This project definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’m so used to working with very simple, literal concepts and designs and this project forced me to dive into the complex and the figurative.
I decided to base my poster off of the band “Bear’s Den” but since we had to create a new band, I changed the name to Osodilli. (Oso means bear in Spanish and “diligitis” is love in Latin.) This band switches between genres a little bit – sometimes folksy, sometimes more electronic. Since those genres are pretty different, I decided to focus on the lyrics instead. Bear’s Den’s lyrics are so raw and vulnerable and often times a little bit on the depressing side. I started by doing some word maps using those words to help me figure out what concept I wanted to do. I came up with lots of different, and honestly kind of weird, ideas and started sketching. Some of the things I thought of were “sad turtle watching a sunrise”, “turtle on his back”, “lightbulbs full of candles”, “lion with open wound” “lion in a lightbulb” etc. My initial sketches were pretty rough and I was having a hard time getting my ideas out onto paper.
I finally decided that I wanted to do a wounded lion inside of a lightbulb. My reasoning behind this was that the lion was supposed to represent pride and confidence. The fact that he was wounded represented not only wounded pride and confidence but also vulnerability. The lightbulb represented ideas and the lion trapped inside of the lightbulb represented that wounded pride is all inside your head. Pretty complicated, I know. But I was excited about it and decided to run with it. But then I realized that I had absolutely no idea where to even start on creating the shape of a lion. I started by looking at some images on google and doing my best to sketch them out.
I still didn’t feel like I was getting the look I wanted. Then I remembered that when I was little, I checked out some of those “how to draw ____” books from the library and I wondered if I could find some of those same tutorials online. I found a really cool one that encouraged you to figure out the shape of the bones and the muscles first instead of just going straight into drawing the lion, so I tried that.
After quite a few hours of sketching I decided it was finally time to start working in illustrator. I had a hard time just going straight to my shapes, so I went through the same process of looking at the bone structure but in illustrator this time.
I stuck my lion inside of my lightbulb, but I still wasn’t happy with the body shape, so I started looking around for more examples. Finally I found a picture of a lion statue and I was finally able to figure out the look that I wanted! I added lightbulbs in the background and added the wound to the lion’s side.
At this point, I was stuck. I didn’t really know where else to go with it. So I sought critique from my peers. It became clear to me that the wound was more distracting than interesting and that my piece lacked interest. So I decided to scrap the wound idea altogether and started working on a new idea. I played around with the idea of the bulb actually being a cage, but decided that I didn’t like it, so I went with the idea that the lion’s roar was breaking the glass of the lightbulb.
I also started playing around with color schemes because I decided that I didn’t like the plain black background. I knew that I wanted it to be contrasting, but I wasn’t sure which colors I wanted so I played around with a few of them. I decided I like the teal/orange color scheme the best. (Contrary to persistent plea from my mom who loved the purple and yellow color scheme. She constantly told me that there are no orange lions in real life. Hellooo mom, this clearly isn’t real life.)
My instructor suggested that I try and put the name of the band into the filament of the lightbulb rather than just at the bottom like I originally had and I think that added the finishing touches on my gig poster. I also added a slight brick texture to the background and some details to the lion just to add a little bit of interest.
In the end, this project was a lot of work and it stretched me in a lot of ways, but I am so grateful because I have learned so much!