I have several Art Workshops coming up and have been running low on my reserves of treats for the students. I usually offer stickers, badges or certificates, or a combination of the three to participants and they are always well received. I also like the opportunity to do a little hobby designing, creating these products, every once in a while. This time, I was pleased to rediscover 'Awesome Merchandise', an online printer, ideal for the designer working on a range of merchandise and wanting small runs of printed items. The downloadable layered Photoshop documents make the design process a breeze as all dimensions are worked out for you, inclusive of bleed and trim marks and the resulting high res PDF file is simply uploaded to the site at time of payment or can be emailed shortly afterwards to a very helpful member of the print team. My stickers arrived within days and my students will be very happy I'm sure. Another job ticked off the new year list... :-)
A New year is such an exciting time as it means a brand new term and new projects to bring to light. This year is no different and I have lots of plans for 2016. As you'll know if you've read much of this blog, the majority of the Art & Design workshops I run are for young adults with learning disabilities. This is such a joy and privilege, yet it also brings its own set of challenges. On the one hand, all the sessions must be fun, upbeat and stimulating, in order to remain motivational and encouraging for the participants. On the other, one of our targets at Post19 is to create an environment where our young people learn actual skills and develop talents in areas that will practically benefit them in the future when they can cross over into work or training outside of the base. Marrying up those two requirements can be tricky! The real life design process can be rather long winded, and is often tedious - as any professional Graphic Designer is all too aware! With this in mind, this year many of my Graphic Design projects will be steering towards the production of materials that we can design and create but can also manufacture and produce on a larger scale. We have tested this in the past with the design and production of an annual calendar and set of Christmas cards, as well as branding and packaging giftware ceramics produced by our potters. This year we will embrace the spirit of the entrepreneur and will be kickstarting with an ongoing range of greetings cards that we will be working on in class, and printing at the base, ready for sale in our online shop. It opens exciting possibilities for the young adults involved and I do hope we'll go from strength to strength with the range expanding over time and growing, and the designers confidence and expertise growing alongside it... :-)
Wishing all my clients, past, present and future, a very happy and successful New Year! 2015 was such a busy year, filled with new challenges and exciting projects. I can only hope for even more of the same for 2016 and am looking forward with enthusiasm as to what we will create in the next 12 months.
Last year saw continued growth and development, of my workshops for young people with learning disabilities. I was delighted to increase the number of regular weekly workshops to include 'Quiet Art' sessions for those who were unable to participate in our usual, more boisterous sessions, and we have had remarkable success with many new artisists now able to join in and really fulfil their potential. It has been a delight to work with them and I'm looking forward to welcoming new faces over the coming year. The Graphic Design workshops have been so successful throughout our first year that we are now ready to put our learnt skills into practise and this year will see us producing a range of new designed products for the POST19 online shop, including a range of Greetings Cards and our very own book! Watch this space for more details...
Wallop continued a happy alliance with Alton College throughout 2015, producing a range of design materials from educational and promotional flyers, posters, billboards and banners through to events marketing and invites. The college have gone from strength to strength of late, achieving a top ranking in the prestigious Sunday Times list of best UK Colleges and it's a pleasure to be able to play a tiny part in their continuing success story.
Aside from education, Wallop has enjoyed a range of diverse bespoke graphic design projects this year, from marketing and promotional materials for local events, to branding and logo design for fantastic new and emerging businesses to creating Cover designs and internal illustrations for new authors publishing their books. It has been a whirlwind and a pleasure and I've met so many creative and lovely folk along the way, who I do hope will continue to be a part of Wallop's future.
During 2015 I was lucky to have had the opportunity to learn some new skills to add to the Wallop 'bow strings' - metalsmithing and learning to create in 3D was a huge learning curve but one which will hopefully open many new doors and I will be indulging in again in the future. (Blow torches are fun! Who Knew?) I'll be adding to my materials list this year, having booked myself onto courses to work with glass this time around. From stained glass panels through to fused glass with silver clay... a material I have been interested in working with for such a long time, its ridiculous that I've not got round to it yet. But new years tend to give one that kick up the butt to go for it, so here we go! The future is bright and looks.... transparent... :-)
SO. Here's to another happy, successful, creative year and a big THANKYOU to everybody who has joined me along the way over the last 12 months
It's that time of year again with a New Year looming on the horizon, when thoughts turn to calendars. Its no different at Post19, where I run regular Graphic Design and Art workshops for young adults with learning disabilities. The calendar is a fantastic teaching tool and has become an annual project for our Autumn term. The students all play an active role in its production, learning many production skills along the way which will always prove useful in projects we will be embarking on during the rest of the school year. We create an awful lot of artwork in our various art based classes throughout the year and so this is an ideal opportunity to discuss with our graphic designers the importance of the editors role in a project. It's such a difficult task to select just 12 pieces of artwork that are representative of the wide range of artists we have attending our classes. We also study typography skills, layout, the printing process itself and that's before we've even begun on budget and costings and covering our costs whilst making a very small profit in order to be able to replace the materials we have used during the year.
