You've Got the Style

You've Got the Style - student project

Hi, I'm Kate, an Art and Graphic Design Teacher from the South of England. I was recently asked by one of my Sixth Form students what she could do to 'find her style' and I wasn't sure. I've never felt like I have a style, and perhaps because I haven't worked in the industry, I didn't know how to help her. So that's why I'm having a go at this course!

The first task was super useful, as I'm more of a writer than a drawer, and Pinterest is essentially where my brain lives! This is a page from my sketchbook.

You've Got the Style - image 1 - student project

Lots of old stuff, 70s vintage stuff (although I was born in the 80s...?) Big emotions expressed simply was a big idea I hadn't realised. Sometimes we don't notice ourselves until its all laid out before us...


You've Got the Style - image 2 - student project

This is a self-portrait (but with more volume in my hair!). I wanted to incorporate the face mask because as a teacher, I'm kinda on the front line, working in school everyday, so the mask feels like part of me now. It also represents some of my social anxiety and introvertedness...I like that I can hide behind it if I need to. 

I chose to create a rainbow background as to me it represents all the crazy bright children's cartoons and books from when I was a kid, but also the layers and imagination that goes on in my brain, its was my classic inspo as I borrowed the design from the 'Puffin Annual' a book I loved as a kid. Although looking at it now, it seems to be saying that I'm questioning my sexuality...hehe...maybe subconsciously we all are, all the time! Can this count as happy accident too?!


You've Got the Style - image 3 - student projectSo for my sixth birthday I got Disney's Beauty and the Beast on VHS. I played it non-stop. For this piece I started by collecting images of the film...the rose, Chip, Belle and the Beast etc, but nothing felt right, they weren't the reasons why I loved the film. What I loved was Belle, her stubbornness, that she wouldn't marry Gaston, that all she wanted to do was read, and when I found this quote, I knew that would be my tattoo. And it married perfectly with my 'outside interest', which is literally the outside. I could walk in nature for miles and miles. I experimented with drawing in different shades of blue, which I really like, although the sharpies don't work too well over acrylic paint. I would fix up the typography too...but I won't as its time to move on!


You've Got the Style - image 4 - student projectFor the last roll I got 'Outside Interest' again, so stuck with the nature theme  - essentially I just want to live in a log cabin in the mountains! And combined it with 'Other Medium'. As an art teacher I have to be proficient in lots of art mediums and there has never been one singular medium that I consistently use. So I went with watercolour, gouache, and ink. Its weird though, as I planned this piece I was making conscience decisions about the geometric shapes, perspective, and line, thinking about how 'I' would draw it, not just copying something I liked on pinterest. Symmetry is a big thing for me, as well as scratchy pen lines and flat perspectives. Don't think I've found my colour palette yet though - that pink does NOT work!