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.)

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