When figuring out that we were going to have to do a set of icons, I knew that I wanted to do something that I really loved and could get behind, but I also wanted it to be something that you don’t typically see. For the last several years, I have really gotten into the sport of horse racing and since the Kentucky Derby was a couple weeks ago, I decided to do my icons on the derby!

It first started with a brainstorming session. I wrote down every word that I could think of that could relate to the Kentucky Derby and broke it down into three categories: horses, track, people. Of course, there were many different words that I could come up with and I just had to narrow down what the best icons would be and what represented the Kentucky Derby the best. 

I then went onto drawing my sketches, I am terrible at drawing so doing these is always a struggle for me however it helped me realize the icons that I thought were going to look good and the icons that were going to be bad looking or a struggle to portray. I then took this paper with the sketches, scanned it into my computer, and put the image into illustrator to help me bring these drawings to life in illustrator.

My first 6 icons were a struggle to get through, mostly it was just trying to use the program illustrator to make it do what I wanted. I just still am not familiar with what tool will be the best for the job. That and trying to maintain a cohesive feel across all the icons were the biggest challenge for me.For my final draft, I added 6 more icons to the mix, simplified some things that Brother Kerr suggested to me, and tried to make everything uniform. Getting the right color in the right spots was not easy at first, but got easier with each new icon that I worked on. I decided to give the icons a little thicker outline stroke as well to give them a little more contrast. For my first big illustrator project I feel that I did really well and am happy with my finished product. 

Follow me

Matt VanSteenkiste

Creative Mind at Van Visual
Most comfortable when I am looking at the world through a viewfinder. My passions in life include being outdoors, my son, and having a camera during both of those. I aim to evolve my creativity and style every day. Creating visually stimulating content that makes your eyes happy is what I do.
Follow me

Latest posts by Matt VanSteenkiste (see all)