Assignment 1 – Introduce yourself
For this assignment I chose to go with the idea that my postcard would be something digital and could be posted on instagram. The intention was to create a set of 6 postcards that would contain key information regarding the brief.
The brief: Design a series of at least 3 postcards (A6) that say something about who you are, your interests in graphic design and your wider cultural influences or interests.
Who am I?
I’m an Irish woman working in teaching and studying art. I’ve always had an interest in art and design and in the last number of years have been actively learning and developing my skills in it. My intention is to produce a graphic novel or two in the future and create some illustrations and designs that give people a happy feeling.
What are my interests in graphic design?
I love organic forms and comics. In particular I love graphic novels. The way that the story has to be told through images first and the dialogue supports it means the essence of the message and what needs to be said is important.
I appreciate fine art but am not drawn to it. I am always drawn to strong and bold graphics or organic forms of surface design. In particular I am drawn to cute characters such as the Tokidoki designs created by Simone Legno. They have a vibrancy and energy to them although there is very little detail and the strong outline and Japanese manga inspired faces just draw me in.
Manga is something I’m drawn to also, but the books are quite mature in their content. Ilya Kushinov is a character designer and Lois van Baarle is a character designer and animator. Their work is always light and bright. They create characters that seem ethereal in nature and their colour palettes are always like fresh air. They have a skill for paring back to the key essentials for an image and play around with light reflections.
What are my cultural influences or interests?
Japanese manga and anime has always influenced me. The storytelling and how they continuously push the boundaries on it is something that I find very interesting. Often comics tend to be superhero focused, and although I appreciate that form it doesn’t grab my interest as much as independent publishers. I find that the graphic novels that are one off stories with human elements and non superhero storylines work best for me. However, with Japanese manga it is often surreal and fantasy like set in a futuristic world so that works well for me too.
Beauty in Decay is a book that I really enjoy as it contains images of abandoned buildings where nature has taken over. This type of imagery always stirs my imagination so I’m definitely influenced by it.
Over the years without knowing it, my childhood cartoons have influenced me greatly. Cartoons such as Bugs Bunny and Mighty Mouse were enjoyed for the colours and humour. Ulysses and The City of Gold worked for me as it was Manga and the colour palette was bright and interesting, and finally Battle of the Planets for a more adult themed storyline with plenty of action.
I loved to read when I was younger so Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton, Quentin Blake drawings in Roald Dahl stories and The Worst Witch were all favourites. Harry Potter was a joy to read as an adult. It captured that feeling of school so well.
Games have also had a massive impact on my art. Boardgames and videogames. Again the aspect of Manga from the Final Fantasy series was a big influence. The worlds created in the 7th game had a massive impact on how artists designed future games and how moviemakers viewed science fiction. It has definitely pushed the boundaries on imagination. Character designs for games have to be easily distinguishable from each other so in a way there are overlaps with it and animation.
So my influences from the world are largely from sources as a child. Adult influences tend to lean towards more human drama and human spirit based reading and watching. Nature inspires greatly too but more in a colour palette and random patterns way and how it is resilient despite our constant attack on it.
Expressing this through a series of postcards.
This was interesting as I had a few ideas that I wanted to express but I wasn’t sure how to do it. A series has to have something coherent running through it that makes it obvious that it belongs to the same group. This was important.
Colour is an easy way to link the work but if the forms were too busy or different then it might not be obvious that they were part of a series. It was important to try and express the brief while still maintaining a coherent link.
- Sketch in pencil on the postcards – a character or book that influenced me
- Watercolour over the pencil sketch – use complimentary colours to set the series up as linked
- Sketch on part of the postcard – right hand side for the left card and left hand side for the right card, imagining the series to be a set of 6 postcards that could be put together to make a bigger image in a frame.
- Draw a full image – cut it into 6 cards – each card containing a key piece of info – like a jigsaw
- Draw 3 images and consider they’re like stained glass windows – so bold graphics
- Design 6 digital postcards with a view of tiling it on instagram to show full image
- Do 6 completely different postcards but keep the pencil or brush pen the same and a colour wash of the same colour over all to finish so tonally they’d link.
This image is a great sum up of the influences but doesn’t tell you who I am. It expresses all the external influences and gives you an idea on what other artists created that I like. As an illustration it would work but I wasn’t so sure it was going to hit the brief.
It is a design that I like so I would like to follow up on it but for now it’s a good idea so I left it and went on to the next idea.
This was the stained glass idea where I had 3 angel figures in a very flat pose so that their outline would look like a stained glass design. The other details include the esoteric influences such as angel cards, pendulums and herbal essences and oils. This is something of me. It is a part of who I am. I don’t think it was mentioned before as graphic design in this way didn’t occur to me but I’ve included it here to show a part of me that is important.
The idea would be to have text relating to quotations from books that I’ve read from various authors that I find helpful and that inspire me. Eckart Tolle would be an example. His writings are calming and help me to stay present when the stress of work and study start to creep in.
The oils are helpful for the same reason and I try to go down the herbal remedy route for health solutions although sometimes you need both. Either way I feel this represents an aspect of me but doesn’t include all of the influences. It also feels less illustration lead and more graphic lead.
This was a sketch done simply because of the sunshine we’ve been having. It included things that do represent me and show my influences via the Tokidoki designs and it shows my general mood when the sun is out. Even when it isn’t out I’m more of a friendly person and lean towards a positive attitude.
So in this image I tried to include important information in each section so that if it was on its own it would still be identified as a individual image but was belonging to the series.
This is the one I decided to go with as it shows the influences from childhood and graphic design but it also shows my positive mental attitude which links to the self help and esoteric interests.
This was also something I could create in AI and PS and play around with the software to get the results I wanted. I’m learning these tools still so my skills are not great but I felt confident I could use it for this.
I did use a getty image for the water melon so that the colours were true and it was accurate. The other images I ended up running out of time to do. It will be something I will go back to and complete, but I simply found myself taking too long to create the fruit and drinks so it’s more of a skills issue and I didn’t want to miss my deadline.
The image was given some texture via paper that was scanned in. It was copied and rotated a few times before adjusting on the opacity and settling for this verison. I am happy with it but might go back and assess it for the grain. It could work better if smaller maybe.
I also put up 3 versions of the image on the facebook group page and asked for feedback. I wanted to see which was the least busy and which worked best for people. I also wanted to see if they thought ‘go back to the drawing board’ was an option!
The first seems cramped into the bottom half and the vectors are not clean on the dashed lines.
The second has a softer background but is still too cramped.
The third is less cramped but the banner in the middle makes it look more like a stamp or packaging thing.
There is also a question mark on the use of the pill as a Vit.D – it could be promoting drugs but it is meant to indicate the sunshine is pill to your ills so to speak!
I went with this one and then I added the Happy Pride as it is relevant for the weekend. I tried to post it on instagram in a tiled format but failed – that is a new skill that will have to be looked at as I would like to do an image with a tiled effect to see what it looks like.