Pre March 2020, I was an enthusiastic visual artist ready to claw my way in to any area of the creative industry that would take me, whether I was suited for it or not. In my DPS proposal I put forward an ambitious timeline for the year in which I would experience the worlds of freelance Illustration, studio animation, and Multi-disciplinary Branding, with a smattering of world travel thrown in for good measure. While I cannot truly say that I am no longer this person and no longer have these ambitions, watching the events of the last 6 months through my bedroom window has impacted my wide eyed optimism somewhat, it has to be said.
However, to be a creative is to crawl through the deluge of life experience and make meaning in any way you can. And so, at the end of June I sent out a wave of applications to all manner of placements that might just be looking for someone like me. I was lucky enough to receive a response from a company whose values align with my own, a community interest group currently known as ‘The South London Club’. Offering discounts across London on a wide variety of independent businesses such as Art Galleries, Restaurants, Café’s and Bars through their card scheme, and responsible for the excellent ‘Covid-19 Local Small Business Directory’ The South London Club also sells Art prints of Monuments and Landmarks throughout South London. In the coming months, this service is to be launched across greater London (I probably shouldn’t put the name here on the internet for, you know, retaining my employment reasons). My position within the company is currently in re-designing the Architectural Print series, and creating Branding materials such as Website headers and Card designs. Fig. 1 shows an example of this work, with Fig. 2 a Work in Progress of an Illustrated map of London I am currently producing for the company.
My Placement with The South London Club is set to last at least 6 months, with the opportunity to continue for a full year should this be something I, and the company, feel would be successful. However, while this is acting as a my 9-5 activity, there are a number of independent projects I am currently undertaking which are set to continue throughout the DPS year. The primary project is my comic ‘Tea and Biscuits’, following two young women, Shauna and Annie, as they navigate life and relationships as young adults with the backdrop of modern day London – a very original idea not at all derived from me also being a young woman in modern day London. (fig. 3) I aim to have a chapter of this published every other month, however ideally this upload schedule will be more regular as I am currently working on multiple chapters.
In addition to this, I am currently aiming to enter or respond to at least 6 open calls and competitions throughout the DPS year, as I have often found I make my best work when challenged by an exterior brief to produce work out of my comfort zone within a deadline. I began this by entering the Tate Collective Open Call with my digital response to Sir John Everett Millais’ Ophelia (fig. 4)
Currently, it is a little difficult to make grand plans for the future. However, as we embark on what I am sure will be one of the most exciting and terrifying years in our education, there’s something to be said for the great uncertainty and possibility of the next 12 months, and the opportunity of everything that awaits.
Thanks for reading,