Oh you turned my world, you precious thing | Skillshare Projects

Deepa Paul

Freelance writer and visual storyteller



Oh you turned my world, you precious thing

The phrase I chose is the first line of the final song in the movie Labyrinth. Call me weird, but this 80s fantasy is one of my favorite movies of all time. I was obsessed with this movie growing up; I know David Bowie's soundtrack by heart and all I wanted to be someday was Jennifer Connelly as Sara. 

This year, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Tala. This phrase captures how I feel about the life-changing event that is becoming a mother. Life as I know it has changed forever; she has turned my world, this little girl. 

I wrote down the things that came to mind (I love making word lists, by the way).

Two of the ideas that really leap out at me from this list were:

1) The last scene of the movie. Sara must rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King. She finds herself chasing after the baby in an MC Escher-esque maze of stairs where all the rules are reversed and nothing makes sense (does this sound like parenthood or what?).

She takes a leap (of faith) and finds herself falling into a dreamy, shadowy world for her final confrontation with the Goblin King. 

I love this sense of weightlessness, the idea of drifting, tumbling, and floating. 

2) The word "precious" drew me to gemstones and jewels...

and eventually to Indian wedding jewelry. BINGO! I'm half-Indian, so this really resonated with me. 

Indian brides are draped with jewels when they are wed. For me, this brings together the idea of precious things with my underlying motivation of family, marking milestones and life changes.

And, hello, the colors! The details! Gorgeous.

The teardrop occurs a lot in Indian bridal jewelry. When I saw these ruby teardrops I was reminded that my precious thing did not come without tears and pain (and, if you know anything about childbirth, blood). 

Type-related inspirations:

Playing with gravity vs weightlessness, falling, floating, drifting: 

The word "precious" defined as something fragile or delicate leads me to script.

Thinking about the dreamy, shadowy setting of the final scene in the movie.


I need to warm up a *LOT* more! Warmup #1...

Warmup #2

I see I have a tendency to gravitate toward floating text and ornate, jeweled letters. I'm inspired to try and put these two together.

I tried to make all the letters into jewels, but it ended up looking forced and kind of cartoony. But some letters (I, O) lend themselves so easily to gem shapes that I didn't want to abandon the idea. I tried combining a representational style with sans serif, and I think I kind of like it!

I need to be more scientific and precise with the facets and shading if I do decide to go in this direction.

From the word "world" came the idea of using a globe as my containing shape. 

I think the world tilted on its axis, with faint lines of motion around it, best conveys the idea of turning. 


My first set of very loose (and very impatient) thumbnails: 

I tried the whole gem-enclosed thing... no. It seems the tilted world works much better.

I know I want to letter "precious" in the jeweled, ornate style I did in my warmup. I also thought about a few gems spilling out of the globe from the word "precious"... like the motion of the world has sent gems flying. 


Are these just bigger thumbnails or really, really rough sketches? Hmm.

Rough sketch #1

I wanted the word "precious" to be the most blinged-out, I mean, ornate word in the layout, so I saved my ornate/representational style (see warmup #2) for that.

To build up to it, I used tiny inline jewels to decorate "my world" and a round-cut diamond as the "O" in "you." To underline it, I put in a jeweled curve that reminds me of a bracelet. 

Rough sketch #2

I wanted to do a sketch using the tilted globe as a containing shape. I was getting a Christmas ornament vibe from it (must be that time of year), so I drew a bracket to identify it more as a globe. 

As in the first sketch, I used gems as O's here. For "precious," I pulled back on the ornate style a bit because I feel it didn't work too well in this layout. I did a swishy embellished crossbar on the T in "thing" for that fantasy novel/movie feel that hints at the source of the phrase.

I freehanded all the curves because I wanted a flowing, swirly, tumbly sort of feel rather than an even curve. But my hand was so tired from the first sketch, things may have gotten a little wonky! 

I have one or two more rough sketches in mind. I also feel I need to make bigger globes to give the letters more breathing room, although it seems I gravitate towards a dense and packed style. 

Rough sketch #3

Re-watched the Sketching videos and was inspired to make the globe bigger, which forced me to work more slowly and deliberately... which was exhausting. Mad props to Mary Kate... you make it look so easy!

This time I wanted to experiment with a banner for "my world" and an exclamation mark instead of a comma for "Oh, you". I like the banner and everything south of it, but not so sure how to go about the first three words. It feels like there's too much empty space and the layout doesn't fit together as well as the bottom half of the drawing. 

I don't think I have many more of these sketches left in me, haha. Time to decide which elements from all three sketches to combine. Suggestions appreciated!


I went over my rough sketch on tracing paper and focused mostly on the layout of the words above the banner. And I'm pretty happy with what I've got here! I could probably think of something less clunky for the Y and U of the first "you" though. 


It took some re-scanning, re-printing and re-tracing, but here it is: the final inked drawing.

I decided to bring the letters of "turned" together to make it more readable and added some swirls. Taking MK's advice, I lifted a (simpler) O from the Spencerian script alphabet. I also adjusted the shine on the gem/O and the thick/thin lines on the M. 

The more I look at it, the more I see that I could correct, but I think I will stop here! Thanks to everyone who gave their suggestions and comments. And thank you MK for being such a thoughtful, talented and inspiring teacher! 


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