Evaluation for Portrait Project

Here is my evaluation for my project. How I will do this is to answer a set of questions originally created by a tutor so I can assess what I have done well with on this project, and where I can improve for future projects.

Visual Communication:

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

  • It is an editorial illustration which was required in the brief.
  • It is relevant to the subject regarding the psychology of faces.
  • The caption is 20 words, so not too long.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

I personally think that the piece does meet the requirements set out in the brief otherwise I would not have submitted it as a final design.

What are the strengths of the visual communications? Why?

I would say it is a very eye-catching design, that makes good use of both monochrome and colour and has a strong focal point. I would also say there are multiple areas of interest, such as the DNA pattern in the eye, the reflected face in the pupil as well as the contrast between pencil sketching, vector illustration and photography.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communications? Can the design piece be mis-understood? Why?

I think one potential weakness with the design is how there may be a small minority of people who do not link the eye to the psychology of faces, although I think this chance is reduced since I placed in the reflected face into the pupil.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

To be honest, I am not sure, perhaps it would have been interesting to create the entire illustration as a vector, as this would have potentially allowed for a better integration between the eye and its surroundings. I wonder if more texture could have been added to the double helixes for the DNA part of the design, but I think this may have clashed with the texture I am using for the iris.

Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

Time keeping has been a nusiance on this project as I was ill half-way through and I missed a couple of days working on this project, which was very annoying. I also seemed to get bogged down in the feedback I received back, losing the clarity on the project I needed to keep, and I felt that this stopped me from progressing with this project as fast as I would have liked to have done. However, in the end I have met the deadline in a suitable manner, without too much excessive stress thanks to two very productive days earlier in the final week of this project.

How was my analysis of the brief?

My analysis was accurate, especially as there was not an excessive number of guidelines that had to be met.

How was my research?

Off-screen, my research was far wider than I have done before, using more resources and also for the first time, properly making use of the library at K College, which has helped me to gain inspiration and increase my knowledge regarding illustrations. On-screen though, my research appears quite short on the blog as with the limited timeframe, I condensed it to the essential elements as I know that I have another project on illustration soon which gives me another chance to research.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

Well, I mentioned key points as I went along in the project, but mentioned at the end of most blog posts was a section looking into what I learnt from this.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas?

Well, I came up with the initial ideas for this project and then focused on making them better by looking at the inspiring designs I came across during my research.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

I basically just wrote my thought process, there were no formal evaluations as such, I just wrote what I felt to be true, and then in the next section of my ideas or development, worked on correcting anything I had noted.

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?

I used sketches to try many more ideas than I have ever had before, and also focused on using different mediums such as using Photoshop and Illustrator in order to try new design ideas before it came to making them.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

  • I have “critically explored the role of general and specific research to inform an illustrative solution in relation to a given brief” by doing a full set of research for this project, looking into both general and specific elements.
  • I have produced the first “research journal containing both visual and verbal material that evaluates and analyses” the process of my project.
  • I have looked into “illustrative practical and creative techniques and processes”  within one of my blog posts that can be accessed here.
  • I have demonstrated “an awareness of visually communicating to a specific audience” as I created this design to appeal to the readers of New Scientist.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

I would say that the part of this project that I enjoyed the most was creating the idea in Photoshop once I had an idea of how I could create it. It was very satisfying to work on a projct and see it come together very successfully.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least and found difficult? Why was this the case?

I really did not enjoy writing up the research for this project, I did the research and understood it in my head, but when it came to writing it down on the blog, I found it still took a long time, although much quicker than using a sketchbook like I previously did. Something I found difficult was to get use to writing a blog while I was doing this project, although I think I have become used to it and have changed my working habits in a positive way.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

I worked best when I had little pressure, so at the beginning of the project mainly, and when things were organised and clarified. I guess the best way forward for me is to work as efficiently as possible in the first stages of the project to free up more time for clarifying ideas and creating them.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

The area that best inspired me for this project was the fantastic illustrations that I came across during this project, which highlighted such creativity and technical skills it made me look at the project in a different way.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

I guess as the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’, the more projects I do, the more I am tested in my capabilities and the more I learn, what I find difficult now will hopefully not be so difficult in the future. There are a lot of things I take for granted now that caused me real issues a year ago.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

As I have said before, and will probably say again, I develop the skills I need as projects go along. Although I will add, I am watching many more video tutorials on Photoshop to accelerate my learning of this program (especially Iceflow Studios), which I am sure, will benefit my projects greatly over the course of the next year.

To finish up I have to say a big thanks to those who sent me tutorials during this project that increased my learning or gave feedback that helped me to improve this design to what it has become.