A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor

A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor - student project

**UPDATE 12.05.13 FINAL INKING!!!**

Hey everyone! I have had so much fun in this class, I hope you all have too! I've learned a lot of great things, and I think it has made my concepting/lettering stronger overall.

I've been pretty busy, but I wanted to make sure I got my final project up for the challenge. I'm pretty happy with the project overall and I definitely want to play with it more going forward to add in more texture, color and depth.

This was a super fun one and even through the tough patches I think it came out successful. Guess my quote really came into play on this.

I wanted to take the time to thank Mary Kate for such an awesome course. I have admired her work for a while, and have always aspired to get into lettering. This definitely gave me the tools and know how to begin that journey and I'm so excited to see where it leads.

I also want to thank all the fabulous students/peers taking this course right along with me. Your alls feedback, criticism and love really helped shape this project for me. For that I thank you.

Without further adieu, here is the final drawing! I have the final layered version, as well as both layers used to make it. I had to edit a few things in post but overall its a lot of detailed handwork and some serious lettering love. I hope you all enjoy :)



**UPDATE 12.04.13**

Hey everyone, I've started the inking process for my piece. I had no idea how challenging this would be compared to my sketch. I feel like my uni-ball pen matched with my bristol paper was not a great choice. It bled into the paper really bad so a lot of my fine details get lost, as you will see. 

I've also noticed now that I've been inking that I need to correct my spacing in "sailor", especially between the L and O as the space is too wide. I also need to work on the shade detail in "smooth sea" as its getting a bit tight and lost in the piece. I also want to create some layers for parts that I would like to be a different color, so some of the shading and detail pieces. I think if this were to go to final print I could build in mutliple colors and utilize the paper choice to add more color to this. 

Aside from those parts I pointed out, any thoughts or ideas for me. Primarily what type of paper (brand, etc) and pens are you all using to ink? Has anyone found anything that is able to keep in those small details without the ink bleeding as bad as mine has?

Let me know! Thanks - A

**UPDATE 11.25.13**

I've been pretty busy at work lately but I've been trying to work on my drawing as much as I can. I had an overwhelming response to my third sketch, which just so happened to be my favorite as well, so it is the one I'm choosing for final. I've been spending a lot of time trying to work on the word "Skillful" as I wasn't completely sold on the way it was written. You can see from my multitude of sketches I've been trying to work that out. I think its getting closer in this first unfinished sketch, but I think it has a few spacing issues and losing a bit of the charm in the second scan below. I think once I nail that down, I can finalize all the detail in the background and finally start inking! 

Further sketch/exploration fun!

What do you all think? Any thoughts on my progress. See anywhere to improve on the "skillful" lettering?

Thanks! - A

**UPDATE 11.13.13**

I made an early Christmas purchase and went out and got myself an Artograph Lightpad! I have been like a little kid on Christmas with a new toy. Used it everyday since I've purchased it. Must say it was a worthy buy and has definitely helped so far in the next stage of this project.

I had a lot of fun taking all of my sketches and further developing the ones I liked. I think theres really two here that have potential. The rope circle and the strong vertical piece with the boat. I feel like I'm leaning more toward that one just because I have a ton of room to work and develop the type along with the illustration. I feel very contained in the circle, and while I love certain pieces of it, I think it may be too limiting to explore. 

What do you all think? I'll number each so you let me know in the comments. 

Thanks! -A

Quick intial roughs of some of the layouts.







**UPDATE 11.7.13**

Since my last update I've heard some great feedback! I decided to explore several more options before I narrow down to 2-3 thumbnails to begin some tighter sketches. The good news is that I'm starting to really LOVE some of the thumbnails and a ton of the elements are clicking for me. I'm really digging the second row of thumbs a lot, as well as my update on my other thumb with the boat on the circle. I think there are parts that need to be fixed but I think that will come as I continue to narrow focus. What do you all think? Any favorites from the new sketches or yesterdays that you think I should move forward with? All feedback is appreciated! Thanks!


**UPDATE 11.6.13**

Hey everyone! Hope you all are having an awesome time in this class as myself. I have been on quite the hiatus as I have been swamped at work recently. Tis the busy season.

Anyway, got back into work on this project, and as you can see I started back into it trying out some different letterforms and shapes. I gave myself a bit of a warm up since I was a bit rusty since the last time I posted. I have also been adding/updating my reference material like crazy. You can visit my board here.

I am really loving old medicinal/first-aid kits and tins for this project, so I'm trying to envision a fun containing space for the top of a first-aid container. I'm taking the advice from Mary Kate and approaching this as a label for the kit. This would be an emergency kit of sorts. 

I started playing around with shapes and the layout and I'm actually getting pretty excited about the possibilities. I'm really enjoying my last sketches I started toying with which use the ship in the vertical format. It has really got me thinking of more possibilities. I want to try some more sketches with that (maybe all the text is underwater, so I could throw in some more nautical/sea-life elements!!!) and also try a few more styles before I start narrowing down my concepts and move into the fine-tuned sketch before the final inking.

What do you all think so far? Any winning ideas in the pack? Please let me know!

^ I'm really liking the "Sailor" script I came up with in the bottom left corner of page two. What do you all think?

Here are some close-ups of each sketch thus far as well.


**UPDATE 10/23/13**

Here are my warm-up lettering exercises. I had a lot of fun on this and tried to keep my inspiration of nautical themes and vintage first-aid/medical kits in mind. I'm really loving the first page of warm-up's, especially the middle typography. I think it works really well with the vintage style I'm aiming for.

I also thinking I could have a lot of fun incorporating differnt natical elements in the type and exterior flourishes around the first-aid tin label. Items such as the captain's wheel, waves, and as you see here, items like anchors, rope, and windows/bolts.

What do you all think?

I am going to begin sketching concepts for my final piece based on these warm-ups and my ever growing library of reference material.



For this project, I started thinking about the type of quote I wanted to go with. I had a few floating around in my head, but I kept coming back to this saying:

"A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor"

I was a bit weary to use it, only because I've seen it done several times, but it's a saying that I hold closely and it speaks to me, so I thought I'd try to put a new spin on it.

I have two ideas for application. The first being a poster. I like the idea of it as a poster because the final piece could work really well in my office/creative space as a reminder that the difficulties/"roadbloacks" only help to make us stronger in our craft. That has always resonated with me, and I think it could become a beautiful piece that I could look back on and reflect upon.

My other idea as I was researching was that this could become some sort of vintage packaging. I like the idea behind the quote, as I interpret it, you encounter a lot of bumps along the way but they make you more experienced in the long run. I thought some sort of "first-aid" packaging could be fun for this quote. Not so much in a serious sense, but more fun, so it could include things like emergency chocolate, or prompting cards to get the creative juices flowing; things like that.

As I was searching for that concept I came up with a lot of cool art and photography styles that I feel line up with my word list I developed.

What do you all think? Any ideas or thoughts on application going forward. Feedback is appreciated!