Honeybulb Process

I decided to represent the growth I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing this semester by creating the following vector advertisement:


It is a company who’s name is inspired by Winnie the Pooh and my Grandma Wini who has that same sweet tooth. The design was not originally intended to be anything like that, even after I decided to pursue the hive-bulb idea. As I let my creativity lead the way, this was what I ended up with.

For a while I let the design lead me to a fairly complex place, one that was a bit overloaded and muddled. It wasn’t until I started considering the story that I was able to come up with the concept that led me to my final draft. My previous drafts weren’t bad, but they weren’t telling a story and I wasn’t okay with that. I feel that my final project accurately represents a story and much of what I learned this semester.


The one clear direction I had was to incorporate a lightbulb into my design. A few months back I came upon a website full of different interpretations of a lightbulb and ever since then, I’ve wanted to pursue a project centered around them. As I sketched, and looked at different work (the Lumineers have incredible gig posters), I sketched an idea with a beehive. As I started to execute on illustrator I realized that the best way to represent the hive would be Winni the Pooh style. In other words, through a tree. It just looked better. It also flowed well into my lightbulb shape. Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 2.50.59 AMAfter receiving some feedback (thank you, Brother Kerr) I determined that I needed to simplify the shape of the bulb. Instead of using the revolve tool to create dimension, I needed to focus on shape.
Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 2.50.13 AMHiveBulb.3

It took a long time to come with this simple solution to the bulb problem. I used strokes, tilted rivets, transparencies, etc. Finally, I was able to simplify to a shape I really loved. I used the shape tools, pen tools, shape builder tool- one of the most used tool on my palette- pattern tools, live trace, blend tool (quite a bit of it, actually), the align menu, etc.

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Clearly, I’m very organized. It took me a long time to decide the shape of the hive, what patterns I would-or ultimately would not apply-the color of the trunk, background, color scheme, etc.

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Again, my process is the epitome of organization…or something like that. I also struggled to decide if the bulb would glow, what feel I wanted to present, and again, more trouble with that bulb and hive.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 2.51.47 AMI was going to use a woodgrain texture to create my tree but it just looked really odd and it wasn’t worth pursuing. The good news? I got to play with live tracing which was a lot of fun.

Hivebulb.4The design I ended up with was completely unexpected but I love it. I used the black as an accent to really emphasize the honey aspect and to create visual interest. I really think if I saw this in the real work, I would stop and look at it. It requires you to do so. It requires you to think, but it’s still so simple. I’m proud of the work I’ve done this semester and I’m so excited to keep building these skills.

On to the next one!


T-Shirt Design Process


This week I decided to honor one of the most underrated movies in all of history. This is my interpretation of a Meet the Robinsons ‘Ugly’ Christmas Sweater. I wanted to represent some of the more iconic parts of the film.

Meet the Robinsons can be summarized by one simple phrase. Keep moving forward. Specifically, a quote by Walt Disney.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”


I wanted that quote to be the focal point of the design. I then created the ‘R’ logo that appears throughout the movie and on posters. I used a white t-shirt in order to limit my palette to two colors. The major colors in the advertising for the movie were red and a bluish teal. I did lower the saturation however, to make it a bit calmer on the eyes, letting the design be the true focus.

Next, I created the infamous bowler hat. In the film, the bowler hat’s name is Doris-yet another reason to love this movie. It also acts as the antagonist, who controls the clumsy villain, fittingly named, the Bowler Hat Guy. I also included a silhouette of the jazzy frogs that are also a quirky, endearing feature. I added the geographic portions to add to the Christmas Sweater effect. After that, I recreated Tommorowland’s Skyline to give one more feature to balance the design and provide one more bit of context for those who love the film.

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I ended up with a draft like this, before I added the skyline. Clearly, it needed something else. I also decided that the text wasn’t adding to the gestalt or theme of the sweater and replaced it with a simple sans-serif capitalized font.

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Meet-the-Robinsons-Sweater.2.1*Note that the end result was printed on a sweater.

Overall, I loved doing this project. I created something I’ll wear, I payed homage to the most underrated film ever, and I learned a lot in the process! If you haven’t seen this movie, get on it. It’s a cult classic. Our cult is just smaller than others. It’s incredible and touching and significant nonetheless.


