I will start by introducing myself. I am Ioana Nicolau, a photographer who started this blog as a platform for displaying my work. If you have been with me, you will know by now that I have started my photographic adventure with landscapes and some portraits every now and then. In the following year I started to introduce on my blog new photography style, from different events and collaborations. Furthermore I have introduced new projects such as some of my illustration and paintings. On this page I will tell you the story of my freelance journey framed in weeks.
WEEK 1 & 2
One of my first projects was a commission painting. The client gave me quite an open brief. He only asked to have an owl and see my artistic skills at work. For any project an open brief can be a down fall, because you might not satisfy the clients needs. So I started to ask questions about where the paint is going to be displays, what types of artists is he into, what colours does he like and dislike. This way I finally created my Creative brief and I was able to deliver what I was asked for.
Client brief/ Creative brief: delivery time: 3 weeks, dimensions 1m x 1,5m, colours: orange, yellow, purple, blue; subject: barred owl ; likes Antoni Gaudi, ” I belive that eyes are doors for the soul”.
After a week and a half of working on the OWL, the painting was ready for delivery
The first event I have attended was Jamie Wei Huang fashion cat walk and I was front row. Loved it from the beginning until the very end. She worked beautifully every detail of the cat walk, starting with the way that models were moving across the hotel reception, the garments details that were felling very crafty, hands on and finishing with the asymmetrical make-up. The concept behind the collection was “OCD” and somehow all the opposite details, messy and all over the place made sens in that continuous and endless movement.
After LFW, I edited the photos that i took while I was there and also draw some illustrations inspired from the events that I attended. A few of the brands that were present were interested in my work. It has been a pleasure to work on these illustrations especially.
One of my main clients for fashion photography is Teodora Chiorean a blogger based in the United Kingdom. As she is a fashion blogger and a content creator, on a daily bases she needs to post new content on her social media accounts. The brief in general is: the model should be captured from head to toe, all the garments should be easily seen, if the natural light is not sufficient artificial light should be used.
While studying at university, I began to accumulate information about the human impact on Earth and the environment. How all industries have their own role in destroying the planet. Most art supplies are non-recyclable or harmful to the environment and artist. Since I want to be a more conscious artist I started to research the life cycle of the paints, which one has a lower impact on Earth, how I can recycle the used water. I found some articles on what I should consider when purchasing supplies, how I can recycle them, in a nut shell: how to go green.
Something else to consider: which type of paint is better for the environment? I have pros and cons for both Acrylic and Oil paint. But after extensive research, the results show that both of these options are actually harmful in their own ways . If you prefer more the traditional oil paint, you can have a look in water mixable oil paints, since the traditional oil has some downsides. Or you could try to make your own acrylic-like from natural pigments. Natural pigments can be find either in local construction stores, online in the UK, or in rocks, stones, different types of soles, flowers and plants. Personally I bought them from Celtic Sustainables, an eco-friendly store, as a start, to see how my pigments should look, mix and dry on different surfaces. These first experiments will serve as a cornerstone for future projects.
After a lovely street style photoshoot with Teo for some blog content it was time to edit. This has included a lot of trial and error, applying things I already learned during the course and learning new things from tutorials and the web. This photoshoot included a pair of sandals gifted from Asos that needed some product photography that will match the blog content for the client.
Someone reached out with a proposal: a cover design for an upcoming music E.P. Working close with the client was a must, as he had an exact vision that needed to be translated into reality. A few sketches and initial designs assured us both that we had the same idea and the whole project was a success.
The final client brief was: everything must be drawn in shades of blue, it must inspire some sort of movement, main subject will be a person drawn in the centre and it must symbolise the birth of a new for him as a musician.
Since I want to start my career as an freelance, time is a really important factor for me. So I started to have a look for something that will help me track the time I have tried doing projects relaying only on watching the clock, but soon it came to be that is a flawed system. I came across an app called Toggl. You can monitor your activity, add new projects, add new entries in a project or stop it any time. This helped a lot with time management and staying on top of my projects.
Another thing that I looked for was platforms for freelance. Most of them are quite specific in what type of artists or jobs you can find there. And most of the time as new freelance on that website you won’t get any jobs just because you do not have any reviews on your account, so it is a bit difficult in the beginning . Some of my favourites sites where I started to get new projects are: Fiverr, 99designs, Singulart and Workinstartups.
WEEK 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
A new commission received came with the brief that: It has to be a painting on the maximum size of 1.40 m H x 1.80 m W, colours should match the furniture’s colours in the room, should be abstract, thought provoking, the final painting to be made as much as possible of sustainable materials and delivery time to be a maximum of 7 weeks.
As I just discovered Toggl, I opened the app, created the new task and begun my journey. With the wall’s measurements I started to think the exact position of the painting on the wall, how the natural light and artificial light will enlighten my work, every single detail that I could think of considering the given brief . The painting is made out of three smaller canvases that put together are creating two hands and separated you can see an iris.
While I was working on this project i made sure to keep in mind my goal of achieving a greener painting. Because it was meant to be sent out of England, I decided to paint on unstretched canvas since it would be easier only to roll it, pack it and send it. Furthermore I inaugurated this three pieces painting with my new hand mix colours. It was only a small change in textures for most colours after I managed to fix the exact proportion for each pigment. One small issue that I am aware of was that some pigments were cracking while they were drying.
Right before Christmas break I have received another two design commissions. Both were meant to be printed afterwards on t-shirts. The idea was very liberal, but i was asked to use the style that you see below, style that i used in a demo drawing for them before. The client brief was: to use only white, and shades of grey since it will be printed on a black t- shirt, the final version to be delivered in a .PNG format with indivisible background, to use the given pictures of people and transform them in a creative way, to integrate the given words in the background in a specific way that will crate a bigger picture, delivery time one week.
A new fun project was a logo for a new start up trailer rental service. The design was meant to be a logo that can be used as a striker for local advertising. The client brief: include a trailer as the main subject, colours: something that remembers you of summer, delivery time 1 week, must include the name of the website. And I was happy that the final product was exactly what was expected from the project.
WEEK 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Lately I been having really vivid, strange, dark nightmares. Something so intense that when you think about again you will have goose bumps at least. At one point after a week or so of this horrible nights I realised: I can use this in my interest. This is still my brain acting out, imagining things, doing his job in a broken way, but still working. Considering this is still my imagination I written down all my emotions, my fears, everything that can be collected from my nightmares. My next step was think how you can express these emotions into art.
This is how i started my new ongoing collection of paintings based on nightmares that will be a base for some of my future illustrations and digital prints.
A gifted street style photo shoot. The target was to create atmosphere in the photos that will blend with the outfits, have all the garments and accessorises sharp and in focus.
London Fashion Week February 2020 was a delight as I was expecting. The presentation from Edeline Lee was absolutely stunning and it stand out from the rest of the presentations, because it set a scene for each model, instead of having them like statues. On top of that the music was replaced with a speech about what a woman is, what she represents and the expectation that the society has from her.
A new start up store reached to me for business cards and a logo. This time it was a small local flower shop which is looking for something simple. The client brief was: use only grey, black and white, should have different types of wild flowers and be delivered within a week
As the summer season is coming, the client wanted to be with the blog content ahead. So we created a new summery scenario for this photo shoot.
After the business cards and logo the company RocFlowers also hired me as photo retoucher for their products as a long time partnership. In addition to that my job will include to be responsible of the social media account and create a website for them in the following weeks and work on tine for an undefined period of time.