Final Outcome and last word

Display of the final outcomes above A3 and A5 book. The title Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday is relfective of Joyce’s book Finnegans Wake which is about ‘everybody, everywhere and everything’ and one apt for the contect of this project.

Working on this project I discovered where to situate my illustration practice in the area of visual reportage/commentary. It is rich in subject matter meaning offering a multitude of creative possibilities. I aim to continuing to visually investigate the world around combining illustration and research situating my work in illustration through research. A key learning outcome from this project is learning that my illustration practice is concerned with learning about the world and visually communicating that experience to an audience.

My Audience

Key is getting my work out there reaching as many people as possible through effective marketing of my brand/work on social media. For example my website where I can sell my art blogging, Instagram, Behance, LinkedIn and selling platforms like Society 6. Also showing my work in alternative venues like libraries, shops and corporate offices, essentially creating opportunities to show my work.

The larger A3 book targets the higher end like corporate plus the more affordable A5 books and postcard size with front and back images will accommodate another audience.

The A5 book is also a direct mail piece I plan to send to selected art directors working in editorial and advertising areas in Dublin plus some abroad. This field would suit my reportage illustration best and provide the greatest opportunity. I am particularly interested in lifestyle publications which would match my subject matter.

Other avenues include exhibiting work in gallery settings both locally and internationally, art fairs, arts organisations and Cultural organisations like Culture Ireland and the James Joyce Centre.

As a freelance illustrator it is important for me to approach the selected  people and bodies with a view to commission my book and other work. Essentially raising a profile in this field.


Book preparation

At every stage of my project it’s been a huge learning curve and quickly. This being my first time printing on such a large scale each book A3 landscape x 12 pages plus a smaller book A5 size all concertina. I researched suitable printers and book binders and after many conversations found two excellent contacts.

Sketch of book plan I sent to printer.

Initially I naively thought my commercial printer I use for graphic work could print my book but after detailed discussion I learnt that the paper when folded 12 times would be far too bulky for a concertina book. So this poised a dilemma at the time. I had done some initial research into fine art printing so I contacted John in Fine Art Print Studio in Waterford and we discussed at length the possible solutions and formats needed for large scale giclee prints. During this process I learnt how important it is to establish  good sound communication with my printer, who was simply brilliant. He also trimmed the edges of my work which was a great bonus and brought my parcel up to Dublin for collection! Outstanding service and I’m looking forward to the next book this year! Unknown

Next I met with Tom from Duffy’s Bookbinders to discuss details like how to present my work, cover colour, embossed title on front and end papers. The trickiest part of this process was making the folds and joining part 1 and 2 as these where separate prints. After a few deep breaths I managed a system of making a master page and using that to measure all other pages so the folds were exact, or close enough. I learnt that being a handcrafted book I had to allow for .5-1 mm difference, and this was also part of the authentic nature of my book and marked it different from a commercial project.

This image below shows the various stages of my book preparation in my studio. Firstly the box with all my work and the assembling of the A5 concertina to the A3 folds with the cover page. The final two A3 books were then presented to Duffy’s Bookbinders. This was a huge learning and confidence booster in terms of folding and constructing my work in a particular format which will be important in future projects.


Book layout

Assembling my book, I placed six pages outside and inside parts in Photoshop, making two separate files Part 1 and Part 2. I did this to cater for the file size, its massive 11.7″ x 99″ for each part. It was also to cater for the printer.

I then drew intersecting lines digitally before and after the color stage. On my tutor’s advice, I applied colour to the entire file, part 1 and 2. This really helped avoid any gaps or pages looking separate. Instead the outcome as show here was a natural flow of different color hues/tones that create a great sense of rhythm and balance. Plus, each page works individually too.





Much has been written about colour and visual attention and how audiences responds to contrasts in color and light, and to the emotional and cultural value of a specific color. In my process I work intuitively selecting contrasting colours in each piece. I draw with different colour shapes in a layered manner creating angels that accentuate the drawing composition. My sole aim is to make arresting original images always pushing what I have learnt from the previous work.

