This should help me get started with spray paint


Power of Street Art or shall i say art for the people.

My Cover design for Penguin Design Awards


This is the cover I made for Emil and the Detectives. yay!!!! I am really proud of what i’ve designed. I love the way it looks, the colour scheme and how it’s really playful and interesting. I wanted to make it visually appealing and playful but at the same time it had to fit the brief requirement of contemporary design for new audience yet it had to be something a child would pick up from the shelf and something an adult would want to buy for a child. I think i have met the brief requirement pretty well, and most importantly, i am happy with it and i’m proud of it. Now let’s just sit back and hope that i win. Please penguins pick me 🙂

Blog recommendations

Grain edit is a really good blog where artists are featured, interviewed and put into spotlight which is really good of them because everyone can do with a little help towards success right. However, they do have a style they like which includes bright colours, simple shapes and almost all of the artists’ they feature work on digital software.

They literally have everything that a illustrator would need on their blog, from links to art directors to online classes to podcasts, you name it, they’ve got it all. I’m going to be visiting their blog more often now because it’s so good. It’ll definitely help me be a better artist and blogger.

I love the content they put out. Like you never know what to expect. It’s really interesting and it really makes you think about creative practices and approaches in a different way.

This is a really interesting blog because it allows you to look at things from different perspective. You can visually see the changes in time.



Publication Report

Our group, Me, Nayu and Zoe, decided to interview freelance artists. We chose George Butler and Oliver Kruger because they are the most famous reportage artist of our generation and they both have amazing portfolio and working styles. They have both worked for a lot of companies and they both have a distinct visual language that is instantly recognisable. We conducted the interview via email because there was problems to conduct a face to face interview due to travel and time restrictions. Our group worked really well as a team, we’re all friends so it was easy for us to communicate with each other and talk about our action plan, etc. Communication, getting along and team work wasn’t a problem at all.

Both of the artist gave different answers, George butler’s answer was short and sweet and to the point whereas Oliver Kruger’s answers were longer, more descriptive and explanatory. But one thing that they have in common is the way they work, which is as a reportage artist and the fact that they have strong personal connection with the work they make. They are passionate about what they do. They enjoy it so much that it doesn’t feel like a job to them. They are basically living my dream. Travel, draw and get paid at the same time.

For Oliver Kruger, location drawing was a drawing practice and as he kept doing it, he naturally started to develop his own visual language by adding image and text. Luckily, some editors at the guardian liked it and started commissioning him and pushing him as a creative. George butler also gave similar response as he loves to draw and did drawing all the time and says it’s a way for him to communicate and tell stories. What I take from these response is that you have to keep doing what you love, consistently keep working hard and challenging yourself and everything should work out because when you do what you love with passion it will create something special and that is what future clients are looking out for.

Both of the artist are always initiating self-directed projects and exploring things they find interesting. I think this is really important because every artist has a beautiful mind and personality and it’s only right we reflect it in our artwork. It also feeds the creative mind and keeps it hydrated.

The common things between both artists was that they did very atypical ‘artist jobs’ before they became freelance illustrators. George worked in a pub whereas Oliver actually did military service in the navy and later worked as a graphic designer, which he got bored of after a while. However, the key thing in this is that you’re not going to become a professional illustrator and start getting commissions and earning money straight-away after you graduate, there is a lot of competition out there and in order to stay in the competition, we have to keep competing, challenging and developing ourselves. And if you have a job then you can pay the bills and finance your creative projects by saving up some money.

It’s funny how both of them don’t have an agent doing all of the ‘behind the scenes’ work for them. George chose not to have one whereas Oliver had one before but things didn’t work out well. I thought having an agent was compulsory because you don’t know how the industry works and etc. but after looking at their response and seeing how successful they are without one, I guess you can do it all by yourself if you want. It could actually be better because you’ll get educated even more.

Both artists said that you don’t need a logo as part of self-identity because your work has to speak for itself. It should be strong and recognisable by clients as they look at your work, rather than the logo. It made a lot of sense because recently I’ve been focusing more on the work I produce than the grade I will get if I do this and that because clients don’t want to see your grades, they want to look at your work. The work you produce has to be visually appealing and should be of high standard. However, working with clients has a few disadvantages like you don’t improve as a creative because they expect the same thing from you and you may have to work on something you don’t like, but, at the end of the day, this is all part of the creative business whether you like it or not.

I’ve learned a lot by interviewing the artists and it has made me realise that you need to keep on challenging yourself and making better artwork, build relationships with clients, go out of your comfort zone, always stay hungry and always be passionate about what you’re doing and never stop doing what you love doing.

Q&A with Olivier Kugler

  • How did you develop and generate ideas for your work? 

It happened gradually. i always loved to draw on location. spent a lot of time
drawing people in bars, coffee shops, on the street, etc. at the beginning i
just did the drawing on location as an “exercise” in order to learn how to draw.
but after a while i started to write down overheard pieces of conversations when
i was drawing… i showed these drawings to friends and tutors… they liked the
combination of drawing and text. me too! so i continued this kind of work…
starting to interview people… some editors at the guardian liked this approach
and started to give me commissions that supported and challenged me to develop
my approach.

  • Do you think you need a logo as a part of self identity?

no, not at all. you want to be recognised by your work/your style/ your approach.
future clients don’t want to see a logo. they want to see strong work.

