I came up with the thumbnails. Some of the keywords that I used in my ideation process are light, mirror/reflection, possibilities, symmetry, beauty, research, and discovery.
From the thumbnails, I decided on three of the strongest ideas.
- Corannulenes under the hard spotlight from magnifying glass. Straightforward, simple, illustrating discovery and research. The corannulenes would be in different colors to suggest possibilities. I was thinking of making them look like falling snowflakes.
- Corannulene in the center as the main character, with mirrors surrounding it and showing reflections of the different possibilities of what it could be. The focus is on possibility and variability in research and discovery.
- I’m not sure what it is but it’s sort of like pinball machine/Rube Goldberg machine/just some kind of mechanism, like an arcade game where a ball rolls down to the bottom. Instead of a ball, a corannulene will roll down. It portrays the fun and insightful side of research.
I asked for feedback from Professor Ela and she really liked the mirror idea (idea 2). To be honest, that is not my favorite idea (mine is idea 3). I wasn’t sure whether I should go with the idea that I liked the most or the one that the client liked the most. In the end, I went with idea 2. It is not going out of my comfort zone per se, since I don’t have any comfort zone (I am not that well-versed in illustration yet…) so I thought it’d be a good exercise for when I go out into the “real world” to follow what the client likes more. It is, in a way, a challenge I posed to myself.
I want to practice drawing flat illustrations more, so here is my moodboard. I love the soft colors, especially the pink and yellow, and wanted to try using them.
I had some difficulties as I was envisioning idea 3 with this art style. For idea 2, I thought I had to go with a more realistic style for it to fit, but then I thought again, why not. Just try it. So I didn’t change my original moodboard and decided to just… go with it.
This is my final result.
I put the corannulene in a petri dish to emphasize the fact that it is a molecule because one of the feedbacks that I got from my friend(s) is that they didn’t recognize it as a molecule, especially because I used color fill on them instead of the molecular skeleton. Taking into account the fact that the title of the journal would be in white, I used dark colors as the background. To draw attention to the corannulene, I gave it a bright color, although now I’m wondering if the pink and the yellow are too eye-catching.
My biggest struggle is giving depth to the whole composition. I added more mirrors with darker colors to illustrate mirrors that are further away, but it still fell flat. I also added noise (which made my Illustrator run slow…). In the end, I added gradients to most of the elements and a slight glow to the corannulene as an attempt to “save” the flatness. It’s still lacking, but it’s admittedly much better than before. However, I really should have made the gradient on the background more contrasting. I could also do better with my color choices.
I didn’t want to use gradients at first because they often turned out duller in prints compared to in screen, and prone to printing failures. I wanted to use a stipple brush for a shadow effect, but I am not sure how to do that (even after watching a video on how to do that) and I was running out of time (yes, I have terrible time management) so I took the shortcut which is using gradients.
There are so many things I could do better. However, it has passed! I’m kind of relieved since I was struggling and stressing over this assignment so much, and the result is certainly not the best I could’ve done, but I’ll give myself a pat on the back. All in all, that had been a great exercise for me.