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Immortality

This project has been a very challenging one for me. I have done graphic design for about 17 years (I'm 31), but never seriously until just now. That means that I have to learn how to do things properly if I want to make a career out of this. I especially liked this project because it gives me a chance to think more about my favorite book, Immortality by Milan Kundera. To me, it's the only option for me for this project.

Here's some background - Immortality is considered the third in a trilogy. The first book is The Unbearable Lightness of Being, for which Kundera is most famous. Immortality is about death and what it means to be immortal, and it uses three different stories to give perspective.

Why was this project difficult for me? I fixated too much on a concept that wouldn't work. Once I saw what they looked like, I needed to rethink, regardless of how much work I put into the prior efforts. Let me show you... (sorry for the sideways photos)

The book deals a lot with time - I thought something with a calendar or a clock would be great. A clock - you can do a lot with that. It also focus on a gesture. It's in the first 2 pages of the book and it's my favorite part. I re-read those two pages often. How do you capture a gesture? In the book, it's about a waving hand - cool - I'll do that.

So, I sketched. WARNING: I'm not great on paper

I really liked that one where the hands on the clock form a K (for Kundera), so I gave that a try. A lot of the book, including those first two pages, takes place at a health club pool. I looked at a lot of photos of health club pools and wanted to do something like this...

But then I made it and it looked like this:

I liked it, but it didn't do anything for me. Mind you, I'm JUST starting to really learn Illustrator, so my skills are on a basic level. But when I told a graphic designer friend of mine that I was doubting my work, she told me to "just own it" and that helped. Despite my fears of drawing hands, I decided to try to incorporate the clock with the hand and do this...

The hand came out alright - probably because I spent 900 years on it. I was also able to make a very basic looking watch. Before I could even think of what to do for the other part of the K, I felt that I had to reconceptualize. I was stuck on ideas that didn't really work for me. Also, I knew I should stick more closely to the core assignment and make it only two colors.

I was describing the book to my girlfriend (it's next on her to-read list) and I talked a lot about a car crash (not a spoiler). Basically, we know that a main character is going to die in a car crash. We started talking about car crash things - a road, skid-marks, broken glass. OOH! Broken glass! Let's see what we can do with that...

Yeah. That's MUCH better. In fact, I had TOTALLY overlooked the "car crash" in my notes. Check that out - it's right under HAND, which is circled largely, totally obscuring "car crash". Get your head in the game, Jon. You're fixating on that damn hand!

Yeah. That's MUCH more like it. It fits the book and it's very "me". I like things very simple. That doesn't mean I'm finished with this, but I really like where I am with it.

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