My tutor suggested I find some way to show my walked path, like a map tracing my steps. Thinking on this I worked out a solution, simple but effective and something that would tie in with my illustrations. I wove a dark blue line that flanked some of the existing lines and traveled throughout the book. It can be seen in various places, behind people in front of things marking my path.


Colour outcomes.

Having made the decision to push my use of colour I had experimented with last year, I then thought about what ones to choose from. The best way was to return to Joyce’s text and see if there was any information there. In fact it was rich with colour references to draw from-some of which I’ll outline here.

  • Pineapple rock, lemon platt p.144
  • Bluey greeny p.144
  • Blood p.144-
  • Bluey silver p.144
  • red wallpaper p.147
  • Black celluloid p.147
  • Blue serge dress p.151
  • Blue canvas shoes p.152
  • Dull gray beard p.152
  • Silver effulgence p.154
  • Long red pantaloons p.160
  • Splashed yellow p162
  • Gingerbread p.162
  • Mustard p.164
  • Strip yellow blobs p164
  • Blue jacket and yellow cap p166
  • Blue and green p.166
  • Bay purple p.167
  • Black and white p.170
  • Straw hat in sunlight p.174

This provided a great source to apply varying tones and hues. My main aim was to keep each image distinctive while also merging with the adjoining pages. Lines and colours would intersect pages making a whole collection/image. The finished pieces are show here. After many possible solutions, I decided on a selective colour palette with 3-4 main colours on each image. Working this way with limited colour helped to create a more balanced and harmony in each image. This can be seen in contrasting the first page with my previous post. This one is more visually interesting, there is a dynamic here not present in the former colur scheme.

It also is a faster way to work -which creates an energy and holds my attention/involvement with the image. I think this is an important aspect, how I approach my work, my attitude towards my subject matter-this all comes through in some way in the work so its vital that my energy is kept focused and totally involved. Another advantage is it forces me to think about tone, colour composition and how it is applied within a line drawing.





Composition plays a central element in my work/drawings and with the application of colour in the pieces above my idea was to accentuate this. Angels and lines in the line drawings are flanked by blocks of different chues/tones of colour overlapping. My aim in doing this was to create a dynamic depiction of the everyday.

Colour Decisions

I wondered how I was going to use colour in my drawing initally and this image below is my first colour experiment. I felt the laborious nature of ‘colouring in’ took away the energy I wanted to convey in my work, maybe this realistic use of colur wasn’t the best solution? It was beginning to look more like comic or graphic novel  work rather than reportage illustration ( with a twist!).  Key in my decision to mix things up colour wise again was a tutorial, reflecting on work I had done in practice 1 was more along the lines of developing my style. While the piece below was aesthetically pleasing in some respects, it didn’t represent my signature style or push me in that direction…and this is what I needed to stand out from the vast pool of illustrators!

1st Colour Idea

6: College Street

Bloom sees a squad of police constables marching away from the barracks at College street after eating a lunch of fat soup, and another squad marches round the railings of Trinity College heading towards the barracks for lunch.

Outside page 6.

Crossing over the river to the south side of the city, College street. On a particularly lively in Dublin celebrating Pride Day I took a number of photos for visual reference for this image. It was important throughout to keep alive the feeling of movement and energy of this city. The couple in the foreground look out at the viewer, inviting the audience into the action in a way. The  whole idea is to elevate the ordinary, reimagine the mundane.

Page6 copy
College Street

Inside page 12.

It was fitting for this final page to depict restaurant scene. Strong parallel lines draw the viewer into the image. I applied ink splatters to create a handmade feel. I think this mix of analog and digital will become more apparent at the colour stage-and make it a visually arresting illustration.

A bit of lunch!

5: Westmoreland Street

Bloom crosses from the right-hand side to the left-hand side of Westmoreland street. As he does so, he passes through the Hely’s men who are wearing sandwich boards with the letters H E L Y’S painted on them.

Outside page 5.

