Live Encore: Designing Digital Art With Meaning | Jennet Liaw | Skillshare

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Live Encore: Designing Digital Art With Meaning

teacher avatar Jennet Liaw, Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Designing Meaningful Work


    • 3.

      Jennet’s Design Framework


    • 4.

      Choosing & Sketching Your Message


    • 5.

      Making a Mood Board


    • 6.

      Testing Your Design


    • 7.

      Editing & Elevating Your Work


    • 8.

      Adding Color


    • 9.

      Presenting Your Work


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Learn to design work that looks great and helps spread important messages!

Besides being known for creating the coolest merch for your favorite musicians and incredible murals, products, and more for the likes of Coca Cola, the NBA, Adidas, Airbnb, and Puma, designer Jennet Liaw has gained attention for being unafraid to create work that has deeper meaning behind it. In this class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—she’ll share her process for creating pieces that are as impactful as possible in spreading important messages about the world we live in today. 

While this isn’t a technical class, so you won’t get to see every step Jennet takes along the way in Illustrator, you’ll get to watch over Jennet’s shoulder as she chooses a message to share, sketches out and tests ideas until she finds her final concept, and adds her own special details to make the design all her own. Plus, students participating in the live version of this class were able to ask Jennet questions along the way, so you’ll get to learn more about her background, creative process, and advice to designers. 


While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jennet Liaw



Jennet Liaw is a graphic artist based in New York City best known for her murals and work with illustrated typography. She has previously held roles at Nike Design, and currently creates visuals for recording artists represented by Universal Music. She has continued running her studio as an independent artist throughout her career, and as a freelancer her large-scale letters and brand campaign work have generated a clientele that includes Adidas, Puma, REI, Harper Collins, Phillip Lim, Adobe, Netflix, Airbnb, UFC, and Apple amongst many others.