I am thrilled, as ever, with the enthusiasm and dedication of my young designers and artists who never fail to make me grin. They have been inspired by existing artists and have worked hard to create their own interpretations of artistic styles, and as I'm sure you will agree have created between them, a beautiful and vibrant range of pieces that'll be a pleasure to see hanging on any kitchen wall throughout the coming year.
The Post19 Calendar will be available to purchase at their online shop very soon :-)
This summer I have been working on a design and illustration project for an emerging new author, Kul Mahay whose book "Smash The Habit, 16 Steps to a new life" is being published imminently through CreateSpace. Kul approached me, requiring a cover design and several interior pages created.
We settled on a simple illustrative style that didn't distract from the text, combined well with simple flat coloured graphics and friendly, contemporary, hand drawn styled typography. The overall look of the book needed to be approachable, easy to read and familiar whilst communicating Kul's professionalism and expertise.
The book is very close to completion and so will be available via Amazon and other online book stores after it's launch this Autumn and I'm sure will be a huge success! Congratulations to Kul.
Most of this term, our graphic design sessions at Post19 (Special Needs Art and Design Education) have been dedicated to creating an In Flight Magazine. So far we have used this as a conduit to exploring everything from magazine layouts, menu design, typography and cover photography. Today I added a new challenge. The students were asked to research imagery from their favourite movie and bring in some examples of posters they liked to discuss with the class. Their brief for this workshop was to create a full page advert for their favourite movie to go into their magazine.
I have already begun some basic one-on-one tuition on photoshop skills with the students attending this workshop so their artwork was split into two stages. The first session involved creating an image from scratch by hand. Paints, pastels, crayons, water colours, graphite and colour pencils were provided and the artists selected their favourite medium. These were then photographed using our school iPads and layers of type, and any requested 'special effects were then added on in Photoshop. A full gallery of the final printed posters will be exhibited at our end of term show.
The students are very proud of their work and rightly so!
I am pleased to announce the completion of the project I first mentioned in my blog post back in February. This term at POST19, where I run regular weekly Art and Design workshops for young adults with learning disabilities, we have tried something new. We wanted to teach our young people the process involved in creating a product and how the many disciplines that they are involved in whilst with us, can come together to create something special. We set a challenge: to design a 'gift set' that we could sell online. Our potters, who attend weekly classes at 318 Ceramics, under the watchful eye of their tutor, Kathy, created a range of beautiful hand crafted mugs. Our Crafters designed and created colourful batik napkins, and our Graphic Designers, in my own classes learnt all about branding, promoting and packaging products, before creating their own logo and brand for their product. We are quite delighted with how this project has worked out - The Chocolotta Lovely Gift Set has come to fruition! demonstrating how different skills are required to create an end result, and allowing us to have a high quality product that we can sell, to not only cover our materials but also to create a very small profit which we can return into the pot to fund our next 'challenge'. Rewarding and fun times. Well done to everyone involved! Looking forward to the next challenge...
This year, now that my Art and Graphic Design workshops at POST19 have become a firmly established part of the curriculum and my students are all settled and happy, we have decided to start some collaborative projects with other subject teachers. The aim of these collaborative projects is to create products that we can sell at a small profit to enable each course to become self sufficient, with one term's project providing enough income to buy the next term's materials etc. We also want to encourage the students to become more aware of the process involved in creating, branding, packaging, promoting and selling a product. So....what better way to do that, than to start from scratch?
This term we brainstormed ideas with the students and decided to create a small gift set around a 'Hot Chocolate Mug'. We are so lucky at POST19 to have a regular weekly Workshop held at at 318 Ceramics, run by my colleague Kathy Mason and Kathy took control of production, teaching the students all the key skills they needed in how to create the mugs using simple techniques to ensure a consistent product line.
Back in the Graphic Design sessions, students learnt about branding products. We researched and evaluated existing packaging, and practised our branding skills designing our own hot chocolate packaging and creating our own brand of bottled water. Once we were confident, we had a logo competition to design the logo for our mug gift set. We printed and created our own packaging and worked alongside the students in the POST19 Crafts workshops to create a complimentary Batik Napkin to go into the gift set.
The Chocolotta Gift set containing the hand made Hot Chocolate mug, the Batik napkin and a hot chocolate sachet, will be available for sale in time for Mothers Day. A fantastic result! I am so proud of the students for their hard work and efforts and we are hopeful that this, our first collaborative project will set a precedent for many more in the future, allowing our artists to grow and develop as successful artists in their own right.