|| Advice for a young Illustrator ||

The advice that I would give to someone looking to become a young professional Illustrator can be put into two categories: professional advice and personal advice.

Professional 

– Create Thumbnails for all projects, they will help you get a clear idea of exactly what path you want to take.

– Network with as many people as you can; get to know individuals in the field and build a client list as soon as you can.

– Work larger than the print size so that you can add more detail into your work before it gets shrunk down, rather than working small and the artwork not having as much detail as you would like it to.

Personal

– Be able to be flexible in what you do; whether its art style, or when you can do jobs, keep yourself open to as many opportunities as possible.

– Keep your morale up, you need to make sure you don’t let competition and other aspects put you and your artwork down.

– Don’t let jobs just appear, you have to go out and look for them, make yourself known through as many people as you can and use this skill to get as much work as you can through them.

|| Visiting Illustrator – Dave Eaton ||

Dave Eaton is an illustrator, and has been practicing for the past 30 years; he came in to talk to us about what life as an illustrator is like, what to expect and general advice about being a working freelance illustrator.

Important things I learnt from Dave were necessary facts such as reinventing yourself fairly often, in order to keep clients old and new interested. Being able to be flexible in many aspects of your life will help get you more jobs; for example being able to stay up all night for a two day project, or being flexible about the work you can do, so you have the ability to do drastically different projects, but still be able to complete high quality pieces of artwork for each project.

Dave then went on to tell us that the other thing to take into consideration when deciding to work as a freelance illustrator are that there are many hardships; there can be moments of financial difficulty because of lack of jobs coming your way, and it can get lonely working by yourself all the time rather than as part of a team in a proper company.

He worked for the The Association Of Illustrators and learned many things about who he wants to work for and what kind of image he wants to show; another important fact he emphasized was that you should always think about the job before you agree to it; think about who it is for and how it could affect your image as an illustrator; for example doing an advert promoting something that could be seen as controversial, if it could damage your image, you may get not as many clients and working as a full-time freelance illustrator may get difficult. You have to be professional about work when choosing it. However he also told us that working for a client can open a lot of doors; as they have contacts with people that alone you may not be able to speak to. They would also be more help to you financially, in being able to get you a higher rate that you possibly would have been able to get on your own.


“You have to keep your morale up.”


An important and essential skill to have in this industry is to be able to produce a good amount of work pretty fast, while also possibly having 5-6 jobs at one time. You cannot let people down – this is another issue that could hurt your reputation that you have tried hard to built up and maintain, you have to be able to churn a lot of work out at any given time if it is necessary. Thumbnails are a very important step to work into your stages of working as this can benefit you in pulling ideas together on paper, and sending them to clients to make sure you are working to something they will like. They don’t have to be neat and professional looking, they can be scruffy and rough but they give you a good idea of composition and how the final piece may look when everything is properly done and together on the same page.

You must be working. even when you don’t have any jobs, this will not only help develop your portfolio, but also keeps you from slipping and losing skills you’ve gained over working through the time you have. Making your own luck is a large part of getting work in this industry; you have to really push your own name and get yourself known to as many people as you can, through networking with as many different potential clients and people.

One medium Dave preferred working with was Gouache – a medium similar to acrylics. The results that he showed us looked unreal, the lines and blocks of colour were so solid that they appeared like prints rather than hand painted. Working with this medium is definitely something I should consider. He also has a woodcut style developed drawing style. Working larger than the final print size is something you should always do, this is so that you can get a lot of detail in before it gets shrunk down.

Related to what we were working on, packaging, the Graphic Designer will send you a trace of the layout of the text etc, however as the illustrator, you only add the artwork, none of the text work comes from you. Dave illustrated a children’s book and told us the stages that he worked to get to the final stage; he first had the sketches for the art, went over the line art with a fine liner that doesn’t bleed when water washes over it, painted it with light washes of ink colour and then in the final stages, added shading, tone and detail on top using colour pencils.

One final point Dave made was don’t make assumptions about clients, don’t think that they know about the process and what you do, you have to imagine that they don’t know anything about the process of illustrating. You cannot send only your roughs, they may not understand what they are and get confused. It is important to explain your idea to the client. And to ALWAYS work from a visual reference.

|| Peligroso Website Advert ||

Below is a screenshot of the adverts I created for a website, I took and existing website into Photoshop and cut out the adverts that were already there and proceeded to create my adverts.

One thing I knew I wanted to do when creating the web adverts was to have a black background and use the other bottle design that I didn’t have the chance to use for the magazine advert. One thing I found out when I was doing research into existing adverts that were the same shape as the ones on this website I have taken; was that these adverts are not usually covered in information, generally they only have a small amount of information to show the product that is being advertised, and the consumer would have to click-through to go to the actual website for more information.

I took that new information on board and created the adverts I did, I put the bottle in the vertical advert space and the name of the brand in the top horizontal space. I like how the Peligroso Tequila fits in the horizontal bar, the slight curve of the word ‘peligroso’ and how central it is, making it the most important thing on the page. I think by making the background black it stands out against the rest of the website, drawing your eyes to it.

At this point I only had the text along the top and the bottle on the side, it felt empty and needed something more to really pull everything together without adding too much and over powering the actual message of the product with effects and filters. Taking inspiration from the logo on the bottle and the word peligroso – meaning dangerous, I took a colour that generally relates to these words – the colour red. I took it on an extremely soft brush and dotted it behind the main objects on each advertising space. When dotting it behind the bottle, I didn’t worry about making it too harsh because it would be easily hidden by the bottle, however when putting the colour down behind the words, I had to think about the placement more as each harsh line accidentally created would be seen. I took the brush and dotted along the words to create a line and then went back again over the ends, to create a 3D effect, where the sides appear closer than the centre, that appears darker.

