Modular illustrations for Crowdholding
Crowdholding is a bounty sharing, co-creational platform. This means it allows people to trade their time, knowledge and social media followers' attention for crypto.
I've collaborated with the rest of the team on Crowdholding’s landing page, which has a drawn linear style to it. (crowdholding.com) Later on we realised as a startup in a quickly developing industry, Crowdholding needs a number of fast-to-handoff illustrations for their articles on co-creation and Blockchain related topics. The content of the article varies quite a lot and I'm typically time-restricted.
I found the solution in modular design. Pre-defining elements to form characters' faces and bodies. This freed my hands to put more focus into each illustration's story and composition while keeping the overall style cohesive.
I designed a few character faces, bodies and the way they are put together. I adjust and sometimes re-use other elements, like landscapes or objects the characters are using. As for colours I hold on a scheme that goes well with the main brand colour, #ff3b3f red.
Typically my work flow would start with a quick sketch on paper, no matter how simple the topic appears. I store my shapes arsenal in Illustrator and almost always find myself having to add some more vectors, mostly because I enjoy it, but let's face it, sometimes the article is just asking for it. Last but not least I move to Photoshop, where I enjoy some satisfying brush work with no worries whatsoever about the borders because I'd put the helpful vector to a layer mask. (Yay!)
The topics I'm dealing with when working for Crowdholding mostly include viciously abstract subjects, such as "co-creation" or "crowd wisdom". This means I have the pleasure to play with a lot of anthropomorphic vectors.
Many times I have dealt with drawing "a crowd" or "a group of people". My ongoing challenge is finding a way of displaying people of all shapes and colours in a way that no-one feels disconnected when they look at my illustrations, but also I need to avoid being too descriptive or even offensive. Whenever I move away from the stereotypical average "too much" I feel like I'm calling out somebody for being too different. Plus it completely shifts the meaning of the picture. If I don't I feel ignorant.
I generally stick to the "norm", simplifying the humanoid shapes as far as I can, hoping the lack of detail will do the least harm. Honestly I don't think there's a really satisfying solution.
As Crowdholding is a platform joining the public with businesses, there's always this double audience for me to deal with. Let alone the fun I have with blockchain.
Having plenty of experience with traditional media I always try to exploit the possibilities of a computer as much as I can. Decisions are a struggle and having all the versions I want at once is amazing. Where else can I go? How much of a different vibe would be created with a darker tonality?
I love both mimicking and denying perspective. In the case of these illustrations I went completely flat as far as lines go, with some spatial illusion achieved by gradually desaturating colours. Sometimes I drop even that.
This is for an article titled "Deep dive into Crowdholding". I really enjoyed creating the image.
If you are intrigued you're welcome to read the articles and reencounter these illustrations and even their uglier sisters & newsfeed stuff here. I also prepare cover illustrations for some of the tasks on the platform, so if you want to never forget what the Crowdholding logo looks like, this is your go-to place.
Have a good day!