I’ve just finished the Easter theme for the VGVA site. It’s been a fun and challenging experience, improving my skills and deepening my understanding of many Illustrator features. Pushing the envelope, that’s what it’s all about.
Plus, the kudos. Those are always good.
The header graphic was the most complex I’d done so far; in fact, the real challenge (in addition to figuring out the tools at my disposal) was having a clear idea of how the finished product should look. I had to make several changes to the colour scheme along the way and my first draft, was very rough: some rough Paintbrush daubs in place of cherry blossoms, and a few lines sketching out a tree. So the next step, naturally, was to add more details, make everything more realistic.
Or… was it? The problem was that (a) it’d be a lot of work, and (b) even if I pulled it off, it might not necessarily look that good anyways. Maybe realism was overrated; maybe an overabundance of little details would just overwhelm the viewer, and all I had to do was show the essence of cherry trees and Easter eggs and all that springtime goodness. (Granted, the eggs were the easy part.)
For the next few days I kept going back and forth between the two extremes. The fact is, I wasn’t that secure with my visual imagination (something I already blogged about) and so falling back on what my camera saw instead of creating my own interpretation seemed a safe solution.
Well, I think the final product works. I’m still not totally happy with it, but I’ve alway been my own worst critic, so take that with a grain of salt. At the moment I’m heroically resisting the urge to go back and tinker. I can’t find the reference right now, but some years ago I read a quote by Aldous Huxley about regret. He wrote that it was a mistake to continually go back and fiddle with your finished works. No matter how much you polished them they would always have flaws; at some point you just had to let go, learn from your mistakes, and go on to make whole new works. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do: identify what needs work, and then fix it in a later version. I probably can’t do much better right now. A year from now, though? Oh yeah.