their specialisms.

Shred Creative

Shred are a four-man, Plymouth-based full service creative agency that opened in 2007. They specialise in branding, designing, and printing – often pairing design with application in things such as new web platforms, nice paper, etc. They are also well versed in managing media, print, andsocial media.


Altitude are an award-wining creative agency based in Royal William Yard. They specialise in graphic design, website development, and marketing communications. They believe focusing on the words “Challenge, Solution, and Results” when approaching a client proposal sets them apart from other agencies.


Matrix are a full service creative agency that was established in 2002. They specialise in graphic design, website design, branding, digital, print, andmarketing. From their home in Ivybridge, they also offer services inpackaging, 3D product visualisation, publications, and illustration.

N9 Design 

N9 Design is a creative communication agency that opened in 2004. They specialise in graphic design, illustration, animation and digital marketing. From their home in the South of Bristol, they are “equally at home” with collaborate with other creative specialists in marketing,animation, film, motion graphics, etc.