Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making Christmas

fig. 1, page 101

fig. 2, page 107
fig. 3, page 106

Around about September of last year, I started thinking about designing a Christmas card (or as I sometimes do, a set of Christmas cards) (fig. 1). The thumbnail sketches and notes generally involve coming up with an all inclusive holiday covering everything from October to New Year’s Day. 

“There’s a monster in my stocking!” detail of page 101.

Other ideas make use of corporate mascot, Monster, and making the letters of the name spell something holiday-ish.

Then I moved from Atlanta, Georgia to Glendale, California, so production on pretty much everything, this blog included, stopped. Skip to November and my ideas were to balance the special with the economical/ practical (fig. 2). At the top left, the accordion layout of six pages was a natural stage to feature six TAGS character in six holiday (now just Christmas and not a multi-holiday mash-up) situations.

Greetings flake, detail of page 107.

Then left brain noted that typical snowflakes have six arms! Perhaps the six pages could detach and then be reformed into the shape of a snowflake.

Yeah, not this year.

Then my farewell card came to mind, the layout with the 12 last thoughts, “b. smart, etc.” With the right image, I could fill out the card with a number of holiday themed “b. blah blah blah”s. Perfect done.

“Stack the Halls”, detail of page 106.

I typically draw on the right facing pages of my sketch books. If I want to continue a particular thought or further design explorations I might continue to the left on the facing even page. Here, I jumped from page 107 to 106. Most obvious are the twelve hand-written statements - which were then re-kerned and cleaned up digitally for use. At the top are mechanical notes figuring out how the letter sheets would be divided and the card folded. The sole character sketch features Monster admiring his pyramid of packing boxes topped with a gift wrap bow a-la tree-top star. This then lead to the final drawing I used for the card. 

I would then go on to digitally edit the art to re-use the stacked boxes alone.

Thanks for visiting monotonae.

b. happy in 2014.

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