On to the next one!

Vector Icon Process

Icons.2This week I had a million ideas that I would’ve enjoyed pursuing but I went with the one that challenged me most. And I certainly did feel challenged. I wanted to portray superheroes, notable villains, Disney princess, and Americana set (The last one has nothing to do with the others, I know). I quickly narrowed it down to my princesses. My professor has a passion for comic books, portray characters from that world was just too risky. I also thought it would be a fun way to push myself. I generally create very geometric, simplistic design, but this was far more feminine and dainty. What a wonderful challenge!  Untitled-1I spent a lot of my time on sketching, a process I usually dread. For this project though it was massively important to get my vision and sketch strong ideas. I went back to my sketches far more frequently than other projects. Spending that much time drawing certainly paid off.
I decided to portray the following films: Cinderella, Princess and the Frog, Aladdin, Snow White, Brave, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Frozen, the Little Mermaid,  Tangled, and Sleeping Beauty.



When I brought it into vector I realized quickly that my icons wouldn’t have the gestalt I was hoping to create. I didn’t want the circle to be a completely necessary portion of the design, but that it simply alluded to it. With that in mind, I had to find other unifying elements and that’s when I decided to keep the bottom circular shape in every design. Which begged the question, ‘How?’. Almost ever design I had needed to be redone to accommodate this new goal.


Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 2.33.17 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 2.35.58 AM From there, it had a lot to do with transferring my sketches to Illustrator using my Wacom Tablet and then making them look more professional by using the appropriate tools and making everything look as it should. I wanted to the design to be wilding abstract but instantly recognizable. I think accomplished that in this icon set.

I used consistently repeating colors throughout the set, I used the shape of the icon to add gestalt and had similar content matter for each icon. None of them were the actual princesses, but it clearly alluded to a specific movie or story. At 1 sq in you should still be able to recognize the characters and their movies.


This project took far longer than I ever expected but I think it turned out pretty well. On to the next one!

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Typography Process


I’m beginning to believe that the name of my game is being in over my head. I was discussing with my professor this week how I love graphic design because I have so much room for growth. I’m surrounded by wonderful talent and I hope that it’ll eventually rub off on me. Typography is difficult for even the most experienced designers but I decided that what was most important for me to learn this week was loving my process- not an easy task for someone who loves control and yet has an incredibly spastic and ADD creative process. Ultimately I was able to embrace this design because of that. Honestly, it’s not really my style, but the process I used makes me content with the outcome.  Scan1

My sketching process was wide-ranging but it helped me realize that I liked the very strong shapes. I also decided that I wanted to push myself to work with letter shapes. Whether I was working with a name or a quote, I wanted to distort the text in a way that seemed organic and purposeful. 


My parent’s names are Thor and Cary (and yes- Thor is the coolest name for a father… until you start dating), I liked the idea of paying homage to them, but ultimately the design concept just did’t speak to me.


I’ve been working on a new concept for my personal brand and general resume and this idea is a strong one. I do like where this one was going but I simply didn’t think this challenged me enough for this project. It’s more of a personal endeavor than a project that sufficiently challenged my current skill sets. I love my shape builder tool, but I know how to use it. I’m taking Vector Graphics as a practicum to continue the process of drowning. Yes, I said drowning. I constantly feel like I’ve been thrown overboard, barely treading water in the Illustrator Sea. That’s one of my favorite parts of designing. I didn’t want to settle for this project or any other.


I settled on this quote after seeing it posted on KayCee Stroh’s Twitter. I developed this idea through many drafts, a few of which I’ve posted here.Rough.1.2

Type.1I ended with this. I liked the strong lines, the literal interpretation of ‘negative’ and the flash effect on ‘photography’. I’m wanting to work at my use of negative space. This is a good start. I think it’s visually interesting and expands the understanding I had of typography. A great growing experience indeed. On to the next one.

Vector Bicycle Process

Vector Bicycle
My Vector Bicycle

This project proved to be rather difficult. I felt overwhelmed by the possibilities and my creativity turned easily into distraction. Overall though, I’m content with the end product.

