Quiet | Skillshare Projects

Tina Smith

Designer, letterer, seeker of all things pretty.




08.07.13 Part 1: Sketching

I did quite a few sketches and I'm not completely happy with all of them. Definitely going for the 8x10 vertical layout — I just started sketching in that layout and continued. Attached two sketches that I'm thinking of doing.

08.06.13 Part 1: Define concept (moodboard)

I'm an obsessive mood board maker, so I made one so I can start sketching next.

08.06.13 Part 1: Define concept (mind map)

Below, I've attached an image from my sketchbook as I concept mapped the word 'quiet.'

I live in Montana, so landscape plays a huge role when I think of quiet — there's just this awesome presence that dominates every noise and distraction. And it's empty here. I can drive 2 miles away and I would be completely alone. So, for me, quiet is that serenity of being alone and taking it all in, realizing that we're a tiny blip in the scope of the universe. Okay, that's a little out there, but I think about it sometimes! It's amazing how grand everything is when you actually observe it. That smallness and being awe-inspired is quiet to me.

So, I've outlined some things I want to include in my illustration:

  • Snow & landscape – Snow muffles everything all the more. And as explained above, I think a vast landscape would be fitting.
  • Night sky – I'm really partial to looking at the stars (seriously, it seems all I do is look at things outside) and they really encapsulate that feeling of being small in the universe. I wrote down something from an Aaron Draplin talk I went to, and it was "Get Cosmic. Wow." That's really stuck with me. Anyway, I love the night sky and think it would work well with a landscape.
  • Dreams – So, when you're alone, in this huge expanse of land and night sky, you're dreaming and thinking about everything, right? Well, I do. So I want to incorporate something dream-like into my illustration.
  • All the contrasting shades of white on white – I think this is a lyric from a Counting Crows song or something I heard long ago, but I think of it when I look at snow. There are so many shades of white. It's incredible. And there's something quiet in using similar colors, no?


I'm excited to do this class because I've been interested in illustration for some time but never quite 'get' it. I recently graduated with a graphic design BFA from university but I have this insatiable desire to learn. Something that I've always felt lacking in is craft in various areas — those extra steps you take to make sure your design is perfect. The more practice I accrue, the better I get at craft. I've spent a lot of time bettering my craft in typography. Illustration, not so much. I was one of those people that, when it came time to pick the specialized classes in design, I wasn't really sure, so I picked a few, hoping to take the others later. In school, I ended up taking specialized courses in letterpress, publication design, identity systems, and experimental typography — in short, I got really good at typography. I've never considered myself good at drawing or illustrating and I sometimes shrink away from projects that involve illustration. I've definitely gotten better in the last year, but I feel like I have a long way to go. This is why I'm here.


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