My final assignment for this course is designed to show what I have learned and my progress. The brief is very flexible and I am allowed to be as open-minded as I want. The title for this project is called ‘Seven Days’. I need to write my own brief that is clear, challenging but manageable. The seven days can be seven days of the week or random days that tell a story. My interpretation can be objective or subjective, I can produce seven separate illustrations, one large illustration or a continuous comic strip. I can decide on my media and methods I will use. I can decide on the context e.g. magazine, newspaper, book, brocure or poster. I can also decide on my intended audience. Like I have done in all my other projects I will show my full idea generation and design process.
For this assignment you have been asked to produce a seven frame illustration based around the topic of mental health at college/university. The illustration should feature the title ‘Seven Days’. They should be a subjective interpretation of how student’s are dealing with mental health problems whilst at college/university. As the illustration is seven frames long, the seven days should be days of the week, state the day of the week in every frame. It is to be used in a health and wellbeing magazine for teens to young adults (16-24) at college/university age). The illustration is to run alongside an article. The article should feature the topic of ‘mental health’. The intended audience for this illustration is ‘teens to young adults’ as the magazine is also intended for this audience. You are to show you’re full idea generation and design process including research, brainstorming, thumbnail designs, visuals and a final design. At the end of this project you should also show the illustration alongside the article in the magazine.
For this project I started by researching different magazines and focusing on articles that involve the topic of mental health problems whilst at college/university. I found many articles talking about this topic, I have added some links below of my findings:
Below is my chosen article for this project:
The article is from the site ‘Save the Student’ a young adult based site containing all the information you need to know to become and support you as a student. The articles mainly feature money help and support but sometimes feature educational support regarding mental health and other issues that are common to students including jobs, accommodation, bills and shopping. The article is part of the ‘health and relationships’ part of the site. The article is a long one that talks about many different parts of mental health including:
So I have decided to cut it down and look at the first part of the article shown below:
I have decided to focus on the seven days of the week for my illustration as I think this idea shows the strain and stress that students are under ‘every day’. There is no let up! In this article there is already an image of a girl holding her head whilst stressing about her work, my illustration will replace this image.
The reason I chose this topic when thinking about what to do for the ‘seven days’ is because I identify with it. This OCA course is the least stress-inducing course that I have been on. Before I started this course in March of 2020 I was at Kingston University. As you possibly know Kingston University is a university that is physical meaning that I had to move to Kingston (UK) to study there. As I am a person with a diagnosis of Mixed Anxiety & Depressive Disorder I found it very VERY hard to study at Kingston University. When I actually attended the lessons in the first few months of being at the university they were great! It was the accommodation and overall stress that got me. I began to isolate myself in my university accommodation room and only left for food deliveries. In short I spiralled until I couldn’t take it anymore and had to withdraw and come home for my own protection. As you can see this topic is very personal to me so I wanted to express it in illustrative form for my final project.
As I change I have decided to use my Wacom Cintiq (digital drawing tablet) for this project but only to incorporate pencil colours into the background for my final design. Other than that I will be sketching my thumbnail designs and visual using paper and pencil as I feel that it gives me more artistic freedom when I am not working on a screen. The only reason I want to use the Wacom Cintiq is because when it comes to colours, they are bold without any mistakes unlike when you use a marker pen for instance on paper, you will see in some of my previous projects where i have used marker pens, the colour outcome hasn’t been great, the ink has bled sometimes too. I do not want this to happen for this final assignment as I want to show what I have learned and how I have progressed with my idea generation.
My thumbnail designs:
My first thumbnail design shows a girl working on uni work, she starts off with one piece of paper to complete, the next day two, the next day three, the next day 4, the next day lots, the next day absolutely loads and finally on the last day tons! Her mood changes as you can see by her posture and facial expressions and in the final image she has had enough, putting her head on the desk and giving up.
The second thumbnail design shows a different girl leaning over the desk showing how overwhelmingly exciting she is to complete all her work, she has filled in every sheet of work she has been given from university, the next day she is thinking more about what she is going to write on the sheet she also has about 4 ‘to do’ pages she is yet to complete, on day three she is starting to really take her time completing her work and now is behind with a lot of papers so fill in, day four has come and she is now starting to worry and struggle with what she wants to write down on the page she has completed two sentences, day five and she is now not writing at all, she’s really struggling to even think and is obviously worried, day six and she starts to even wonder why she’s at university in the first place, the work is never ending and she is feeling bad, eventually day seven turns up and she is nowhere to be seen, is she behind the stacks of paperwork or has she gone? I also added the desk as a visual impact as it is slowly sloping downwards throughout the images as they continue.
For my third thumbnail design I decided to focus more on the ‘power of colours’ and size. The design shows a person reading a book, they fill up the entire space of the first image, they seem quite content whilst reading their book, slouching but smiling as they read, the second image (a little smaller) shows that the person has still a lot of enthusiast whilst reading their book but they are less content and now holding the book with two hands, the third image (even smaller) shows the person loosing a little bit of interest but still reading the book, one hand is on their knee as a sign that they’re slowly loosing enthusiasm, they also look quite glum, the forth image (quite a bit smaller) shows the person now slouching and reading the book as if it’s a task they no longer wish to do, they’re face also looks more and more unimpressed, image five (a lot smaller) shows the person now looking uncomfortable as other thoughts pass through their head as they loose more and more motivation, the book is now closed, in image six (very small) the person is now overwhelmed with other thoughts and now is angry that they can’t concentrate on any other thing, they put the book on their head as a symbol that the thought ‘I can’t do this anymore!’ is taking place, finally in image seven (microscopic!) the person has shrunk into nothingness, they hold tightly around they knees as they feel smaller than the book they were originally reading.
I enjoyed making all three thumbnail sketches but the one I saw had the most potential was the last one, this is because of the use of colour and scale in the imagery. The person will start off red in colour until they eventually turn grey at the end, this symbolises the mental illness/depression. The person will also scale down as the images progress, this also symbolises mental illness/depression as the person goes from large (confident and happy) to small (vulnerable and self-conscious). The book will stay the same size throughout the illustrations in order to show the person’s change in scale effectively. The background of each illustration will deteriorate throughout the process as well, it will go from a yellow (personally being the most positive colour due to it’s connection to sunshine), to a orange, to a green, to a blue, to a purple, to a red and eventually to a black.
My visuals including colour visuals (showing design process):
My final design (showing design process):
My backgrounds that I digitally incorporated into my final designs, I drew them on paper and scanned them into my computer in order to layer my illustrations over the background textures:
My design with the background incorporated:
My final design:
My mock-up (illustration in situ) on magazine article:
I am happy with how my final assignment turned out! Really happy! I think I have met every part of the brief and have an extensive amount of detail on every aspect of this project. I think this is my most expressive piece of art since starting this course. I really like how the backgrounds turned out, this was a last minute design decision as I thought having a bold colour on the person on each frame and also have a bold colour on the background of each frame would make it look too neat and positive. I really identify with the character and I think the way I have created their very small facial expression changes and posture really expresses how someone would feel with a mental illness like anxiety or depression. I feel that I have shown my design process very well throughout this project fro research, to brainstorming, to thumbnail designs, to visuals, to colour visuals, final designs and mock-up. I wanted to show that I have learnt this process well since the start of this course and also show how far I have come. I think I have come quite far, what do you think?