This weekend is the Ottawa Folk Festival, and I’m a little more excited about it than in past years… that’s because I’ve been working fiendishly on the event’s t-shirt and program design! I can’t wait to see all the volunteers and staff wearing the duds (sneak peek here, courtesy of Ming Wu :) — plus there’ll also be merch tees being sold.
This is the final t-shirt design:
I’ve shown it on a turquoise background because that’s what the women’s tees will look like (the unisex tees will be heather grey, and the kids’ tees will be red).
They asked me to come up with a design that was clearly music-based, funky, community- and nature-oriented, and not the typical banjo or guitar imagery… so I came up with this Seussian fellow and his critter bandmates.
Behind the scenes, my process went a little like this…
After a few sketches on paper, I did up a rough illustration in Corel Painter (as always, on my trusty Cintiq):
I brought the graphic into Adobe Illustrator, did a “Live Trace”, then cleaned things up a little; that’s what I presented for my first round of mock ups. For the next round, I went back to do a more complete drawing, again in Painter:
As for the program, I was able to use a lot of different elements from the t-shirt illustration throughout. Here’s the cover and a sample two-page spread looks like:
Here’s a funny thing: I started up m chen wears a couple of years ago because I wanted to do more illustration. And as a direct result of doing these crazy t-shirts, I have been getting more creative work in my graphic design day-job. I never knew that my side gig would end up feeding my main gig! This particular project came about because one of the OFF staff had seen my shirts.
Just more proof that if there’s something you really love to do, then do it — and it might just grow into something bigger.