My Design Portfolio

Remember a few days ago when (in this post) I said I would start sharing my own work on the blog? Well today I am doing just that. But first, an announcement… I'm going to art school! That’s right, in September I will be moving to Dundee to study Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and I cannot wait! I plan to blog about all my creations and experiences whilst I am there but first I thought it made sense to talk you through (an edited-down selection of) what I have created to date. 

I’m going to go through all of the projects in a roughly chronological order, starting with a few pieces from the last time I studied design. A few years ago now, I studied an HND in Visual Communication majoring in Graphic Design. Despite it being the focus of the course, the projects I have picked aren’t very Graphic Design related as more illustration based projects were always my favourite - hence the reason I am going to go and study Illustration properly now!

Bye Bye Birdie

First up is a print project entitled “Bye Bye Birdie” which was all about birds migrating for Winter. Working with stunning photographs of starling murmurations, I dreamt up geometric, textured shapes, reimagining these flocks of birds flying together as massive mobile nest - all giving each other a sense of home whilst they search new one. I can never tell if it is because it is the first project that made me think about Illustration as an actual possibility for me or because I genuinely just really like the final outcome but this has always been one of my favourite project ever.

Tequila Mockingbird

Cover design for Tequila Mockingbird, a book of cocktail recipes with a literary twist. During the process of designing this cover, I had a lot of fun dressing up Gregory Peck in different tropical suits and drawing all sorts of different inky birds to sit on his shoulder.

The Museum of Invertebrates

For the final project in the first year of my HND, I designed a set of branding visuals for The Museum of Invertebrates. Invertebrates, if you didn’t know (I didn’t), are creature without spines so I used symmetry and mono-printing to imply this idea of a missing middle. 

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The Power of Meditation

Looking back, it seems like throughout the first year of my HND, photo collage and mono printing were kind of go to techniques so I am glad I tried something a bit different in my second year. This was my first attempt at an editorial illustration for an article all about the amazing powers of meditation. The most interesting point in the article was that to achieve the best results when meditating you should let all your thoughts enter your brain, not push them out as I had always thought and this is where the mind-tomb idea came from.

Kraftosaurus

The date I created this “Kraftosaurus” print is kind of hard to determine as although I drew the original dinosaur head during my college years, it then sat in a folder for ages before being resurrected and finished off after I had left. My dream is to have this pattern available as wrapping paper printed on proper brown kraft paper with black white ink - who knows, maybe one day this will be a reality! 

Dino-horse

Like my Krafosaurus, this little Dino-horse’s creation date is hard to say. I originally drew the creepy/ cute little fella most likely whilst distracted from a college deadline but only recently put the pattern together and tried printing it on different papers. I actually have plans (and sketches) for a whole greetings card range starring this little weirdo so in a way it’s not yet finished. 

Headless Greg Branding

Now I know exactly when I designed this one - February 2016, just before I launched headlessgreg.com! All the visuals, from the header typography and Instagram logo to the characterful patterns were so much fun to create and, as I mentioned in last week’s post, creating them reminded me how much I love designing at a time when I was in a bit of creative slump.

Astro-Deer

Christmas themed projects are always the best to work on as I love anything festive! For this greeting card design which I sent out to all my friends, family, blog contacts and internet friends, I basically just threw all of my favourite things - reindeer, marble, space, photo-collage - at the screen and played around with it until it felt right. 

Space Cacti

The original incarnation of this design was one of the first things I designed after leaving college but I have been tweaking it ever since and again only recently became happy that it was finished. I originally set out just to design a little set of plant pot people but I wasn't happy with the too-on-trend result. Luckily an accidental hitting of Ctrl-I inverted the design and inspired adding a space theme into the mix.


It still feels a little odd writing about my own designs as for some reason it always makes me feel like I sound really smug or like I'm trying to show off. There is no logic behind these thoughts though as all of my favourite bloggers share their own creations and I never think the same when reading their content. I am getting more used to and actually starting to like this type of writing though and have plans do lots more very soon!

Pressing the "publish" button on this post will still make me feel a bit sick but I've enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane - it definitely made me even more excited for art school! If you enjoyed it too (I hope you did) and wish to take a closer look at my design portfolio, you can find it here.