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Thread: Win/Fail?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Derby - UK
    Thanked 7 Times in 2 Posts


    First - apologies if you've seen these images before. I have posted one or two of them before.







    I'm currently studying an illustration MA - and have been tasked with looking at the criteria by which I measure degrees of success within an image. Of course I have my own ideas - but as part of my studies I'm throwing this one wide open... and can think of no better place than the forum.

    I've had some interesting feedback already - bit if anyone is interested in posting a response to the following questions (with regards to the images I have produced and included here) - that would be BRILLIANT.

    1. Other than 'being able to successfully answer a clients requirements' - what qualities do you look for in an illustration/artwork, and what differentiates a successful image from an 'also ran'.

    2. Much of my work on this MA has swung between digital and traditional media (and sometimes a hybrid of both). Do you have a preference for either aesthetic/process? If so - why is this?

    3. What route has brought you to the above conclusions? (Please give a quick summary of your place in the industry - and a little insight into how you have come to form your opinions). If you are not a commissioner or maker, or don't feel this is relevant - don't worry about this one.

    If - like me - you have an 'if it looks good - it is good' take on the whole thing... no problem. But - try and define 'brilliant' in general terms rather than 'Good' or 'OK'.

    Please feel free to message me directly if you'd rather not post publicly.

    Many thanks -


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Thanked 155 Times in 150 Posts
    Ahem, quick reply;

    1. Good artwork should evoke a reaction, even if it's just to make me think - 'yeah, nice piece'. A truly successful piece should probably nail exactly what the artist meant it to, and be 'read' by the viewer?

    2. Oil paintings are best. Fact. Personal preference, probably because it's what I prefer to work with.

    3. I'm a Senior Character Artist for the games industry. Specialised in characters a few years back, and I started in the industry nearly 11 years ago.

    Is there a prize for the correct answers? Good luck with the rest of the course, really like the first image you posted here.


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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanked 2,591 Times in 1,616 Posts
    Definitely, enough win to make it worthwhile. Keep posting.

    A successful illustration should be complementing the text it supports. Not repeating its content, or pulling attention to itself at the text's expense, or fancy "interpretation" - it should work in tandem with the text, enhancing its appreciation by giving it a visual dimension or a contrasting treatment, or the like. The best illustrations are always to the point, and build strong association with the text in the reader / viewer. Think of how Frazetta's illustrations settled the look of Conan forever.

    I prefer traditional media, simply because they provide more "flavor" in form of brushstrokes and textures, show more of the artist's manner. You can express that in digital as well, even though it's trickier to pull off.

    As for credentials... I am an illustrator, would that be enough?
    Last edited by arenhaus; February 15th, 2010 at 04:40 PM.

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