Before/After Motherhood

Before/After Motherhood - student project

My chosen subject for Before & After theme was Motherhood. It's something I can relate to, and I wanted to create something that would be emotionally provoking.

Before/After Motherhood - image 1 - student project

I wanted to express how hard motherhood is and how children are sent to teach their parents a thing or two about themselves, like little zen masters. At the same time show the connction and relationship.

I liked the idea of a transparent effect of the child over the mother to represent how the two entities are one. That the child will always be part of the mother. And that this could also add a different dimention by representing the loss of a child also. I also wanted the mothers eyes to be close showing acceptence and the child eyes to be open to express wisdom. The mother holding the child tight for protection and love & the child holding the mother from behind in a vunerabe way, which I felt was a nice element to show.

Before/After Motherhood - image 2 - student project

I wanted to have some elements such as a phone glowing on the floor (mother puts her distractions aside to connect with her child, to stay present). A parenting book with a watering can on top which is dripping water into a pot plant (parenting is hard work but the more you put in you grow as a person)

Before/After Motherhood - image 3 - student project

I actully like to work in a similar way to Roman by creating my details on paper and piecing them together in PS. But I learnt so many new techniques in this class, I'm self taught and usually muddle my way through so this class has been invaluble. 

The ink blot effect below was really an after thought and wasn't intentionial, but I really liked it so thought I may use it somewhere.

Was also messing about with faces as still trying to explore my own style. This is my first real attempt at creating an illustration with a brief and I usually shy away from people/figures as it's not my strong point.

Before/After Motherhood - image 4 - student project

Before/After Motherhood - image 5 - student project

Before/After Motherhood - image 6 - student project

So the above led to to play about with the following two styles. I wasnt really happy with the first as it felt too cartoony and it didn't feel comfortable for me, the second I preferred as I feel I work better with this style with the simple, loose, roughness and the imperfections. 

Before/After Motherhood - image 7 - student project

Before/After Motherhood - image 8 - student project

I also felt I wanted to go less obvious. So I changed the layout a bit. Replacing the child in front with mother holding a flower (representing the child) and then I had the idea of a cast shadow of the mother & the child. I liked this as it could mean many things, such as a mother who wishes for a child (before) or a mother who has lost a child (after). Or even your own inner child. 

Before/After Motherhood - image 9 - student project

And this is my final piece. I ended up leaving out the props as I liked the simplicity. Less cluttered and more peaceful. I could work on it some more and it's certailny not perfect and the concept did change from the initial idea, but I love how much I've grown with it. Definately learnt lots, so thanks Roman! 

Before/After Motherhood - image 10 - student project