I applied to the Seattle Storm Game Day Poster Call to Artists on Instagram and totally got a slot. Basically they give a game night to an artist and the artist creates an original piece of art that encompasses that theme night. A portion of the proceeds from the poster sales then go to Urban Artworks (who I adore) and the artist get a signed copy of their poster signed by the whole team and recognition at the game.
I chose the game day July 19th with the theme “Inspiring Women” for my night with The Storm playing The Las Vegas Aces. This totally inspired me to research some marquee style lights of the Vegas Strip. Then it transitioned into old Las Vegas Strip (Fremont Street) and then evolved to fun retro typefaces from their marquees. That then lead my brain to older type forms from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. With this as a foundation, I set out to find the perfect model for my central figure. I know I wanted a strong feminine character to connect to the theme so I researched Hawaiian hula dancers who encompass so much strength to me . The marquee style typefaces I wanted to read like a poster from the same time period of the typefaces I researched.
The initial hand drawn illustration I did I was really happy with. Digitally coloring her became the major challenge. I don’t have an iPad so everything is by mouse click and scroll. Initially I started this process in in Photoshop (yes massive file), but the values were too dark and I was getting impatient with how clunky designing the type was. I finally accepted defeat and transitioned to Illustrator where I vectorized her and had a much easier time filling in her colors and adding additional design elements like type and shapes to give the layout dimension.
The design highlights a goddess, looking across the ocean to the possibility of adventure. In the background I snuck in the texture of a basketball as her halo. I chose the overall design aesthetic of Art Nouveau, a style that’s always been an influence in my work. Her aura is a bit Moana, a bit Daenerys Targaryen, a little Athena Greek Goddess of Wisdom, and a lot of The Pacific Northwest.
After the poster was complete, I re-visited the illustration and added all the little details I normally would for an illustration. When vectorizing and scanning work like this it’s easier to leave the line-work as simple as possible since the colors are going to add dimension as opposed to my crosshatch/ line-work. You can see the difference from the below illustration to the above design.
Cruise over to shop179.com if you’re interested in giving the original illustration Queen of The Ocean a good home.
I’m thrilled to see this in print and even more excited for my game night. I’ll be taking my little sister who I’ve looked up to my whole life. She and all the women (+femme-identifying) that influence me are goddesses and I hope anyone who reads this knows they are too!
Check out my time lapse of the details for the illustration;