Week 1: Research & Inspiration

It was easy enough to find some themes to explore…I started out looking for maximum audience participation and commercial viability…


I decided to mindmap travel, as it’s pertinent to airplane company application…

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And changed my mind- I just didn’t like the scary size of the grey areas and lack of familarity with illustrational style…


Below is a style of illustration I have successfully done before for handcrafts, but I want to explore it further, in Illustrator. Every time I look at this stuff, I get excited and am happy to spend HOURS of work on it…must be my thang…and I like flowers.


More mind mapping to get that elusive, happy idea that works with the style…

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But Scandinavian folklore wasn’t very happy – all the tales were tragic and of human sacrifice and death with torturous demons luring unsuspecting humans to horrible ends, except for the tomte folklore. I decided to explore tomte, to see if it fitted with the Scandinavian design style I’m keen to work on…


Yay! Tomte plus Swedish animals fitted beautifully with lots of common themes between all of them, that would translate into a succinct set of dala decorated and nature inspired Scandinavian styled flora and animals with tomte.


Further research ensued…

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but I want to steer the theme away from Christmas and focus on the nature/caretaker/farmer part…telling tomte’s story through illustration and the shared set themes of being immersed in nature in a caring, giving way with joy and exuberance and harvest.

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You can see my normal illustrational style is detailed fantasy sketches…so it will be new to me to remove detail, trying to retain the impression I want while working with mostly shape, rather than stroke.

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I seem to have angled shots on the brain. Will try to straighten and flatten it for the next round of tomte sketches and focus on shape, not detail, removing realism and adding to cariacature. I plan to research Scandinavian harvest flora also (moving away from the Christmas and winter theme) and do some sketches of that, as it will surround tomte and dala animals.

Here’s my research on paper planes, leading me to a 4 winged glider.




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