First off I have to give a thank you to Erin Potter fellow HOWie who drove to the location and took reference pictures for me on this project.
Over the years those not in our industry have asked me "What do you do for a living." It's always been interesting how they respond when I tell them. Doesn't matter if I say 'Graphic Designer' or 'Illustrator' they tend to bake it down to a comment like "Oh, OK so you draw pictures." That may bug some but I don't mind it at all. In a way it's accurate. But I've coined my own phrase to describe what I do and I feel it fits better. I refer to myself as an 'Illustrative Designer'.
Some of you might be wondering "What is an Illustrative Designer?" well this artwork is a good example of 'Illustrative Design'. Too many view 'Illustration' merely as a supportive role within 'Design'. I think this is ignorant at best. I view each as key elements in my own creative process. I am making design decisions when I illustrate and I use illustrative solutions when I design the two are fused together and one without the other suffers creatively.
On this project I was hired by a branding firm to take a real life statue and create an illustrative iconic mark for use on a branding project for a small town. It's an illustrative approach but it also took many design centric decisions along the way as I created the artwork. If you viewed the real statue you'd notice that no matter what angle you viewed it you wouldn't find this exact pose. I purposely designed the pose to reflect the statue but paid attention to detail on how negative space interacted with shapes, what detail to emphasize, simplifying detail so it works small and can handle dot gain etc.
There are many overlapping aspects of illustration and design and the more a designer can learn to capitalize on each and let them mingle together the more diverse their work will become.
Mocked up Usage (The firm used it in their own motif, I just did this to show an example of usage)
PS: Later this summer I'll be launching a pod cast called 'The Illustrative Designer' where I'll talk more about this relationship, interview those who do it best, share insights, tips and tricks and other fun stuff. You can bookmark now and if you'd like to be a 'Creative Correspondent' for the pod cast shoot me an email and I'll let you know what that is all about. Or if you want to suggest a person to be interviewed I'd like to hear about that as well. email@example.com