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Treasure Unknown

It took me far too long to figure out a phrase for this project. And it is taking me far too long to complete the project itself! I blame a three-day migraine. And I blame fear, which is ironic, because I ultimately chose a quote by the masterfully wise Joseph Campbell:

'The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.'

Really, though, it is not coincidentally ironic. I chose this phrase because it resonates. This is the message I need to hear packaged with a metaphor that is conveniently colorful. As a perfectionist my greatest fear is sharing work that is not 'ready' in my eyes. Since proper hand lettering is new to me (this is my first project) I am quite unsatisfied with what I have developed so far. I really wanted to be finished by the deadline, but that didn't happen and I am now taking the like-it-or-not first step of sharing what I have done thus far. I have found the projects submitted very impressive, and I am measuring my own progress according to that, which for a debilitated perfectionist is quite a problem. 

Heeding Campbell's advice, I welcome all the suggestions and constructive criticism you can muster. I have made notes about my intentions and/or plans for each design so you can get an idea about what I am going for. 

:D

Part 1

Some wordplay. I feel like the wordplay here is a little boring. The images I found online did a better job in helping me to visualize what I might create. 

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The Moodboard. I collected so much reference material I couldn't possibly share it all. The moodboard I created focuses on giving an overall impression of the theme I am going for: slightly pirate-style treasure seeking. I found some great images of carved up Mayan caves with the opening as the mouth. Interestingly, the idea of having the treasure inside a mouth came before I discovered the images! 

You may also notice there are references to foilage. I like that I can reference some of the overhanging vines and foilage one might see around a cave in the typography on the cave's surface.

For the lettering, I was almost more concerned with finding lettering references for the smaller, less prominent words. I find myself getting carried away with ideas, but I know that it is important for the sake of hierarchy and legibility that I don't overdo it. Antiquarian scribe is simple yet lends to the theme. 

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Have I got some messy sketches for you! This is where I get stuck. I either want my first copy to be my final copy or, as with this project, I want to make a thousand sketches before I decide on something. Currently I don't have too much, but I can't let that stop me from moving forward with the project. 

You'll notice that there wasn't a lot of foresight happening when I started my blackletter sketch!

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The representational one is currently my favorite, but I feel like I haven't given enough time to some of the other styles. 

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Updated: Some fresh, clean sketches for 'FEAR.' Note that the viney one will likely have shading or be backlit to assist legibility. The final colors will also help distinguish the letters among the flourishes. 

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My first quick layout sketch. Not very pretty. I did this sketch immediately after determining my phrase, so it is actually my very first sketch for this project. The idea was that I would make 'enter' point itself toward or into the cave, which might be worth expanding on if 'enter' had a higher position within the hierarchy of the phrase. 

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Another weak sketch incorporating the above idea with a pirate theme. Too noisy, but I feel the cracked banner is worth consideration.

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All my layout sketches are very rough, and I am struggling with moving away from the skull idea. I think I should explore other layouts--perhaps less image-based--but this is what I have for now. Lots of unfinished stuff here. That's my, er, style.

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The last one is closest to what I am looking to do. The 'you seek' at the bottom doesn't quite work, but the rest is okay. 'The cave' will be part of the vine structure, so the flourishes will have leaves on them.

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