Having complete all of my main research, I am now going to write my statement of intent, which will cover what I plan to do next in this project.
My research for this project consisted of watching a lot of video clips of foxes to see how they act first hand, reading a lot of articles on foxes and finding out different opinions about them and collecting a good number of reference images to begin drawing from. I think one of the key books that I read whilst researching was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl - although this is a fictional story, it still subconsciously presents the real life traits and characteristics of a fox which is something that I’d be interested in exploring in my illustrations. I also found articles, videos and photographs from the BBC, Channel 4 and Telegraph helped me get a grasp of how foxes act and how widespread they are around Britain. From my initial research, I feel that the key facts and issue raised are that there is no difference between rural and urban foxes as an animal. However, once in the city, foxes can become de-sensitised to people and are often kept as pets. I found this quite sad as foxes are wild animals and I don’t want them to be exploited by humans. In order overcome this, I want to present foxes in their natural environments in my illustrations and have no human aspects in them whatsoever.
My main aim for this project is to present foxes as clever and cunning characters. Through my research into other fox illustrators, I have picked up on certain ways to manipulate the fox so these characteristics come across, such as lengthening the nose, giving it longer legs and pointing the ears sideways. By experimenting with these features in my illustrations, I will be able to see what works best with my style and if I have any new ways of changing the character of the fox through appearance. In terms of how I’d like my audience to receive my work, I’d like them to grasp the main concept that foxes are very clever animals and that rural and urban foxes are the same animals and can live in both habitats, however, I think my style of illustration could suggest a lot of things - give the fox a gender, a voice, a life story which might come across subtly in the illustrations, but I would like it to be up to the audience to really use their imagination and use my illustrations to imagine their own story perhaps.
In terms of development of skills, I aim to develop my own style of image making in this project. Illustration to me is communicating a message through image making, however, I haven’t really been illustrating regularly this year which has caused my skills to suffer. In the past when I have illustrated regularly and looking at my earlier sketches of foxes, I can see that I have quite a ‘handmade’ and delicate style of illustration, which is something I want to develop further by experimenting with media, line, colour etc. The only real way to develop my style is to simply draw and keep it up. Therefore I will present all of this development in a sketchbook and make sure that I draw for at least 2-3 hours a day, so that I can see how my style develops over the next few weeks.
My main objective for this project is to screen print my illustrations. I have done this process a few times before and must say it’s my favourite image making process and one which I feel quite accomplished with. I also feel that screen printing could suit these ‘handmade’ illustrations very well and provide me with an almost flawless finish to my illustrations. What’s more, screen printing is proving to be a very popular and lucrative process at the minute so if I was to think about selling my illustrations, I’d probably have a lot more success if they were screen printed.