Vector Graphics

7 Reasons to Make Art Editorial Illustration

An editorial illustration is meant to accompany an article and give the ideas in that article a visual. For this project, I used this article, and focused on the ideas that art is a means of coping, or of comfort.

SKETCHING THE IDEA

Sketching the idea was my favorite part of that project. I knew I wanted to incorporate the ideas of mental aid and comfort into this illustration, so I played with that idea. The second round of sketches was an attempt to create characters for this illustration. I wanted to personify the idea of a drawing, of a creation.

FIRST DRAFT

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The first draft was a fair attempt, but I received feedback from my professor and my peers that the poses were too stiff, and that it looked creepy rather than comforting. The form of the drawing was also too hard to follow, and I wanted to create a better visualization.

Editorial Draft.2-01The second draft was much better/. I fixed the pen and the pose, and then created more value comps to try and find better colors for the illustration.

FINAL DRAFT

Naomi Bastian Editorial Illustration-01

The final draft included what I wanted from this project. I wanted a fanciful, fantastic illustration that would capture how art feels to me, how art can affect us. The article is all about the benefits of art, and I wanted to visualize that. Creating this piece allowed me to experience some of the benefits listed in the article, and I hope that it will inspire others to create as well!

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Vector Graphics

MTT Brand Stickers

For this project, I was assigned to create a set of three stickers. I was inspired by some previous work that I had done as fanart for the game Undertale. In the game, the character Mettaton creates his own brand as the only celebrity and his own show as the only form of entertainment in the setting known as the Underground. His brand, MTT Brand, features increasingly ridiculous products such as Bishie Cream or Anime Powder, and his efforts to set himself up as the purveyor of unique and extraordinary products also become increasingly ridiculous. I’ve created this set of stickers, featuring three different costumes from the game, for fans of the game. These stickers are meant to echo the design of my brochure created for Visual Media, so make sure to check that out too!

Creating the Stickers

To create the stickers, I had to create my own interpretation of Mettaton’s design in the video game.

First Run-Through

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The first run-through, inspired by the “One True Love” segment of the game, was largely unsuccessful. I had the slope of the shoulders wrong, and the dress needed improvement. I also had to fix the face and hair.

Final Draft

naomi-bastian-stickers-01The finished product was much closer to what I had been envisioning. I had created three different costumes, one from the Death by Glamour segment, one from the Live Report segment, and one from the One True Love segment. I created the smaller versions of his previous form to add to the brand imagery, I plan to sell these stickers on Redbubble, so watch out for them!

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Vector Graphics

Cosmic Pinball Gig Poster

A gig poster is a means for advertising a concert or show in one specific location. The poster is supposed to reflect the feel and sound of the music in a visual format, and gig posters are as vast and diverse as music itself is. For this project, I was inspired by the music of Anamanaguchi, Approaching Nirvana, and Chill Harris (formerly Kill Paris). I knew I wanted to create a poster for electronic/chiptune music, something that sounded heady and celestial. So my first step was to try to describe the music in more visual terms. In conversations with the friend who first introduced me to this genre, I started to come up with ideas.

Here’s a look at the notes I generated:

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After coming up with some ideas for what I wanted, it was time to turn to the drawing board. I chose the band name “Cosmic Pinball” after reflecting on this list and deciding that it was an excellent name for a chiptune-based electronic music group.

Sifting Through Ideas

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Since I had so many ideas, most of them centering around a first person platformer game, I had to find out how visually feasible they would be. I had just bought a new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, and I was trying to draw fast and loose to attempt to sketch intuitively. I wasn’t terribly inspired by any of the concepts that I had come up with, except for one. On the second page of my sketches, I had doodled an alien-looking woman with strange clothing and masses of hair. Her eyes were inspired by the artwork in Lady of the Shard by Gigi DG, and I found myself drawn to her and the aesthetic she represented. In conversation with the same friend that had introduced me to this genre of music, we had been discussing the 1968 film Barbarella and the unique aesthetic associated with it. This woman I had drawn represented a little of this 1960’s space age aesthetic, and I wanted to continue perfecting her. So, I basically abandoned my other ideas and took this sketch into Illustrator.

