OFSTED NARROWS FOCUS
EDITORIAL SILVER AWARD
2012 – IMAGES 36
After graduating from Leeds University in 1996 with a BA Hons in Illustration, Stuart embarked on his career as an illustrator. During this time, he has completed a broad range of commissions for books, editorial, advertising and annual reports.
Ofsted Narrows the Focus was a commission from the Times Education Supplement. The brief was to illustrate the changes to the Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspection framework, which meant inspections would be simplified and structured around four key principles.
"Winning this award has been beneficial on many levels. I received a lot of interest and gained commissions from new clients who had seen this work and also received an Honorable Mention from the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators for this piece."
Stuart lives and works in Hampshire in England.
BRIEF: Ofsted Narrows the Focus was a commission from the Times Education Supplement. The brief was to illustrate the changes to the Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspection framework, which meant inspections would be simplified and structured around four key principles.
MATERIALS: This illustration started off as acrylic on canvas, which was then scanned and worked over digitally. I like to be open minded in my approach – I often start using traditional media but the creative process can evolve into using digital techniques.
RESEARCH: Getting to the research stage involved lots of brainstorming until I had cancelled down to two visually strong symbols, i.e. the microscope and the School divided into four sections. I then gathered as much reference material as possible and started working up the sketch with various compositions.
PROCESS: Reading the article several times, penciling loose ideas, reading the article again until something forms.
RESISTANCES: This was quite a challenging brief for a variety of reasons. The deadline only allowed for a 24 hour turn around time which meant roughs and ideas needed to be finalised as quickly as possible.
INSIGHT: Letting the thoughts flow with both good and not so good ideas, without getting too fixed and stuck on an idea before its ready.
DISTRACTIONS: The beer garden on a summers evening situated over the road (about 20 metres from my studio).
NUMBERS: 2, I try to combine 2 strong visual concepts to communicate an idea in the most simple straightforward way.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’d just like to thank the AOI for this award it’s a real honour. Thank you so much.