Rachael Fletcher

I'm a Graphic Design and Illustration student at LJMU. This is just a blog of some of my work and the things I've done in uni.

Here’s some photos of the pop-up laser cut that I made in the second cutting session. I definitely want to go into the studio and photograph it properly with lights etc. but this is just to give an idea of how it turned out. I think I might print it again on a different colour card as the engraving didn’t show up too well on the card that I chose. The previous attempt didn’t work as the card was thinner so the scored lines ended up being cut all the way through, but the engraving worked much better on that one. I was so relieved when my third attempt actually worked as my first cut was too flimsy due to the card I used. Because I had really thin, intricate lines some of them snapped on the thinner card, but when I re-printed it onto thicker card they were just about strong enough. I’m really happy with the way my scene turned out, although you can’t see some of the trees as they’re obscured by one of the houses. Since the setting is quite spooky I think it would look really good with a red or blue light behind it. I’d like to take it further too by printing out my illustrations first and then cutting into them.

The top three images are my Illustrator layers for my laser cut, the bottom is my first attempt at the finished cut piece.

Laser cutting workshop 1

In our first workshop in the mac lab we went over quite a few things I’d never really done before, so I found the session really helpful as I struggle to get my head around a lot of the tools on Illustrator. While I was making the Ai file for my 3 layered laser cut I did have a few problems that I had to double check on the worksheet, such as the image trace tool, which was completely new to me before these workshops. I had to play around a bit because my version of Illustrator is slightly different to the one we learnt on but I got there eventually. Anyway, when I printed my three images today I realised that I’d accidentally knocked the alignment out on one of the layers, so they didn’t quite line up like they were supposed to. It was a good job there was a lot of space around my artwork so I was able to cut around it and make the layers line up properly. I fixed the file afterwards so it should cut in the right place next time. Also, I noticed after I’d cut my images that the counters had dropped out, so I need to create one more layer with just the counter cut out to put underneath my three layers, then another piece of card will go underneath. Even though I had a few problems and it wasn’t perfect, I’m still quite happy with how my laser cut turned out. Next time I definitely want to try something more intricate, as I kept this one quite simple for a first try.

This is the finished version of my building and a couple of photos of it within the street setting. I started off really hating this workshop ‘cos the paint just wasn’t taking to the cardboard and it was looking all patchy but once I’d sorted that out I really liked making the little windows and stuff. I found it was easier to just cut most of the detail out of card rather than trying to paint it all.

Progress of my building while I was making it.

Here are some photos I took of the place I got for my Tabletop Liverpool project. I’m quite glad I chose this building as the window display’s really pretty and there’s a lot I could do with it.

Here’s a few of the pictures I made in the altered images workshop, which I really enjoyed since I love just collaging random things together. It was good to not really have to think about it and just stick stuff in that I thought looked good together.

These are a few of the drawings I did in the fashion drawing workshop. I actually found that the ones that were drawn from shorter poses turned out better than the longer poses.

Fashion drawing workshop

I’d done life drawing a couple of times before at foundation & quite enjoyed it, but for some reason this time I felt like burning every drawing I did! I think I found it a lot harder because the model was moving around rather than just sitting in one position for ages & she was quite a bit younger than the models I’d drawn before. I did manage to get a few drawings I was happy-ish with though so it wasn’t all bad. I’d like to practice a bit more at life drawing as I find it really difficult ‘cos normally I spend hours painstakingly getting every detail into my drawings & need to learn to just quickly make marks.

Group Project Review

When we first got the brief for the Play: Create project I was a bit apprehensive as I’ve never actually done a group project before and the thought of it was really daunting. I was also a bit worried about working with people who I didn’t really know. But luckily, I got a good group and we all pretty much agreed on everything throughout the whole project, which I thought was really good going since it’s not usually easy to get 5 creative people to agree on an idea. After a few trips to the pub trying to think of an idea, we settled on a time-lapse as none of us had done it before and we all wanted to try something new. We did change our mind a few times and had a few technical issues with our first idea but decided on a definite plan with plenty of time.

As a starting point, we all went walking round the city to look for some places that would be interesting to film and decided on 7 different locations. At first we all went out to film together but then we realised we didn’t really need all of us to take the photos, so Charlotte and Matt ended up doing most of it together. I think Matt did most of the editing of the final video and has done a great job of it. We all worked together making the cardboard characters, I actually made two but we didn’t end up using the space invader as it was quite flimsy. This was probably the part that I enjoyed most as it was quite crafty and we all collaborated with it. 

Then when it came to making the booklet our plan changed a few times but we got it finished with time to spare, which I thought was good. This was another collaboration from all of us, as while me, Sammy and Chris designed the images and text for the booklet, we all did bits on the putting together of it. Me and Sammy did a few rough plans for what we thought the booklet should look like and settled on using photos that we’d taken in a scrap-book way. Sammy designed the map pages, Chris designed the font and I drew all the characters. However, my character designs didn’t actually end up going in the booklet as they were initially supposed to since they didn’t look as effective in two colour. This was where we got the idea to make them as stickers instead as a solution to this problem. I’m actually glad this happened, since the stickers made the booklet more fun and playful and the other groups seemed to like them. 

Overall I’ve enjoyed this project but it has been a lot more difficult than working alone. I had fun going out location hunting and visiting Radio City Tower etc., but getting all of the work together was definitely harder than any of the previous projects. I think it’s quite hard to spread the work load evenly and determine who should do each part when working in a group. It has been an experience though and I’m really glad we did it, as I’ve tried something I’d never done before and got to work with some new people with different skills than I have. I think we worked well as a group and didn’t have many problems or disagreements, so overall I’d say it was a success.

Looking back on the project there isn’t really much I would change about it, apart from adding characters from different games and putting them in more shots. One thing that I regretted was that we didn’t have time to include a ‘making of’ video. Charlotte brought in a video camera and we all filmed little bits of us making the time lapse and travelling round the city, which I thought would have added a lot to our final video. However, we only had a 15 minute time slot and didn’t really have time to put it in our presentation so didn’t end up putting it together in the end.