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Especially during this time, people are trying so hard to get their voices heard. In the mess of everything and the noise of everything going on, I often see that it's artists who really are able to express the collective feeling of a group of people in a way that is some simple but powerful. I'm Jennet Liaw, I am a designer and graphic artist. As a freelancer, I've done mills and grand campaign work for clients such as Adidas, Nike, Puma amongst others. Today's class i's going to be on creating graphic art in response to either current events or personal experiences that you've had in your life. It is really important, I think, as artists in this time, to tap into what is meaningful to you and what may communicate something important to your audience, and being able to communicate that effectively through visual. This class isn't going to be a technical class. I think that the concept is really what matters to me and the process that I want you guys to focus on. We're going to work with these steps pretty quickly, while in actuality, in real life when you work on this project, you might take a few hours. I hope that after you take this class, you'll feel maybe a little bit more comfortable and more equipped to express the things that are going on in your life, whether it's the world around you or internally in a visual way and feel confident that that will be powerful when expressed in a good way. One thing to keep in mind is that this class was recorded during a live session with Skillshare, so the questions that I answer at the end of the session were from community members who were watching throughout. I'm so excited that you're here. Let's go ahead and get started. 2. Designing Meaningful Work: Hi everybody. I'm Beca. I work at Skillshare. I'm on the classes and content team. I'll be helping a little bit along the way today. Helping to facilitate questions to Jeanette, and be the person in the background once Jeanette takes it away with her amazing design work. Jeanette, would you mind starting us off by telling us a little bit about you, and who you are, what you do, and et cetera. Yeah, for sure. Thanks Beca. I'm Jeanette. I'm a designer, illustrator and based in New York right now. I'm originally from Liberia. My past has consisted of designing, as Beca mentioned, for Nike, was a graphic designer for the women's sportswear department. Currently I work for Universal Music where I do a lot of the merch, parallel concepts for artists that are represented by Universal, such as Billie Eilish, Innocent Park et cetera. Throughout this full-time job process, which I love and of its own, I've been freelancing pretty consistently as a muralist, and also doing everything from brand design, to campaign for various different messaging across brands that I love basically. That's a little bit of who I am. Awesome. Why don't you talk a little bit about what we're going to be doing today in this session? What students might need? Where this idea came from? Why you're excited to be taking everyone through this process today? Yes. So, for the class today I'm going to be working in Illustrator. I have a few slides prepared in Illustrator episodes. The work that I'm actually physically going to be doing. I'm going to be doing a vector. But you totally don't have to be working in Illustrator in order to follow along. This is definitely less of a technical class as it is worth just walking you through my typical thinking process. How I come to just realize the concepts, and also how I speak visually to messaging that I think is really important. That either matters to me or if someone's message that they really want to be conveyed really effectively in a visual way. Whether you're working in a sketchbook, or an iPad, or an illustrator on Photoshop, whatever is comfortable for you, it should work. I'm not going to get into super technicalities or work in illustrator. But once a while you'll see me clicking around as you would in Illustrator. This session is really inspired by our need as artists. Whether you're a hobbyist, or this is your job to really be able to effectively express ourselves in the face of things that are either, going on in the world right now, or just in your life personally and being able to communicate that for people to relate to, for things to see the similarities between you, and someone very different from his lifestyle. Specifically for Angels on the front lines, I was inspired by something that was just happening two,three,four weeks ago. Who knows? We're in quarantine right now. Time is passing slow, fast, depending on how you're experiencing it. What I felt an overwhelming just the emotion of the beginning of it was just great gratitude. That even though I was experiencing such mixed emotions, and a lot of demotivation, and frustration that I was pretty helpless in this current situation, that I knew for sure that there were people that were putting themselves out there, and really risking their own lives essentially. I think that's a really overwhelming feeling. Something that we as artists just feel like we need to do something about whether to raise awareness, for a specific cause, or just to express ourselves, and see what comes after that. See what inspires someone else to do in reaction to what we create. So when I created that, I was really thinking about those people that I feel I relate to as humans, but I don't relate to in terms of how brave they are. I just really wanted to find a sense of commonality between our emotion and their actions. Wonderful. I just always love hearing you talk about your work. It's just so fascinating. I think that's actually a really great transition to get us into the exercise. If you want to get us started and take us away with our first steps. 