Illustrating Concepts

My first alien woman was based directly off of the sketch I had already done. While creating the illustrations, I colored the different segments of the costume randomly before deciding that I actually liked the high contrast in the colors and the values! These specific illustrations were inspired by a variety of 1960’s space age references, from science fiction pulp novel covers, older science fiction movies (like Barbarella), the original Star Trek series, and 1960’s fashion.

Most of the references I found were either hideously dated, sexist and objectifying, or just plain ridiculous. But overall, I tried to emulate the general aesthetic while also bringing it towards the future.

The Initial Draft

The first draft was flatly colored, and at this point, I was looking for preferences on which alien woman they preferred for the final version. After the work I had put in to create these two different women, I was having trouble deciding which one I preferred. After some feedback from my classmates, I decided to change the color scheme of the first woman and use that as the final design. I also received some feedback from my instructor, who suggested that I recess the buildings to make alleyways and increase depth. He also suggested that I desaturate the buildings as they got farther away, placing warmer and brighter colors towards the front and darker and cooler colors towards the back. He wanted me to play with perspective and put more thought into where the buildings hit her, to not hide her hands with text, and to add more squish to her wrists. Other than that, I was free to proceed as planned.

Gig Poster Draft 2

With the recolored version of the first draft in hand, I set off to edit the colors and positions of the buildings.

Using Adobe Photoshop, I created two different value comps to see what colors and values I needed to fix. I wanted to lighten her skin a little to offer better contrast without completely destroying her skintone, and I also needed to fix the arrangement of the colors in the buildings.

The six different illustrations are all of the different arrangements, sizes, and perspectives for the buildings that I tried. I eventually decided on the one in the middle of the second row, because I liked the extra negative space around her head so much. The new colors followed a much better procession from warm and bright to dark and cool, and arranging the buildings differently gave them more depth and dimension.

To more accurately represent the translucent, colorful nature of a galactic background, I started experimenting with blending modes. From there, I wanted to mess with blending modes on the buildings and on the alien woman, to add a more dreamlike feel.

This process was not easy, and it took two full days to a. figure out how the blending modes worked and b. figure out what I wanted from the blending modes. The first image was an experiment with creating a better galactic background. After applying the same effects to the other elements of the poster, I came up with the second image. It looked cool, but it definitely wasn’t what I wanted. The third image came about after a solid three hours of layering, messing with blending modes and colors, and several failed attempts at working with something else. For the fourth image, I tried adding a solid background to the alien woman’s body and clothing, and it worked much better. I wanted the stars to shine through her hair, but having the buildings be visible through her body was not what I had in mind. The fifth image was the closest to what I wanted, as far as the colors and the transparencies. After that, I recalled that another classmate had used the Inner Glow effects really well, and I wanted to try that. The sixth image includes my attempt at Inner Glow and Outer Glow, to make the poster look almost like neon lighting. I loved the effect that it gave, but I needed to tone it down more. I posted the last image to the class Facebook group to gather feedback, and realized I had some other things I wanted to fix before the final draft.

The Final Draft

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After receiving feedback from my peers, I decided to keep the gloves and remove the robot arm. It was creating confusion and gaps of color, so I chose to remove it. I increased the saturation of her costume to make it more visible, brightened the buildings, toned down the glow on the stars, and recolored her eyes and lips.

This poster perfectly reflects how I think the music of Cosmic Pinball would feel. It would feel celestial, psychedelic, a little sultry, but ultimately it should make you think of stars, galaxies, and extraterrestrials. This poster is attention-grabbing and gorgeous. The glowing effect is reminiscent of Vegas neon lights, and the galactic background adds to the dreamlike surroundings. If you listen to specific tracks by Chill Harris and Anamanaguchi, specifically Slap Me, U n Me, Endless Fantasy, The Walk, or To a New Earth, this poster should make perfect sense to you. When I listen to that kind of music, this is what I see. I hope that this poster enables you to see it too.

Vector Graphics

Witness Me Shirt Design

This was a project I was extremely excited for. The challenge to create my own design and have it printed was something I had been waiting for since the start of the semester, and I intended to give it my best shot. That is, until I ran headfirst into some severe artist’s block. Although I knew I wanted to create a t-shirt, I had no ideas for witty sayings or clever puns to use for my subject material. So I turned to my sketchbook and Pinterest for refuge.

