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Hello from an Illustrator/Concept Artist in UK

 
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:08 pm    Post subject: Hello from an Illustrator/Concept Artist in UK Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I live just south of London in the UK and I'm in the third and final year of a degree in illustration.

I would love to one day work as a concept artist, preferably working on the design of themed spaces and attractions. This is quite a recent realisation for me, as I spent many years ignoring my passion for theme parks, zoos, etc and trying to be something I'm not, making pretentious irrelevant art to suit teachers. When I'd finally had enough, my grades went down, but I'd never look back now. I'm teaching myself to draw realistically after years of bad education steering me in the wrong direction and currently working on my final major project, which involves the design of a highly themed area, roller coaster and animal exhibits.

I wrote my dissertation on themed environments and I'm fascinated by the relationship between the real and the simulated and postmodernist nonsense. Whilst researching for the essay, I came across this site. Which was mentioned in many footnotes! Can't thank the creators of this site enough.

I have to say that I'm actually not a massive Disney fan. I find something far more interesting with the majority of other companies. What SeaWorld Adventure Parks and Merlin are currently doing really interests me.

Last summer I worked at a theme park as a ride attendant, and managed to speak to creatives - which really surprised me. You would be surprised who you can get to speak to if you just ask! I've managed to secure an internship for the summer after I leave Uni with the creative department at a large attractions operator.

My ambition is to one day live and work in the USA. But, that's another story. Smile

I post all my artwork and sketches and stuff on my blog, which you'll find in my signature. Please check it out, and if you have a similar blog let me know because I'd love to have a look/read!

I think that's everything... Thanks for reading!
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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Tedward



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 18
Location: Victoria, BC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, fantastic stuff. I really love the evocative watercolour observations.

Good luck with the internship, sounds like you have a good opportunity there. It would be really interesting and helpful to some if you kept your blog going with your experiences. Just a thought. Smile
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly hope to in one way or another! Obviously I'll probably be sworn to secrecy over some things, but I hope to share generalised things applied to personal work, if that makes sense?

Thanks for the comments. Smile
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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feralchicken



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 13
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, just wanted to post as I enjoyed looking through the work on your blog. Smile

I currently work in the museums & heritage sector as part of an exhibition design team (hoping to make the step across to themed design one day!).

Looking through the work on your blog I think it would be great to see more of the gouache/impressionist style work as those pieces really convey the atmosphere of the scene effectively. In my experience, an important part of concept art is efficiently communicating the *experience* of the space you're designing - and atmospheric illustrations can often do this - one great illustration can sell an idea.
Having said that, make sure you show off all your skills in your portfolio!

Congrats on the internship and good luck on completing your degree! Smile

Sam
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your feedback! It's really appreciated and interesting.

Do you mind me asking how you got into the line of work you are in? Just out of noseyness...

Thanks again. Very Happy
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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feralchicken



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 13
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're very welcome. Smile

Be warned, now you've asked, you're going to get the long version of the story! Wink
I've wanted to work in themed attraction design for a long time (and came across this site many years ago). I originally studied computer science with the vague idea of getting into software engineering for ride systems or something. But while I was studying I was lucky enough to get a short work experience placement at Farmer Studios (they used to be one of the UK's top themed attraction design & build companies - no longer in existence sadly). While there I worked in the concept design department and knew that was my perfect job!

It was clear then that I needed to work on my art & design skills, so I studied a foundation course at college. While I was there, discussing the future with my tutors, one of them mentioned a possible degree course, Museum & Exhibition Design.
I spent a year after college trying to get a job in the industry, but with no luck and decided doing the degree might give me more opportunities.

So I went to Lincoln Uni to do what's now called Design for Exhibitions and Museums. It's part of the school of Architecture, but deals with all aspects of exhibition design, from interiors to graphics, across the exhibition industry from trade show stands to museums to visitor centres (with a bit of theming in there too!).

On graduating I applied for various relevant jobs and was lucky to get my current job in an established museum design company (although I would have preferred themed design if possible). This company works mainly on museums and visitor centres, but occasionally does a bit of theme park/aquarium work.

I'm currently part of the '3D studio team' which deals with turning the ideas from the concepts department into workable designs to be constructed.

I'd never even realised that design for museums existed until quite recently (compared to my awareness of theme design) and it's a fun industry to get into in terms of the variety of projects you get to work on. The challenges are ususally along the lines of taking a collection of objects and creating an engaging story around them - can be anything from fossils to cars.

I'll stop rambling now..! Smile
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 197
Location: ProgressLand

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's some great work you've done. Fun to look at!
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 197
Location: ProgressLand

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and, Feral, great to hear your background. That's great that you get to bring in the story and work with specific themed attraction work sometimes, too - museums are a big part of the themed world of education/entertainment...
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your rambling's are amazing!

Is there a lot of information and such out there for museum and venue design, given that a course exists I guess there probably is?

How did you find that course? What kind of skills and such were you taught? (I've literally been taught nothing on mine. Literally. It's just been 3 years of portfolio building, but I could have done that for FREE! So angry.)

I love zoos and natural history museums, so it seems my interests are related more than I ever realised.

When you were at Farmer, is there anything you can pass on info wise about the concept design process?

EDIT: Oh and thanks wokcreative, you posted whilst I was posting. Smile

BTW, do you guys have any blogs/links to work etc?
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 197
Location: ProgressLand

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been working on putting a blog together, to showcase my writing/story samples. Some of them are posted around on these boards.
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought it was worth popping in here to say that I'm currently at that placement I mentioned when I originally came here.

It's amazing! I'm working on real theme park attraction projects, work that if I wasn't doing someone would have to. I've been sketching out ideas for retheming of existing attractions, presenting them with reference material in theming books (its a book to show to the park, the ride manufacturer, etc which describes the attraction in visual detail along with other stuff). It's amazing, and what's even more amazing is listening to all those around me discussing projects and the like. Everyone is lovely and enthusiastic about the industry they work in - it's such a joy to be there.

It seems that most of the younger people there started on work experience, so I'm really hopeful. I'll let you all know how it goes.
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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Tedward



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 18
Location: Victoria, BC

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds fantastic. Looking forward to hearing more about it as time goes on.
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately there isn't much more I can say! I'm seeking further work experience or somewhere willing to take me on as a junior now.
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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Joey



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 53
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The place where I did work experience got back in touch, they have some freelance work for me to do!
_________________
Art Blog: http://hajimesartblog.blogspot.com
Website: http://josephfells.co.uk
Theme Park Blog: http://hajimesthemeparkblog.blogspot.com/
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 197
Location: ProgressLand

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to hear. (sorry to be so slow in responding - been too busy for a few weeks)
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