Build your castles in the air. | Skillshare Projects

Audrey Bee

art dabbler extraordinaire



Build your castles in the air.

Picking a quote for this track was tricky for me. She suggests something personal, and I'm not exactly feeling very touchy-feely lately.

So I went back to old faithful-- one of my favorite quotes of all time by HD Thoreau. 

"Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air; they are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

And from that, I decided I'd love a poster in my house that reminds me of this. So I shortened it to "BUILD YOUR CASTLES IN THE AIR." It works.


Design-wise. This makes me think of sandcastles and my time spent in Europe, and whimsical, dramatic clouds. BUILD is obviously a very visual verb.


When I started working on the styling of the different "main" words in my quote, I was extremely intimiadated... but as I worked on it, took breaks, drank coffee, and then went back to it, the ideas started coming to me. Oh yeah, and Pinterest. I hopped on there a few times an hour!

I started with air, because I thought that was the easiest of the words...

...and then moved to BUILD...

I hated my serif. I have a hard time making my serifs consistent, and it shows. Definitely will be working on that.

....and then to CASTLES, which infuriated me the most...

Representational is a major joke. Ha. And the one above it? I don't even wanna talk about it.

But eventually my thumbnail came together...

I really liked the dream-iness of this layout. I like that it seems like a motivational quote for children, and I loved the little toy airplane. It's encouraging and the words in my quote are extremely visual, like in a storybook. I'd like to think I could see this hanging in a nursery or in a childrens' playroom somewhere!


Finally got around to sketching. Sketched the whole thing and realized I forgot three words of my quote because I was focusing on the main words (build, castles, air) so I had to completely go back and sketch them in. Here is the process:

So pleased with myself until I realized...

....something's missing...

So I did a little rearranging...


Plan on working with "your" a little bit to make it more interesting. I guess this is where color would be helpful, because I feel like it could stand out a little more with some color...??

I kind of also want to drop-shadow the word "air" or do something to give it more dimension, because it bores me and feels kind of flat... thoughts?


Alright, I stepped backwards and did more thumbnails, at the suggestion of Mary Kate and a few others. I have a few more sitting in my brain, so I wanna bang those out, but here's some progress.

I love the one below A LOT and a friend suggested that the plane could possibly fly around the castle. I can't wait to sketch it and try out her idea!

I also did another little mood board for the whole 1930s airplane feel... I was feeling kind of stagnant in my letter choices for the airplane banner.


More thumbnails.... I clearly have commitment issues. 


After getting really frustrated with my indecision on this project, I walked away from it for a bit. Finally decided that this would be my final layout choice...

I really want a sans serif for the "IN THE" font but otherwise, I find those two words incredibly boring. Gonna play with them a bit on another page and see what I can do. Also planning on making the castle wide enough to support the B in BUILD and the S in CASTLES... and the airplane will connect with the R in AIR to complete the cloud.

I guess I should probably embellish the cloud since it's pretty boring also. 

I'm super frustrated, can you tell? Haha.


This weekend I splurged on some tracing paper and that made this process a lot easier.

And I think this is the final layout. i found the clouds incredibly boring so I tried to give them some depth.

Here's the scanned version.

Thoughts? Changes? Clouds?


Please sign in or sign up to comment.