Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - student project

(Cover photo is a screen grab of a poster by Karen Young, currently sold on fab.com)

January 14, 2014

Hi! I'm excited to be taking Dominic's class on color theory. While I've completed several projects on Skillshare that have incorporated use of color palettes, I'm looking forward to learning more about the way color can convey emotion.

First, the concepting part. I tried not to hurry over this part, as a strong concept makes everything else easier! Below is the first thing I did - a mind map. I love these things because you can just go quickly and say yes to pretty much anything. I went in a lot of different directions, but focused on the ones that I felt had legs.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 1 - student project

I really wanted something that would be a good group of 4, and the 4 seasons seemed to have potential. However, I wanted to narrow it down just a little bit more - again, in order to make everything else easier! I also thought that it would be a good idea to give this a bit of context so that I can include it in my portfolio as not just an exercise, but a series with a purpose. I thought that it might be a good idea to turn this into a campaign for New York City's Parks and Recreation department, highlighting the fun things you can do in 4 different parks in each of the 4 seasons.

Next, I wanted to do a bit more brainstorming on the parks and seasons themselves. I narrowed down my destinations to these 4 parks for each season:

• Spring | Brooklyn Bridge Park

• Summer | Pelham Bay Park

• Autumn | Prospect Park

• Winter | Central Park

I then did a bit of internetting to find out more about these parks (I've never visited Pelham Bay Park or Brooklyn Bridge Park). I also did a Google image search of actual photos from these parks for inspiration. Then I went back to my notebook to brainstorm to take down some rough sketches and notes.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 2 - student project

As you can see (or maybe you can't, because this is really rough!), I made a quick doodle of each poster and supplemented it with a list of elements that can be in each poster. I also found thesaurus.com pretty helpful, as well as this link of emotions that Dominic posted. I also started to think about color palettes for each one.

And now I feel like I have a pretty solid concept of what I'm going to do for this project. I will make 4 verticle posters (probably 18x24" in terms of ratio) as part of a pretend ad campaign for NYC Parks and Recreation. I can put them in-situ in the subway, etc. And maybe turn it into some kind of app. Who knows? Just thinking about how this can be expanded!

I'm looking forward to getting into Illustrator and picking out the colors for this project! I feel I might have some challenges with Summer and Spring, but hopefully the next few video lessons will help clear some of this up for me.

Next Step: finding some good inspiration!

Thanks for reading! I'd love any feedback you have - thanks!

Feb 8, 2014

It's been a busy month, but I'm finally ready to share my final project!

But first, here is some inspiration I collected for this project. I looked at a lot of midcentury illustrations. I love they way these illustrations have limited color palettes and use them in unexpected ways.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 3 - student project

Next, I chose my emotions. After a lot of back and forth, I finally decided on emotions that I think represent each of the four season for me.





And then I sketched out some ideas. I wanted to depict an activity in for each season that would correspond with the assigned emotion. For spring, the activity I chose is yoga, since a lot of people pick up a new exercise routine for the new year. For summer, laying out on the beach seemed pretty blissful (which to me is a combination of relaxation and happiness). For fall, I wanted to make sure to show lots of changing leaves which seems appropriate for fall zestiness. And for winter, ice skating in the park seems very cheerful.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 4 - student project

And then the color palette. I wanted to take on the challenge of using one color palette across all four emotions. Could I can bring out each emotion with different combinations of colors from the same palette?

This is what I landed on. I thought these colors would be a wide enough range to go across all 4 seasons.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 5 - student project

Lastly, here are my illustrations:

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 6 - student project

To illustrate a hopeful spring, I used a lot of greens, blues and yellows.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 7 - student project

For a blissful summer, I used a relaxing combination of blue and yellow.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 8 - student project

To create a zesty fall, I pulled in traditional fall foliage colors of orange and green.

Celebrate the Seasons in NYC Parks - image 9 - student project

And for a cheeful winter, I used strong colors like brown and pink.

All 7 of my original colors were used in the 4 different illustrations. I hope that the seasons and emotions came through. If you have any feedback on how I can better this set of illustrations, I'd love to hear it.