Broken Cape

Broken Cape - student project


I am the mom of 3 young kids and I overhear A LOT of funny, cute or just plain bizarre conversations throughout the day.  I have been compiling a list of them for a long time and I'm really excited to be able to do something fun and creative with some of the quotes.  If my project is successful, maybe I will create a whole memory book that I can share with the kids when they get older!


For my project, I chose to use a quote from my 5 year old daughter, Ellie, that I overheard when I was making dinner.  She ran out of her room with a sheet tied around her shoulders and very sadly (with a tinge of frustration) said "My cape isn't working.  I'm trying to fly to the moon."  She fiddled with her cape a little bit more and decided that it really wasn't going to help her get to the moon.  Then she ran back to her bedroom to find another solution for her space travel dilemma.  


The whole situation reminded me of cheesy retro space age designs and a time when many kids dreamed of becoming astronauts.  For my moodboard, I collected a lot of retro space images and moon references.  I also collected a couple pieces with fun lettering that might work for my project.  Some of the lettering is more "space age" while the other samples consist of swirling, whimsical letterforms that reminded me of flight and travel.  

Broken Cape - image 1 - student project


The first sketch features my daughter's quote more or less in it's original context.  It is a simple sketch of my daughter staring up at the stars with a bedsheet "cape" drapped around her shoulders.  I chose to include random, uneven text for the quote because I thought that it reflected the randomness of the comment itself.... and also because it has both a childish quality and reminds me a little of superhero/comic text.  

Broken Cape - image 2 - student project


My 2nd sketch is my whispering/reflective piece.  It goes beyond the youthful disappointment of the original piece and into the despair and frustration of depression - something I struggle with every day.  For me, I know that my "cape" is broken and I am trying desperately to fix it so that I can get to a place where I can "fly" and be myself.  I put emphasis on the word "trying" because a lot of times I find that people think you can just snap out of depression if you just try a little harder - not realizing or understanding that everything second of every day is already spent trying just to get up and keep moving.  

I think that the overall effect of my sketch will be drastically improved once it is brought into photoshop and colored.  I picture a black and grey watercolor background - inky, runny, smeary - with perhaps grey or white lettering.   

I would also love to try to create another variation with block letters that are colored with the watercolor pen so that the letters themselves are uneven, inky and runny.... with perhaps drips of ink fall off the letters.  

Update 10/30/15:  The more I look at this, the more I realize that it is completely not the look I was going for.  I'm working on a new one but will leave this version up just for fun :-)

Broken Cape - image 3 - student project


I was really unhappy with my second sketch so I decided to try again - in a totally different direction.  I tihnk that this one does a better job of expressing the sadness and depression that I was trying to capture.  I'm hoping that I can use some color and texture to make it even more powerful.  

Broken Cape - image 4 - student project

I created this sketch before I received all of Mete's suggestions on my original concept so I might try to play around with that one again too :-)  


Sketch #3 was the most fun to create.   I drove up the mountain to my favorite park, sat on a bench and starting creating.  There were a lot of tourists that stared at me but maybe they thought that I was a famous artist or something :-)  I even had a group of non-english speaking people take a picture with me... so odd.  

While I was there, I overheard that best conversation that would have been perfect for this project.  There was a couple that walked by and the guy had something in his hand (I couldn't see what it was.)  In a dead serious tone, he said to his friend "It's called a thingamabobber... want one?"  It's not as funny as I write it down here but I tried so hard not to laugh as they walked by.

Broken Cape - image 5 - student project

The goal of my 3rd sketch was to express my daughter's quote in a much louder tone.  I wanted it to have a bold, comic superhero feel to it.  In my mind, the superhero is trying to capture a big baddie but his cape broke.  He is not defeated or sad... but desperate to fix things so that he can continue his pursuit to save humanity from the world's most evil villian :-)  

I tried drawing an actual superhero character and villian but apparently I need a lot more practice at drawing people :-)  I like how this one turned out, though, so I can't complain too much! :-)

Broken Cape - image 6 - student project

And as a side note:  While I was working on this piece, I completely forgot that my quote was "My cape isn't working" as opposed to "my cape is broken" like I used in this sketch.  Whoops. 


My final piece ended up going in a completly different direction than I originally planned.  I painted a crazy watercolor starry night background and then decided that I wanted to try using some really simply lettering to provide contrast.  I really could have just kept going and going with a million different variations... but then decided that I just needed to post something or it will be years before I finish :-)  

Broken Cape - image 7 - student project

I will probably end up redoing some of the sketches too but wanted to make sure I had a completed project posted on time :-)  I just started a new job and I don't know how much time I will have in the next few weeks.  

Thank you so much for this class.  I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it.  All of your input was fantastic and I look forward to refining my sketches some more when I get an opportunity!

Edie Hernandez
Feed your Nerd. Find your Happies.