Sunday, 3 February 2013

Golly Gosh!

Well, it seems to have been ages since I last updated and posted on here! I'm so sorry.

Well, this past week we have been having our first semester assessments, and the weeks leading up to that have been pretty stressful! I'm pleased to say that I passed mine, and am currently at a high 2:2, with the possibility of going up to a 2:1! So if I really push myself to create some really good images this next semester, I would like to think that I could get a 2:1.

Anyway, I just wanted to do a post to update on what I worked on during semester 1. If you read my previous post, then you'll know we could choose what we wanted to do for this semester (and the next). To get myself back into it, I started the Penguin Design Awards 2013, creating a book jacket for The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I posted some pictures from my sketchbook in this last post, but I have now finished the final piece for this. I would like to post it, but as it is a competition, and I am currently planning on entering it, I'm slightly hesitant to, due to copyright, and whether there are any rules to this sort of thing. To be on the safe side, I will post the final piece after the competition deadline, which is 9th April 2013.

From here, I went on to design three full bleed illustrations for The Wind in the Willows story:

My particular favourite from this set is the second image; Badger's house; the colour scheme, and the tree house really stand out to me.

After finishing these, I went back to a project I did in the second year, Creepy Crawly Facts. I researched some more facts about insects and bugs, and started illustrated them. I felt that this was one of my strongest projects from last year, and my tutors agreed, so I decided to revisit it, and see where it took me. For assessment, I just produced five spot illustrations, but I will develop this even more in the next semester. I will make these into a picture book for preschool age child. The five illustrations I created were:

I would say that the top three are my favourite, and the bottom one (the worms), are my least. As I said, I will develop this idea to create a picture book in the next semester, and I will let you know more about that as it comes along. 

So that's it for now. These are what I produced for the first semester, and I will post my Wind in the Willows book jacket as soon as I can. Any feedback would be greatly received.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Quick Update!

I've had my first week back as a third year! SCARY! So, I thought I would just do quick update on what I'm currently working on.

As this is our third and final year, we now have to choose what we want to do for each semester. To start us off, the tutors gave us 6 competition briefs to choose from, and if we want to, we can just work on all of these throughout the duration of semester 1. The competition I chose was the Penguin Design Awards 2013, doing the children's brief. This competition is to design a book jacket for the story 'The Wind in the Willows'. Well, I have a idea of what I want to do for it, so I have been designing characters etc. Just thought I would post some pics of what I've come up with so far:

Above: Ratty

Above: Mole

Above: Mr Toad

I'll post the final piece/final rough for this competition at a later date, when it is completed.

© Laura Stokes Illustration 2012

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I would really like your help (please!)...

 So, I've posted before, that I'm currently trying to write the first draft of my dissertation. I'll give a but of background on what I'm doing for this, and then tell you why I need your help. The title of my dissertation is 'Does Simple Work? How simple can you illustrate a character while still keeping their personality and traits in tact?' So basically, I'm looking at exactly what the title says. I am really not the best figurative drawer out there, so I really struggle when drawing people in my work, so after talking with my tutor, she suggested this idea, which I think is a really good topic to look at, as not only is it interesting, it will also (hopefully) help my work, now that I'm going into my FINAL YEAR!!

What I would really like your help with is your opinions on some questions. Soooo, I've put together a questionnaire made up of 10 questions, the majority of which are open questions. So, if you have 10 minutes spare, please help me by answering this questionnaire here. If you have any questions or queries, or would just like to contact me, the email address for this is:

And, thank you!

Link to questionnaire:

**This questionnaire is purely for education purposes, all contact details will be kept private, and answers and names may/will only be used in my written dissertation. Contact details are only asked as a way of contacting if there is a issue with the questionnaire, or to get some more information if participant is willing.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


HI! Sorry it's been so long since the last post. I thought I would do just a quick post to get back in the swing of things explaining what I've been doing since the last post.
If you read some of my previous posts, you will know that I was currently in the middle of end of year assessments at uni. Well, they have now been and gone (thank God!), and after a few stressful weeks, I can now say I passed sceond year! Meaning I can proceed onto third (and FINAL!) year. Bad thing about passing, I now have to write a 5,000 word dissertation, which our tutors want a first draft of when we start back.

I am also currently in the middle of designing a website for my dad's roofing business. Now, I am no techology expert etc, but I am trying my best, and it seems to be coming along quite well. So, when it is up and running, I will post a link for you to see (hopefully it works in the end). I have also been doing research etc for my dissertation. My topic is 'Does Simple Work? - How simple can you illustrate a character while still keeping their personality in tact?' So I have been having fun trying to write that up, though it is nowhere near finished. And of course, I have just been enjoying my time off! So, sorry again that it's been so long, and hopefully I won't let it get that long again!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

What makes a Princess, Grandma? (Finished roughs)

So, after several attempts, I can now finally show you my finished roughs for my story for the Macmillan Prize brief. It seems to have taken forever to get to this stage. I am now looking forward to adding colour and media to them, and seeing them come to life.

Pages 1 and 2

Pages 3 and 4

Pages 5 and 6

Pages 7 and 8

Pages 9 and 10

Pages 11 and 12

Pages 13 and 14

Pages 15 and 16

Pages 17 and 18

Pages 19 and 20

Pages 21 and 22

Pages 23 and 24

© Laura Stokes (2012)

I am finally at a place where I am reasonably pleased with these, and just can't wait to get some into Illustrator now and start adding textures.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

So sorry...

My gosh! It's been a while since I last posted here. I'll take this time to apologise.

Just a quick catch up on what I'm doing at the minute...
Well, I turned 20!! No longer a teenager, and boy does it feel weird to think and say 'I'm 20'.
Anyway, we've only got TWO weeks left (including this week) until everything has to be in ready for assessments. SO, at the minute, I'm still working on the Macmillan Prize brief. Just trying to get all my roughs etc finalised now, so I can go into final media. It's a bit stressful at the minute, so in advance, please forgive me, if I forget to post on here for a few weeks, but I should be posting final pieces for Macmillan in the next few weeks, so you can all see what I've been working on.

Friday, 30 March 2012

What Makes a Princess, Grandma?

Our next brief is for the Macmillan Prize 2012. You have to come up with your own story, or collaborate with a writer, or use a traditional story (i.e. a fairy tale). Well, I'm not the best at writing stories, so I was concentrating on a fairy tale, first looking at a French fairy tale called Starlight, but I wasn't feeling very inspired by this after researching it some more; I then started to look at Cinderella, the other name known for this tale is 'The Little Glass Slipper', so I was trying to re-work the tale from the glass slippers point of view, but this proved more difficult than I thought, and then I started working the tale from the Fairy Godmother's point of view, but again, I wasn't feeling very inspired. I was looking through the Yellow Book of Fairy Tales, and saw one called 'How to Tell a True Princess,' which is The Princess and the Pea. Well, then I had the idea of a little girl, who's favourite story was HTTATP, and was asking what makes a true Princess, and lists off things in her imagination. Anyway, I have finally got it okayed, and can now start illustrating the tale.