ARTCRANK Boston 2014 Process
I was asked to take part in this years (2014) ARTCRANK show in Boston. The invitation was humbling and I wanted to make sure my piece meant more than just drawing a bike and tossing it on a piece of paper. I thought it'd be interesting to write a bit about the process and how I ended up with the final product which is now on sale.
There was no specific brief or concept to the poster of course other than to involve bicycling but there were some self initiated rules and strictness. I wanted to appeal to the bicycling community in Boston.
Having very little experience on a bike, I was nervous I wouldn't be able to fully tap into the spirit of bicycling. Then I realized the way I feel about skateboarding is very similar, so I can tap into that love and energy!
Stemming from the ideas of runners high or bikers high I wanted to go with the concept of releasing the negativity and forgetting all of what's been bothering you for the day once you get out on your bike. Nothing can get him down because his bike is his safe haven.
Sketching and sucking
I started sketching very roughly like I always do with thumbnails to get a general composition. Knowing it's going to be 18x24" I want to keep things exciting and large but at the same time have some room for detail because of its large size.
I sweat a lot and hate the concept a few times during. I started with a side profile, thinking it'd be easier to show off the bike and him moving forward, but it didn't fit a poster layout. Front facing created a better perspective and framing.
Here's where I took a bit of a branch off for a day and spent time wondering what I'm going to do for the style of this poster. It'd be a limited palette and therefore significantly different what I'm used to. I also knew I wanted this piece to represent me (in style) as much as possible. Ok so wonky broken weird shapes and confusing perspectives here we come!
I took a few random objects through the motions to a near 'finished' product to set the style for the rest of the poster and to be sure that it'll work in the end and something I'm happy with.
There were a few points where I really was not feeling happy about the way this thing was coming along. Luckily this wasn't super rushed and I had time to take a step back and fix things that were bothering me. I've started printing things out and taking them outside or on the couch to sketch on top of. It's been both therapeutic and productive. Making edits is a lot less intimidating when its on a copy of something.
Now i've got my composition and general idea pretty solid. Hooray. I've still gotta figure out what I'm going to put in here specifically. I created a giant list of things that I thought were bad to a general day, and also bad to a bikers ride in specific and then began sketching the ones I thought would be most fun to draw.
I also decided to put some lettering and words in the poster. Something I don't usually do wanted to fill some space and add loud noise to the piece, making it more chaotic. Chaos outside the bike bubble, tranquility inside.
Now I've got my own internal green light and a breath of air to know that this could actually come out pretty cool! I dig the concept and composition, and now I'm happy with potential colors and shapes/style.
Now I just basically made one off illustrations a bunch of times trying to vary colors and strokes vs fills as much as possible to keep it diverse and entertaining to look at, adding in little tiny details where I thought it'd be fun and really just had fun with it. This was my favorite part just creating objects and items and fitting them in like puzzle pieces, rearranging groups of shapes until it flowed best it could.
Getting it printed
Huzzah I'm done and in decent timing to get this printed from Jay over at Anti-Designs. I did my color separation and he took care of the rest, any trapping or whatever that had to occur. Prints came out great, the detail was pretty much spot on and I'm good to bring em home, stamp sign and number each of the 30.
The show was phenomenal! It was really cool to talk to people that were interested in this stuff, meet a few people I hadn't had the chance to in person yet, and meet up with the friendlies I've already met. Not to mention all the art was amazing at the show. There were around 25 pieces and I wanted all of them. At the end of the day it was an exhausting but very exciting and humbling thing to be a part of. I'm really glad I got invited so thanks to ARTCRANK!
Remember if you want a print, there are some left on sale in the shop grab em before they go out of stock!