Brief's key points:
- Collect as many examples as possible of different characters
- Decide upon a character you would like to create.
- Draw your character from the front, from the side and from the back.
- Draw your character over and over again. Get into role and adopt their mood, expression and personality.
- Then try another, different, character. Make sure you come up with someone completely different, not just the same person in different clothes.
The creative process
To begin with this exercise I collected as many different characters as I could in the form of a Pinterest board. I quickly realized that it was a good idea to look into movies or tv shows where characters are well defined and perhaps a bit easier to identify than people in from everyday life. I collected women, men, young and old. Also some characters like dancers, pirates or secret agents. After the visual research I started by warming up with some quick gesture sketches using the website line-of-action.com/ .
For my first character I was inspired by Jay Gatsby, main character of the novel and movie The Great Gatsby. I love this story and think the character is wonderful, so I really enjoyed the process.
I started by creating a grid in which I draw a person with regular proportions so then I could distort it to evoke the terms that I chose where relevant for the character. I made him slim, tall, with long neck and long legs. In my opinion he looked sleek and smart.
For my second character I wanted to choose a very different person so I thought about a little girl. I looked at some references from the movie Matilda, which I also really liked and took inspiration from there to create my character. In this case instead of using a grid system, I based my illustrations around geometric shapes, including and oval shape, square and triangular shape. I finally decided to use the oval shape.
In a second page I illustrated my character doing some different activities and some close-ups of the face trying to convey different emotions.
Brief's key points:
- Begin by drawing a cat or dog
- Draw the animal in a way that makes it ‘real’.
- Do a second drawing using no more than five lines.
- Now make a collage from bits cut from a magazines and printouts.
- Produce a drawn version (not a tracing) of your collage.
- This image can now be incorporated into a bigger image. Use your imagination and introduce at least one other element that introduces a narrative.
The creative process
I chose to work with the cat wich would normally be my second option, since I'm more of a dog preson, but I wanted to experiment. I started by looking as some picture from different angles and in which the cats were in different positions and drawing some realistic versions. Then I went on to create the figures with only five lines.
Once I steped into the creation of the collage, i found myself creating something that looked too obvious to me and a bit boring (first collage with the grass underneath), so I gave it a second chance I tried to think outside of the box for a second version. This is the version that inspired my final drawing which ended up being quite funny but also a bit haughty which is how I see cats.
Final illustration including other elements for narratives purposes
For my final image, I decided to place the cat confortably on a nice chair in a well decorated house with books about art, which can already tell a story like who could be the owner of this character.
Key points from the brief:
- A friend has asked you to design a tattoo for them based on the word Mum.
- He would also like you to make it into a greeting card
- Research the history and conventions of tattoos and body art
- Decide on how complex your design will be and whether you will be using colour. Draw up your design on a large scale, mindful that it will be smaller both on a body and the card.
- Write up your decision making process in your learning log
The creative process
I started doing some research about the history of tattoos as well as trends for 2020, I read a couple of interesting articles and also went through Pinterest to do more of a visual research of possible trends.
After the research and trying to incorporate my own vision as illustrator and designer, I decided to go for a minimalistic tattoo. I liked the idea of one continious line and something that wasn't very literal but more abstract. I started barimstorming around the world "mom" and the sketching out some first ideas. The one that really stucked with me was "hug", almost a synonimous of the word mom, specially in the first years of your life.
Final tattoo design
Brief's key points
- Provide an illustration for use on the menu of a sophisticated, quality fish restaurant – one in a chain sited in major European cities.
- Any food depicted needs to be visually appetising.
- The image will need to be reasonable simple and clear.
- You need to provide an example reduced to 40mm x 40mm as it will initially be used
The creative process I went through to create the final piece for this exercise was quiet simple, however I feel it was appropriate for the type of exercise and I was still able to achieve a piece I'm happy with.
First I started to think about the type of food that's served in a fish restaurant. As I quickly decided I wanted to go with the main subject and illustrate a fish dish, then I thought about the different types of fish and the different presentations: a whole fish, a fillette, "fingers", etc. For the first part of the process I used my sketch-book (analog), but once I was happy with the idea I jumped into my Ipad and used Procreate for the sketching and painting of the final piece.
I decided that a fillet was much more sophisticated than a whole fish and that it would help me accomplish the requirement for it to be visually appealing. I went for salmon since it shows quality and it's very identificable (hard to be mistaken as a chicken or beef fillet).
After all the thinking, I searched for some references of salmon filettes and went on to sketching and coloring my illustration.
Finally I adapted it to the requeierd sized and created a mock-up to help exemplified the final result.
- Free mock-up: unblast.com/free-clipboard-menu-mockup-psd/
Brief's key points:
- Produce a cover illustration for a natural history book for children (age 7–11) entitled Animals from Around the World.
- Full colour front jacket
- Modern audience
- Draw up at least three ideas as coloured client visuals. Include information on the final the size and format, and where the type will be positioned.
- Take notes in your learning log
The Design Process
I'd like to start by pointing out how this exercise has been kind of a game-changer to me. It's the first time that I feel like I have a plan on how to approach the project and feel much less like I'm "all over the place".
I started simple: highlighting the key points of the brief and brainstorming about the first ideas. After I had in mind a few elements I knew I wanted to included in my final art, I started to look for references and created a Pinterest board.
Then, from my references I started to sketch some animals very loosely, just to get a feeling of them as well as some ideas of different angles and perspectives that I could use in my final piece.
After that, I went on to sketch some thumbnails of the whole piece in order to search for various ideas on composition and how to place and integrate all the elements.
As a final step before getting into the developing of the three coloured client visuals, I thought about color and format. Regarding color, first I thought about two different palettes, one was inspired on a photograph and the other on a thumbnail from the Lion King's movie. However, I wasn't really convienced about it. Color is at the momento one of the most challenging elements when creating an illustration, si I decide to investigate further consulting a book I have about this topic and in the internet. There I found the idea, perhaps very obvios, of thinking about tones as well and developing some tonal versions, which I think really helped my process. At this point I also started to think more specifically about the composition and how to organize the animals so they would fit the page nicely.
Regrading format, I looked at a couple of books I own and did some research online. I considered the three classic formats: square, portrait and landscape. Finally I decided to use a square format since I believe it'd be appropriate for a natural history book, whereas a portrait format would be a better fit for a novel, for example.
Coloured client Visuals
The above where my final coloured visuals, however I wasn't sure if in the professional practice this would be good enough to send to a client, so I refined them using Photoshop.
I'm Astrid Badell-Suhr, designer and illustrator, specialist in communication