New Semester has started!

My 4th semester started a few weeks ago and I already have tons of things to do! Well, when creating concepts and drawing images there’s always more work to do: More concepts, better drawings and generally more training. Theoretically you could spend 24 hours a day EVERY day this way. Sometimes that’s a good thing, since it’s more or less fun, but other times it can be really overwhelming.

Right now I’m focusing on improving myself and (still) experimenting with different materials and techniques. This takes up a lot of time and energy so I often neglected loyal2art 🙁 But I will definitely continue posting!

I’ll be off now, doing homework! 🙂


Exams are over!

Three days ago I had my last exam! We had to present everything we did during the last semester and the presentation was extremely important itself by the way! We had ONLY 10-15 mins. I had my brand new laser-pointer so I was happy no matter what 🙂

Here’s the short summary PART I

Illustration Basics (reminder) (grade 1,3  / A):

If you’re interested you can find the rest of the characters for the Character Design task here.
Well I didn’t upload all of my work but I think you get the idea for the Illustration Basics classes: a lot of variety!

In my next posts I’ll sum up the rest of the semester for you 🙂

Illustration Training x 3 with Composition Collages

Perhaps some of you remember my older post about training composing your images with the “compo-game”. Well I have to admit it can get boring after a while, so here’s an alternative from which your skills can profit double!

The next time you paint something simply scan it (or take a picture and print it out, if you don’t have access to a scanner). Now open it with any program that can process images and zoom in (you could use a magnifying glass for the printed pic, I guess). Now scroll around and search for interesting parts. If something catches your eye don’t hesitate and copy just what you see on the monitor in that very moment (the zoomed-in part). Gather all parts in a different file and when you feel like there’s nothing more to add start freely moving them around. Your aim is to create a good balance between the parts themselves AND in regard to the negative space.

Here’s an example:

At the end of the day you’ve created a painting, used it as a basis for a second image and you improved your composing skills. WIN! WIN! WIN!

Summary: This Semester’s Classes

Finally I feel like I can take some time for updating my blog!

I decided to focus on illustration and theory for this (3rd) semester and since I’m still rather slow when it comes to effective drawing I had the busiest four months of my life so far! Lucky for me I got used to sleeping less than 6 hours a night during the week (with an occasional all-nighter now and then). But I guess that’s normal for this branch…

But let’s skip to the classes:

  • Illustration Basics: Every week you get a new assignment covering everything from cover illustrations for books and magazines, posters, comic, storyboarding etc. NEW: For the first time the students have to commit to a bigger project during the last 1,5 months of the semester. One has to choose from 24 scientific topics and create so called “scientific illustrations” explaining the subject. I picked “white”, covering colors and light on a physical and physiological basis.
  • Illustration Techniques: This is where the students are introduced to a variety of different painting techniques. This semester’s choice is: Watercolors, acrylics, digital painting, vector graphics. I especially enjoy this seminar 🙂
  • Illustrator’s Survival Kit (optional): Very time-consuming but effective class! Mainly we are working on visual storytelling and character design. At the beginning of class everyone presents his homework to the other students and the prof (sometimes even in front of a recording camera) after which he/she gets a profound constructive criticism. Then follows a theory presentation followed by a practical working phase. Additionally workshops are provided on a regular basis.
  • Research (optional): Here’s where the students (not only illustrators) can learn research techniques including market research, book research and deep space. After an intensive theoretical phase every student has to do a profound research on a chosen design-relevant topic.
  • Extra lectures: Every student needs at least 2 extra (one-time) lectures in order to qualify for a theory class exam (in my case that’s “Research”).

During the Christmas “brake” we have to improve ALL of the homework assignments so far + the new assignments 🙁 At the end of the semester we are going to present all of our work for the last months in all the classes.

Typography Projects

The semester brake is officially over and next week my new classes will be starting. I decided to go with illustration for the following half a year, hoping to improve some more 🙂

But first I need to sum up some results from the last semester. After the 1st semester was over we were supposed to manage our time and finish three small projects and a big one until the end of the second one, including the documentation layout. Each project stands in connection to a previously discussed topic during classes:

Of course all projects had to be presented at the end of the second semester. Each student got only 3 minutes 🙁

Well, that’s all for now. I know I haven’t made any updates for a long time… But since I’m running this blog on a non-commercial basis it’s not my first priority right now. I’ve been doing a whole lot of digital art projects and some ink/gouache training, so I wasn’t lazy during the brake, ok 😉

Oh and all the work I’m showing you is for informative means only! Please do NOT copy!

