Burning the Candle at Both Ends | Skillshare Projects

Steve St. Pierre

Art Director



Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Ah, the constant struggle of a passionate designer. Some might refer to it as striking while the iron is hot, or get busy livin' or get busy dyin'. As a self-taught designer, I've put in copious amounts of hours in an effort to get better, to scrape closer and closer to match the level of taste with the level of talent.

As a result, the candle's been lit, and more often than not - it's one of those asshole candles that has two wicks, one at each end. 

Burning the candle at both ends has been a theme for the last ten years of my career, and I've decided to approach it for this project. I've imposed a 24 hour time limit on myself based on the tight timelines that Mikey brought up in his briefing.

I've looked up the idiom and I've grabbed a couple explanations that'll help guide the creative process.

"to get little sleep or rest because you are busy until late every night and you get up early every morning (usually in continuous tenses)"

"Exhaust one's energies or resources by leading a hectic life."

A couple of obvious visual references already come to mind. A candle in the shape of an infinity symbol with both wicks lit. Maybe the face of a watch and the minute and hour hand are candles that are both lit with them pointing to an ungoldy hour (4am makes sense and is more interesting visually than 2am or what have you).

I'm on the fence about including type as I hope the visual I create is strong enough to communicate the message on its own.

In terms of colours, already thinking about keeping it symbol with a white candle, shades of grey for the background and a blistering red/orange for the flames, but I'll be sure to experiment.




Stumbled on the idea of treating a pencil like the candle. The idea that inspiration and work will slowly come to a halt if you keep working and pushing yourself to exhaustion. Am doing the full illlustration using illustrator, based on initial sketches.

Started to make the basic shapes of the pencils, treating the head of the pencil like melting wax and trying to maintain the overall look and feel of a pencil. Here's the initial stages:



Frankenstein'ed myself. Felt like the simple line of the pencil was feeling flat, so I merged the pencil idea with the infinity symbol, and feel as if it's really working. Decided to start experimenting with colours and some textures. I'll be bringing some type in to the center of the illustration to mimic the type found on the side of pencils. Just struggling with the offset path like a rookie.



Got the type in after some quick troubleshooting. Added in some halftone textures, some wood textures. Hopefully didn't overdo it. But here's the final. All in all - after starting some initial sketches at the office earlier this afternoon, finished up in about six hours. Not too bad.

Thanks for this, Mikey.



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