Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Senior Research Proposal

VCD 49098: Senior Research Proposal
Project & Paper Proposal Form

Directions: This form is intended to simplify the proposal process by asking specific questions that are critical to a successful project proposal. If there is other information that supplements the description of your project, you may attach pages as needed. All written information must be typed or word-processed. Use complete sentences and include each question. Please be as detailed as possible.

1. Subject or title:
Title: Character Branding
Deliverables: Short children’s book, small calendar, approximately three different cards (exemplifying the brand in its own line of greeting cards), and a journal.
Description: The illustrated children’s book will be a short, self-written, story about a young girl who imagines herself in different fantastical situations as either the heroine, mythical creature, villain, etc. Her little toy fox is her companion in all of these situations (reminiscent of Calvin & Hobbes). The plot of the book is that your life is how you make it.
o This short book will introduce a set of characters and a brand based on this book will be developed as the other deliverables exemplify marketability.

2. Academic / educational goal of the paper or project:
What I will learn from this project is character development, visual storytelling, and brand development. As an illustrator it is important to get the audience to be involved with the subject matter and this involves creating interesting and intriguing characters that a person will like to know more about. Visual storytelling is another important tool, as the message to be given must be clearly and quickly understood. I need to better enhance my skills at making the purpose of my work easily known. A huge opportunity to being successful is to create a marketable idea. I need to be able to take my illustration techniques and make them into something that can be branded (something unique and recognizable that can be purposely sought out).

3. How, specifically, does this project go beyond existing course projects?
This project goes beyond existing course projects in that I will be in charge of all the aspects of it myself, attempting to utilize the full capacity of my creativity; from the idea of the project to its conception I need to be able to pull off its success as a cohesive and professional work. The aspect of developing characters of my own should exemplify knowledge of social/audience expectations and interest. Building these characters into a brand to be marketable is also a unique aspect. With the fairly different deliverables, there must be a consistency throughout them that individualizes these products as being a part of one, identifiable brand. In the way “Hello Kitty” or “X-Men” can be seen through all different types of media, my goal is to somewhat simulate this through my project. The “brand” must be able to easily transfer and adapt to whatever product it can be a part of. Though we have had projects with different deliverables, the projects were preconceived, made for a select purpose, and confined. This project shall extend to what I can conceive individually, expand it to be able to be a part of various products (not just advertising/promotions), and be an example of work that better portrays what I would personally like to be involved with after graduation.

4. Research necessary for the project or paper. Describe any research completed: (surveys, interviews, publications, etc.)
Any research I have done so far has been fairly superficial. For my ideas I have looked into examples of the products I plan to make as my deliverables (children books, greeting cards, etc.), and I have listed helpful resources and examples I can reference in regards to writing and making the material needed for this project.
There are several things I would need to research. I need to research a solid writing technique in creating my own material for the storybook (this will include various writing manuals, possibly interviewing writers/literature-English majors, and basic examples of “classic”/”good” illustrated children’s books. I would also have to research both new and past forms of illustrating as well as any surveys that can be beneficial in determining appropriate methods of delivering/creating my material (what’s familiar and/or popular). Further questions I may have will need to be answered appropriately whether through help of faculty, online research, etc

5. PROJECT ONLY: Form of the project: Describe what the individual pieces would be: number of pieces, sizes, colors, materials, techniques, quantity.
The number of pieces in the project will be a total of six individual items. This will include a short children’s book, a small calendar, three different greeting cards, and a journal. The short children’s book will be the story form of a “pilot” for television shows. It introduces a broad plotline (as aforementioned) and a set of characters. This book will be the main source from which the other deliverables will branch off of. Presuming that the book has marketing potential, it can be set up for a series and is practical for marketing different products. By creating a brand based off of this book, the brand can be used to encompass products such as calendars, a line of greeting cards, and various notebooks. The project deliverables (along with the book) will have…
- A small calendar: About the size of an index card, all months on one page face, the visuals of it all connecting with the book.
- Three different greeting cards: Each card is for a different “event” (Valentine’s Day, Thank You, Halloween…) to demonstrate the characters from the book as easily adaptable.
- A Journal: About the size of a small notebook (roughly five inches wide and eight inches high), the journal will have visuals connecting with the book. Visuals will include the cover, the back, an opening page, and the rest of the pages inside with a recurring header on each page of the journal.

6. PROJECT ONLY: How will the final pieces be presented? (comped, printed, electronic, actual art, etc.)
The final pieces will be presented as physical (namely printed) items. The small children’s book will have printed illustrations, as will the cardstock small calendar and greeting cards, and double-wire-o bound journal.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Senior Project Proposal Ideas

Idea Generation: Finding a topic...

