The following two exercises were related, since using the same list of words we were asked to make them into pictures and to create a mood-board based on some of the words from the same list. The words are:
1.Turning words into pictures
For this exercise I chose the words: Kitchen, wild and destruction. Like expected (and it was stated in the exercise” it was harder to work on the adjectives. Most of my mental process was based on remembering. After choosing the words I kept thinking on related items or concepts form the thing I know or i’ve lived.
During the process I encountered myself thinking and making quick research on the topic of actual drawing (since I was making little drawing or sketches). These line of thought took me to:
I didn’t want to deviate from the main goal of the exercise which wasn't the aesthetics of the drawings, but I think these two concepts or ideas are worth looking at later.
To begin with I created the drawing for the following three words in two days in a row, however I’ll keep doing the rest of the words kind of as a morning warm-up practice. I’d like to include more materials as I only used markers and wax crayons.
2. Making a mood-board
Until now, I’m finding this exercise more draining than inspiring. It’s an exercise that for some reason I was delaying and now that I’m at it its taking me too long and im not enjoying the process. Maybe it’s the day or my mood, but I also think it has to do with me stressing about how to make it look good and coherent.
The thing that helped me out to come out with something useful was to look for references of other artists mood-boards and to research some of the terms from the exercise. The ones that catch my attention, were: swatches and marks. It took me to a further research of these terms and the results of learning about "mark-making" was what finally inspired me and led me to a more joyful practice.
A “Spider Diagram” is a tool to generate ideas from one word or term. To create this type of diagrams, the main word should be in the center and to write down all the words that come to mind and keep expanding from these new words, basically creating less obvious connections.
To generate our own spider diagrams, we were given the words: seaside, childhood, angry and festival. Finally we were ask to answer the following questions:
• Which word was most difficult for you to work with
For me the most difficult word to work with, was “angry” and I can imagine a few reasons why. I guess that coming up with words related to a feeling or emotion is more complex than coming up with words related to objects. It’s much easier to think about colors that are related to the world “sea”, for example.
Also, I think that the negative connotation of the word angry, created in me a discomfort of some kind and this made the process slower and difficult. And finally, I think one needs to approach these types of terms in a more abstract way, which to me is always a challenge.
• The strategies that suited you best to come up with more words.
The best strategy I found was searching through social media, especially Instagram. It turned out to deliver more personal results for the words I was searching since people are sharing their own content and labeling as they see fit. I found some “obvious” words in the images I saw and I was sometimes excited and sometimes disappointed in not having come up with this myself.
On the contrary, the Google searches were not very helpful since the main and most repeated results were the most obvious ones and mostly I already had them in my list.
For this exercise we were asked to look at an image that we felt attracted to, and to think about the brief that could have motivated the creation of the piece. Here’s the image I chose: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-uVBOcJipQ/ and below the brief I wrote:
To whom it might concern,
Due to the current situation the world is going through because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at the British Red Cross would like to update our online shop with products based on a series of illustrations related to it.
The buyers to our online shop are a large number of individuals (both male and females) who are in the age range 25-54. This project will include a number of different illustrators with a variety of styles, therefore we would like each to exalt its own. Looking at your previous work, we think that your piece will be suitable for our modern, sensitive female customers.
Content, colors and style:
We’d like the illustration to share a message of hope and positiveness to endure this complex time and it should be based on the idea of “kindness”. It must be direct and easy to relate with. The whole piece should evoke a sense of community and hope. The color palette should evoke the feelings just described, therefore we’d expect mostly pastel, bright but soft colors.
This illustration will be used in commercial products, such as: postcards, art prints, mugs, tote bags, tea towels and notepads. It would be an additional asset if it could be turned into a coloring page that our visitor could download from our shop.
Tools and materials:
Because the purpose of the illustration is to create a series of products for our online shop, we need them to be in digital format.
With all the information above we hope you could start developing the first concepts in order to complete the assignment. Please let us know if you have any questions and when could we further speak about the project.
Brit Red Cross
I’m Astrid, Venezuelan fashion designer and marketing and communication specialist. I’m very passionate about learning new things, therefore I’ve been going through a self-taught process to specialize myself in the area of visual communication, however, my practice isn’t very consistent or organized. I have a couple of “go to” materials to create my illustrations which are pencil, watercolors, fineliners and some color pencils. Lately I’ve been also incorporating sparkles of other materials like gouache, wax crayons or pastels to end up with kind of mixed-media pieces. I’ve also explored digital media, this includes Photoshop and Procreate on my Ipad. I’m interested in working with markers and incorporating a more graphic style to my work in the future.
My favorite things to draw are actually ideas or concepts and my favorite subject is “people”. I understand the importance of aesthetics, but I’m not interested in creating only decorative pieces, to me the message is equally or more important than beauty. What I'd like to get from this course is confidence in my practice, a routine for working and clarity on my style: including favorite materials, techniques and subjects. I’m also specially interested in improving my skills with color. In the future I’d love to work producing editorial illustrations, books and pattern creation.
I’m looking forward to working with you!
The idea of the exercise was to create an illustration based on a magazine or newspaper article and after reading it a couple of times and finding the key words or concepts.
I chose an article with the title: "The Writing Cure" which explained the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing.
The main words that kept repeating over the text and the ones I chose to base my illustration on, were:
I'm very pleased with the final result, specially with the original piece since the process of digital editing the image didn't capture the colors and textures as I'd have liked.
Link to the article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/yes-is-normal/202004/the-writing-cure
I'm Astrid Badell-Suhr, designer and illustrator, specialist in communication