Cook Book Project Evaluation
For my major project, I decided to create a cook book, as I want to focus on lifestyle illustration. However, I wanted to combine the cook book with another lifestyle factor which was mental health, particularly dementia. Working at a dementia care home, I began collecting recipes from the residents I work with, and hearing all of the narrative stories behind them. My cook book almost acts as a guide for cooking, but also a story book about the residents at my home, kind of like an autobiography kind of thing. I wanted to try and emphasise the link between memory and food.
Things that went well
I really enjoyed the research for this project. It enabled me to really get to know the residents I work with, and to create a holistic project about something that is personal to me. Helping people with this illness on a daily basis, it was nice to be able to link my career as an artist, and as a carer, which I hopefully plan to do later on in life. This project really enabled me to come out of my comfort zone and improve on a new skill, and I have improved on my Photoshop skills greatly. I was also able to find a style that really works for me, and that is contemporary in the illustration world.
I think the design works really well, it combines multiple mediums form collage, to photography, to illustration. The design is bold and sophisticated, and highlights the interesting facts about the residents well.
My time management for this project was really good, and I managed to respond to feedback very well and in a good time. I did gain a lot of feedback and I took everything on board and tried to work in all of the improvements I was given. I also think I worked well with the tutors, and managed to get into the studio a lot more this time round which was really useful and helpful. The communication between my tutors and I was good, and this really did enable me to produce a quick turnaround.
The final product looks really professional and bold, is easily read and the colours look great. I did pay to get it printed but I also managed to help out at the printers, and learnt some new skills with printing which could come in handy for later about the pagination of pages etc.
Things that could have been improved
If there was one thing I would have likes to improved on, I would have probably added in more recipes, as I only did 18. To do 25-30 would have been ideal, but with the time frame I had, I didn’t see this as possible.
I also would have liked to have got into the project a lot quicker than I did. I did spend a lot of time changing the design, and at one point I pretty much started again with the design. But I think all of the changes paid off, and this was another valuable professional lesson that you will have to have quick turnarounds after feedback, which I thought I coped with very well.
I could have also added a few more of the small illustrations in to the book, and although I wanted to make the book look professional, a little bit more of a scrapbook style could have worked well. But I am happy with the outcome of the book. I could have also done some paper based designs do help with deciding on the layout and played around with composition.
If I was to redo the project
I would have like to have worked with more of the residents at the home, and I would have also looked down the route of getting the book published. I would also play around with the design a bit more, adding in more detail, but this would be something that would depend on the time constraints. I would also again look at doing a larger number of recipes, and I would possibly have changed the book shape to a square shape, as opposed to the standard A4, but this size did work really well for printing.