I love to see the different ways other artist and illustrators work. So, I decided to share how I came up with my Fruity Ice Pops illustration. The only direction for this project was that it had to be a kid friendly recipe and 16.667″ wide x 6.25″ high. When a project is this open-ended and self-directed this is how I typically work:
I start by opening a new illustrator file and having an idea purge for about a half an hour. I then pick a few of my favorite ideas and flesh them out. It’s an intuitive way of working. For the most part, I’m not concerned with fonts, spelling, colors ect. Each sketch takes me anywhere between 15-45 minutes. The idea is to get the general feel of the idea down. I typically do all of this in one night and allow myself no more then 3 hours. If I sat down on a different night I would probably have 3 completely different ideas/sketches.
Concept: Show Family, Friends and Fun
Concept: Play up the “POP” with girly pop colors and kid pop culture ref and trends
Concept: Mix of Seasons- Play up the “ice” with polar bear and snow. Play up summer with popsicle flowers, fresh fruit, and flower patterns in background.
Next, I run it by someone (in this case, my mom) she is not an artist, but she has a fantastic eye for design. She liked the the general look of the first sketch, but she missed the polar bear and photography that were in the other sketches. I thought this was great advice. I incorporated the polar bear and fruit photography into my illustration. Then I started to revise my sketch. I pick the fonts, laid out the type, refine the colors and so on, until it was complete.
I found that setting time limits “deadlines” for each phase of a project has dramatically increased my speed of work. I’ve also found that entering contests and doing self-directed work is a great way to push myself to experiment with new techniques and stretch myself creatively. Plus, I think it’s really fun!