3. Jennet’s Design Framework: So before I get into what I'm going to be working on today specifically, and maybe a bit of a prompt for what you can start to ID on, I just want to outline the main things that are on my mind as I work through any project that has a meaning that is important to me. How to riff off of that if you're familiar with my work, I really like to just create plays on either words or have a familiar imagery be expressed in an unexpected way, so that you might think about it in a new way. Hopefully that might be enlightening for you. So this is just a little chart that I made, you can just see the red orange parts as examples, to further express what I'm trying to say. So subjects, symbology and contexts. Subject is, for instance, if a brand is asking for yourself, you want to express on the topic of say the angels, the doctors that are out there doing the hard work, then we would think of the subject as being those physicians that are out in the field doing the work. Symbology in that example that was mentioned before would be angels, basically angelic symbology to overlay on that. In my work I would find similarities in either the shapes or just an overall of feeling that just crosses over. I think of everything on diagrams is kind of how I conceptualize everything. We can all be so different, but there's always some place we have some kind of commonality, even if that's visually, we can find ways that we are very similar. So in the case of the angels, those hands, which I'll walk through in a minute. They actually looked to me like they could be wings, and I think that's really a powerful imagery to really express on. Is similar shape with what we are familiar with as a representation of those doctors is those gloved hands. Then just something aesthetically to play off of and make sure that we keep in mind is contexts. Context sometimes can also be defined as your personal style maybe. Maybe, you always work in a similar context. For me, I designed a lot of t-shirts. So there's a lot of specific t-shirts references like arras or musical references that I always tap into. For you, It could be maybe you're really inspired by art deco. Maybe you have a background in fine art or something, and you want to express those previous two categories in the context of Fine Art Deco. Then of course, if you're not sure what your style is, which is a very common thing as well, you can look toward the subject and the symbology to inform what your contexts should be. In the case of those angels, it's very modern and current. I just tap into my personal contexts, but maybe, if it was something more historical, for instance, I wrote down psychedelic. I've been working on a project with Black Sabbath, and that seems very obvious. The context should be something that is super wavy, drug inspired in a positive way, to inform how you should be thinking about your line of work, what fonts are using, and just anything that plays into create. So before we begin actually working on this, I just wanted to walk through a few, maybe my password to illustrate how I thought about those three above topics in basically all of my workbook. I really do use that kind of structure at my head to make sure that I'm hitting all the points when I'm designing something that's meaningful and making sure that It's a subject and that it's riffing off something. It makes you think about something that you think you already know about, but in a new way, and then also convey this really cohesive five so that the whole piece feels like it's from either the same era or the same movement or whatnot. So for this piece, it's not really a piece, it's a few of the different elements that was in a mural design that is currently at the Strabo headquarters. It's the running app, I'm sure a lot of you use. This is just a bunch of T's, like a letter T. So to break it down, these are all T's. That's the subject. That's what you're supposed to get out of it. But then, there's this other layer up, what does that subject trends morph into? What is it that makes it grow into that next level of something that makes you look at it a bit longer and think, I can glean something word layered from this, and I'm looking at 90 years in a row. So these are all things that are athletics inspired. So if you look back at this chart, the symbology is the T as a panting tongue, the T as staircase leading up, you get the gist. The context, of course, is a tech company that is in the realm of athletics. I'll go through these a little bit more quickly, but I touched on this one earlier, which is the title card for this class. But subject line being the gloved hands and then the wings and the halo being that angelic symbology. This is the piece that I did for Puma, which was produced on shoe boxes for a woman, ex-work specific project, talking about the subject being women, which is depicted in this female form. But really funny that commonality in shape with a Puma, which is appropriate for Puma as a brand campaign. But more importantly, to me, it helps that women figure transform to something that we might see as more powerful. More recent one, talking about racism during this COVID-19 situation that we're in, and I found a commonality between the shape of a virus and a scuffle as it's often depicted in cartoons. So showing that commonality. I think hopefully opening people's eyes to how things are happening in a layered way. So now that you've had a bit of a look into the framework that I use, let's dive into the project that we'll be working on today. 4. Choosing & Sketching Your Message: So next I'm going to share how I chose message that I really want idea on today, and then some sketches that are derived from that and will serve as the body of what we make as our final product. This is where we get into the topic that I really want to get into today. Hopefully, you are inspired by it in some ways so you can follow along. Again, if you're in a sketch book, that's totally fine, I'm going be continuing to work in this Illustrator document. I was really inspired recently by this interview that was done from the hundreds, and they interviewed Pharrell about a lot of things, but I think the main message that was really powerful and I really got out of it was the importance of sharing the code. For me, it's really helpful to start any project with a phrase. I think that you can dissect thoroughly through a phase pretty in depth and also in really personal ways too, that might surprise you once you start with this sketch process. When I read this article, I was just really moved by how generous he was and how much he stressed, how important it is to share the codes, which is basically how we do what we do where if you're successful, how did you reach that success with your community so that your community can come up with you, and I thought that was such a powerful message, especially in this time where I think a lot of people could feel really alone and sharing the code, I think you just never know there's so much that we could dissect from this visually. You just never know what seeds you could be planting when you say something really simple to someone that's like your common man, and