A little bit about me: I do not listen to a lot of music, but when I do I really only listen to one type of music, one genre, and one artist. Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson is the music that I go to when I am in a good mood, a bad mood, or just want to listen to music. It is feel good and upbeat. It never gets old for me. Having said that, when I came upon this project and saw all the amazing different types of gig posters and the intensity of them, I felt very intimidated. All I knew was Jack Johnson and so even though I was nervous about this project, that is where I started.
Sketching: I started my sketching process with a few words of how I wanted my poster to feel. Having a feel to a gig poster is very important because you are representing the band and what type of music they play. In order to get the right feel, I pictured myself listening to Jack Johnson and what I would be doing. That led me to think of the beach and the ocean, and that lead me to my band name: Open Ocean. It doesn’t have any read significance, other than I like the way it sounded and that I thought it fit with the feel of my band. From there, I started sketching some ideas relating to my band name and the feel I wanted. Here is what I came up with:
Beginning Drafts: I was really excited about the ideas I had so far, and so getting to create them in Illustrator was fun! Though as I came upon the finishing touches of my first draft, I was not happy with what I had. My first draft (see below) made me think that I was about to watch a kids concert or something. It just wasn’t the right feel I was looking for. So I completely scrapped it and started something new.
I was getting closer with my next draft and I liked what I had, but I still wasn’t sure about it. I wanted to create the feel of sitting on a surfboard, looking out onto the open ocean (get it), while the sun was setting and just feeling peaceful and happy. So I created that. Something didn’t seem right though, here is the (second) draft:
Then, after receiving some feedback from some of my peers, I realized that the legs and surfboard I had created did not make sense. They were too spread apart, too thin, and the surfboard was sitting out of the water too much. Pretty much none of worked, so much so that when I showed it to my peers, they “did not know what the round shapes coming off of the surfboard” were. So I went back to the drawing board and tried to make it work. Below are the drafts I created in an attempt to make the legs and surfboard perspective work:
Final Drafts: As you can see, I changed the waves a little bit, the shape of the legs, put some shorts on the person, and shortened the board. But none of those things were really working and I just didn’t like it. So I decided to scrap the idea of the surfboard and do another sketch idea I had. This is when I created my 5th draft:
Finally, I created something that I really liked and that I felt like exemplified that feel I was going for. In creating this draft, I decided I wanted to have a silhouette of a person holding a ukulele looking out onto the sunset because I like the way that made me feel and I could picture myself doing that listening to (or playing) some Jack Johnson. To create the silhouette, I looked at some reference photos to make sure I got the body right, and I did the same thing with the ukulele. With this newer and better version of my draft, I went to my peers and asked for some more feedback. I received positive reactions and ended up changing a few small things and landed with my final draft! Here it is:
I ended up changing the background a little bit to make it a little less opaque to make it look like an actual background, and I also changed the size of the poster to allow for more head room. I am very pleased with how this turned out. I think that it really creates the feel I was going for, and when I look at it I feel happy and proud of what I created. I hope you like it as much as I do!