The very first step I take when approaching a creative project is asking myself, “why I am doing this project?” I need to have a purpose behind my work that drives me to finish, putting forth my best effort along the way. I am always trying to learn new skills while developing my existing skills, and this project has been a combination of both. I know I have so much to learn about art and design and I wanted to work on something that would exercise my creative thinking and the knowledge I already have. I wanted to do this with Abobe Illustrator as my medium because it is a program that I haven’t explored much.
When coming up with a theme for this project, I wanted it to be something different, but also something I am passionate about. I wanted to experiment with a style new to me that wasn’t too complex but still challenging. Freediving is a sport that I’ve always loved and is among less popular sports so there isn’t a large amount of work done on it. This sport was what I wanted to base 12 icons off of.
Freediving is a sport that requires a very minimal amount of gear to participate, so the very first thing I did for this project was sketch out every item I could think of that is associated with freediving. Because of the style I had in mind for this project, I wanted the design to be simple and elegant. The composition would be straight- forward and geometric. I tried to focus more on the general idea of the sketch rather than how visually pleasance. The spear gun is one of the most important icons associated with freediving. The other icons such as the snorkel, mask, fins, ect. are all more broad as far as what they are associated with. However, the wet-suit free divers use, often has a camouflage type pattern on it that is very popular. This camouflage makes it harder for the fish to distinguish whether the diver is a threat or harmless.
This is my first basic draft of my 12 icons. The first things I focused my attention to were the basic shapes of the objects, and then the same within the shapes, ect. I was not worried much about shading of small details because I knew that was something to focus on for the final touches. One of my biggest challenges up to this point was getting the complete shape of the mask and snorkel correct. I had to play around with multiple different techniques for several hours to get the shape just right. One of the biggest lessons I was able to understand clearly from this project was how everything we preserve is made up of different shapes; that the different values these shapes cast is what makes up what we see. It was difficult deciding which of these shapes were the most important and what their basic form was.
As part of the final touches I focus a little more one the shading and high lights of my vectors. I also took a step back and went for a more minimalistic and simple look for my icons. I wanted them to all seem like they belong together in a group. Also, giving the icons a color scheme helps to unify the design.
This has for sure been one of the more time consuming projects I’ve undertaken on illustrator, but in the end I’ve learn so much about how the program works, as well as how the world around me works.