Hitting the Wall

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When I ran into artist’s block, it was hard. I wanted to make a shirt I would genuinely love and want to wear, but when your interests are as varied and widespread as mine are, it was more difficult than I had assumed! I had originally wanted to create a 40’s and 50’s inspired movie poster for one of my favorite episodes of the X-Files, but then I moved down the list to consider a Rocketeer shirt, a Blues Brothers shirt, an Undertale shirt… until I finally realized that if I really wanted to challenge myself, I needed to make something much different.

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The thought of an X-Files shirt wasn’t bad, but I wanted something much, much better.

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After messing around with my brush pen for hours, I had finally come to a more concrete decision. I wanted to make a shirt inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road, one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s a fiercely dieselpunk apocalyptic movie that is fast-paced, intense, and so gorgeous that every frame could be featured in an art gallery. And there isn’t enough merchandise for it. I consider it my duty to spread the good word about Fury Road, so I set to work.

Making it Real

My next step, as always, was Illustrator. I already knew I wanted a recreation of Immortan Joe’s brand for the back of the shirt, and I decided to create that first as a test to see if this would actually work. From there, I took inspiration from various movie posters and iconic scenes in the movies to come up with my first draft.

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I used this poster in particular as a reference for the steering wheel Nux uses in pivotal scenes of the movie. I knew that I wanted to create a shirt that would echo the posters for the movie without directly copying any of them.

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It seems to be tradition by now that all of my first drafts are awful, but this is the worst one I’ve turned in so far. Although the font is not an altogether horrible recreation of the font used on the movie posters, the brush I was using to outline the various elements in the shirt was a no-go. Brother Kerr gave me the excellent advice (which I really should have seen coming) to use shadows to outline the shapes in the hand and arm to make it seem more realistic. His suggestion was that I find a better reference, so I borrowed a friend’s arm and used that for the photo reference to create a better design.

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As you can see from my original Illustrator document, it was an arduous undertaking.

The Finished Shirt

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This shirt echoes some of the most iconic moments and phrases in the movie. The character featured on the front is Nux, holding his steering wheel aloft in praise of the sadistic overlord Immortan Joe, the villain of the movie. I used Agency FB Bold, the same font that was used on official posters for the movie, to recreate the battle-cry on the front of the shirt. The emblem on the back of the shirt is typically branded on the necks of his lackeys in the movie, but in the context of this shirt, it’s a subtle piece of iconography that pays tribute to the movie without having to call it out specifically. This shirt only includes four specific colors, five if you include the black color of the shirt. I look forward to wearing this shirt and I plan to sell it online if I can. The shirt is iconic and eye-catching enough that any fan of the movie should be able to recognize it. Even though I hit the artistic wall many times while creating the design for this shirt, and made many mistakes along the way, I am immensely proud of the final product and I can’t wait to wear it!

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Vector Graphics

Photorealistic Timepiece

This project was my Vector Graphics trial by fire. Creating things in a photorealistic manner does not come naturally to me, especially when it comes to vector illustration. To imbue my watch with more personal meaning, I wanted to create a photorealistic representation of one of my own timepieces. I was torn between recreating a Westclox Baby Ben clock, or my own watch that I’ve worn for years. I wanted something that was intricate, classic, and interesting, where I could add small details.

The Sketching Process

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The sketching process involved trying to take apart some of the smaller details in these timepieces. I wanted a good sketch so that I could get a feel for the overall shape, but then I wanted to analyze the most interesting parts to find out what I specifically liked about each of these timepieces. Although I’m sure I could have done something with digital, stylized watches, I wanted to do something that I liked. Since I’ve been wearing the watch I chose on my wrist for years now, I figured I had already found a style that I did like. I love the tiny facets on the watch, the structure of the band, and the detail on the watchface itself, so my next step was to try to recreate it to the best of my ability.

