The Great Gatsby | Skillshare Projects

Mary Ellen Larter

Artist, Writer & Designer



The Great Gatsby

Brainstorming below...

And also...Spoiler case you were planning on reading it. 

The Great Gatsby is a book that has a lot of story. I could easily do a separate drop cap for every character in the book - but I want to start out with something that encompasses the main elements of the story. I'm starting with the letter F for Fitzgerald. 

Parts of the book that were really powerful for me were the death scene with Myrtle, the death scene with Gatsby, his 3 car funeral, infidelity, the green light at the end of Daisy's dock, and the concept of time. Usually when people talk about this book they talk about money and partying - but what really struck me was the way Gatsby just "decided" to be whoever he wanted to be. He created himself. He didn't let concepts like time or birth rights get in his way. But also how lonely Gatsby really was, and how few people truly knew him or cared for him. 

My thumbnails are pretty rough - but some of my favorites are:

1.) the letter F made into a pool that has Gatsby's body floating in it

2.) the letter F as a scene of the night sky with Gatsby staring at the stars

3.) the letter F as a revolver - representing the murder weapon that killed Gatsby, but also hinting at the implied connection between organized crime and Gatsby's money

4.) the letter F made from skid marks from a swerving car - representing the death of Myrtle, the drunk driving scene at Gatsby's party, and also the fast uncaring, selfishly reckless lifestyle so many of the characters lived

I also had a concept that I like...and I feel like something is there...but I'm not quite sure how to encorporate the letter form into it. It is the similarity between the shapes of a glass of champagne, and also the sand flowing through an hour glass. I think this makes the connection between the partying lifestyle, but also the passing of time that is mentioned in Gatsby's way of thinking. The idea of the past, reliving the past, etc. 

I think the most obvious, and easiest thing I could do is make a fancy gold art deco F showing the glitz and glamour of Gatsby's world - but I'm leaning more towards the darker aspects of the book.

Update - July 28, 2014

I finally got around to working on my comp. I've been traveling a lot (St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Brazil...and back to Pittsburgh again) and it was funny to sort of come back from all of that and know exactly which one I wanted to work on. When I had done my thumbnails a while ago I was really undecided - but when I came back I knew which two were my favorites immediately. This is my first pass at the comp for the stars and green light cover. Any feedback is appreciated! Illustrator isn't the program I'm most comfortable with but I really wanted to follow the class and try something new. So I could use suggestions.

Update: July 29, 2014

I finished my comp for my second concept today. Does anyone have any strong feelings towards either one?


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