I drew this scene of a crowd at a bus stop with a strong directional line into the image as a first solution. After another very insightful tutorial I decided to take some elements from this image and push the composition further in another image. Mainly because the first one is to similar in perspective to other pages and I felt I could make more of the character of Westmoreland street in this page. Looking at these two drawings side by side I can see how much stronger the second one is. I reconsidered the placement of figures here and created a  diagonal in the composition as if the viewer is traveling or walking into the frame. The buildings are the main focus, overlooking the passersby, this creates a very different atmosphere to the adjoining pages, adding interest and keeping the viewers’ attention!

1st Draft
Final Drawing

Inside page 11.

During this process, I noticed how my confidence in drawing, making compositional decisions and the general image making process had developed. I saw this in making comparisons from my initial drawings to the final ones like this page 11.  Also from previous projects in year one I saw a refinement or rather emergence of my distinctive illustration style-all of which I wanted to further develop.

This image shows an interior of an Irish souvenir shop on Westmoreland street. A sense of movement/time is created with the front and back positions of the girl in the foreground. I wanted to establish a real sense of place here with the viewer in the shop looking out onto a bustling city street.

Westmoreland Street view.

4: O’Connell Bridge

Outside page 4.

Tracing Leopold Blooms steps the next location is O’Connell bridge. As he crosses he buys two Banbury cakes from an apple seller on the bridge and throws them to the seagulls.

The idea in this image was to show how this bridge looks today with desperate homeless people begging and a stream of people going to and fro. I took photos of this scene from many angles, deciding on this ‘across the road’ perspective, bearing in mind to maintain different viewpoints on each page. To create the sense of movement and time in some ways, the figures overlap and are cropped at the edges (to be drawn complete on the adjoining page). Adding to this sense of place is Wellington quay and the Ha’penny bridge in the background. Page4 copy.jpgInside page 10.

This image is taken from a bus window where I took a number of photos. Utilising different visual reference material like photos, my drawings in sketch books of people I made a collage to draw from. The perspective from this height worked well but to give the interior impression I emphasised the window frame when at the colour stage. This was an important feature to have distinctive exterior and interior views in the book.


3: Bachelor’s Walk

In ‘Aeolus’ Bloom leaves the offices of the Freeman’s Journal to go around to Dillon’s where he’s been told he’ll find Keyes. He sees Dilly Dedalus standing outside, her dress in tatters and imagines her diet of potatoes and margarine, indicating the poverty in which the Dedalus family live.

Places like Bachelor’s walk, along the quays and O’Connell bridge point to the huge homeless crises in Dublin right now. In this scene I really wanted to show this reality facing my city and in particular this recognisable character on the city streets. The man with the little rabbit, I think is quite poignant-not to be sentimental, but I think this really shows his sensitivity and compassion for a little creature given his situation. Some others could be cynical and say the animal is a ploy to attract people and get money, I disagree, who among us doesn’t need love? His condition made all the worse when someone grabbed the rabbit from his arms and threw it into the Liffey. The true feelings for this little creature were apparent when he frantically jumped in to rescue it, nearly drowning himself saving the rabbit. Within days, he was given a Compassionate Citizen Award for going above and beyond the call of duty to help an animal in need. The 20 year old perpetrator was duly charged.

Outside the court, Mr Byrne, who has been living on the streets for 23 years, said he was in shock when he saw his pet swimming around in circles.

“I wasn’t going to leave him there,” he said.

“I had to get him, I had to jump in to get him. Barney died in my arms. I got him under the bridge and gave him the kiss of life.” (




Outside page 2.

He is the center figure, cutting the diagonal composition. His situation or plight is echoed by the background guy at the window. The question I’m asking at each stage is where is the narrative in this piece and how does it correspond to the other images beside it?


Inside page 9.

Looking on to Bachelor’s walk from a shop window the viewer’s attention is on the girl’s gaze. It’s the same street that the homeless man passes but everything is different here, different preoccupations and the idea of disposable income. Juxtaposing these images shows the contrasting city life.

In this image, certain features like the hats are the largest, with the mannequin’s medium size and lots of smaller objects. This helps make the scene interesting and engages the viewer visually. Using different line values makes the elements stand out making it more interesting.