graphic design

Design Process: eShot images for campaign by ciro correia

Here's a 'behind the scenes' look into creating eShot images for an email campaign. The images were meant to convey the idea that a set of 'new micro sites' were available for viewing across different platforms, from web to mobile. Thus the image was to play an important part in aiding the launch of these 'micro sites' aimed at niche markets. Once initial analysis of the information and parameters of the project is done I'll move onto rapid thumb-nailing and 'form storming'. I'll settle on the most effective thumbs and begin building roughs, collecting possible assets bringing the design to the point where I can start work on the final image. I worked alone on this one, but the process is pretty much similar in a team - only there' a lot more communication, feedback and collaboration. It's fun to work with others, but working alone also has it's pluses.

The process I prefer and always use as my own has a feedback/review stage. This is largely a learning stage for me, I can evaluate my thoughts and processes - think about outcomes and whether I achieved goals, etc. 

The first one of the final images for an email campaign. The image has been 'frankensteined' together as planned from the idea to thumb sketch to final. The images below show some of the elements I 'frankenstiened' aka composited together

The images above show the starting point once I was happy to move forward from thumb and rough -  a white page with a photo of a desktop computer, a screenshot of the web asset, photo stock of company assets to be included within the image, 3d objects of different closures to add to the context of the image, and a WIP (work in progress) shot of the image as I built it from 'scratch'.

The second final image for an email campaign. Same style and treatment.

Again, once I'm happy with the planning and thumb composition I move on to creating the image. The images in the carousel above shows the starting point for the final image - a white page with a photo of a desktop computer, a screenshot of the web asset, I went into the photo studio to take very quick photo assets of crimps and wires, carefully setting them up for the final shot. 

Application of the design process varies depending on what I'm trying achieve, media and format but the principles are always the same. 

Visual development via iteration by ciro correia

This post is mostly about how the creative process works. I was going to write about linear perspective too- perhaps another post. I think its true that most people misunderstand how creatives work, hopefully this post helps demystify the magic of creating something out of nothing. If I'm honest, this is the way I've always worked- it's always been this way, intuitive I guess. I've also seen this process and principle taught at tertiary level. I'm not sure if it's said implicitly or implied but iteration is always the key to conceptual development or any other illustration, design or art. Conceptual illustration tends to use iteration at a faster pace, trying not to linger on the details early on. This is the process I live by, whether I'm working on a design, illustration or concept art. My early sketches can't be interpreted by anyone but me so people don't often see them- they're thinking images in which I'm ironing out angles, shapes - compositional stuff. It's fast paced and many times ugly. The more I need to figure out- the 'uglier' the early sketches are. At times I have a clearer beginning idea for whatever reason so the thumbs will look nicer earlier on, because some basics are already sorted I can then I give more to artistic expression and other skill sets. I'm constantly trying to make this gap smaller, I want to get to the point where I have a clear composition or some solid elements to work with so I try produce as many thumbs as possible to iron out issues. Bottom right you'll see these rough sketches, almost doodles in nature. They're for me only, I'll never show these to clients.

Stage two is the point where clients begin seeing my work. They're still rough compositional thumbs but they have enough information to help me decide whether I want to take the image further or not. I choose from the first stage rough thumbs and begin expanding, I'm no longer working from nothing now- I have created my own reference points. The two images at the bottom on the right are expanded thumbs. Thumbs at this stage don't have to be as detailed as these two are but they can be. Out of dozens of 'first pass' rough thumbs I choose only a few which best fit my needs and expand them- meaning I redraw them as fast as I can with as much extra detail as I can on each iteration. Layer upon layer upon layer until I'm happy that I have enough information to use the sketch as reference for the final illustration or perhaps all the client wants are looser conceptual designs then I might not redraw and polish the image but rather take it to the point where the piece communicates enough information to be used as a concept asset. Usually there is a line, or point where the 'sketch' is abandoned and you switch into rendering. It's important to understand that 'sketch' and 'rendering' differ and the difference is in your approach- the difference between using predominately line or shape, tone and colour.

For those of us who create for a living hopefully this will help grow your own process or in the very least ring true. We're all refining and learning even after years of working professionally- so if you feel you have something to add to this topic please feel free to comment and add your viewpoint. 


Monster coffee - animation 'pencil test' by ciro correia

It's been a while since my last post, too long. The political state of things has had me in an obsessive state and I've had to bite back on my pencil a few times to stop myself from churning out political parodies of the events and people on the news. Heather still worries about a 'soviet' style assassin taking me out for my recent political illustration of Putin. So no ... not yet anyway.

Today I've got lighter subject matter for you. An animation asset I'm creating about 'Monster Coffee"! Before working on the final animation sequence its common practice to run an animation test or 'animation pencil test' - you know, to make sure things are going the way you want them to. Now, whatever you do after reading this don't go google 'pencil test' because you won't come up with the same results of which I'm talking about here. Apparently the term 'pencil test' - outside of animation circles - is used to determine whether women need to wear a bra or not. Yes, that's right - if the pencil stays ... You won't be finding any animation under that test.

I've always loved classic horror (b-rate or not) imagery. Wolf man, the mummy, Frankenstein, and the creature from black lagoon. It's been cool to work on this sequence for that reason, amongst others. So here's my animation pencil test for a monster cup of coffee. Next stage is clean up and working on the final version. It's all still very beginning stages but fun to share. Hope you like it ;)

Creature from Black Lagoon enjoying a cup of black Americano :p

Once again thanks for visiting Sketched BLOG and for your interest in my work :)

Editorial Illustration by ciro correia

Once again thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, I'm grateful that you show interest in my professional and personal work as an illustrator, designer and artist. I previously posted some of the preparatory sketches for this piece, so here's the finished illustration.

I've worked on a lot of fantasy/scifi/horror illustrations over my career and have over the last year or so decided to expand the scope of my illustration work (I'm still open to working on fantasy/scifi and horror projects - just that I don't want to limit my work to these themes and want to explore different markets). I haven't done any politically orientated illustrations in years - so this has been a nice change. 

Growing up in Southern Africa I always thought it was cool that artists and art have often acted as a society's conscious, our images and work are not only meant to inspire beauty or help us to escape to far off places but also, at times, to speak about the human condition or the state of the world. It's a tricky thing, because there is often more than one perspective on the same issue - but often you have to choose a message and try to convey it the best you can.

All we offer is a point of view, an opinion to help us think and inspire a more open perspective on the world - however, ...

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream," (V, i. 440-455)

Once again thanks for reading my posts, and more importantly viewing my work.