Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PERC Up Coffee - Surrealism

This was our last assignment for Advertising illustration, designing an image to be placed in a poster for a new business in Savannah, PERC Coffee. It was also a contest, the winning illustration from our class would be placed in coffee shops all around Savannah. Sadly, I didn't win, but either way I am very pleased with the result.

 The aim of the project was to communicate a boost of energy, that "perking up" that coffee provides.

I'm not a coffee drinker (what is this? first wine, now coffee?!) So I had to get creative and I figured, I don't enjoy the taste of coffee (unless if it's loaded with chocolate and sugar), BUT  I really love the smell.  I played with the idea of what that scent might incite in someone. And drink-wise, since you get that nice little boost for the day, I figured, to me, that boost is associated with music as much as scent. And here it is:
(Click to view larger.)

Process work:
This is the original version, which I turned in for class (with PERC's template.) The image with the orange sky is the final, revamped version. MUCH better, right?

On Surrealism:

I had about 3 people mention Dali when they saw this and well, I don't agree. Sure it's surrealist but it's not Dali, and he wasn't the only surrealist.

If you've followed my blog so far, you'll notice I haven't exactly drawn anything quite this surreal (except for the guitar train, maybe.) In fact, the majority of pieces I've produced at SCAD have never so much as hinted to surrealism. However, back in high school, barely any of my work WASN'T surrealist. Or it was abstract, non-objective, whatever you want to call it. Basically I drew shapes and I saw objects and places in them.

For instance:

Here, there's an elephant, a flying creature of some sort, a seahorse (though that one's kind of obvious) and a tower walking uphill. There's probably some more birds in there (the shapes I like the most tend to lend themselves perfectly for bird shapes.) Who knows what else you'll find if you flip the image any which way.

When I draw these, objects and places appear both intentionally and unintentionally. From time to time I get this itching, nagging feeling in my hands of just wanting to draw, and I do just that. I don't draw what I see though. I draw whatever shape my hand is itching to draw, almost like fulfilling a craving. And then I add more shapes depending on what I start to see, and maybe even flesh out an object or creature into a more recognizable form, but not too much because that'd defeat the point.

I have never incorporated these mindscapes into my illustrations at SCAD because they are just too abstract. Illustration is about communication and these sketches provide more of an ambiguous, abstract message... which is not an effective way to communicate. These are more suited for fine art.

So, I somehow took a chance for this coffee poster and turned one of my mindscapes into something tangible. I'm not 100% pleased with the result yet, there's a couple of changes I will be making but overall, I'm happy that I finally went ahead and made something surreal for an assignment. It feels risky but closer to home.

All images ©Tatiana Dengo 2010 (except PERC's template.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Serious Question - Children's Book Illustration

The third class I took this quarter was Children's Book illustration.

Due to time constraints, I had to choose a story/verse from the public domain instead of writing my own. I chose "A Serious Question" by Carolyn Wells. It is as follows:

A kitten went a-walking
One morning in July,
And idly fell a-talking
With a great big butterfly.

The kitten's tone was airy,
The butterfly would scoff;
When there came along a fairy
Who whisked his wings right off.

And then--for it is written
Fairies can do such things--
Upon the startled kitten
She stuck the yellow wings.

The kitten felt a quiver,
She rose into the air,
Then flew down to the river
To view her image there.

With fear her heart was smitten,
And she began to cry,
"Am I a butter-kitten?
Or just a kitten-fly?"

We were required to create three pages of illustrations for the book. I chose 3 spreads (6 pages). Here is my favourite spread out of the ones I drew:

(Click to view larger.)
The medium is graphite and digital.

I'm happy I've gotten to experiment so much with this technique this quarter. After 3 years at SCAD, I'm finally starting to feel like this can be MY technique. I've liked many through the years but never had the one that was quite right for me, until now. I've noticed the most successful students are the ones that pick one and stick with it. We all learn at least two dozen techniques here but picking just the right one for you and developing it seems to be the most rewarding approach. Your work gains consistency and you are quickly able to identify what's working and what isn't and if so, how to fix it.

The best part about it is it can be done either in paint or digitally. Due to the volume of work I had this quarter, most of it was digital, since it's faster that way.

The sad part is I really enjoy painting but painting only constitutes about 10-20% of the work in this technique. It's all mostly in the drawing, really.

Either way, I'm really happy with the results of using it all quarter. I've never been more consistently pleased with my work.  :)

Illustration ©Tatiana Dengo 2010.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wine Label - The Vicar

Our third Advertising illustration project: make a wine label for Chapel Hill's flagship wine,"The Vicar."

Initially, the aim of the project was to keep it uppity and elegant, something suitable for a high-price wine such as The Vicar. Eventually we just decided to go for a more playful, less uppity approach, but still keeping the name and such.

I decided to go for a wrap-around label since I've always found those most amusing on bottles. They give you something to entertain yourself with.

I did some research on the Shiraz grapes which are grown in McLaren Vale.  Some recurring themes were: the great Mediterranean climate, the rolling hills and the ocean visible just past them; so I made the illustration with that image in mind.  The medium is graphite and digital.

And here is the result: 

The colours printed out slightly darker than the original.

Close ups:

 As you can see, the seam is right at the doors. Originally these were gonna be closed to allow for a cleaner seam but I figured it'd be more interesting to have them just slightly open, and it was! The only problem is at the time, I didn't account for the thicker paper I used to print it out, so that's why there is a little white seam there, but that's easily fixable.

The only thing I would do different is to change the letters of the logo to the light yellow of the other letters, I didn't do it at the time since I didn't know if we were allowed to alter the logo.

Note: I don't own the Chapel Hill logo nor the "The Vicar" logo. These were only used for this class's purposes. The only type treatment I did was for "Shiraz 2007, 750ml."

All images ©Tatiana Dengo 2010 (with the exception of the logos, as noted above.)