(at least) 3 Problems in the world that interests me:
- Trying to discover an alternative fuel source
- Equal rights
- Helping the education system
- SOPA (stop online piracy act) & PIPA (protect IP act)
- Lack of interest in physical, printed books
- Endangered species

(at least) 3 Problems locally that interest me: (in Kent, Cleveland, Akron, or Ohio)
- Gay rights
- Need of more jobs
- Drilling for natural gas

If I couldnt' be a designer, illustrator or photographer after graduating what would I do instead?
- I know it would take learning/education, but being a writer would be exciting.

What is my dream job?
- An illustrator for children's books or maybe even graphic novels.

(at least) 3 Personal interests or hobbies:
- Reading
- Television shows
- The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, etc.)
- Superheroes, Fairy Tales, etc.
- Animals/pets
- Currently have one golden labrador retriever named Lea
- Playing board games

(at least) 3 Professional Interests (in design, illustration or photography related)
- Digital Painting
- Watercolor
- Book Illustrations
- Looking through a collective art book or different illustrators/artists/photographers, social expressions material (namely greeting cards), etc.
- Different painting techniques (just to learn more)

Where do I hope to live after graduation?
- Still in Ohio (relatively close to where I am now)
- If moving were an option (and I could afford the cost of living), San Francisco would be my non-Ohio area choice

Who is my favorite designer, photographer or illustrator? Why?
- I'm not sure if I have an exact favorite. Off the top of my head I can think of Norman Rockwell and Peter de Seve because of the "easy" way they can create a story through their illustrations.

* * *

Senior Project Proposal // Tabitha Lee Concentration: Illustration
List three topics, include a title, short description, and at least three keywords.

#1 - Children's Book (printed)
- An illustrated children's book
- Current idea: A fox who finds itself in different (commonly known) Fairy Tale situations
- Possibly tie in "sense of tradition" or not fighting who you are
- Need to be careful of creating own content (would take much more time and consideration)
- Keywords: 1) Fairy Tale 2) Tradition 3) Fox

#2 - Line of Greeting Cards (printed and possibly digital)
- Create a brand based on a set of characters (also new) and "theme" these characters/this brand to typical greeting card events/subjects (ex: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's, Thank You, Get Well Soon, Wedding, etc.)
- Considering e-cards, phone ordering, spaces for personal messages, etc.
- Keywords: 1) Cards 2) Brand 3) Events/Occasions

#3 - Comic Book (printed)
- A graphic novel
- Current idea: A girl who imagines herself in fantastical situations as the heroine, or mythical creature, or villain, etc.
- Can base more off of an existing out-of-copyright story?
- Possible moral: Your life is how you make it. You can make your life exciting.
- "When I grow up...?"
- Keywords: 1) Graphic novel/comic book 2) Fantasy 3) Life

#4 - A combination idea!
- Combining parts of all these ideas: Creating a short children's book introducing a set of characters (most likely from the story idea for idea #3), and using this as a basis for a brand.
- The brand can have promotional items such as a greeting cards line, a calender, playing cards, etc.
- Thoughts and developing original story idea - might garner help for the story line itself from literary major friend (and provide acknowledgement where appropriate)
- Keywords: 1) Book 2) Brand 3) Promotions

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Senior Proposal!

As I've mentioned, I am now in my Senior year. This means... Senior Projects!! For my Senior Proposal class, we listed things of interest to each of us. Here's mine...

Tabitha Lee - Illustration
- Watercolor
- Pen & Ink
*Children Book Illustrations
* Fairy Tales
- Cartoons
* Comic Books
- Animals
- Characters
- Fantasy
- Myths/Legends/Folklore
- The color red (not that I don't love other colors)
- Visual historical references (clothes, antiques, etc.)
- Reading (fiction)
- Food
- Comedy
- Clothes
- The Big Bang Theory (the t.v. show)
* Social Expressions (greeting cards, etc.)

So, you can probably tell a few of the end ones there I just threw in for good measure. The ones with the (*) mean that getting into any profession related to these would be fantastic!! My dream job would be to illustrate for any kind of writing, but for now I think trying to get a job with a large social expressions company would be a fantastic start. It would teach me a whole lot about the business and be a great learning experience overall.

With the Senior Proposal course comes updating this blog every week or so on how I'm doing with my Senior Project! This should mean I should have more steady posts. Using this list, I've already got some ideas working in my head for the project. Will update later :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I cannot believe how long it's been since I last posted. I do have more works to share, but I am trying to get a better scanner (as well as fix up my work before my Senior show). Senior year has been kicking my butt though. I need to find more time in the day!! Hopefully, I'll be able to get that scanner sooner rather than later in order to do a much needed update.