I created this illustration to represent the monotony of being a cog in machine. I wanted to the capture the feeling of feeling complacent and trapped in a traditional office environment. I aimed to comment on the outdated societal system of the 9-5. It can often stifle dreams and creativity, and no matter how much we curate our office spaces to seem more fun or colorful, the reality is many office workers are still tethered to their desks and staring bleary-eyed into screens.
Whether it is a fancy standing desk of the new age or not, we remain captive to a company. However, beneath every office desk and forced smile and paperclip holder, I believe each person has this spark--a dream that makes them glow. Something of an escape. It is, essentially, hope and individuality found in a very unlikely place: a contained cubicle. I wanted to depict this ray of hope within us, in an otherwise dark space, that we often ignore in the wake of a daily grind.
I first created an initial paper sketch in pencil, outlining the expression and the nature of the figure. I wanted to present a female figure in a suit and tie, to show the imposition of molds and standards in the workplace. After the pencil sketch was complete, I outlined it using a Micron line to make the lines more pronounced.
I then scanned the image into Photoshop. I edited some of the jagged lines, but tried to keep the hand-drawn line quality and little creases to give it a more human feel. I then digitally colored and shared the lines and segments.
After the initial ad-hoc coloring, I recolored the artwork with shadow. I chose darker colors and shadows to make the figure shrouded in darkness, but I also used warmer purple shadows rather than cold navys or grays in order to give a feeling of hopefulness in the shadow. The final version is below!
Thank you for reading!
This subject is close to my heart and I really enjoyed creating this illustration.