Assignment Five: Seven Days


I am writing this post just moments after finishing the last assignment of this course. It has been quite an adventure. This final assignment is supposed to demonstrate all that I have learned and also prove that I am ready to work as an illustrator. I am not sure if I am there just yet but I feel pretty confident in putting myself out there to look for some freelance work. Definitely more confident then I was before starting the course.

This final assignment is so open that I can pretty much do anything I want. I love that. But I also feel so much pressure so the first thing I did was write down all the things I want to illustrate for the title 7 days.


7days 1


I started with a brief about fashion week. I thought I could use watercolor to create images of runway collections that stood out against the rest during fashion week. I started doing some research into fashion blogging and writing and discovered a really funny article from Vice Magazine about a woman who wore ridiculous clothes (some item found in the garbage) during London fashion week to see if she would be photographed. She wasnt actually attending LFW but instead loitering around the streets in that area. She nots a fashion blogger but just a girl who wanted to see if it would work. It was quite funny actually. So that was going to be my brief, to illustrate her outfits.

I started first by reading her article.


She only had three outfits, so I was going to have to make up the other 4.

I tried out a few with gel pen and watercolor. These are the three from the post.

7days 2


Then I started to research and look at different fashion illustrators.

7days 4 7days 7


And I also started brainstorming different layout ideas. Although, I would probably draw each one separately then arrange the layout with photoshop. But this helped me get a sense of the initial feel of the page.



7days 3


7days 8

Above are my first attempts of the illustrations. I made the bottom illustration up from imagination and the top one is from an image from the article.  Below I started sketching more to see if I can relate it a bit more to my style. This is where I started to get bored with the brief. Or unsure of if this is what I want to finish my illustration course with.

7days 9

I went back to my original notes of coming up with ideas for the title 7 days. I started thinking of how I wanted to do something current. I decided to give the tinder dates a try. The brief is that someone has written an article about 7 disastrous days of going on Tinder dates. I am married and have not used this app, but my single friends seem to love it. Its an app that allows you to see images people near by you that are also on the app. If you swipe a certain direction then you are telling them that you are interested. If they also swipe then they are letting you know that they are too. Because of the informality of the app it often leads to interesting encounters. People who are on there are usually looking for Love, sex or both. I read some very hilarious stories online of these encounters and though, it would be fun to create illustrations for some of these stories.

I started by collecting stories that I found online. I saved them to a word document then printed them out.

7days 11

tinder-profile-rules-final-2tinder-phoneKate_McMillan_tinder-590x536images-27days 12



Above: the story of a woman who went on a date that turned awkward when he tried to hold her hand. When she went to the bathroom he sent her a text saying nice to meet you. And he was gone.

7days 13



Above: Story of a woman who swiped yes on a guy wearing a money suit and it turned out to be the worst mistake of her life.

7days 14


Above: a story of a man who brought a girl back to his house. Where she stepped on his pet frog to make him angry so he would have angry sex with her. He then tried to get her to leave his property by hosing her down in his front lawn. She came back again screaming.

I had printed out about 10 stories. And those where the ones that were least offensive. Some are quite hilarious, but through this process of drawing my thumbnails, I starting thinking about my assessment. I was wondering if these stories, using the F word repeatedly and stories of promiscuous  behavior would be appropriate for university. I didnt want to offend anyone and in the end, I decided not to do this brief. Even though I thought I knew that it could be something done for a magazine such as VICE, GQ or Maxim. Those magazines for mature adults.


I moved on to another thought. I really liked a doodle I had done in my sketch book of a girl in the desert. I thought about 7 days in the desert. It was going to be like a children story where the girl needs to find her way back to the road and all the animals in the desert help her find her way.

Here is my thumbnails and brainstorming process.


7days 15 7days 16


The whole 7 days title was going to be turned into a story for children with talking animals. I attempted to create the character using adobe illustrator. However, because I didnt scan a drawn image first, I got my proportion wrong. It also lost that hand drawn feel and I felt disconnected to the character.  Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 10.47.43 AM


Below is the hand drawn of the first day of my story. I quickly felt this format was boring and we have seen it before. I knew i had to keep working on it. 7days 28


It just came to be that I wanted it to be a little bit for fantastical. Not so obvious, but instead all elements of the desert in one small bundle. its where I came up with a circular format.



7days 18

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I also wanted to change the character. I knew that I would be using watercolor. I also wanted the girl to look younger for a relatable character for children.


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I collected images of desert animals to use a reference. I also looked up desert animal illustrations and watercolor cacti.


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Seven days in the Desert


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The final size of these prints would be 8X7” or 21 X 18 cm.

This is a children book for early readers. In my mind there would be a cover similar to the inside pages. Small illustrations of cacti and animals in the dedication page and in the back. The type would be hand painted with watercolor and there would also be small illustrations that go along side the text. Maybe the first letter of the sentence would be decorative. When you open the book, the illustration would be on the left with only a few sentences on the right, centered. I might actually draw it up and submit that later.


My reflection on this assignment:

I personally love this series. I think its cute and whimsical. She is connecting to the animals and her environment. The story line isn’t exactly clear with out the text but overall I think I could put something meaningful together. In terms of the color and subject choices, I feel that I have done a good job demonstrating the various flora, fauna and wildlife that you would find in a North American desert. I am disappointed with how the images have been shown on my blog. My scanner is terrible, and it washes out many colors. So i photographed the images. I tried as best as i could to use my camera setting professionally and adjust the right exposure but once i uploaded it to my computer, I could see that once again, the colors are a little washed out. I had to do some touch ups on photoshop. In a final production for this series, I would have the creamy background be completely white. I doesn’t really seem like a ton of work above, but actually I spent a long time trying to make these as perfect as possible.I tried to keep the colors pure and avoid over working some areas.  It was a controlled way of using watercolor and I think I demonstrated my ability to use the medium. In one or two of the paintings, the faces don’t match perfectly. But overall it looks like the same character. I had a lot of fun making this series and think I captured the words 7 days in the series. I left space at the bottom of every painting to put in some words. I thought of a banner that would say “day 1” or “day 2” I left that open because I am not sure if thats exactly what I want. I hope you enjoy them as much as I Do. I have had a lot of good feedback from friends and family.


I can’t believe I have finished the course!!!! I am very proud of myself. I really think that I have grown ever so much from this course. It helps that I am so interested in the subject and that I have a supporting tutor. I have to also thank my husband who is supporting me through this time. I am so excited to get started on Illustration 2.


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