This is one of my favorite ongoing projects. As someone who designs artwork often intended to help sell products, it is important that I pay attention to trends in the marketplace. This means I often find myself viewing lots of artwork from other artists in my field. While I want to be aware of what is happening in the world of design, I want more than anything to have a portfolio that stands out and is unique. This is one of the exercises I do to try to come up with new ideas. I look to films, art, and life, pulling color palettes, textures, shapes, etc., and use those to create original designs for my portfolio.
I created all of these sketches on the iPad using the Adobe mobile apps. This has become the way I start every project I work on. Drawing on the iPad feels very natural to me––I can sit or stand anywhere, in any position––and feel comfortable making art. And I've noticed I give myself more time to experiment and play than I do when I'm working on my desktop. I love being able to capture inspiration so freely and quickly.
In the example above from How to Marry a Millionaire, I took inspiration from Betty Grable's adorable ensemble: the checked shorts, the color palette, the bow on her scarf mixed with the texture from the drapes. In the example below, from Sleeping With the Enemy, I used the subway tile shapes and patterns; the rectangular blue shapes from the misaligned bath towels; and I did my own take on the embroidered floral bouquets from the towels.
Here are a few more examples from some of my favorite movies!
A couple of examples from things other than movies.
Some of these sketches end up in my portfolio as is. Others go through several revisions before making the cut. And some don't have lives beyond this exercise. In any case, I enjoy the process and find I'm often surprised by the outcome!
You can view the entire project in my Behance Portfolio, and you can see new examples on Instagram following the hashtag #jmdesignandinspiration. I recently had the pleasure of demonstrating these apps and some of my techniques at Behance's 99U Conference. The conference was amazing, full of talented, creative, inspiring people including the awesome folks at Adobe! You can read more about my time at the conference here on the Adobe blog.
A couple of quick updates before I close: Four of my coloring books have been released in Brazil, and we have editions coming soon to Poland and Turkey! Also, I'll be speaking at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City next month. I'm doing a joint pre-conference presentation with Monica Lee! I Hope to see you guys there!