Sunday, 7 July 2013

Final BA Project + Graduation

So I graduated from Vilnius Academy of Art! I'm enjoying my free time and reflecting upon these past four years. I'm glad I didn't go crazy because it was definitely not easy. The presentation of my picture book went quite smoothly. I got a positive feedback, which really boosted my confidence since I didn't know what to expect. I know it was hard for somebody who didn't follow my creative process to evaluate my project, but I'm glad it made an impression and evoked various emotions.

This project is published on Behance if you want to see the whole story. I'm sharing some photos in here as well. It was a challenge to work with such a big format as I cut and bound the book myself. I printed and cut out three characters to stick on a white wall behind my book. It was quite a contrast to my small original sketches, but it's interesting to see your characters grow big. I think the white space around them echoes my book, which was made larger with that purpose in mind.

Now I'm trying to make an English version of my book so more people can understand and appreciate the story. This will be a challenge because translation changes some compositions and the rhyme of the text. Anyways, it's worth giving it a try and improve on working with the text.

It's hard to believe my studies at the art academy are over. All in all, it was a useful experience. Quite a change after studying traditional painting for two years in the US! I'd like to share my art progress someday, but it'll take time to reflect upon these twenty or so years. The art academy offered different printmaking techniques, academic drawing and book art. I also began painting in ink, which I haven't tried before. I went to the UK and studied illustration as an Erasmus exchange student. I rediscovered my passion for children's books again since I was into novels and comics as a teen.

The last year at the art academy was challenging and impressive. Two very different finished picture books in eight months! The first was created in collaboration with my sister and the last one is an authorial picture book. I'm so glad I challenged myself because now I'll have more confidence in being the writer and illustrator at the same time. This was my dream when I was about twelve. There's still a way to go for my books to get published...

I have to work on my storytelling techniques and storyboarding. I'll try to update my blog more often. By the end of summer, I want to be prepared for my postgraduate studies in children's book illustration. I'll be moving to the UK, Cambridge, where I took the children's book illustration summer course a year ago. I really enjoyed it and will make a post about it soon. Hopefully, these studies will be a huge step forward in my career as a picture book artist. I need to work harder!

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