Jumping for joy is an understatement when describing the excitement I had after accepting this project, courtesy of Tanner Moore Design, an all around design guru!  The goal was to create a day in the life of a Netop camper told through illustration; with further explanations of of the activity popping out from the side.

The funny part being that I had just talked to my boyfriend about wanting to swing my design career more toward illustration and POOF! here was a project in which to test run my idea!

So, as the project got underway and I jumped headfirst into my time-tested vector approach; vector lines are smooth and refined, they’re also infinitely scalable giving a them multiple uses across multiple platforms. I’m extremely confident drawing with Adobe Illustrator, I know that program like the back of my hand. I did a few mock-ups, but they weren’t getting the “hand drawn” vibe that the project needed, even with all my fancy brushes and vector-y tricks.

Hand-drawn Test 1

Hand-drawn Test 1

Hand-drawn Test 2

Hand-drawn Test 2

I tried a few more things before going back to the drawing board. I colored the tent in treasure mappy colors and gave it a watercolor background to make it stand out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working out as well as I had hoped, so I opted for a more “real” version of the tent, tracing the outlines exactly as they were in the photo I was given.

A More Realistic Tent

A More Realistic Tent

That approach didn’t hit the style mark either so I went back to the drawing board, writing the key-words for the project on a slice of paper pinned above my computer. “8 year old drawing”, “crafty”, “sketched”, “boys summer camp”, “being in the woods”, “dirt” and “bugs”.

It hit me- digital isn’t going to give me that hand-drawn feeling that we’re looking for, but hand drawing it will. Duh, right?

I was apprehensive, to tell you the truth. This was the first project that I was contracted to actually hand draw for. Despite it being a dream come true for me, I had to give up my Adobe security blanket, put my fears on the sidelines and pick up an actual pen, tool.

I’m glad I did! The results were stunning and exactly what the client was after!

Hand-drawn and Little Kid-ish!

Hand-drawn and Little Kid-ish!

Who left their bowl out!?

Who left their bowl out!?

All in all, I am glad that I put my fear aside and stepped away from the computer’s pen tool to pick up my own real life pen tools. The result was much crisper and the end style was spot on for the projects goals.

Here is the finalized project on Netop’s website! 

The lesson here? Always get outside your comfort zone, you might surprise yourself! In the digital age, sometimes an analog solution is the best!

Like what you see? Contact me if you’d like to work together on a project in 2013!

With designery love,

M.C. Creative

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