Friday, 3 December 2010


I am a bit confused in terms of the thumbnails. I have a lot of ideas in my head right now and I am not sure where to start from. I haven't really chosen my final idea yet so I was just wondering: Do our thumbnails need to be focused on our final idea or are they just some sort of practice of all of our ideas in general?
Thank you..


  1. Here's the problem with specific '100 thumbnails' and 'influence boards' being on the brief. I understand why they are there, but I would assume that it's a loose guideline, one that is there to stop the lazy people from doing nothing. You often find that the people who don't want to work will follow the brief to the T and nothing more, but the people who are clearly working can get away with loosely following those kind of guidelines.

    My advice, for what it's worth, is to draw thumbnails for yourself, and for the benefit of your own work. Not to fulfill some guidelines on the brief. That change in mindset is going to make your outcome a lot better. Draw thumbnails for all the ideas in your head, you'll quickly see what's working and what isn't. Then developing the ones that are, scrap the ones that aren't. Don't be too caught up on the set amount of thumbnails needed, just draw.

    Same for the influence maps, use them for progressing your own work. Actually put them together so they are usefull and so that you will use them. Not to fulfill a criteria.

    Kind of stumbled off topic here, but I hope you get my point.

  2. Thank you for making this clear :)
    I'll start my thumbnails straight away

  3. I'm sure Phil will come along at some point and clarify more, possibly even call me out on what I said. But that's my opinion anyway. :P

  4. Nope - Jonny is absolutely on message - the point of thumbnails and influence maps is that they're 'genuine' mechanisms for honing your ideas. Most creative people who are firing on all cylinders will create many more than 50 thumbnails, because they are literally chasing an idea to the ground; they're not thinking about me (the tutor), it's the idea all the way; and the influence maps are the same; they are a focusing device, not a decorative device; you need to really USE them to refine, refine, refine... If you're working hard and innovately, and self-reflecting on your ideas - pushing them on, disregarding weak ones, then you'll soon need another thumbnail or revised influence map... What your tutor is desperate to see from a student is independence and a certain creative sincerity; I think if you look at Dayle's approach for instance, he rips through provisional drawings and prep studies because HE needs to do that to achieve the goals in his head. The 'must have' criteria on the blog is, as Jonny points out, a means for tutors to illustrate the level of work expected from students - all students, even the ones who still they they're at school, that I'm a 'teacher', and they're here to 'get away with it'... depressing, but true enough!

    Progress with confidence - and don't rest creatively until your concept is as resolved and polished as possible!