Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Design Process: MLK JR

I almost feel like this is cheating, because I made this picture this week, but there is a lot more thought that went into this image than meets the eye and I thought I'd tell you about what inspired such creation.First let me tell you about the dream. I don't remember the dream too much, but it was definitely of me making a digital composition of Dr. King. I wanted to find something from his famous speech and I wanted the final composition to show how big his dreams were then and their impact even today. Originally I was going to have a cloud next to his head of what I thought his other dreams were, his more fantastic dreams, his less realistic ones. 

I honestly didn't think I could do the man justice. I would have reverted to my normal joking mood, and I felt that wasn't appropriate no matter how reverent the image was. Then I thought about how much has changed since his death and how for some of us there is no such thing as different. That's when I thought of the "tagline." I don't like calling it that, but it is what it is.

After searching for literally seconds, I found the perfect image of MLK. He had his hands folded under his chin as if thinking. Perhaps he was thinking of his future, of ours, or perhaps he was thinking about his dreams and his children's dreams. No matter the meaning of the picture, I found exactly what I was looking for and began working from there. 

I knew the composition would be simple and for me the colors would be the most important aspect of this design. I've never been good at color selection, but Stef got me a book for Christmas about color selection that would be very helpful to me. Before looking for analogous/complementary colors I wanted to think about the message I would convey. Originally I thought of a monochromatic scheme of red, but I decided against this because of the symbolism of red (heat, warmth, fire). This was just wrong.

When I think of MLK I think of his speech and how he is widely regarded as one of the biggest purveyors of peace. His demeanor in the photo is that of being collected and calm, peaceful. So I wanted to go with a cooler color, something in the blue scale. But his message wasn't well received (at the time) and caused turmoil, was met with anger and hatred, and to me that was perfectly represented by the red tones I had previously disregarded. 

So with that in mind I knew what I wanted and I eventually found the colors that you see above. I went with bluer shades for Dr King himself, and wanted him to be contrasted by the background similar to how his ideas were not well received at the time. Then I picked a color that would merge the two opposing worlds well, almost adding peace to the clashing red and blues. 

I am very happy how this turned out. It was a much needed piece to get me back on the creation wagon. I had been off for about a month and I look forward to showing off some more new art later this month. 

3 comments:

iZombie said...

great post and art...

Vietnamese said...

Great post. Thanks for share!

Vietnamese said...

Great post. Thanks for share!

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