I was asked to participate in a beautiful project; a calendar of inspirational sayings in Spanish. The purpose of the calendar is to be given to families that come in contact with the state’s Home Visitors Program for The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Each month highlights a dicho or saying painted by a local latinX artists.
I was given the phrase “Escuche su intuición / Listen to your Intuition”. I originally had this grand idea of using the regent Hawaiian Princess Kaʻiulani as a model with a queen conch as her crown 👑🐚 . I sent the sketch below with grand ideas of how I wanted to execute the design. The client loved the idea, but already they had a lot of female imagery from the other artists and requested I alter it so it was more androgynous.
Therefore I had to adapt the design.
I started thinking of animals in nature that utilize their intuition for survival, foxes, ravens, etc. Their cunningness was particularly interesting to me. I often start on Google for animal references and searching poses that might do well for what I need. After a few candidates I found the little fox below and started sketching. Since I was able to do the sketch in Procreate, it was an easy transition to Illustrator to vectorize it and then move to layout. At this point the conch stopped being relevant so I replaced it with celestial elements. I also taught myself how to play with Illustrator on using overlays to create effects with type.
You can see where I started in this design & ended are two completely different places in terms of playing with color and layout. Elements were added and then taken out, altered, and then put back in. The first design I was using warm tones and ultimately making the fox a little too colorful thus distracting the eye from the design. I had to step back and really breakdown my approach to color. I personally utilize complimentary colors often in pieces, so in this case, sticking to the red/orange of the fox helped me hone in on the background color. Complimentary color of orange is, blue! I also researched Art Deco motifs and went in this direction although I started out with Art Nouveau. Major difference is Art Deco is bold and striking while Art Nouveau is delicate and flowing.
While I still might do the original concept for personal use, but I really love how my intuitive little fox 🦊 came out. In creating work, specifically for a client, you have to be flexible and make space to grow. I am thrilled to see this in print.
Fellow contributing artists to the calendar are Raquel Garcia Martinez, Cecelia de Leon, Kabriele Rosas, and Yessica Marquez. When the calendar comes out I’ll see if it’s available for public purchase so you may support the excellent and necessary work
As always, below are more progress shots of this project.