so that is the topic that we're going to be expressing on today. I think it is really important whenever you are about to make an art piece, to think about how something matters personally to you, and to really give yourself the time and space to sit with that emotion. I think that the best artwork comes out of that so that you don't make something that's similar to what someone else is making, so reading with the fear of being just like or someone else already made something for this, it's fine. You always have an individual voice that you can bring to the table, and so that's why when we're working through the [inaudible] and today, I'm going to be showing you how it work literally, but also going to be skipping steps so they can see what the outcome of each step will be, because I do think it's really important for you to take a step back, in your personal life when you're working on something to be able to walk away from your computer, your sketchbook or whatever it is, and take some real quiet time to assess what something it means to you, and then also after you start working on something, to come back to a piece and see if it really is expressing Number 1, the message that you want to convey, and then whether it looks good or not, that can come after. But I think that our personal quiet time is really important, at least personally to me. To get into how I began to work on this piece, usually the phase where I start to sketch out just visually. What are some symbols that convey a message in a way that is really meaningful to me and also is really universal for your audience to digest. This is the sketch that I did just on my iPad. I tend to either on my iPad or my sketchbook just to see like what symbols really express what I'm feeling honestly, and so you can see that there's like a flashlight, I think like shining light on someone else, I think that's a powerful symbol. All these things could be potentially pretty powerful symbols is just how they translate in the context of everything else that you're trying to do. For me, I know I want to do something topographic. Also, I'm thinking about what play into the topography that I plan on using and I want to say share the codes. Personally, I love letter O because it offers such a broad just looks like a lot of things honestly, it's a circle. It looks like a lot of things, I get excited by C and O, share the code there's no there, I love circles. Again, very personal thing, but one of the things can be made to look like circles. You'll see like a bomb there, a dandelion, a flame, cubic bigger circle, and so I just really want the message to come through in a way where it just is something that you can see right away, and then there's another layer to it that makes you go like, oh sure, I didn't think of it that way. You'll see that some of the ideas that I've just really let myself just really explode on is having roots in something, not forgetting your roots, being on the same team as somebody you don't not to forget your team mates. This idea of spreading, like I feel like I'm stuck with me, when rain falls down, it just really just coats everything around it, and I couldn't get away from the stimuli and iconography to be honest, I just love how, there's this theory or feeling of it landing on who knows where. But you're open to letting a wind take you away and go where it may. Even though I encourage you to think about something really personally, it is important to make sure that you're using the most universally iconic representation of something. For instance, I have on here, a fire, a dandelion, like a bomb like and I tried to always draw the icon that is really digestible for typical audience to digest. The message can be personal and expression can be personal, but I would advise that the icons that you choose are very universal, so that we don't get lost in that personal expression. For the dandelion, for instance, we want to make sure that it's very clear in that the outline of it is just very, if your friend came in the room, they would be like, oh that's the dandelion I like I myself can really get into drawing something and then step back and realize like I liked that personally, but it might take some of the seconds. The faster it takes for someone to digest something that you're doing and the more effective of a design that it is, I ended up landing on the dandelion idea. I just loved the dispersing idea and that feeling of intentionally letting go of what you have, but also not being too intentional about where it goes and just being generous with it, so I we decided to go with this concept of dandelions. Maybe the sketch is pretty maybe it's not, it's really killing me. When you sketch here starts you should obviously land in a place where it makes sense to you. But for me, I just saw this dandelion and both being the perfect way to replace the O and codes, and these are some ways that I thought about expressing that I had an idea to do the unlock with the A shape, but eventually I scrapped that. Jeanette, do you ever start sketching something, and then realize, oh wait, this isn't the right message and then go back to the start and have to return, or have you gotten to a place where once you decide I want to express this message pretty much by the time you get to this sketching phase, you've got your way forward and you keep. You can go to the end from there? With time and experience, you start to really see messaging through the world through a different lens. I think that sometimes when I read articles and when I just absorb current events, I start to just get into the practice of seeing that visually. How does that translate? For me, when I do choose the message tends to be the one that I stick with it, because I do believe that once you start going on a message that you should power through and will be, but there is a right way to express it visually, especially if you feel personally strongly about it. Typically when I've chosen one minor messaging, I just go through with it because I think that's a really awesome challenge honestly. I think everything that's meaningful can't be expressed visually, and if you give it time, take walks, take showers, all that like the method of expressing it will come up. Share the codes. That's the message that we are going with today. This is what I'm going to be working on. Hopefully you might be a bit inspired by that messaging, and if maybe there's something else going on in the world right now that you feel personally just