Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
Many theories have popped up around the world with what this nursery rhyme really mean? This amongst the rest is the one we are most familiar with, it suggests that the rhyme narrates a mother gently rocking her baby to sleep, as if the baby were riding the treetops during a breeze; then, when the mother lowers the baby to her crib, the song says “down will come baby.”
1. Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
I tried to explore a few angles (as seen in the 16 exploration design below) of how the baby could be seen “on the treetop” and settled for a top view as it was more interesting. After creating the first design, I realised that the baby was not as prominent in the design as everything was using the halftone effect thus adding the crate to have a treshold effect.
Thinking that I was done on the second panel, the baby looked really weak on the test print which I had again and felt the need to just change the baby to one that has a darker shade not be overshadowed by the rest of the treshold designs.
2. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
Created first with the spiral design, I love how interesting it has started out with, and the graphic look it portrayed. Trying to play with how the spiral looks, I tried to create a more dynamic feel with shifting the centre point.
Feeling that the focus point being in the centre creates better symmetry, I revert the spiral design back to the middle. With the rhyme being played in the aspect of trees, I included leaves to create a dynamic feeling of wind being blown in the form of a whirlwind.
3. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
Trying to not do a very literal example of the nursery line, I decided to play with the texture of the tree as seen over here, and create a crack on it as well. This crack also acts like a tunnel or hole that the “cradle will fall” into to have an interesting element to the meaning of it.
Trying to not literally use a cradle, I tried with a baby first, but settled with a pacifier. Adding the graphic element at the background also acts like a flow of direction for the design, almost like a speed bump seen in games.
3. And down will come baby, cradle and all.
Trying to envision the cradles as falling leaves, I realise that the message was not brought across as clearly as I wanted to, thus I incorporate some of the features of a real leave onto the cradle; the stem, tip of the leave, etc.
The background lines are added next to accentuate the graphic look I wanted in this series, also creating a sense of chaos with the different thickness and directions.
Here is a look into how I included the leaves into the cradles. As you can see here I also played with the looks of the threshold and halftone to explore which looks better, but in the end chose the threshold as it was a better fit to the look of the design.