California Dreamin' Process

I recently enrolled in a class with Joel Felix and Hans Bennewitz on Skillshare called "Lettering: Learn to Draw Illustrative words." The main class project was to pick a phrase that you like and engage in the design process to come up with a unique lettering treatment of your phrase. I decided to represent California with high hopes that I will be able to use it for a gallery exhibition that is happening with Interval Press this Summer. Check out some of my process below. This one evolved quite a bit as I took into consideration feedback from friends, other students, and the instructor of the course. I always love looking back in hindsight and seeing how much a project changed. I struggled with it until that moment came where the letters "came alive" and really felt like they were right. 

My initial sketch. After receiving initial feedback, I determined that this was looking too formal and elegant for the phrase that I chose. Time to revise my style choice. 

I started to do several monowidth-line sketches, playing filling up the space of the circle. My goal was to achieve a sense of balance in form and negative space. 

More variations. After this, I made a key decision to switch up the style, thicken up all of the strokes, and simplify the flourishes to look like a coastal wave.

This is the revised sketch with a revamped style. Definitely feeling more fun and "California" to me. Time to take it into Illustrator for vectorizing and cleaning up the curves.

Almost there. Still have to clean up the curves and some of the spacial relationships between the letters.

I added texture to the lettering and placed it over one of my infrared images from Yosemite. 

The silkscreened version! 13x19 2-color print on French Speckletone paper. 

Create in California

I created this California inspired print for a community event that Interval Press was a part of. It was a really successful event, and I am pretty excited about the aesthetic of this piece. I'm thinking about turning this into a series of larger prints in the near future. Got a lot in store for the blog and online portfolio! 

1-color application on wood

Rope type Process

My latest published project was a fun hand-drawn illustration for a Rope Climbing Challenge at Sac State. I wanted to share a glimpse into my process in creating this for anyone who is interested. I'm also working on developing a workshop on hand-lettering with a colleague of mine, so please let me know what you think by commenting below. Enjoy and hope this helps you out in some way or another. 

The first step was the write out the words in cursive and play with spacial relationships and how the individual letters could interact with one another. This is by far the most creative part of the hand-lettering process, in my opinion. There is room for editing past initial sketches, but I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to produce from this step. After writing out the words into something that I thought would work, I outlined the letters to have a thicker rope look. 

The next step was to refine the sketches. If you look closely, you can see that I increased the space between the two words and cleaned up the curves in the letters. 

Next I drew in the rope texture and outlined the entire drawing in ink. This is the most tedious part of any hand-lettering project. Of course, any minor mistakes made can usually be fixed in photoshop. This is the scanned image (600 dpi) of my final drawing. After this I scaled the scanned image up by 300% and did a live trace in Illustrator. Next I did some minor tweaks to the image, which resulted in separating the type into three parts (seen below) so that I would have more freedom in playing with color in the next step.

Next I applied color and texture. This is when the illustration really comes alive to me. I finally begin to get excited about finishing. This is the part of the process that probably takes the most amount of time, and a good knowledge of the software really helps to achieve the look you are going for.

Finally, I put the illustration into it's final context — a poster advertising The Rope Climb Challenge. My goal was to apply color, texture, and type in a way that would give the poster somewhat of a nostalgic/retro feel since the content is referencing a "gym class classic." 

The End

Recent concept for a closing gallery show at Tangent Gallery in Sacramento. So sad to see the gallery closing for good with this final show, but it was a fun concept to work with for this poster. The gate design is modeled after the actual gates that stand outside of the gallery. I was also inspired by Albrecht Dürer's woodcuts & engravings, specifically his "Four Horsemen of the Apocalyspe" (shown below). 


Albrecht Dürer's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and the gates outside of Tangent Gallery

Sport Icons

I recently developed these icons for the Intramural Sports program this Fall at Sac State. Yes, I was inspired by Valerie Jar (see earlier blog post). I'm happy with how these came out though. I set out to create a simplified vintage-retro aesthetic, but also a line quality that brought continuity to the set as a whole. By the way, the dodgeball one is modeled after my coworker. I smile and laugh a little every time I look at it.