moved by, I'm honestly sure that this is a very unique time I think, in our lives and our generation. I'm sure that you have thoughts on something, whatever it is, whether you want to follow along with me on the share the codes messaging, or if there's something else, go for it. 5. Making a Mood Board: So, moving on to the next step, I feel really strongly about making a mood board, but also making one after you've developed your concept. I think that doing this after you've developed your concept makes you concept more freely, and you end up prioritizing a stronger concept over just making a pretty picture or making something that's trendy. So you have a strong concept, and then throughout the mood boarding process, I can keep that concept in mind as I pull together everything. These are just images that I've pulled from either Pinterest, or Google, or things that I've had saved for a while that I think would make a lot of sense for this. I just really love the interaction of the typography and the illustrations in these. I really love the kind of textural contrast with this very straightforward Helvetica in this piece. I love old Nike ads and I also really like how these really thin lines just disrupt this message, but in a way that also adds to it. I think that's kind of a really strong concept visually. So it's kind of where my head's been at and I think I'm going to carry that through with my designs. Jeanette, one question. What do you even Google when you're trying to find the images? What do you type into Pinterest? What kinds of words do you use to even get yourself on the right track to be able to start gathering images like this? That's a good question. I really recommend going on Pinterest and being kind of an avid user of Pinterest, I am myself. I tend to Google specific things, yes, but these inspiration imageries are pulled from different categories that I've already placed different groupings of images into. Does that make sense? So when I have T-shirt inspirations, versus poster inspirations, versus branding, I'll pull all of those into one spot and then when I'm looking for something specifically for a new design, I can go into that grouping and find something that I've already saved for myself. Or, there's like a handy, more like this or related algorithm imagery that they'll suggest for you. So that's really how I find the best stuff. I'm a big, unsponsored fan of Pinterest. So rather than starting from scratch to find inspiration for every single new project you do, it sounds like you kind of always have these inspiration boards going that then you can kind of dip into with a new project when it comes along. Exactly. I think that from my work personally and something I would encourage is just to stay excited. I think as I'm working on something, I always have stuff that I'm like, oh, this is not working for this project, but I would love to save that for later. I have so much stuff that I just would love to read this later, you know, push it aside but saved carefully. So, for this project and a lot of other projects, I'm pulling from stuff where I've had previously stored up inspiration and excitement, and I'm just carrying it on to this next project. Hopefully by now you have a mood board that's full of inspiration to help guide you along the way. Now, let's get started on the design. 6. Testing Your Design: Moving right along, I'm going to start with the verbage. For me, the verbage will be the subject. I call it the first layer of contact. It's the first thing that someone will see. But we'll get to that later. I want to start with the typography and so you'll see above, I really liked this set up, specifically because I think I really want to either make a poster or t-shirt out of this and I think this formatting will be perfect for that. It's vertical, it can work either on the back of a t-shirt or on a typical poster size. I like that format. I know that it would go with a left aligned layout and this is just a font that I've been liking lately. It's called [inaudible] by the way. For the sake of this class I've typed it out first. But if you're typing out something, I would just type it and then create outlines so that this is an image file. Again, this is specific trial illustrator. But if you're drawing it, just draw it. This is the format that I've been liking for t-shirts and potentially posters. Here I have pulled together some dandelion references just so that I don't lose track of what the subject is and that I can look at something that is recognizable for the average person, so that I can ideate off of that and not get too far away from something that is familiar enough to act as that second layer of contacts. If you remember from this first sketch, I wanted to replace the O, with the [inaudible]. Just isolate this and drag this all to the side just in case I need to reference it later. But generally, I want to draw a dandelion and the reason why I brought this reference in is because I really like the way the graphics just really disrupt the text and how it looks explosive. I don't want it to look just like a dandelion. I want it to have the overall graphic effect of feeling like a bomb honestly and really just ready to share the codes, ready to explode on the community. This is again, not a technical class, but this is for instance, how I would start to create that shape. This tool is really useful for making wavy lines and stuff too. You can see how in this reference, I really love how that negative space disrupts the letter forms and breaks it up, makes it all a bit more interesting to look at. Now I've just expanded appearance so that we don't have, [inaudible] don't know the technical terms for it but so that we can actually play with the anchor points and make it into a shape that's interesting like this. It looks a bit more human. Another tip that I have when you are expressing a new thought that's derived from maybe an old message or familiar imagery, is to really group your aesthetics together. What I mean by that is I personally really like organic shapes and feeling like there's a human touch to everything. I'll show you what the next step of this is soon but if you're going to have a hand-drawn element, I would advise that you integrate those hand-drawn elements throughout in a way where it helps to contrast with those really sharp vectorized elements and make sure that you're making your point throughout so that it's not just looking like it's a draft and hand-drawn on one side and then [inaudible] on the other side and what not. I would [inaudible] group graphics that have the same aesthetic in a way that helps express the message. But for me, they keep the very vector looking typography, which is very vector looking, and the hand-drawn dandelion, it's going to look very hand-drawn just to really keep that contrast really clear and intentional. What I think we want to do is create this space for the quote to go in because I do want to quote [inaudible] specifically, just to give a bit more context of this main message. Sometimes you can use a longer explanation of what your main message is as an aesthetic accessory. You'll see what I mean, but you can pretend that it's a logo or something, where you might not look at it at the first glance, but if you are interested in the main message, you will look deeper and it will be there for you to look into. I copy pasted the [inaudible] into later, but I want to put it here. Here's a little place holder for it to go into. The thing that I really want the dandelion to have a double entendre of, if you will, is a face of somebody whose mind is being shared with everyone. You'll see, up in my sketch, I have brains and stuff but I think that that's not really going to work for this because there's just a lot that's going to be going on. I think that I'm going to just do a head. Everything sounds better in theory. [inaudible] better [inaudible] does in theory, like I'm going to put this head here and it's totally going to work, but I promise you it's going to work. I'm going to just make a little guy and don't worry, I'm not going to go through this full painful vectorizing process with you and make you sit through it. I will do the cooking show setup where we just magically go to the next step. But I do want you to get a sense of how I physically maneuver and honestly just check that a design is working. Sometimes you will have an idea for an effective design and when you lay it out, it doesn't have the effect that you want it to have. I would say that it's more important for the message to be expressed than you're thinking for myself, your ego to be satisfied by something that just looks really good. [inaudible] Sometimes something could look really good but it starts to lose sight of the message. That happens to me all the time and I have to step back, walk away, and just assess whether the cause or the messaging is number one and whatever is impressive comes in the later steps though. This makes sense to me. Whatever you make will make sense to you. But I know that it looks really strange when someone looks over my head and they're like, ''I'm not sure that you know what you're doing or that's working.'' I promise, this is working. This is why designers don't like it our directors looking over their shoulder because it's like, ''I don't know how to tell you this, but this is absolutely going to work.'' I'm looking at this right now and I'm like, ''Okay, I see the subject, I see the twist, it's me.'' Dandelion as the O but then the O also effectively creeps up as a head, which is going to express that idea of ideas dispersing freely and generously. Here, in this black box, which will no longer be a black box, it's going to be the space for browse quote. That's going further detail why I did this in the first place. 7. Editing & Elevating Your Work: Now that I have the basic structure for this design and I know that it will work, I can start to play into it and really add to it to make it my own. We're going to magically go down to this next step where I prepared what it will look like after some time of tinkering. Again, unfortunately, this is on technical clustering like a [inaudible]. I've created these organic expression of the zigzag. But depending on your background and your personal style, you can do that in a way that is comfortable for you. But here I have saved this quote. "The best sleeping aid known to mankind is goodwill. Be excited when your brother wins, be excited when your sister wins. Don't block their blessing, because when you do that, you are blocking yours. Whatever God got for you is good." I think that that really helps or in our first impression of you, who is interested in knowing more about what you were saying, just really get a bit more info. At the same time, it takes up space really well and creates this nice contrast between these really big bold shapes and this little block of subtext. Here is when we see that the format pretty much works, I had referenced like old Nike ads, and also some New Age graphic design aesthetics where there are some simple shapes disrupting some classic texts. We can see that this is working, for me that's a big step. From here we can get into what I feel like is really fun exhilarating, which is just making it really exciting and just really capitalizing on the fact that this is a strong message. What I personally do is I've had this little file saved since I was like 23. I think everybody has little tools like this or should collect little signature embellishments, ways that you make something more comfortable and just feel truer to yourself, and towards the end when you're finishing a product. For me, [inaudible] texture document but it's come with me along the way and I just keep really taking from this and, just adding a little bit of that human touch. You'll see that I skipped over earlier, but I just worked on making things like this, just feel really organic so that this whole second layer of expression, which is this tiny line replacing the O, is really its own object. I think one huge graphic design principle that I abide by is minimalism, which is a bit misconstrued. I think we think of just the word minimalism. A good illustration of this is [inaudible] , where you finish dressing, look at yourself in a mirror and just take off like, "I'm totally escorting her," but take off some few accessories, just take off what you don't need. Take off what's keeping someone from getting to the point, understanding what you're all about. I think about that all the time when it comes to graphic design, to graphic art expression, is that, whether each layer of expression really falls effectively in its own category and therefore isn't just a mess and you're just looking at a nice art piece, but you don't really get the main message. Here we have this type of graphic. [inaudible] , and then here, everything is organic. You understand that, you and I understands that as being another layer of understanding. It's a very critical