Somerset Times

My Personal Project - Sarah Norton

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 8, Term Two, 2019

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My name is Sarah and for my Personal Project, I created two picture books (zines to be exact). The purpose of my Project is to explore the human condition and how people evolve and change from the events in their lifetime.

I expressed this through the use of poetry and illustrations in my first book, both areas which I am very passionate about. In the second book, I incorporated illustrations and photography, photography being another interest. This Project was something I knew I had to do since I have been drawing since I was a young child and recently began extending myself further artistically and becoming more involved in the creative form. I am also part of the Wordsmiths, where I have learnt how to express my ideas in the poetry I write.

When beginning my Project, I had to start by writing the poetry to accompany my illustrations. I first began by thinking about people who I’ve seen and the things they go through. Instantly I thought of the many teenage girls who appear on Dr Phil. Most notably, Danielle Bregoli. Dr Phil said that she had a ‘get them before they get me’ attitude which really inspired the character in my first book. So I began writing, and during the process I showed my friends my work for feedback. One friend was extremely particular when he critiqued my work. I’m very grateful for his suggestions as he assisted my editing process. I was then able to clearly articulate my work and appropriately target students in my age range.

Once I had written my poetry, I began sketching out ideas on my iPad and in my sketchbook. Once I finished a full draft in my sketchbook, I jumped straight to doing complete illustrations on my iPad. I thought the sketches in my sketchbook were amazing but I utterly blew myself away the second my Apple pencil touched the glass. With each illustration and redraw of every pose, I got more and more creative and more and more adept with my drawing abilities. I learnt how to use my program and learnt how to draw truly amazing work!

Then, I moved on to my second book. Before embarking on starting the whole journey all over again, I talked with some teachers for advice on how to tackle the same task differently. Mr Keefer really opened my eyes and showed me some other artists’ work and told me to try new things, such as adding backgrounds and to take inspiration from other artists on how to do it. I sat on it for a while and then a light bulb illuminated my path! I decided that I would use a combination of illustrations and photos! Special mention to Helena Hagan who is featured in my second book. I had the idea to explore gratitude as that is a theme which I felt is really important. I whipped up a storyline and got my phone ready for the gruelling task ahead. So, one Saturday morning, Helena and I met at Robina Town Centre to collect photos, which was the easiest part. Then I had to sort through some 400 photos to select 72 photos. Once I had selected them, I looked at comic book layouts and took inspiration on how I could lay out the photos. Then I got to work and organised the photos into 12 pages. Finally, I added the finishing touches and gave Helena a friend, a little pixie whom I illustrated.

My personal project helped me gain a lot of confidence in what I am artistically capable of as well as teaching me where and how I can get inspiration. Even in my personal work unrelated to the personal project, I have learnt how to extend myself and be more creative so that I can have more fun with my work and create artwork that is more interesting and beyond a simple illustration. This project ultimately taught me how to paint with depth and layers and a lot of thought and creativity.

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