Art Schooled: The Story So Far

As I have mentioned countless times in passing, I have now been studying Illustration at DJCAD in Dundee for an entire year. I go back soon for my second year (which is actually third year because I skipped first - it's confusing, I know) but first I wanted to talk a bit about my experiences so far. Whilst I only really mentioned it on this blog, I covered my art school experiences in a weekly “Art Schooled” column with Inkygoodness. I have plans for a slightly different Art Schooled column this year but before I get into that, I thought I would round-up some of the highlights from the first series. Here are 10 articles from the column’s first chapter…

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Image by Cocolia Studio

My First Day At Art School

The first day of any new venture is always a little scary. My first day at art school felt particularly daunting as it had been several years in the making. Having been unsuccessful in my applications to art courses before, I was beyond excited to be starting and my expectations of what was to come were sky high. The day was filled with new faces, conversations about Rupaul's Drag Race and gallons of warm cider. To find out whether it did live up to my arguably unrealistic expectations, you'll just have to read the article.

Read the full article here.

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Saying “Ciao” To My First Brief

Of course my first day wasn't just about getting my head around the incredibly confusing layout of DJCAD (I'm still don't know where everything is) and meeting new people - there was work to do as well. Our first brief was a Tapirulan competition brief for which we were challenged to create an illustration inspired by the word "ciao". During the week we were given to complete the brief, I played with typographic faces, collaged colourful textures and even drew a wolf. To find out how this all does (or doesn't) fit together and see my final entry, you will (once again) have to read the post.

Read the full article here.

Finding The Link Between Art And Science

Our second brief and perhaps my favourite project to date was based on the work scientist D'Arcy Thompson and his famous book On Growth And Form. The sketchbook-heavy project was all about exploring new ways of drawing by taking inspiration from scientific theories. Finding the link between art and science and ultimately the beauty within scientific imagery turned out to be just as interesting as the things we created. The project also led to my wonk animals project which you can now see in my portfolio here.

Read the full article here.

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Artwork by Keith Negley

Opening Up About Mental Health

The heaviest and hardest article to write in my Art Schooled series was the one in which I discussed my mental health. The article tells the story of my mental health over the past few years, including my lowest time and what I did to get out of it. Whilst it wasn't the easiest to write, it is the article I am most proud of out of everything I have written for Inkygoodness to date. Mental health is a subject I am incredibly passionate about and I plan to contribute more the important conversation going online about it very soon on this blog too.

Read the full article here.

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A Day Of Creativity With Marcus Oakley 

Before applying to art school, I had an constant inner debate with myself as to whether it was the write choice for me. If I could show one day to my future self to prove that art school is most definitely the right place for me then it would be our day with Marcus Oakley. Marcus visited us to give a talk about his career so far and teach a drawing workshop filled with eccentric challenges. After hours of sketching exploded pumpkins and stretchy giraffes, we finished the day as amused as we were inspired.

Read the full article here.

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Artwork by Kevin Bergquist

Learning How To Borrow Ideas

During my first semester I learnt lots of different things about illustration - some of which I dedicated entire articles to. During our drawing project, one of the best pieces of creative wisdom I absorbed was that it was okay to borrow ideas. Striking the balance between copying and taking inspiration is important but as long as you are careful it will open up a world of creative paths you would never find your way to alone.

Read the full article here.

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Creative A Collaborative Zine

There is nothing more thrilling to a bunch of art students than good old fashioned print. So when we were told that our final project of the semester would result in an real-life printed risograph-printed zine we would all go home with a copy of, we were excited to say the least. For the zine we collectively reimagined the tale of Hansel and Gretel. I created a half-tone patterned witch face made of twigs and leaves inspired by the evil witches connection to the tale’s woodland setting. The project was one of my favourites and so was this article as it includes not just my experience of the project but that of a bunch of my classmates.

Read the full article here.

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Artwork by Andrew Bastow

Chatting Collaboration And Education With Andrew Bastow

The best thing about going to art school has with out a doubt has been meeting like-minded creatives. I have made friends with lots of super talented people, one of whom I interviewed as for the column. Andrew Bastow and I chatted all things creativity, collaboration and education in another of my favourite instalments in the series. Andrew’s portfolio of work includes insanely detailed portrait work and more stylised comic artworks like the weird little beauty above. You can check out his website and Instagram to see more.

Read the full interview here.

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How I Got Into Art School

Mixing things up a little, one week I took a look back at the portfolio of artwork which got me in to art school in the first place. The article includes tips on what I personally think is good to consider when putting together an application. I would have loved to read an article like this when I was applying so I hope it was helpful in some way to someone out there. Writing it was odd as some of the projects I loved the most - like the Space Cacti print and pattern above - now don't even feature in my current portfolio of work. It just shows how your taste can change even in the space of a single year.

Read the full article here.

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10 Things I Learnt During My First Semester

For the final instalment of the series (which at the time I planned to continue in the new year but we'll get on to that in a second), I rounded-up 10 things which I learnt during my first semester at art school. I was pleased to discover it was actually a very easy list to write. Lessons included learning new practical skills like how to screen print, embroider and laser-cut as well as more personal revelations about the workings of my brain and creative habits. 

Read the full list here.

 


 

The Next Chapter

My plan had been to launch a new series of Art Schooled with Inkygoodness when I returned for a second semester at university at the start of this year. Due to things going on behind the scenes with both myself and Inkygoodness, this unfortunately wasn’t meant to be. My second semester passed without being documented online at all which is something I now regret. Instead of wallowing on that though, I am looking forward and planning a new chapter for Art Schooled.

My course starts back very soon and Art Schooled is coming back too! This series of articles will be a slightly different format to the first run. The new series will be a monthly column on this, the Headless Greg blog, and will act as a more in-depth round up of the things I have learned, loved, created and pondered over in the previous weeks. I will still be working with Inkygoodness on other things in future but I think for this particular column it makes most sense for it to take place on my own site. The new semester of Art Schooled will launch at the end of September so check back then for the first in a series of shiny new articles.