Business Update! Art Books! Graphic Design?!
It’s been a while since I updated my blog!! For shame.
In my last blog post and YouTube video I explained about my business idea, what I was wanting to do. Since then, I drew up some concepts, but when it came to getting the idea down on paper, I was struggling to match up my ideas to suit a t-shirt design. Sometimes, ideas sound amazing in your head, but don’t translate well in execution. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bad idea, it just means you might want to alter it slightly to fit the specifications better.
I’ve expanded my ideas a bit, as my original concept felt a bit confined, and I’ve actually combined some old ideas I’ve had before that I haven’t taken to completion (my Pin Up girls project being one of them - I’ve had a few friends ask me about whether I was going to finish those!).
I’ve actually really been on a roll with my art over the past couple of weeks, pushing myself to work on multiple drawings in a day. I’m probably drawing for about 4 hours a day, which is enough time to get stuff done, but I’m not feeling overworked or getting sick of drawing. I’m seeing results and can feel that I’m learning quickly.
Something I’m wanting to incorporate into my artworks more is graphic design kind of elements, and since trying that out I’ve realised that I really need to teach myself more about graphic design; it’s important to learn as it’s literally EVERYWHERE. I bought a bunch of art books last week and my eyes were opened to the work that goes into things like product design, menu design, stationery design, store design, posters, advertisements... Obviously, everyone’s already aware of the fact that much thought goes into designing those things, but most people don’t really think about how all of those design elements are considered and decided on, and as such, when it comes to creating graphics yourself, you’ll likely come up with a blank and not know where to start, which is what I was feeling.
So the first thing I wanted to start with was collecting reference, and I bought a couple of graphic design books from Kinokuniya that I think will really help in that regard.
The first book is The History of Graphic Design (which I think is really important and helpful, as graphic design started out on posters, which are great inspiration for artists as they used to all be illustrated by hand). I also got the book Vintage Modern, which shows modern branding designs with a vintage design influence. I thought this book is great reference for seeing how old styles can be re-designed and modernised to fit into the current design fashions. Also the book's layout and design is super pretty. ;P
Also, for something completely different, I got this book Lord of the Logos by artist/designer Christophe Szpajdel - which might seem like a pretty random purchase for me, but when you look at the designs in this book, there’s actually an incredible variation in design choices. You can see a lot of Art Deco influences, and a lot of Art Nouveau kind of natural lines and shapes. And even through the sheer complexity of these logos, there’s always balance.
(I first saw this book in Kinokuniya and thought “man, this is cool, but I don’t really have use for it,” but I kept thinking about it, and the other day I decided to google it to find it online, and it was sold out everywhere! So in a panic I called up Kinokuniya to ask if they still had it in stock, and I managed to grab the last one! Phew!)
There’s so much diversity in this book, and I think that’s what made me see the value in having this book in my ~personal library~. (I also like that they list the names of the logos in clear text at the bottom of each page, because Metal logos are always so hard to read LOL).
Poster design is something I really wanted to focus on as well, because the dimensions are perfect for t shirt designs - getting the elements to work in that portrait print size.
As I’m feeling out my ideas, I’m also trying to keep in mind what will be more likely to SELL, ie: making the subject matter something that people already know or can relate to, like pop culture, or current world or local events; and also designing the elements in a way that suits being on a t-shirt; keeping in mind the printing process during the designing process, and paying attention to what the market is currently buying.
So basically, I’m just trying to keep those above things in mind, whilst obviously also creating something aesthetically pleasing, but most importantly something I myself enjoy creating!
Anyway, That’s my update for today! I’m going to get some new concepts sketched up now, which I’ll hopefully have to show in my next video. Catch up then!