Negotiating Digital Space
April 2022 - November 2022
Procreate, Photoshop, Canva
My classmate and digital artist, Julia Robinson and I designed posters and graphical elements for a series of webinars called “Negotiating Digital Space for Culturally Significant Storytelling“ hosted by the Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats.
Timeline of the Project
May 2022 - July 2022
August 2022- November 2022
Planned the style of the illustrations
Collaborated on the first poster
Completed eight posters collaboratively
Made animations and layouts for social media
Designed assets for conference proceedings
Illustrated cover design
The Process: Creating a unified style
Tasked with creating a design that brought together traditional and the new age of digital storytelling, my work partner, Julia Robinson and I had to think of a way to collaborate while displaying our unique styles.
The Initial Ideas:
To design these posters, I worked with my friend and classmate, Julia Robinson.
Though she and I have different styles, our drawings have a similar ambience. When we work together, our styles mesh together naturally.
Both of us had styles that reflected the uniqueness and intricacies of each other’s work. When we illustrated together, Julia had a much sleeker style with gradients and stylized linework, while I had softer lines and painterly blocks of colour.
My art style is messy and consists of many brushstrokes. I rarely use solid blocks of colour and bold strokes, opting for hatched shading and flowy lines. I consider myself more of a traditional artist, and my digital work demonstrates that.
We decided that Julia would display the new age of digital narratives while I would show the more traditional sides.
In creating our characters, we both wanted androgynous figures to embrace our styles. I often draw organic and lump-like creatures when I’m doodling mindlessly. The persona on my side of the poster came from this instinct.
We chose a colour scheme with lots of purples, pinks and blues. These colours reminded me of technology and looking at screens. More importantly, they worked well together.
When we created our first poster, the team noted that though we had our styles to show digital and traditional, there wasn’t a solid barrier between the two. I would draw some geometric elements on my side and Julia some organic ones.
We decided that our lack of strict distinction between the two would emphasize how digital and traditional narratives are colliding.
The Process: Creating the Posters
In creating my side of the poster, I would start by reading my notes from the discussions we would have beforehand about the content of the folders. In doing so, I would refresh and prepare to reflect these ideas in the drawing I’d be starting. If I had an idea going in, I would draw some rough sketches and doodle around them. Once I had a strong composition, I added clean linework and shadows. After I drew the subjects of the poster, I would create a background of organic shapes and lines. I would wrap up the drawing by creating short uneven lines of shading
A challenge that repetitively appeared in my work was not taking things too literally. When I was not sure of the direction I wanted to take, my drawing would be a recreation that related too directly to the title for there to be any creativity. To resolve this issue, I would begin drawing by freehanding lines and organic blocks of colour. Through these simple movements, I’d be warming up and allowing for negative space to naturally form shapes. Similar to finding forms in cloudscapes, this method allows for the most organic creativity. When designing my posters, I didn’t start with a specific colour in mind.
As our time creating together came to a close, Julia and I learned a lot about collaboration and taking feedback. The biggest lesson we learned was collaboration requires communication. Julia and I often sent our drafts back and forth, making tiny tweaks every time. In working on the poster with the team, we had to listen to their vision and discuss how we could make it possible. When they provided revisions, we drafted rough fixes to gauge if the direction we were going to take was correct. So much of the creative process is understanding where others come from, how we can make their vision possible, and what ideas we can adapt into our work.