MATS Bootcamp #1

bootcamp color challenge illustration MATS

Our first Make Art That Sells (MATS) Assignment Bootcamp (whooh mouthful!) assignment was to brainstorm with Edwardian Brooches...and then, we were to turn our musings into a journal cover.

This is what I came up with for the assignment:

Here's how I got there...

We got our Mini Brief and after preliminary research, I started sketching like crazy.
sketching like crazy!

ballpoint pen crazy sketches
You can probably already see which direction I chose to follow in the end, but at first I didn't know.  I went in a couple of directions at once. I wasn't sure which idea would work, and I brought some of the sketches onto my tracing table.  Other sketches I painted over, others I traced with felt-tip pen, but I scanned everything first -- just in case it didn't work out.

In the end, I felt I needed to pick a style.  My sketches went generally into three styles:
1) swoopy intricate
2) crunchy colorful painty
3) slightly naive line-art

I went with "swoopy intricate" and then I created two moodboards: an observational one from the research and a style guide to help reign in my madness.

FYI: These mood-boards were from a template from a really helpful Skillshare class with Elizabeth Olwen.  The class really helped me with workflow and technical tips with Illustrator.  I can highly recommend it if you're looking to figure out how to make a repeating pattern in Illustrator.

I focused mainly on plants, flowers, and birds... although I really wanted to try insects I just had to focus.  I really could have worked on it forever.  This is the trap I set for myself.  Infinite possibilities and I just drown.

Anyway, the mood-boards set me on my course and my ship sailed here next.

I played with hundreds of variations with the brooch widgets until I saw a classmate's background treatment, and it clicked for me.  That's what I was missing.  Context!  So, I added textures to the background.  Tweaked the elements some more, and even started a whole new artboard where I tried something completely different, and then cleaned things up for the final mock-up layout.  And, that's how I got to the journal cover and accessories I turned in.

It's been a while since I felt like I was doing something super exciting while I was illustrating.  I still get excited about knitting design, but it had been a while in the illustration department.  Reflecting upon the first MATS Assignment Bootcamp 2015 assignment, that's what I felt.  I felt energized about drawing.  I'm elated that the Assignment Bootcamp community is turning out to be more awe-inspiring and supportive than I could have ever imagined.

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