My introduction and recent work (critique needed)

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  02 February 2013
My introduction and recent work (critique needed)

I'll make my introduction on this forum by sharing some of my work. I've looked for a good forum and community to get the much needed critique, inspiration and direction and the ones I've tried so far haven't really done that for me, so I'm still searching. I'm from Finland and I've studied graphic design for 3 years, I'm about to graduate, but still feeling my passion is for illustration or 3D, which I basically know nothing about. I've tried out Sculptris which I used to make some of the elements in the pictures below, but it's too simple to do the things I ask for it. I'm still struggling to make the first move on more complex softwares not least because the tutorials I've found have been really poor in quality. If you've got something in mind for beginners, I'll be eager to look on that.

And back to the subject. Here are some of my recent work. They're all from my thesis, which was a calendar with the main weight being on the pictures and learning new techniques. Please, share your thoughts. The amount of critique I've got at this point is next to nothing and I feel it's always coming from people who are not even in the industry. So be honest, be cruel if needed, it's how I want it and it's for the best.

  02 February 2013
Can you describe your creative vision for the project, as well as where you feel you've fallen short and need help on improving?
  03 March 2013
The creative vision: I tried to capture some deeper thoughts that I've had within the pictures (the one with the woman failing quite badly on that part). To give an example the picture with the three faces was named Universe Inside, which was also the name of the calendar. This is the description I've written about it in the gallery: "They say human brain is the most complex object in the universe. Whether it's true or not, there is so much inside of us that is still undiscovered, that I could say there's a universe inside of us."
Looking at the project now I feel I need to develop understanding for art direction. From the scratch have it all better planned and also have stronger vision of what I'll make. The other problem that I have is, I haven't really mastered any way to produce picture and my style is still developing. My techniques did improve during the project and I can say the best work that I've done were the last three pictures I finished.
So more practice and studying would be the answer. A direction I'd like to take from here on would be digital painting, conceptual art and/or 3D.

Last edited by JoonaH : 03 March 2013 at 11:55 PM.
  03 March 2013
One very important lesson I teach my students, is to think very carefully about how they choose to communicate their visual ideas. If you have a narrative, an emotion, a sociopolitical statement, or a mood, or a philosophical idea you want to convey in an image, you have to figure out the most effective way to do it, otherwise, you end up spending so much time on something that will only leave people scratching their heads, and the only way you can understand what you're trying to express is if you provided a bunch of text explanations. If that's the case, then in a way, your image has failed to communicate your intent as an artist.

This is a very complex subject, and it's one of the hardest assignments that my students struggle with. It involves a lot of storytelling techniques, different visual storytelling approaches, as well as the ability to incorporate visual analogies into your work in a way that is intuitive and understandable.

Always try and put yourself into the shoes of total strangers who don't know a thing about you or your intent for the image--just some random stranger off the street who walks over and looks at your image. Would such a stranger be able to understand ANYTHING about your image's messages at all? And if not, how can you rethink how you visually communicate your idea so it is actually understandable by a total stranger, without you having to explain it with speech or text?
  03 March 2013
Your modeling and gradation in your forums seem a bit rough. Example: The upper right leg of the first woman you posted. It looks lumpy because of this. Like the winds one.
  03 March 2013
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