The Documentation – The most Important Project in 2nd Semester

The documentation of the 2nd semester is the most important and time consuming project! It’s covering the main work done during the course of the past half-year presented as a typographically demanding printed medium. This means that it counts for the final exam in FC and Typography!

The whole book has about 90 pages, format A5, adhesive binding. The paper for the cover is 300 g/m² and the one for the pages is 130 g/m². I paid about 35 Euros for the printing and paper.

By the way, here is my exam schedule with some further descriptions.


The Exams are Over!

The exam period is finally over and I’ll be updating soon!

The last few months were really exhausting for everyone. Only one week for all design students at the university isn’t really long. I had my FC presentation at 22:00 (10 pm.) and like most of my co-students I hadn’t really slept for the last three weeks. But after a few coke bottles and 20 minutes Bubble-Shooter I was ready for action 🙂 Honestly, as strange as it sounds, I kind of enjoyed the intensive working phase! At times like these I get absorbed in my workaholism and spend every free minute with productiveness 😀

For the beginning of my major updating I’ll summarize the exams/presentations (here is my schedule):

  • 27th July, Digital Tools: At 9:30 am. Everyone gathered for a written multiple choice test on Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Fifty questions had to be answered in German (some students prefer using the English versions of the Adobe products, including me).
  • 27th July, Illustration: At 14:30 (2:30 pm.) the illustration students showed EVERYTHING drawn during the first and second semester, even private drawings (of course only if one wanted to share them ;)). The more full sketchbooks and visible drawing skills improvement, the better the grade.
  • 28th July, Foundation Course: Every student got an appointment when to present their documentation of the second semester (which I’ll be describing in a future post). At 22:00 (10 pm.) It was finally my turn. Unfortunately everyone was already tired, including the professors. One last student later we popped the champagne bottles and enjoyed the rest of the night outside the university buildings 🙂
  • 30th July, Typography: At 11:00 am. The four homework tasks for the first semester and the documentation had to be presented to the whole typography class. Afterwards the professor took everything home for thorough revision. The return is in two weeks.
  • ? September, Media: This Friday we will get our big homework on movies for the semester break. It will be due to the beginning of the next semester in September.

That’s all for now! I’m working on a big drawing project right now and I feel slipping into obsession mode again 😉

I’ll be writing more posts soon.

Qualification Test 23th May Review

The qualification test for the upcoming winter semester took place during the past two days (given topic was “sitting”). Nosy as I am I couldn’t resist to sneak in the portfolio rating rooms, the place where the candidates leave their portfolios for further evaluation by three professors and three to four students in each room. IF your portfolio catches their attention you get an invitation for the second test on the next day (the topic this time was “point”). You then have four hours to complete a few different assignments on the given topic challenging your creativity and putting you under great pressure 🙂

But let’s talk about my journey to portfolio hell 😀

I went to three different rooms (from four or five) and here’s what I found out:

  • first of all the professors read your personal data and really take your favored specification in consideration (specifications: illustration, media design, communication design, product design) so don’t write “illustration” if you have no drawing skills whatever!
  • more possibly important facts about you: your age (if your work has a few flaws but you’re still very young the professors tend to occasionally ignore your mistakes BUT sometimes too young candidates can get sorted out so “they can use some 1-2 semesters to further develope their skills before applying again”), your current occupation (school, uni, work etc.), design knowledge (if you’re 28 and never heard of any designers or went to any exhibitions etc., that’s bad!)
  • every portfolio gets only 1-7 minutes so it’s gotta be striking!
  • mind maps, sketches and descriptions to your work (very important) are a bonus!
  • don’t save money on the portfolio folder itself! if it is handmade then you MUST make it look and work good (there were some portfolios that made it really hard to turn the pages because of the way they were crafted…)
  • a whole bunch of portfolios didn’t make it to the final round because there was no common theme -it seems some prospective students were afraid to concentrate on one theme only

On the day of the second test the candidates who weren’t invited got the chance to go to a portfolio consultation with some of the university’s students. You can bring your own artwork or just listen to the critique given to the others, it’s up to you!

Oh, and one more thing: All of the information I’m giving you is just my subjective view 😉 No refunds!