Contextual Research: Luke Best

Looking through illustrator that had been recommended to me , i came across Luke Bests work. I was immediately drawn to his work with the way his drawing is so direct and raw but still expresses many of the feelings we come across on a daily basis. His drawings are always full of life and really emanate a sense of diversity and balance he really pays attention to each characters body language creating an image that really talks.


He uses mainly collage but any medium he uses still express his own unique style, he tackle some sensitive subjects such as the male menopause, but he manages to do this in a humble  humorous way that makes the topic seem much more digestible. I think one of the things i like most about Bests work is that its honest but takes real consideration over human emotion.



Body language in depth: Research and development

My main form of research will be observing people in daily life and capturing this through quick sketches with in the environment then just exploring different techniques to see a more emotional response  in my illustrations.

These are a few of my ink sketches, really focusing on shape and movement allowing the ink freedom seep into each other creating depth by introducing different colours. working in a sketchbook for a change is useful for portability, but if also helps me to not think about the quality to much and think about the physical act of capturing the moment. It makes it feel less precious and alive.

One illustrator who really caught my attentions was Beatrice Alemagna as she was suggested for a previous project on editorials. But her work of beautiful illustrations are relevant now, as she uses a lot of different techniques to including figures in her work she also creates story that have empowering messages for children. To encourage  to go and explore there surrounding often involving a vulnerable character over coming there short falls and excepting themselves. Her work is very light and fun but still communicates strongly this is something will consider with my work and how subtle details can create an emotive response. I find her work very nostalgic as there is something very personable about her illustrations that makes you relate to parts of your own childhood.



In our first week back we a were asked what direction we may want to go in for our third year. I did this mainly by reflecting on my past works , and looking at them as a collective, this allowed me to identified the main themes and processes i work with, a lot of it involves the figure in someway and how we participate with our environments on a daily basis. a lot of my work also strives to form some kind of emotive response from the viewer, as i think i like my work to be relateable to everyone which is why perspective is very interesting to me too. Thinking through this i decide to concentrate on the human form, i will be observing from life with quick drawing with a wide range of environments to see how this may encourage certain body language and use this as my starting point.


These are the outcome of an all day workshop where we were simply given images, and was given the freedom to just explore the possibilities and see what sparked our imaginations. I chose to merge certain aspects of the images together using different mediums, the harsh lines in chalk and bold colour of the inks i think  this gives an interesting affect, as its such a contrast. I particularly like the isolation of them both in the last image making it seem like theirs a distance and separation between the two subjects.

Body Language: Stitch Development

working with freehand sewing has been a fairly new experience, but i have found it exciting producing illustrations this way and how it affects the message of the ‘drawing’ as i want to portray comfort and working on material create a much softer idyllic result but i also like the idea of playing with perspective in the way of viewing the image. As i plan to disjoint the human form creating cushions with legs then torsos allowing for more movement and personal choice in the way cushions are placed. The movement is what i find interesting as it can also link to a trouble mental state and can apply to tossing and turning and restlessness as our mental well being is part of what determines our body language.

Body Language: Sketch Development

With these development sketches i became very interested in all the different ways we position our legs for comfort and the way it communicate how we feel, by simple adjustments of our bodies. These were further developed from my observation drawings and i plan to use these to help develop my stitch pieces therefore creating a process for myself.

Although i love the simplicity of the legs i think to really inform my work and create an emotive message i need to include other variations of the body. Again i use ink as i find it the easiest to work with for quick expressive images but i will also translate these into stitch.

Field: Reflection

This years field has been very successful for me as it has really opened my eyes to lots of new ways of working and has taken me out of my comfort zone which is what i wanted to help broaden my thinking. My first field Home Truths although part illustration with what we wanted to communicate as home truths, the whole feel and process is very different to what i was use to, as preparation was key so that there was enough time for you fire your pieces and the different stages.

This also applies to are you sitting comfortably as there was many time restrictions with when certain thing had to be done so that our chair was finished in time. it became something that i quite enjoyed as the boundaries in time allowed you to focus just on what was at hand and stops you from getting ahead of yourself, it also makes you clarify what the final outcome will be. Taking this in to my subject was useful and was especially at use when doing our editorial project as part of professional practise it was a simulation of what it would be like in the working life as an illustrator, with certain deadlines, and format specifications and i think my field help me do this successfully.

Although this limits experimentation it gives you a determine focus to challenge your self and varies the way in which you think and, tackle the work. Both fields have given me a platform to really expand my illustration work as they have given me an insight in to many different techniques and has opened up endless possibilities in which my work can be translated, i have learnt that process is important to me and helps my work to communicate in a stronger way and also keeps me focused and on track. the fields have also enforced my love for a finished product at the end of a project and coming from an illustrative back ground i think i can continue to merge these to create some interesting and cummmunitive work.

Subject: Reflection

This year has been a massive learning experience in the way i approach projects in the way of process and materials , these have both been very dominant in my work and linking these to my concepts and ideas to further inform my work. This has made me go outside my comfort zone and explore materials and techniques, this is mainly due to the experiences i had in field both being totally new topics to me and leaving me with a strong need for process and further knowledge of what we have available to us in university.

But the year has also focused me on the more professional side and one project that really showed me this was the editorial project, as i think its useful to know the restraints you might have to deal with in the outside world. I think it even helps creatively, as it gives you a really strong focus and allows you to experiment from there. Even though they may be subtle it makes the final outcome something that has been thoroughly thought about and tweaked to best fit the article. I enjoyed coming back to inks and paper after being exposed to so many new ways of working and allow me to create purely emotive images.

It also opened doors to making GIFS with a few very simple techniques which i think helped add to my second editorial project and also to some of my development work towards the creative conscience brief. Through my projects i have found many artist that have help inspire my work whether it be through similar ideas or the process they have used. Johanna Basford is an illustrator i found when researching for the creative conscience open brief as i wanted to promote well being with in my own work, she was one illustrator that first created the adult colouring books which took off and helped relax many, as in this day and age with all the distraction around us due to technology and daily responsibilities, it is said stress levels are much higher than in the past. Just simply colouring helps relax the mind and also creates nostalgia from childhood and a much simpler time. This helped me as i wanted to also promote interaction so i found mugs a good way of being the vessel for communication.

This last term we were given the freedom to create our own project, i wanted to explore further into textiles as i made cushions for are you sitting comfortably and enjoyed the experience, so i wanted to look at it from a more illustrative perspective and i combined this with the body language brief we were given over easter. As the human form has always been apart of my work and i wanted to see how this can be translated into stitch and what effect it gives. One artist that helped with this process was Alice Kettle as her work varies in many techniques, but her stitch is always very emotive and open for interpretation which helped my ideas grow out of perspective and how there are always multiple ways of looking at something. Which i think has also been embedded in my work.