In just a few hours, the voting closes for the Global Talent Search Semi-Final. I have an amazing & surprising wash of calm over me & completely ready for whatever my future holds.
Should I not progress any further I'll be working away on new designs & start making my prospective list of clients to make contact with. I am already booked to head to New York next year [yes really!!!] with my artwork in hand, to meet clients!
Should all the stars align & I am somehow plucked from obscurity to continue in this competition, well I am ready for that too. I would love to sink my teeth into more assignments & I'm ready to get working!!
I'm happy & ready for everything that comes next. Everything that I've done in my life & worked hard for, for so long, has brought me to exactly where I am right now & its exactly where I need to be. I am happy & excited!!!
There's just one last chance to vote for my piece, please click right HERE.
Today I thought I would share a little bit about how my entry came together. When I first received the assignment [animal character with personality for young childs t-shirt] I was thrilled! I love doing whimsical, quirky, pretty work, suitable for children. Actually I love most kinds of work really, unless its drab & ugly colours, haha!
Then quickly my enthusiasm turned to brain overload. Just one character? How could I be generous with that? I wanted to show off lots of skills & a range of characters. I wanted to offer the judges pattern & multiple personalities & a whole story.... I decided to start by brainstorming a list of animals I like best.
I sketched out pages & pages of different animals. My favourites were alpaca's, sheep, antlered beasts, bears, hippo's, rabbits & ducks.
I then started to think about composition. I thought about doing a giraffe in a kids playroom setting with toys everywhere & gangly legs. I sketched out many a creature on scooters & mopeds. I drew lots of bears at the county fair giving away free bear hugs.... All the while I kept reminding myself to make sure the animal had personality & was suitable for a young child. In the end I decided I would go for a bunny & do a feminine style.
I decided I wanted to be as generous as I could with icons & story and include as many things as I could within the space. One large focal point icon definitely reads better small & is a great way to attract attention but I've heard that art directors are likely to ask you to 'move this, add this, change the colour of that, delete this bit, divide this up into pieces' etc. So I decided to continue with my adding lots of content in the hope it would show more of what I'm about, show that I have range & demonstrate my capabilities to be able to do a childrens book. Maybe it was too much for a t-shirt design, I know there's a contingent that doesn't like 'busy' but there just may be the right someone out there who can see through that, and see just how much I wanted to offer & that the design is easily split up.
So once I decided on my main character, I thought about ways in which I could add the extras. I decided to work on my original playroom idea. The bunny would ride on a pretty rocking horse & have some other smaller characters holding on for dear life. Then I would frame the bunny with pretty lanterns at the top and a train track with more characters in carriages at the bottom. I did intend to put some shelving & a dolls house & some other toys in the toyroom but it got way overloaded & it just looked better without it. So a simulated playroon was what I focussed on. In the end I felt I needed some sort of anchor in the bottom left corner so added in the pug & balloon.
Once I had my theme & general composition sorted, I started painting all my characters & elements with gouache. I can't recall just how many little paintings I did, over 40 anyway. And then I scanned them all in, edited them & put them into my design. I used a painted texture for the background with some light overlays of some spots and also a flower repeat pattern that I had made.
Then onto my most favourite bit, making all the elements come alive with complexity & detail & lushness. I used the florals to make up a lovely patchwork dress for my bunny [I want that fabric!] & also used the florals to put tiny patterns onto my Chinese lanterns. I used the cheese wedge painting & made a little repeat pattern for the mouses dress. See what I did there? Mouse wearing a cheese dress? hehe. Lame I know but I just love messing about with all those details.
I thought about the bunny as a soft toy & lined her ears with another floral design as though she were made of fabric. I added more florals to the rocking horse to make her look pretty & free like she was covered in wildflowers. I imagined the legs of the horse being made into matching pants for this t-shirt design and they would look so cute on a little girl with the flared floral design at the bottom of skinny stripey legs.
I gave each character a little story of their own. The duck plays the mondolin, the mouse is a traveller with 'Par Avion' on her suitcase, the pug wants to save the whales & that little bear is giving away free hugs. Miss alpaca is wearing a princess crown & rather than include a painted child as suggested in the brief, I included a babushka doll toy to fit in with the characters in the playroom but still demonstrated a painted face & eyes etc.
There was lots of little paintings I didn't end up using either but nothing is wasted. I'm busting to get cracking on using them for other designs. I have this little birdy with a microphone spruiking, I imagine in a southern American, county fair accent, for "free bear hugs, roll up, roll up, get your free bear hug today foks!" that makes me laugh every time I think of it. There were certainly many ways I could have gone with this one but in the end you have to just go with your gut, pick & get cracking. I felt my bunny with her wry smile, sparkly friendly eyes & her love heart Dame Edna style glasses was the best pick of all my ideas, for a young child.
And so with only a few days to get this started & finished before we went on a family vacation, I worked like a demon & finished it to my satisfaction. Of course I could have kept tweaking & tweaking but I only had a limited time. And I'm pretty happy. I don't know if its commercial enough for the judges but it sits right with me, its true to my style & it doesn't make me cringe, so that has to be ok.
Anyway, that was a little behind the scenes on this project. I want to thank all my wonderful family, real life friends, online friends, fellow artists & complete strangers who have been so encouraging & voted for me.
I'll be back next week with more to share & hopefully reveal a fun new project with a super special fellow artist collaborator that has been cooking up these past few weeks and is just about to kick off! Can't wait!!
Bye for now!