Exercise: Turning words into pictures

Exercise: Turning words into pictures

When I was a kid my favourite table game was called Visual Game: we had to draw something suggested by a randomly picked card and let our team guess what that was. And I remember the biggest fun came when we had to illustrate abstract concepts or actions.
This exercise made me feel like I was playing that game. It asked to turn a word into pictures and I thought it was pretty difficult to get on paper all those chaotic thoughts.
I had the feeling that focusing on a word produced a big mess in my head and was quite difficult to select things. Moreover, as it already happened with the previous exercise, I found difficult to draw feelings and concepts.
I choose two of the words from the list.
More than objects, what came to my mind with the word TRAVEL was the idea of meeting different and new people and different cultures or for example the idea of travelling in the past or future.
In the same way, thinking about FASHION, meant to think of the changing canons of beauty, which involve changing the shape of the body naturally or artificially with aesthetic surgery, for example.
Was particularly difficult to associate textures to those words.
After quite a lot of thinking the textures I associated to TRAVEL were hemp and sand. They bring my mind to the idea of adventure, which is what I think about travelling.
The texture I associated to the word FASHION was straight away some kind of fabric. There is an infinite amount of fabrics to choose but what I think went best with the idea of fashion I have in my mind, is black lace fabric.


I found this exercise very useful to enhance the skill of illustrate concepts and emotion, which is necessary to be an excellent visual communicator.

Exercise: Spider diagrams

Exercise: Spider diagrams

Making spider diagrams has been very stimulating, in fact I realized how much they can open up my mind and how much they got me to think.
Many images came to mind, but even more than objects and figures, a lot of feelings, sounds and smells emerged. I thought it was pretty difficult to express these last ones, in particular for the word ANGRY, of course. I felt like I have a lot to say but no words to say it!
The easiest word has been SEASIDE, maybe because I really miss it, living in London, and I developed a rich imagination, often finishing dreaming about it.
I tried browsing some images to get some words, but what best worked for me was coming back to the exercise a second time, after a break.
I compared my diagrams with two other people and for me was quite surprising that the outcome nearly didn’t match at all.
We had few words in common and all of us were quite blocked by the word ANGRY.
I also noticed that some of the words, although different, where expressing a similar feeling or thought.
The conclusion is that the links our brain makes in similar situations is definitely depending on the past experiences and personality of the individuals. There is however something in common, I would say stereotyped thoughts, which are in my opinion at the roots of communication.


Exercise: Writing a brief

Exercise: Writing a brief

Walking in Covent Garden few days ago, I stopped at a window of an eyewear shop. That is how I choose the illustration I am going to work on.
The artist who realized that illustration is McBess. I discovered his art few years ago and I never stop admiring it. There is something a little creepy about it which I find very attractive, but what I love the most about his art, is its Fleischer Studios’ old cartoons flavour.
The illustration I saw that day was advertising Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Ray-ban round
I started reflecting on what a brief for this image could be like and in the first place I wrote a summary of what to include:
1. About the business/company
2. What to do
3. The campaign/project
4. Audience
5. Place and size specifications
6. Eventual restrictions
7. Text
8. Timing
In order to get things right I had to do a bit of research regarding Ray-Ban and the campaign the illustration was made for, so I found some useful information on the official website http://www.luxottica.com, particularly in the following document: http://www.luxottica.com/sites/luxottica.com/files/ray-ban_history_en.pdf
I then wrote the brief, following the above mentioned steps, to bear well in mind what I needed to achieve.

Illustration brief
Ray-Ban Round, Never Hide campaign

1. The Company
Ray-Ban is a successfully established brand of eyewear founded in 1937 by the American Company Bausch & Lomb, recently sold in 1999 to the Italian Luxottica Group.
2. What to do
Create an illustration of a strong character, wearing Ray-Ban Round, proudly expressing his personality with no fear and confidence. The image will ideally have a captivating old cartoons touch combined with contemporary elements, to deliver a specific message: Ray-Ban is timeless.
3. The campaign
The campaign we want this illustration to work for, is named NEVER HIDE and it has been launched for the first time in 2007. The aim of the campaign is to refresh the image of Ray-Ban, to get it closer to the youngest generations, conveying a message of a spontaneous and honest expression of the individual. Particularly this illustration would highlight the features of the Ray-Ban Round, a model first introduced in the 70s, symbol of unconventional, innovative and adaptable personalities.
4. Audience
The message has to grab the attention of a range of generations that goes from young adults in their 20s to adults and mature adults in their 50s.
5. Place and size specifications
The illustration will be reproduced as a poster to be located in shop windows. The final reproduction size will be: Length 110 cm / Height 135 cm.
6. Restrictions
Colours: Black/white; Medium: Ink or digital, as long it has a traditional feeling.
7. Text
The image has to include the name of the campaign in capital letters, NEVER HIDE, to emphasize the message of free expression of the self.

Allow a little space in the bottom corners to add Ray-Ban logos.
8. Timing
Ideally we would like to see preliminary ideas by the 9th of the month, visuals by the 14th and the finished artwork by the 24th.

Obviously I had no idea about the timings required for a similar work, so I just invented!

Apart from that, I thought it was pretty fun to go in the ‘backstage’ of an illustration and to understand the process that leads to amazing results.