The Neon Challenge
I actually loved this project. It’s one thing to create content to be printed as a poster or something like that, but I think that stickers are really an interactive way to portray something created by you. It was exciting during the whole design process knowing that these were going to be turned into stickers that I’d be able to share with people and that they could actively use. I think my favorite part of this particular design process. I had to overcome this mentality that I had developed over the last couple of weeks that nothing I created was good enough.
I decided to try something new to overcome that mentality, and it totally changed my perspective because I really loved what I created. During a time that I really just felt like I couldn’t handle the pressure of creating something I would love, I came across a saying that said “don’t quit until you’re proud”, and that completely changed the way I looked at my design. I wasn’t designing for a grade anymore, I was designing for me; I wanted to look back and say “I absolutely tried my very best with this”, and I think that I totally accomplished that with this project.
Sketch it Out
Initially, I knew that sometime during the semester I wanted to try and design something neon-neon lips, a neon hand neon words, but I had decided that it was too hard. First mistake. I had such an awakening experience with this project, because I really had to work to overcome that mindset. After creating a new project every two weeks, I was feeling pretty burnt out by week 12, and I truly began hating anything I tried to create-on paper and on the computer. So, eventually sometime during the sketching process, I ended up choosing something different. I wanted something space-themed, so I began by designing alien, space goggles, and abstract astronaut masks.
I think that my sketches were the funnest part of the design process at this point, because when I took it to the computer, I was stumped all over again. I didn’t put nearly as much effort as I had hoped to into my drafts. I liked the eye, but I felt like I was forcing the text. I had decided that by the time I was done with these drafts, I wanted to try something else, something even more different.
Brighter than Before
It was two nights before the project was due, and I still was struggling with these feelings of inadequacy on Illustrator-it had felt like I had to relearn basic shapes and techniques, like my brain was turned off. I think it’s because I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough. I decided that although it was pretty last minute and I didn’t want to learn something completely new that wasn’t even on google or Pinterest or Youtube, I wanted to try neon because my heart was set on creating something neon since the beginning of the semester. I looked up a tutorial on how to make text look neon and went from there, seeing if that same technique would apply to shapes as well-and it did! I learned quickly what makes neon look neon and by Friday, I was really happy with the overall design of each sticker, and all of my doubts about my abilities to learn and want to learn new things “melted” away…