Design + Inspiration

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.

Inspiration: How to Marry a Millionaire. I loved the color palette of Betty Grable's outfit, the drape of the curtains behind her and the checked pattern of her shorts. Sketch created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: How to Marry a Millionaire. I loved the color palette of Betty Grable's outfit, the drape of the curtains behind her and the checked pattern of her shorts. Sketch created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

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. 

Inspiration: Sleeping with the Enemy. I drew the elements in Adobe Draw and Adobe Line, turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush, then created the final sketch in Adobe Sketch. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: Sleeping with the Enemy. I drew the elements in Adobe Draw and Adobe Line, turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush, then created the final sketch in Adobe Sketch. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Here are a few more examples from some of my favorite movies!

Inspriation: Harold and Maude. I drew the flowers in Adobe Draw, then turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then took the brushes into Adobe Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspriation: Harold and Maude. I drew the flowers in Adobe Draw, then turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then took the brushes into Adobe Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: The Young Girls of Rochefort. I used Adobe Draw to create the elements (triangles, raindrops and circles), then turned those into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then used those brushes, along with the marker tools in Adobe Sketch to create the final layout. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: The Young Girls of Rochefort. I used Adobe Draw to create the elements (triangles, raindrops and circles), then turned those into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then used those brushes, along with the marker tools in Adobe Sketch to create the final layout. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: Desk Set. Love this movie! In this sketch I used my usual tools (Draw, Brush and Sketch) and also Adobe Shape and Adobe Color. 

Inspiration: Desk Set. Love this movie! In this sketch I used my usual tools (Draw, Brush and Sketch) and also Adobe Shape and Adobe Color. 

Inspiration: Single White Female. Created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: Single White Female. Created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

A couple of examples from things other than movies. 

My husband's family gathers at the Piccadilly Cafeteria every year for Thanksgiving. This sketch was inspired by the colors and textures in the jello and salad section. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

My husband's family gathers at the Piccadilly Cafeteria every year for Thanksgiving. This sketch was inspired by the colors and textures in the jello and salad section. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: CB2 catalog. I love to use catalogs for inspiration because you can pull shapes and colors that are right on trend. I created the elements in Draw, turned them into brushes in Brush, then used those in Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: CB2 catalog. I love to use catalogs for inspiration because you can pull shapes and colors that are right on trend. I created the elements in Draw, turned them into brushes in Brush, then used those in Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

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!