Renee Baumann

Cook, blogger & card-carrying food nerd

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A Window, an Ocean and Time to Wonder

I am working with a (paraphrased) qoute from the book/poem "If You Want to See a Whale". I envisioned this text as an imaginary travel poster for a particular way of experiencing the world, rather than for a place. This mindset (as per the context of the poem) is slower, present, imaginative-- all things that I find important to connect with, and what made this resonate with me. 

MOOD BOARD

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I liked the idea of using some nautical imagery in the text. In my warm ups, I played around with using water, rope and a whale illustration into my practice word "ocean". I also toyed around with using a school bus for part of the window (which I didn't end up using). 

1ST SKETCHES

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In my first layout sketches and thumbnails, I was pretty loose, and trying to figure out how to use several types of lettering I liked and make them work together. I didn't like the bus, or swoopy lettering with the words oceal or wonder, (which seemed to border on cutesy when I put them together)  but I did like using the drop-shadow sans-serif ocean in front of an ocean texture. I also really liked the idea of getting a line drawing of a whale into the image. I played with some variations on the stenciled lettering and ended up using two: one more straightforward, and a looser version for the word "wonder" (I was imagining a corroded/weathered feel). At this point the image was starting to take on a representational feel (with both the ocean and the whale) so I decided to add some clouds around the top, which reminded me of staring at clouds and imagining different animals and objects in their forms. I also dug the word "wonder" getting buried in the depths of the ocean. 

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I took a fair amount of time with putting together my final design in pencil. (And for the record, I think this drawing is closest to the feel that I wanted. I think something is getting lost in the process, but I'm not exactly sure what.) I inked the design on two pieces of trace paper, so it would be easier to play around with color and certain elements (the ocean, the whale) going in front of and behind the lettering. I ended up re-inking the word "wonder" on a separate page, as I thought it would look better with a black outline. 

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And last, I loaded the scans into illustrator and played around with the colors. I really loved the color palatte of the jellyfish illustrations on my mood board, and wanted to go with something like that, and also be a little bit playful with the colors (not sticking too literally to anything representational.)   

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I am happy with the colors and the overall design, but I feel like there are a few things that haven't quite clicked into place with this version yet. I'm considering re-inking the word "ocean" with center lines like I had in my pencil drawing, and maybe taking another stab at "and time to" as well. I think that the flattening of depth with the (not outlined) elements might not be working with the other inked line drawing-style elements. Or perhaps I have just been looking at this too long, and need to come back to it in a few days. 

It's been a really fun exercise-- I definitely benefited from taking the time to methodically go through all the steps. And I've been enjoying looking at what other folks have created for their projects, too. There's some lovely stuff here!

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