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Illustration or Art Combined Course Personal Statement

When the opportunity arose to combine art with some of my other subjects I leapt at the chance. English and Art being my favourite combinations. I’d illustrate stories, sketch far-too detailed storyboards than was strictly necessary for my Media project, and translate an extract of Shakespearean script into an attempt at a Frank-Miller-esque comic creation. I’d seal myself in a little bubble at my desk for a while; determined to do a good job whilst the small opportunity lasted.

I have explored using a wide range of materials in the past and over time begun to specialise in certain mediums, techniques and materials. At the moment these include painting with watercolours, acrylics and gouache, illustrative work using pencil and pen and theatrical and special-effects make up using my building collection of professional cosmetic materials.

My tendency towards storytelling was explored during my first AS level unit in which I achieved an A grade. Once given the topic of ‘Natural Form’, I thought about the prominent role nature plays in literature and culture in the form of symbolism throughout history. After researching this extensively, I decided to use this in a visual way to maintain a narrative. The investigation of fairy tales became the next clear step in my project, ultimately leading to recreating the original tale of Cinderella via a near two-metre long, continuous pencil illustration consisting almost entirely of plants and animals woven together and merging into one another, this piece can be found in my digital portfolio. Mainly because of the painstaking time and effort that went into making it, it’s probably the largest scale of illustrative work I’ve done so far and I’m definitely keen to do more.

This probably explains why the work of artists like Winston Rowntree, Brett Helquist and David McKean always fascinate me and leave me in a kind of intimidated awe. They use art and illustration as a means to define characters, to set a tone and ultimately to tell a story. That’s what I currently see as my goal as an artist.

I utilised both my skills and innate enthusiasm and interest in art during my time as a teaching-assistant for a work experience placement at St Francis’s Catholic Primary School. Taking charge of an hour-long art lesson with a Year Two class was rewarding, fun and surprising in equal measures. I found myself offering constructive criticism and direction for the children and encouragement and motivation for those who were less confident with their skills. I received positive feedback for my hands-on but professional approach with the class and the experience made me realise how my enthusiasm for the subject certainly extends outside my own personal work, but for the creation of ‘stuff’ in general.

My other major interests revolve around the innovation and production of new and exciting things in many different forms, including my own creative writing of both fictional and editorial work and the specifics of filmmaking and theatre in terms of direction, design, performance. I think my enthusiasm towards the idea of creating a polished production to the best of my ability sets me apart from the rest. I see little point in investing one’s time in a creative process and not take pride in the work that you’re doing, or at least to enjoy the opportunity while it lasts.

With regards to theatre; I have a specific interest in musicals and often immerse myself in the specifics of existing productions. I enjoy experimenting with scriptwriting in my spare time after reading the screenplays of some of my favourite films and productions such as Pulp Fiction and My Fair Lady. This is a discipline I would really like to pursue further.

When I joined a filmmaking enrichment course in Year 11 I took part in making my own short films, experimented with stop-motion animation and learnt extensively about various editing techniques and storyboarding. The experience was eye opening in terms of learning how much work is required behind the scenes of even a very short piece of film. It also taught me the necessary communicative skills required when working as a group to try and achieve your own visual goals in a very limited time; both in instructing the performers and in arranging the technical side of the filming.

I feel that I can follow instructions well, and don’t find it difficult to understand the aims and the overall outcome wanted by the person giving me them. This is helped by my strong field knowledge of iconic eras in art, film, theatre, music and pop-culture, which I love to reference in my work. This is why I have had successful experience with commission work in both the art field and in my creative writing. I have sent people some of my own illustration work on-demand to use online in exchange for the promotion of my work. I have also had a few of my own opinion-pieces published in an online student magazine known as the ‘Leeds Beacon’.

I would love to have more opportunities in terms of performance in itself, both to prove myself and also to gain more practical skills in this regard along with well-informed feedback.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by KOlive for application in 2000.

KOlive's university choices
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Reading

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

KOlive's Comments

I'm applying for either a course in
Illustration
or an Art course combined with either
Creative Writing
Film and Theatre Studies.

It's still not finished as I have some major cutting down to do - it's currently 5134 characters (including spaces) whereas the UCAS character limit is 4,000. Some help and feedback would be nice.
P.S. Please don't plagiarise this it isn't even that good.

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