step to self edit and that's why I keep saying it's so important to walk away from your work. Something I'm not going to do in this class because it's just way too performative and rude. But in real life, I would do this and just walk away and come back and experience it as if I was someone looking at the art for the first time to see if that message is really coming through loud and clear. Next step would be, I like this elegant structure I'll copy it. Always save your layers. I think I'm going to end up merging everything together. But in my work I always say weird stuff just in case I have epiphany later and I really want to mess around with something. It's not going to happen today but just save your layers and I would paste it onto this next step, which is where, I have a structure, I feel strongly that this idea is going to work. Let me just see if there's any other more effective way to express this idea. Here you can see that I've, well, this is the first one on the left is what I started out with. Then I played it with a knockout, which I like, but like I said earlier, this kind of 3D effect or kind of retro 3D effect is nice. I like it on its own, but it's conflicting with the fact that the dandy lion is, should be another layer of understanding and it looks like that. That makes sense of I really like to keep actually this contrast between this fully solid and filled in type with this new idea of the generous, genuine, totally separate [inaudible] is a visual language. On this third piece on the far right, you'll see that the contrast is very clear and I've added more of these little genuine babies, generous, adventurous babies, which I wasn't really sure in the beginning if that would work. But I do think that it helps convey that as a [inaudible] line because I went rogue with like the design of the [inaudible] line. I'll admit like I really wanted to blow explosive that's not a literal [inaudible] line. But this helps really just pull in the original idea and make sure that that comes through loud and clear. We're going to go with that because it conveys the message in the strongest way. 8. Adding Color: As you can see, I took the work in black and white just so I can make sure that the message is loud and clear, even when it's at its simplest. But now we can get into color and start using that as a vehicle to express what we want to even further and more exciting way. So I'm going to copy it. Bring it in to our next step, which is where we start to build our color ways. I say this for every step but this part's really fun because we're just been working in black and white so far and who knows? Maybe there is some form of color for expression that can really add to the messaging in a way that we hadn't thought of before. So for instance, see I'm just going to make this work out well. For instance, I had this vision as I was beginning to visualize how this would be best expressed. It's pretty radiant as a message and as a visual, there is a sense of radiance. So what if we did a sort of gradient that emanated from the dandy lion, it just helped to further make that message really strong. Now we've made this whole shaped. Some things that we can make the clipping mask with. I've just made it a compound path for those of you that are shooter from so that we can tree into it. Keeping in mind like whatever medium that you are personally working in is a big factor for how you make every decision for each of these steps. For me personally, I get pretty excited by statement and activists graphic team. So I'm thinking the whole time, what would make a color way for just the best graphic. So I'm excited to print this. I think after this class. But by the time I was able to craft this gradient with you guys, but you kind of get the gist. I think that's a really cool expression of the original message. So from here, I'm just going to keep editing on a kind of Holloway that would be effective. So I've saved my t-shirt blanks here to start with, and also you can draw a little rectangle for printed posters. But with experience and depending on what industry you're in or if you just making them personally to express a message, all that knowledge will go into how you decide on color waves as well. This is a whole other class talking about color harmonies and why we choose different colors over others. But for me, I think this is a message that should be timeless. So I really want to pick color that are tough and not too trendy very basic and yet exciting because there is this newness in the expression of the graphics. 9. Presenting Your Work: I think because of my background and just the way that I've been working for so long, I do always picture a client even if there isn't a client. Not in an oppressive way, but to keep my eye on the prize. "What would really spark their imagination?" "What would really want them to produce something that maybe they didn't think at first that they needed to put money into making?" I think those are prompts that I give myself to really push myself to create something beyond the box. I'm building all this stuff, it's exciting on a personal level for me to see what I've created. Held out in so many different ways. I can keep building out these posters and maybe accessories and T-shirts for awhile; and then think about how I can spread this to different audiences and spark a conversation. But one really important thing I want to touch on is my passion for decks. I'm not going to go through how to make a deck right now, but I think if you're going to go through the effort of making a piece that's really meaningful to you. I would advise that you really do it its due diligence, and really frame it in the same way or more than I have to you just now and let whoever your audience is; again maybe a client or something that you are proposing a production of a product to, and lead them on that same story so that they can be alongside you the whole way. Know your purpose, why you created this and your whole thinking process so that they know that this has been a thing of substance to you, and that you reach your final product due to your immense care and artistic ability to communicate the message. I am happy to end on that to take care of that part. I want to plot it to make sure that that whole circle of understanding is really something that is considered and taking care of. 10. Q&A: So now we're going to jump into some questions from students that came to us during the live session. Do you think being able to draw is