The colour then looked good but still missed something so I decided to add lens flares to give the illusion of a product that shines. I chose to place two lens flares on the words to really enhance the 3D effect that I started to create, and I think the addition of the lens flares really brings those points for ward pushing the centre back and giving it all a pulled together look. Then it was a little bit more difficult when it came to adding the lens flares around the bottle, because it could look to obviously placed or be completely hidden by the actual bottle. I decided to place three; one at the very top, one just by the neck of the bottle and one behind the very bottom of the bottle, so that there is just a bit of the lens flare illuminating the red colour at the bottom.

Peligroso Web Ad

Overall I am very happy with how these adverts turned out, although they didn’t take too long, they look quite professional, in my opinion, also put together and planned out. I think my choice of colour was a good one because it all relates back to the product, whether the consumer realises this or not.

|| Peligroso Magazine Advert ||

One task related to rebranding this tequila, was to also create adverts for the product. Below are the two designs that I came up with for the magazine ad. The first one was a developmental one, I took the logo of the pink Peligroso logo that I created previously, and took the glitch pattern background and used it to cover the page and create the effect it has. I then took the bottle with the same glitch logo, but felt as though there was too much of the same pattern going on, on the same page, causing it all to get a bit too noisy. So I decided to replace the bottle with the bottle with the snake logo instead. I like how this looks better than with the other logo, but was still missing something.

Peligroso advert

Looking at the existing adverts for this tequila online, I saw that not only on the adverts, but also on certain pages on the website, I noticed that there are words, in a rough font, behind the images. I decided to do the same to the magazine advert, as I felt like even with the tequila name and where it is made, it was lacking substantial information about the actual product. So I took information such as a tagline for their brand that I found on their website


 

The pursuit of adventure echoes in every soul.


and the fact that the tequila is made of 100% Agave. I took the font ‘High Voltage Rough’ off the website DaFont, and created the text, I put the 100% Agave font twice and layer the two at different sizes to create the layered, almost 3D effect. and then below put the quote; but I didn’t try and make the quote fit, I just let it sit behind the bottle and hang off the page for artistic effect.
Peligroso advertFINAL

|| Peligroso Tequila Bottle Try-out ||

Due to my worries about what that logo would look like on the bottle, considering I would know it would be suitable enough for merchandise, I tested the logo out on an existing bottle of Peligroso tequila. As I was unable to get my hands on an actual bottle, I took to Photoshop and got rid of their embossed logo and information on the bottle, and pasted my glitch effect logo on top. I think it looks alright, but there is something not right about it; before, the original Peligroso logo is embossed on and has no hard edges and mine is a harsh edged circle, and pretty different to the original, however it could be argued that this is what the brand owuld be looking for, if they had hired me to recreate their logo and rebrand them completely.

peligroso bottle1

After looking at the one above for too long, I decided to try and put one of the other logos I created on here instead. I chose to try out my favourite one rather than the most professional looking one; and while it may seem a bit busy, and I do agree that it looks like there is too much going on for such a small space, I like that the edges are not constricted to a certain space, there is a general shape to the logo, but the snake heads break that shape and stick out from it.

peligroso bottle3

These two are definitely my favourite designs, but if I was to choose which one went on the actual bottle and was the art of the company, I would choose the glitch effect logo. Not only is it colourful and interesting, but it also has other possibilities other than just looking good on the bottle, so convenience-wise, it is the better fit.

|| Peligroso Tequila (Glitch Try) ||

While I had chevrons and glitch creations in my head I decided to create the artwork below, using a standard chevron pattern and pasting it a lot of times, then changing a few of them to have the colours inverted and repeated the same pasting process to create this effect at random. I then took the three snake design and put it on top and made them overlay causing the red layers to seem like they are sitting above and the green layers to appear as though they are below the snakes. Peligroso6 1

I then took that pattern I created to actually making a proper circular logo, one that I did not actually have at this stage, only the different snake designs, seen in previous posts. I cropped around the snakes where I feel as though it fit best and then added another darker one in the very centre for emphasis. I then proceeded to try to add the brand name on top and on the clear bottle, the font is in black, I wanted to replicate this but the words would not be seen on this high contrast background. So instead I took a box around the name, cut out the letters and inverted the colours, so that on one hand the colours aren’t affecting how well the words can be read, but on the other hand keeping the glitch effect of the logo intact. Peligroso7 1

Below I done it using plain white text, and I am very happy with how this one turned out. I  think the words are easy to read and it looks like a professional logo – as long as it took me to get to it. I managed to get to a stage where I am happy with how it looks. However one question that I had on my mind was whether this looked too commercial or not? Like this is perfect to be put on clothing and hats, but would it suit the company if it was on the bottle like this? No matter what this is one of the better designs I have managed to create, in my opinion. Peligroso8

|| Peligroso Tequila (con color) ||

Thinking that the previous designs were lacking something, I thought about adding some colour to the design. I redid the chevrons in a cleaner manner, rather than using the blur tool on a high setting to make them I instead did each one individually and kept it going. I used the colour yellow again to really push the message of ‘dangerous’ (Peligroso). I used the same techniques as I did previously to add the snakes on top, this time without all the guidelines in the way. I like both designs, and while the top one may seem a better fit for a logo on a clear bottle and on paper etc, I like how the second one looks with the more transparent, ‘boney’ looking snakes.

clean chevronsyellow2clean chevronsyellowwhitesnake