Day 7 : Illustrating the signs

I started illustrating the signs using some images that I had found before. This was fun to do especially because I haven’t worked in this style before and this was not my style of working. I always made drawings and sketches on paper and then used them to help me draw on illustrator. This time, I just used existing images and started working with them directly on illustrator by redrawing them using tools like the pen tool and the blob tool. I created 8 signs all with different ideas and played with the curves and wiggly effects to create the jelly fish tentacles. I was not completely sure of which one to use for the global and local till now and was confused as  to how I will distinguish them.


This was an attempt at the abstract sign. I played with some existing sketches of the jelly fish i had made earlier and abstracted them using some effect tools such as the warp tool and zig zag effect. I also removed some areas of the jelly fish to give an incomplete look. In the end, I added some lightning around it to give the idea of electricity or a shock. I personally enjoyed the result very much as it looked messy but still showed the fact that it was a jelly fish as shown from the head.


This was another attempt at the abstract sign, which had only the tentacles of the jelly fish. During critique, professor mentioned that the first one worked better for him as it showed a little bit of the jelly fish’s head, which would help to understand it better. However, my other professor thought that the second worked better as it was completely abstract and in no way showed the fact that it was a jelly fish. How I interpreted this was that, it was the complete opposite of concrete. This meant that it shouldn’t really have anything definite in shape that resembles anything else. So, to me the head of the jelly fish, even though made sense being there was still a specific information that  would not make it so abstract. Therefore, I decided to stick to the idea of the completely abstract idea of the tentacles.


This one, even though was a little hard to come up with, was the easiest to create. Once i was certain about how i can make it local, it did not tale much to execute my idea. Initially, i was not sure of how I could incorporate the idea of local into my sign. To get some idea of how others were working with this sign, I looked at what they were creating. Most people used the icons of people in Abaya and the thobe to make their sign local. For me, I just could not get my head around what may be the best way to put people in local clothes in my sign. Of course, I couldn’t have people swimming in their local dresses, that would be hilarious! Then, I went back to my initial idea of why i chose this sign. It was because of a recent jelly fish attack on my brother about a month ago in a nearby beach to my house–the sea line beach. That’s when I remembered that I could use the famous landmark of the Sea line–its Sand dunes! I found a picture of the Sea line from the web which thought i would illustrate and use. However, I decided to use the photograph to give a different style of illustration which mixed a photograph and the illustration.  In the end, I also added a few people with their local dresses, which i thought were a good thing to use as I now had the beach to place them in.

During the class critique, professor told me that everything works fine except the fact that there were too many jelly fish in the sign. He said that two were enough to show the idea and so I removed the smallest one at the back, which was facing upside down.


This was the vernacular sign. As I mentioned before, the blue bottle jelly fish were only found in the beaches in Australia. They worked in the idea of using them as my vernacular, which only people from Australia or who have been to Australia would understand. The feedback I received for this one  was that may be the idea of it being specific to Australia was not shown. My professor suggested that maybe using the map of the country, I can make the sign in that shape so it is more clear that the sign is focusing on the country of Australia. I thought this was a great suggestion that i did not even think of and was now sure that this would be specific enough to outline what the locality of my sign was. By incorporating the map, I would make sure that the target audience is merely just for the Australian people.

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These a few random tries which most probably fall into the category of abstract. I would not say that making them was a waste as of course i had a range of options to choose from. I did like how they tuned out but they weren’t suitable for the categories that we had. The First one especially was really cool with the idea of electrocution with open plugs. In he critique, professor even suggested that i might involve some barbed wires to further make the idea more concrete.

img-20161031-wa0014  img-20161031-wa0010

These were some ideas for the global sign. As global was something that was supposed to be simple, I tried to keep less elements in them. In the first one, I only used jelly fish and added expressions on them to give an idea of a warning against them. The second one was an experiment that I made using glue gun and its threads created when using it a lot. Then, I added two feet. I did not receive any feedback for these and I was not going to use them as I did not like them after learning what i needed to do to make the global and concrete signs. I now had more ideas to create the global and concrete by listening to other people’s feedback.

I am going to focus more on the concrete and global as i am more clear as to what i need to make those signs.

I created these signs later at night to experiment with a 3d surface, so i could photograph it. I stumbled upon an amazing artist, who creates art work called ‘Gold Fish Art’. I as so surprised at the effect he achieved and almost thought it was an actual octopus! After watching more of his videos and reading about this Art style, I learned that the material used was called ‘Resin’. I had heard of this before from my trip to the Fire station where an artist used resin to preserve her burger, which she was painting. Resin is a transparent material that gives a polished texture similar to that of honey or water.

I was really inspired from these two works of his, as i could imagine the same technique being used to create jelly fish.

octopus  realistic-3d-sea-animals-keng-lye-5

I tried to create a similar texture using a material that I already had in my room, sugar! I had made sugar syrup before with varying amount of fluidity and I was comfortable working with it. However, when I tried it, I didn’t really like how it came out. In the end, I coated it with a layer of transparent nail polish to give a polished watery effect.


I scanned it, and played with it to create a sign. Even though I really enjoyed the initial idea of using this method, i ended up disliking it the result.

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I did not want to give up on this idea and so continued my hunt for the right material.

As I had no clue where I would find resin, I asked a few of my friends. Most of them said that they haven’t seen it anywhere but some mentioned that Jarir might have it. One of my friends mentioned checking out the materials library and asking if they had it. I went there and found out that maybe i could find it in jarir. They also suggested another material silicon, which was much more flexible but had a very translucent texture to it.

After talking to my professor about this, I realized that I really did not have enough time to make another sign out of something that i still needed to experiment with. I regretted the fact that I didn’t find the technique before and was upset at what I could have done if I had got to know this at least a week before. This was a big lesson for me that things will not always come to you quickly, and that everything needs time to be accomplished. I still had some hope of finding the resin in time to be able to at least experiment with it and add it to my process. For a back up, I did have the other illustrations that I made and I just had to improve them to make them completed signs. I am hoping to completely finish with the illustrations by tonight so I could get time to work on the resin technique In sha Allah!





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