Taking it to Illustrator

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The first pass through Illustrator was simply an attempt to recreate the shapes in the watch. I was very happy with how the shapes came out, especially the facets on the watch. I also tried to add shadows on the inside of of the watch to show the structure of the watchface. Brother Kerr liked the shape of it, especially the dials on the side, but was concerned about the facets. Apparently, they looked too much like linework, which was something I desperately needed to fix. I also needed to add more detail to the glass, adding more highlights and reflection. Obviously, no gradient work had been done yet, which was something that had to happen before the final draft.

Post-Feedback

Watch Draft

The second draft was much closer to what I was envisioning. The watchface was effectively finished, and the addition of highlights and detail to the glass were making a difference. However, I needed to fix the watchband to make it more accurate, and the facets still needed gradient work to show the light reflecting off of them. I also wanted to add more reflection on the inside of the watchface. I loved how the gradients on the main part of the watch were working, as well as the added shadows on the watchface. But it was clear I still had more work to do.

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And here is the finished product!

For the background, I added a glowing effect to offset the watch design. I edited the facets to make them better reflect the light and fixed the watchband. I used photo references and the actual watch at hand to make it as realistic as possible. I did make some changes based on other watch references I had, but overall I think that it fulfills the requirement to create a detailed and realistic timepiece. I used gradients, layers, and transparencies to create a gleaming, metallic watch and I am very proud of my work.

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Vector Graphics

Historical Fashion Icon Set

I have always been interested in historical fashion, but I have never been able to find any informative graphics or illustrations for the variety of silhouettes and fashions found in the 19th century. Most infographics that can be found are lacking in examples of real historical fashion as opposed to modern interpretations of older trends, and they are also lacking in diversity. For this project, I wanted to make icons representing the most popular silhouettes for each decade from 1890-2000, while also representing a variety of ideal body types from each decade and variety in ethnicity as well. To construct the models for these historical fashions, I took inspiration from real-life figures such as Josephine Baker from the 1920’s, Anna May Wong from the 1930’s, Rita Hayworth from the 1940’s, and so on. For the dresses, I found evening dresses from such online resources as The Museum at FIT, Les Arts Decoratif, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pinterest also provided other resources, such as makeup ads from the pertinent eras and guidelines for Victorian dress. It was an exciting project, even though it took hours and hours of work!

Creating the Look

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Getting into Illustrator

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The first draft I created was inspired by Josephine Baker, since I had so many references of her on hand. After some review, I decided that I needed to fix the feet, but that the rest was what I was looking for. I was using the linework to emphasize her legs and head, but I didn’t consider how that would look once the icons were shrunk.

Basic RGBThe initial tests for the body types went very well. I had changed the shape of the feet, created different shoulder and waist shapes for every body type, and changed the size of the feet as well. Once all of the body types were created, I began experimenting with skin types for all of the ethnicities and working on my first draft for the in-class review.

The Draft and the Feedback

icon-draft-1Disaster struck. The outlines I had so carefully used were shot down when reviewed, and for good reason. The shapes of the figures were harder to interpret, and the smaller the figures were, the harder they were to make out. I had to improve my value contrast, change the backgrounds so they weren’t interpreted as containers, and remove any and all linework. I also needed to change the shape of the heads so they didn’t look cramped, and improve the overall look. My work was cut out for me.

The Final Product

vector-draft-4-01To improve the body shapes, I removed any and all outlines, fixed the shape of the legs, changed the shape of the heads and the slant of the eyes, changed the skin colors, and added shadows. Adding the shadows made a huge difference, as did removing the outlines. The next step was to take all of the dress designs, fit them to the new body types, and add the hairstyles, makeup, gloves, accessories, and shoes. I also added shadows to the dresses to define the shapes better.

final-draftThe final draft is on a charcoal-gray background, so that the colors of the dresses and the forms of the models are highlighted against it. The models all have period-accurate jewelry, accessories, and makeup, and the dresses are all based on actual historical fashion of the era. The silhouettes of the dresses are the foremost focus of this piece, which fulfills my goal to have an accurate historical fashion icon set that reflects actual silhouettes of the respective time periods. The icons can be displayed in small sizes without significant loss, since the dresses are meant to be the main focus. But without the models, the dresses would not be able to represent the eras as accurately. The simple, reproducible style allows the main focus to be on the fashion, and they create a fun, two-dimensional paper-doll effect. Although this project came with significant challenges, I am very happy with the way they turned out!

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