  • How do you come up with your ideas for your self-directed projects? And how do you stick to your own deadlines?

ideas come from reading articles in the paper or listening to programmes on radio 4. sometimes it is encounters with people i meet…i am often lucky to get assignments from clients who know what i am interested in and where my strengths lie. like for example the drawings of refugees i did recently for DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS in iraqi kurdistan.

it is difficult when i work on self initiated projects as i am a perfectionist… i want to use all the time i’ve got and more to finish / to polish work. i always find something that i could do better… so if i don’t have a strict deadline i tend to do too much work on a project what is in the end not sustainable…


Has your work been influenced by the finance?

of course. when i work on self initiated work which mostly doesn’t pay well i need to take on commercial work. i don’t mind doing this kind of work. i mostly enjoy the challenge but it takes up a lot of time and energy from projects i’d rather work on which would be more worthwhile.

  • Why did you decide to become a creative practitioner and did you always aspire to be one?

because i love to draw. my father is an artist too. he was my first influence… so drawing / art was present to me since i was born… i really became hooked on the medium of drawing when my mother gave me a tintin comic book as a christmas present when i was about seven/eight years old. i loved the drawings and the story so much!


What stops you from giving up on being an illustrator and what keeps you motivated?

again, i love to draw. i am very fortunate to get exciting projects where i can travel the world and meet interesting people

  • How did you develop the confidence to put your work on show to the public and stay true to yourself?

i guess you develop your confidence gradually. it develops with all the little successes and all the little and big throwbacks which occur during your development.


Do you do a drawing a day? and do you think its important to?

i don’t. my drawings can be quite elaborate… so i often draw several days on one drawing. but i am working almost every day of the week and usually for long hours.
i think for a student it is very important to draw very day… almost every day. i always saw it a bit as an exercise…

  • Where do you see the future of illustration? more traditional or digital or mixed media?

och, i guess fashions come and go. there will be all kind of styles be they traditional, digital or mixed media. i think the more interesting question would be not about how, i mean in what media, the work is done… the question should be HOW DO YOU SEE THE USAGE OF ILLUSTRATION IN THE FUTURE? Ideally I would like to see illustration used in a much bolder way… less as a decorative element… more as a vehicle to actually say something worthwhile…

  • How do know when a piece is finished-Do you need to be satisfied that It met the needs of the brief or do you personally need to be happy with it?

i personally need to be happy with it.

  • Who is your audience or did you find a natural following?

i guess it is mainly people with an interest in drawing and sequential art… and obviously the readers of publications i work for. as i mentioned earlier i have over the last two years mainly working on drawings documenting the circumstances of syrian refugees for the ngo doctors without borders… so my audience in this case are the readers of publications in which the drawings are getting published like Harper’s in the USA, The Guardian in the UK or INTERNAZIONALE in Italy. Also the visitors of Comix Festivals like for example the FUMETTO in Switzerland where the drawings got exhibited.

  • Do you feel like you have a message to share with the world through your illustrations?

yes of course!

  • Do you think you need an agent or can you look after your own affairs?

i used to have an agent but it didn’t work out well. i am happy to go my own way.
Have you done any other jobs other than being an artist/illustrator
i did my military service in the navy… working as a badly trained medic!
after my graduation i worked for almost three years as a graphic designer for a design agency.

  • Is it financially practical for a student to become a freelancer after graduation?

sure yes! provided you get enough work that will pay the bills.

  • What was your experience like after you graduated and how did you manage to pay the bills?

as mentioned above. i didn’t get any illustration work after i graduated from my graphic design degree. so i had to do graphic design work which i liked doing… but after a while i got bored with it and applied for a grant to do a masters in illustration at the school of visual arts in new york. luckily i started to get commission while studying there and had enough work to make a living after graduation.

Q&A with George Butler

  • What does illustration mean to you and why do you do it?
Its a way of communicating for me and a way of telling stories.
  • ​Why did you decide to become a creative practitioner and did you always aspire to be one?
I always did drew but never realised it was a job, I suppose I was lucky enough to not be good at any of my other subjects, so by default really. 
  • What was your experience like after you graduated and how did you manage to pay the bills?
i got a job in a pub and a book binders, I think you need to do this before you start your illustration career – it takes the pressure off
  • Is it financially practical for a student to become a freelancer after graduation or do they have to have an agent?
I chose not to have an agent, but if you can get one after graduation then you should, it’s very difficult though. But a useful help. It’s not compulsory though.
  • What are the top 5 things that an art student should do before and after they graduate?
get a job, be confident in there product, make a list of people you want to work for, write letters by hand and make phone calls, meet people, say yes to most things.
  • Has your work been influenced by the finance, like did you had to change your style and the way you work?
probably, in that you are always asked to do drawings like the last job rather than develop, but thats that balance right?
  • How do you come up with your ideas for your self-directed projects? And how do you stick to your own deadlines?
Well you have to stick to deadlines so just be disciplined. Ideas come when I draw more and more, you need to immerse yourself in it, be obsessed with it.
  • How do you know when a piece is finished – do you need to be satisfied that It met the needs of the brief or do you personally need to be happy with it?
I guess that is just your choice, there is no answer to these questions, I like leaving as much blank as possible. Personally happy is obviously the ideal. rather than the brief.
  • Do you feel like you have a message to share with the world through your illustrations?
I feel like drawing has more of a message than is being shared at the moment, whatever that message is. But yes I dont like doing drawings without a message attached to them.
  • What stops you from giving up on being an illustrator and what keeps you motivated?
What stops me from making a living from the job I love, travelling the world and meeting the most extraordinarily generous people?! That keeps me motivated.

Understanding Colour

I watched this video on YouTube and it gave me more ideas on how to use colour.