Please welcome Jake, a graphic designer, as he writes about what inspires him.
I am a story teller. I like to stretch the truth and I like to create new worlds. This skill of mine takes me in two directions: it gets me into trouble and it helps me think of fun designs – one such design being the Space Dinosaurs.
I am an illustrator at heart and when designing, especially for children, I try to rediscover my roots in picture books, comic books and cartoons. This may sound like a lot of hard, tedious research but I assure you it’s necessary for the job. I believe sequential art is one of the easiest forms of communication to understand. This is why things like comic books and animation are so accessible to children.
This is where the design/illustration process starts: I spend a lot of time drawing comics and doodling on my own and I have an arsenal of fun drawings filed away. The first place I always go for inspiration is me! Sometimes I’ve come up with an idea in the past and hadn’t realized it. In this particular case, the idea came from an old school project. I should say, when I’m stumped I like to go to illustration blogs and web comics, my favorite blog being http://blog.drawn.ca Each day different illustrators are featured with their work and discuss their inspiration and technique.
I knew right away that the best thing in my mind as a kid was a dinosaur, so that was the first place I went. I searched through old files and sketchpads looking at dinosaurs I had drawn in the past and found this old gem.
Perfect! A dinosaur in space! I don’t know what I was thinking when I drew it years ago, but if I was a kid I would love it… in fact, I love it now! However, it just wasn’t cute enough for me, and I like to cute things up. ”Cutening” happens with shapes and colors. I keep my basic shapes big, my colors bright, and I don’t give the details too much room to shine. This way everything stays simple and clean and the simplest of ideas – dinosaurs in outer space – is the first thing that the viewer connects with.
The layouts of these Vistaprint Valentine’s cards are the best when it comes to telling a story. I was able to create three little scenes for the dinosaurs to explore. To keep things fresh, I treated the Valentine as a title sequence to an 80’s television show, showcasing the characters doing what they would on a casual day – conquering a planet with love, lounging in space and then a group shot. There must always be a group shot.
So, in short, I get inspired by 2 easy steps – think like a kid, remember cheap sitcoms and viola: space dinosaurs.