The theme for this week is variation. As you can tell from my sketches, I didn’t start with a clear vision of what message I wanted to send, but I liked the idea of doing something in the retro realm. When I got to my final draft it ended up having a more modern feel that is somewhat reminiscent of the old school iPod commercials, which I love.


My initial lack of direction was represented in my chaotic sketching process. I played with different curved and straight approaches and considered going for a photorealistic, themed (i.e. steam punk, abstract, etc.), or stylistic design. Obviously, I ended up with a stylistic approach. I initially carried these designs into my digital renditions before finally narrowing it down and finding a concept I loved.

Here are a few versions I went through (and yes, there were more):








I got quite a bit of feedback throughout my process. I played with the idea of using gradient or staying flat which helped my narrow my vision significantly. Once I definitively decided to nix the photorealism, I was able to focus on the most basic shapes and get to work. I also wanted to use navy, grey and yellow as my color palette but ended up loving my bee colors.

I think this is a unique way of tackling the broad topic of bicycle. I love that so many people in our class went for the entire bike but I was inspired when I thought about the analog lab at Facebook. I wanted to make something that both fulfilled my project requirements and verged on a poster-like design, something I think I did. My process was chaotic at first, but I ended up with a strong point of view. I forced myself to bulk up my stroke and balance my flat concept with illustrating some perspective. It was in no way easy. As usual, I felt in over my head, but I believe I grew as a designer and pushed myself past many of the creative walls I’ve enforced throughout the years.

On to the next one!

My Up Inspired Timepiece



For the last two weeks I’ve been producing a vector timepiece. I found the process of creating this design fairly similar to reinventing the wheel- maddeningly simple- but I am happy with where I ended up.


At the beginning of the process, I wanted to play with realism but found very little inspiration when pursuing that path. During the sketching process I really spent a lot of time creating clock hands. I think that was mainly because I wanted to be as elementary I could in deciding my direction and audience. At one point I doodled a shape that looked fairly similar to a block letter ‘I’. It reminded me somehow of the Incredible’s symbol. With the genius of Pixar playing in my head I quickly felt incredibly inspired (pun intended).


From there, the random blobs on my page began looking like clouds and the transition from my head being in the clouds, to a house being in the clouds, went rapidly. I wanted to create a watch inspired by the heartbreaking character from Up. Ellie has a fairly short appearance in the film but made a huge impact. At some future date I hope to create a matching Carl watch.


I started with the watch face and worked back. The bottle cap design was made to pay homage to the grape soda bottle cap pin that endears Carl to Ellie. I thought of it from the point of view that this sweet and sentimental husband was making a watch for his beloved wife. Her round features inspired me to keep things round. Their dream house had to be a dominant feature and became my hour hand. I also wanted to have a matching, but differentiated stray balloon that acted as my minute hand. After all, hours pass more slowly but minutes escape us. The band is supposed to match the shingles that make up the entire front of the home. I finished it off with a happy burnt orange to accompany the cool blue design.


I loved pushing myself and making something that was fun and playful. I learned how better to use gradients- and not have it look hideous. I learned how to balance a flat design with more 3d, realistic effects. The process of creating the bottle cap face was especially challenging and I learned more about the ins and outs of the star tool and shape building tools. Overall, it has been a lot of fun, and amazingly overwhelming to get back into the Adobe Illustrator saddle. Something tells me I have quite a ride ahead of me, but the only direction I have to go is Up (once again, pun intended).

Project 9 Portfolio

Time: I spent my two hours updating my logo project but mainly my photo design project, making it more visually appealing and applying critique. I used two of my photographs, brushes, a photo of the galaxy, and many more filters in order to achieve an other worldly affect.


Message: I am trying to display my semester’s projects in a visually appealing way and explain my process in creating them.


Audience: Potential employers, fellow classmates, visual media enthusiasts and professors


Top Things I Learned: It’s often most difficult to start a project when you already have a mental concept of what the end concept should look like. It’s incredible to see how far I’ve come and I’m really looking forward to my future in visual media and graphic design


Colors: Monochromatic: Yellow and Grey

Title Font/Subtitle Font: Ostrich Sans: Sans-Serif

Body Font: Century Gothic


Because I wanted a minimalist design, I didn’t use any textures for my backgrounds.