When I began catching the vision for and seeing examples of this project, I began to light up inside. The neurons fired, and I generated ideas with glee. Designing a T-shirt to completion, even printing seemed daunting, but the less serious/light-hearted nature of the graphic caught my attention because I love puny and even sometimes cheesy humor. I thought I could have fun with it.
In the beginning of the brainstorming process, my instructor provided suggestions for enhancing our brainstorming process. I started with some words, and explored a variety of playful combinations of ideas… this was my first sketch.
As I continued to explore my ideas, I decided on a ‘muffin man’ theme. The thought of gifting the finished T-shirt to my sister fueled my excitement for the project, so she became my audience. I know she loves muffins and jokes that include the muffin man, so I took that idea and tried some more sketches.
Growing up -and even now- I struggle to correctly understand lyrics that I only hear without seeing. The muffin man son is one of those songs! I know -and was reminded during the drafting process- that according to the song, the muffin man lives on Dreary Lane, not Cherry Lane. All the same, as a kid, I thought it was Cherry Lane, which sounds more cheerful to me, and I know my sister will appreciate the reference to our childhood and all the times I heard the songs (this is not an isolated incident) wrong. We can just say ‘The Muffin Man Moved’ to Cherry Lane! She’ll appreciate it!
I used purples, thinking I’d incorporate the color because it’s my sister’s favorite. I don’t like this first draft much, but it got me going.
Creating the muffin man was definitely my favorite part. Looking at a basic muffin-shape that is basically just a muffin, and then adding eyes and a cartoon mouth just thrilled me. I enjoyed creating the cherries as well.
The tiny details of the graphic took some time and adjusting, but I like the way it turned out. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s playful. My sister will like it.
Honestly, one of my aims for this project was to ENJOY it! The last couple of projects I’ve done were more stressful than pleasant in some ways, and this project excited me more from the get-go. I would say that I achieved my objective in this regard. Side objectives included: become more familiar with the tools, make at least a few other people laugh, and end up with a clean enough product I could be proud enough of to wear in public (not despise it so much I wouldn’t even wear it). I also wanted to embrace the graphic designer world of contacting and coordinating with a printing business in a satisfying way. Although the jury is still out as to whether the printed shirt satisfies (it’s still in processing at the “printer”), I feel confident I wouldn’t be so embarrassed I -or my sister- would’t wear it in public. I also noticed increased proficiency and comfort with keystrokes and tools in Illustrator – a growing success story, in and of itself. I believe it will make at least my sister laugh, and so far, even the drafts made people laugh, so I’d count that one for a win! Finally, I felt empowered to explore the printing options, do a little research, read a few reviews, and follow up with emails to make sure I could get the shirt printed in the necessary time-frame. My customer service experience has been pretty good so far, and all in all, I’d say the project is a success!