Creative passions and heroes

Hello, my name is Jessica Hall and I am a second year illustration student at the University of Derby. As part of the connections module, we were encouraged to set up a blog page, to document all blogs over the course and to reach useful connections. Throughout the blog, we need to consider networking, reaching a beginning of my personal style and discussing different inspirations. Before we delve into my own creative passions, we need to suitable definition. The innovation management article, is a useful resource for defining the ideas around a creative passion and relevance to different audiences

My first experience with the creative passion, began at primary school. Where every break and lunch time I would trace over children’s colouring books. As also being directly influenced by my great aunt throughout this time. I started to love simple line work throughout this time, using at this particular point, a hobby to get me though the school years. This creative passion started to grow throughout secondary school, where I no longer considered tracing a viable way to create. I started creating pen drawings, whilst waiting for lessons. At first I had no idea, that this would be the beginning of a creative passion, at this point it was considered by me a hobby. The pen illustrations, were commonly on scrap pieces of paper to practice, which is honestly not the best to keep your old drawings safe. Later my creative passions developed even further, from practicing with different materials and no longer wanting to draw in pen immediately on paper.

For a period of time, I was obsessed with realism. I still enjoyed this, but I felt that I needed to branch out my particular ways of working. Studying illustration clarified that I didn’t need to subject my work to realism, but instead focus on cartoonish and graphic novels. Currently my work is resorting back to character illustrations I previously worked in. I still focus on creating illustrations via traditional means, but hopefully throughout my creative passion. I could consider digital as well. But I feel more connected to my creative passion, if I physical draw. I love working on projects that involve editorials and book covers as part of a brief. I love creating my characters in a linear ink fashion and creating new characters.

My personality has definitely reflected myself as an illustrator. In the 16 personalities quiz, I am considered a turbulent advocate, with scoring 92% for introvert. Which is hardly surprising. But when it comes to my individual learning styles are primarily strong aural and strong read/ write preference. Whereas in the Vark questionnaire I am a strong reflector. I agree with these scores and will continue to influence and change my illustration journey. I will also use these scores as an reflection process, on what I need to improve on in the future, specifically being more of an extrovert. I will now discuss the creative heroes that have inspired me to be an illustrator.

Creative heroes

As an illustration student, I am inspired by many illustrators and graphic designers. Quentin Blake, an British illustrator specialising in caricatures, cartoons and also being a well well-established writer. Despite never meeting Quentin Blake personally, I experienced great admiration and respect for him as a child, being captivated by his quirky characters and storytelling. His significance within the illustration world has been well established hand drawn many people towards the art world. Throughout his illustrations, he used a simple line approach for effective storytelling. The illustration below ‘kitty in boots’ represents Beatrix Potter books character, which is another illustrator I have admired. In the interview with the British library: Discovering children’s books, Quentin Blake responds to the interviewer question on what advice you would give aspiring illustrators? Quentin remarks in the interview. “ Everybody can draw something. Some people are embarrassed because they think they’re not very skilful, but what I say to them is: ‘Draw what you can see in front of you”. We here this advice from illustrators and artists quite often, the practice of observation and drawing what you see, even if it is not identical. Eventually those sketches might become significantly important later in life.

Quentin Blake , (2017) cover artwork for the tale of kitty in boots’ Behind the story of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots (

The Witches, Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Leonardo Da Vinci is an artist that I have admired for a long time and contributed towards my illustration career. Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian Polymath during the Renaissance era specialising in all artistic and scientific work, these including being an architect, painter and scientists. His most important works, in my opinion are his sketchbooks, that include detail illustrations of autonomy and animals. Leonardo Da Vinci is incredibly significant, not just in the illustration world, but in the medical world as well. His medical illustrations are incredibly accurate and present an accurate amount of consideration and thought. If we do consider the implications and standards during the renaissance era, then drawing from these actual figures correctly and in person, verifies that he is not only a qualified doctor, but artist as well. I find his sketchbooks fascinating, especially his backwards handwriting and attention to detail. The figures he draws paints a realistic life into the medical and illustrative world of the Renaissance Era. I have and will still continue to use Leonardo Da Vinci, as my inspiration and contribute towards my continued progress as an illustrator.

Another illustrator, who inspired me to become an illustrator is Ronald ‘Carl’ Giles. Giles humorous illustrations responded and reacted to specific news events and historical figures, in a light hearted way. I do love his approach from taking dark situations, and bringing a more positivity towards them. In the independent article, the Obituary: Carl Giles, responds to the historical significance of Giles, in relation to his cartoons and a annuals have been a popular best seller. This article is quite interesting to read and I would encourage everyone to read it. It has always been my own intention to create my illustrations, in a light hearted and humorous way.

Ronald ‘carl’ Giles, illustration – prince Phillips birthday, Daily Express, 10th June 1971, Giles collection 2021

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