From the start, I knew that I wanted to do a posters series on a fictional art show that I would create myself. Before moving forward with sketching I spent time thinking about what kind of art shows have been my favorites while also combining thoughts of what appeals to me as an audience member. I narrowed down to creating an art festival that encompassed different forms of art such as print, film, and outdoor art. Since a lot of my favorite music pieces, films, and more are asian inspired, I decided to narrow down to an asian cultural art festival. For my initial sketches, I chose to explore some common motifs that are used in Chinese and Japanese culture such as the red string of fate, koi, trees, waves, and more.
After my sketches, I got feedback that first set of sketches were the most interesting and strong due to composition and imagery. I also got positive reactions to the idea of having a red thread connecting the posters. I wanted the red thread to symbolize connections very literallly and metaphorically. In asian culture, red threads generally symbolize connection and fate. I want to make each day connected to each other not just because they are in the same festival but because different mediums of art do play into each other. The next step I took was digitally drafting the posters. While I knew that I wanted to illustrate the art digitally, I started with rough paper sketches to get a quick visualization of what the posters might look like.
I saw quickly that I liked the general composition was effective in displaying information and keeping the imagery centered, but I would need to work on color, the grid, and making information readable. I also did not want all the posters to look too similar, so I experimented with different types of positions below. I hand drew my illustrations on my iPad instead of vector tracing because I wanted to capture a more organic feel.
After my first interim crit with the following posters, I received positive feedback about the connecting string and the illustrations. There were many suggestions to adjust the grid, the colors, and hierarchy. First, I tried to experiment with layering colors. There was a printing error that caused a few streaks of color onto my drafts that intrigued some people. I explored a more intentional layering of color.
These posters seemed to lose the organic, traditional feel that I originally had with the tan and black colors. I thought perhaps a more unusual color scheme could remedy that.
Despite exploring mainly color configurations, it seemed like the colors were detracting from the traditional feeling and taking away from the excitement that was the red thread connecting the posters. I went back and decided to explore more neutral or subtle color palettes instead.
While some of the color schemes looked incredibly interesting on screen, when printed, they looked much different. I found the prints that were appealing to me and others the most, were those with high contrast in the images, mainly those with black illustrations. I also liked that the black illustrations looked like ink. I think while I enjoyed trying out many color options, and many came out to look very interesting, I realized that I need to stick to my vision of the arts festival and not get carried away with visuals. In the end, I resulted back to colors that were similar to my old drafts. I wanted the poster to resemble paper like colors and almost produce this older nostalgic feeling.