important in design, especially for those just getting into design? I feel like it's too late for me sometimes because it feels like I can't do anything unless I'm able to draw. My gosh, I have a quick answer for that. No, not at all, and in fact, there was a good joke in the art department at [inaudible] , that the worst you can draw a swoosh, the better of a designer you are. It's not important that you know how to draw things realistically, but it is important that you understand what you are drawing. That's the only thing that really matters, is that you perfect the connection between what you're putting down on paper, and what's going on in your mind, and not necessarily what is impressing people on the other end. I actually think that's, sometimes can be counter to actually translating things in a designer's world. Awesome. Next question is from Jessica. Where do you typically look when looking for fonts? That's a good question. I have some resources. Recently I've been liking the fonts from OH no Type Co and Typeverything. They have some fonts that I really like. Again I typically start from Pinterest to get a sense of what font I want. Reference and error is really important to my work to know what I'm referencing, whether a font is inspired by a certain type of thing like old ads, or whether it's more futuristic. Then from there I'll go into those type foundries that are pretty reliable. I like Sharp Type, Designers Foundry. Those are four that I always go back to, is OH no Type, Typeverything, Designers Foundry, and Sharp. Awesome. The next one we have in the chat is, "At what point did you figure out the subject symbology and context framework that you talked about earlier for yourself? When did that evolve, and how has your process always been like this?" I think to group all artists and designers into one grouping would be just ridiculous. I think everyone is creative and everyone has capacity to be an artist, and so the way we think is actually what differentiates us from each other. For me personally, while it's a bit cathartic to draw, I don't find it as much of a therapeutic practice as I think some artists do. For me, I've always struggled with being able to create meaning in my work and a reason for someone to think about something they think they know in a different way, and because of that drive that I've had and just seeking that as something that I want to develop within myself as a skill is how I came up with just how to evaluate my own work, like "We have a subject. Cool." Honestly, I'm bored by myself, and so what do I need to make that just evolve and transform into something that I can't put into words, and sometimes the audience can't put it into words, but I think it's a commonality between just people and similar things that we feel that we can't put into words. That's how I came up with it, is out of a desperate one. Amazing. Vivian's asking with passion projects, how do you get better at knowing when to finish a project, and not falling into the hole of just forever working on something because you feel like it could be better? That's a good question. I think for me personally, there's always this tug between the designer in me and the artist in me. The artist in me wants to keep going, wants to keep embellishing, wants to keep impressing myself, not in details, and I think the designer has to speak up in situations where it is about the message. When it is done, it is done. Anything you do to it must be seen as just detracting from the message, or I try to have clarity that anything that I'm adding to it beyond when the message is strongly expressed is just from my ego, me wanting to keep going for fun or to impress myself. Awesome. A last question is from Cana, which is just, "Do you have any recommendations for design books, either inspirational or educational?" Just are there favorite design books that you'd recommend? A little bit, quickly, about my background. I didn't go to design school. I didn't study design. Honestly, it's a little strange how I ended up in the different path that I've end up in. I don't have the foundational resources that someone might have, because I've really, similar to developing my method, came up with a out of a personal need, a personal want for information and for systems so that I can edit myself. Books-wise, I don't have the best books. My laptop right now is sitting on Freelance Business and Stuff, a guide for creatives by the Hood Sisters, and I think it's a great resource for being a freelance designer. In college, I purchased the little books that I knew were foundational for graphic design students. I liked Neil and Parsons and whatever I thought was a great institution. I read through Grid Systems and stuff like that just to educate myself, but I can't say with confidence that I would say that you have to read those to get a great foundation in design. I would say just, when you have an artist you admire to really look more deeply into their background and their work, then maybe just a quick glance through their Instagram or their website and understand what inspires them. I realize it's meta because you just asked me what inspires me. 11. Final Thoughts: From a young age, I've always known that the most powerful thing I can do, is to figure out how to express my opinion in a visual way to people. Maybe in a way that they've never seen before. But yet it seems so obvious by the time that they receive that information and I'm hoping that with this class, and maybe through your own personal research and just experience of seeing the work of how artists express the voice of the common people, you can feel empowered too, to kind of work on your design and art muscle and to be able to really translate your emotions. What you feel the most strongly about into something that is visual and can affect someone watching you create. To create real change, or at least to change your mind about something or to reinforce something that they need comfort and reinforcement in. There's no doubt we're going through something in the world right now that is so unique in our lifetimes. For me personally, I knew that I would feel like I was letting an opportunity go by, a personal opportunity go by, if I didn't try to dissect what that meant for me visually. So I hope that this inspires you to kind of pursue that and see what more you can give to [inaudible] Thank you so much for tuning in. For more about design and the rest of my sculpture classes just visit my profile on Skillshare.