I was commissioned by art director Marta Grossi of ArtAsiaPacific Magazine to come up with a small spot illustration for a column on identity written by artist, designer & MIT Media Lab assistant professor Sputniko!. The article touched on how creativity can influence the development of gene technology, and how creative thinking can open up ways of thinking about identities in general.
The brief was to come up with a simple illustration – the concept was up to me.
Step 1: Reasearch & Doodling
Before I do any concrete layouts in boxes (which I find can be very restricting) I like to just get my thoughts and ideas out there by doodling. There was definitely a lot for me to dissect in this article, since the subject matter was completely new, puzzling and intimidating; the doodling definitely helped loosen me up! I eventually came up with the doodle below which I transferred over to the compositions which I then sent to the client.
Step 2: Transferring ideas to compositions aka thumbnails
In total I sent four thumbnails to the clients. My ideas, in general, centred around the "creative engineering" of genetic material/DNA. You can read more about my ideas in detail below – I had sent them to the client for clarification. They ended up going with the fourth and final thumbnail (here numbered as 3).
Step 3: Presenting final sketches & colour schemes
After the thumbnail was confirmed, I executed the final in ink, giving the client two different colour and style options. I added a texture in the background, which, normally I would save for later on in the process – I was simply curious to see what it would look like. For the sake of saving time, the drawing at this point had not been completely refined yet. The client chose option 2 (right), with the blue background.
Step 4: Refining the illustration & adding details
Once the artwork had been completely narrowed down to its final form, I refined the linework and colour, added some halftone details, and erased the linework in areas meant to be "brush strokes." I think this also gives the illustration some dynamics in surface quality.
The column and illustration were published in the May/June 2018 issue of ArtAsiaPacific Magazine.
Artwork © Kat J. Weiss 2018. Do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Kat J. Weiss.