Part 5: Words and Pictures

Exercise: Your Own Work


Most of the work you’ve created so far has been a result of specific exercises with clear objectives defining the outcome. However, every drawing, every mark, every image you produce belongs to you and, as your property, has potential value beyond the satisfying of a brief or exercise.

Go through the artwork you’ve created so far for this course. Review your sketchbooks, notebooks, working drawings and sketches as well as the more ‘resolved’ or finished pieces. Use post-it notes to identify the images which have elements that you enjoy. Try to distance yourself from each image’s original function, and its success as measured against your original intentions and goals, and make your selection purely on whether you enjoy the image aesthetically or conceptually. Photocopy or scan a selection from these images to make a ‘gallery’ of pictures, fragments of illustrations and drawings.

Choose from one of the areas of authorial practice and select an image from your gallery that would be appropriate for that area. Remember that you also need identify an audience for your work within the area you’ve chosen.

If you can, implement the choices you’ve made and actually produce the artefact. There are many companies on the high street and on the internet offering services to help you transform your imagery into commercially viable or appealing objects. If you choose to implement your design, be aware of the cost implications and investigate at least three alternative suppliers before committing yourself to a particular supplier.

Gallery of Works

I looked back through the work I have completed so far for the course and collated a selection that I was most pleased with and enjoyed looking at. I tried to pick a range of both preparatory work and finished pieces.

Gallery of Works

Selecting an Image

The different areas of authorial practice listed in the course text are:

  • Children’s publishing
  • Decorative illustration
  • Fanzines and artists’ books
  • Editorial
  • Artists’ prints and artworks
  • Fashion and accessories

I decided to explore the possibility of producing an artefact for the category ‘decorative illustration’ and/or ‘artists’ prints and artworks’, as I felt these would be the most suited to the works I had selected.

The image I chose for this exercise was the five-line drawing of a cat from the Visual Distortion exercise. I decided on this one as it is not a style I would normally pick and I was inspired by Picasso’s popular line drawings of animals, which I found were for sale in various online shops including John Lewis.

Original five-line drawing of cat

I scanned the image into Illustrator and made a black outlined version, using an oval-headed brush. I tried to make it resemble an ink drawing.

Black ink version of five-line cat created in Illustrator

Researching Printing Options

Next, I looked at various online printing services, to compare the options and prices available. Some of these are aimed at bulk printing for leaflets, etc. The websites I found included:

As there were so many different products available for printing, I decided to base my comparisons on a framed and mounted art print of my design, in a similar style to the Picasso examples I had found on the John Lewis website (as below).

I had previously used Redbubble for printing t-shirts and cards, and found the quality/price to be reasonable. The only issues I had with this type of company are the small commission the artist receives, if any products are sold, and lack of complete control in terms of positioning of designs, etc. It is not really meant for printing in bulk, rather it is an online shop, so it depends on the way an artist wants to sell their work. I uploaded my design on Redbubble and the mock-up for an art print version can be seen below.

Mock-up of five-line cat as framed/mounted art print (Redbubble)
Mock-up of five-line cat as framed/mounted art print (Redbubble)

There are various options available in terms of size, frame style/colour, etc. The smallest size (20 x 28.8cm) costs £53.58.

Next, I looked at the options on Snapfish and found a similar framed art print, sized 20 x 25cm, which would cost £26.99.

The final option was iFrame Online which had the option of a 20 x 25cm frame at a cost of £39.50.

I decided that the target audience for this type of product would be people aged 30+, with a dispensable income, possibly setting up home or having a home make-over.

Final Thoughts

I found it quite enjoyable looking back through the work completed so far for this course and I felt there were some good examples of my development and progression. However, I did not think there were that many options from my work so far suitable for selling in the categories of authorial practice, as most of them are specific to a certain brief, but it was a valuable exercise to research the different options available for printing online. This also led to further thought about the viability of selling products via an online shop compared to bulk printing and selling them myself.

In the future I would definitely want to explore the other areas of authorial practice, particularly children’s publishing and fanzines. I have explored self-publishing children’s books via Amazon, but it is so competitive and there is very little financial reward, that I decided to utilise it as an experiment for learning and developing my skills.


Art Republic, (2011). The Line Drawings of Pablo Picasso. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 January 2021].

John Lewis, (n.d.). John Lewis Partners Cat Nap Framed Print. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 January 2021].

John Lewis, (n.d.). Pablo Picasso Le Flamand Rose Flamingo. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 January 2021].