ILLUS | varoom final


Concept: Obsession with Coffee

My idea of obsession with coffee is similar to how people are addicted to drugs. These characters are in a coffee crackhouse, and we have a few of them swimming in a coffee pool, with bubbles and droplets. At the back, we have characters having their coffee intake in form of coffee (blood) bags, syringes and pills.

photoshop mockup

Click here for more posts of this assignment!

ILLUS | varoom illustration process

ILLUS | varoom research


Overall, I had fun working on this assignment! I really like how it all turned out, especially seeing the crazy-eyed characters. But I know that there’s tons of improvements to be made, especially with the form of my characters at the back, as they are in a really awkward position.

Also, I feel that there isn’t much details in my characters, especially with the shading, textures and gradient, which can definitely be improved on!

Till then,

ILLUS | varoom research

Before working on my digital composition, I did a bit of research and did up a moodboard.

My moodboard consists of the colours I wanted to use for the illustration, as well as some keywords I wanted to convey through the illustration. For the images I found on the right, there were just some images of how coffee made me feel / how I wanted coffee to be like. There are examples of the coffee bag and inhaler which is pretty similar to the things I want to have in my coffee crackhouse illustration.


My first artist reference is Kate Prior, whom using flat colours and simple line in her illustrations. I wanted my illustration to have a similar style to hers as I think being a flat illustration shows the “crazy yet going to be crazy”

However I wanted a crazier colour scheme with bright colours and I felt that the colours she used was too pastel. Hence, I went to look for another artist to reference.


The next artist I referenced from is Lili Des Bellon, whom uses lines in her works as well. I really like the colours that she used, as it’s really striking and I wanted the bright colours to bring out the crazy adrenaline look.

Note: The top left picture is not her work, it’s a graphic style I wanted to adapt for the eyes of my characters (bulging, veiny eyes)

Next up, I drew up a few characters I wanted in my compositions, to draw them in digitally.

I had them in different positions, and also a few elements I wanted to add in the composition.

Following after, I started a rough digital composition of how I wanted the background to be.

draft 1

This was a simple composition, with the bottom half being a coffee cup and the back being the background. However I think it was overall a little flat.

draft 2

I roughly included some elements of what I wanted to put inside.

draft 3

I added in the characters that I’ve illustrated digitally, alongside some coffee crackhouse elements. I also used a bunch of crazy colours to show the adrenaline, except for the characters. however, I felt that the characters should be brightly coloured too to show the craziness.

draft 4

I added the characters in front to being brightly coloured, but with the background more toned down. I also added in outlines for the whole composition. Feedback I got was that the background can also be brightly coloured too, showing the whole “crazy” feel, while leaving the coffee in brown, actual coffee colour.

draft 5

This was one of my final draft compositions, which I brought to consult Lisa with. She recommended me to drop one of the characters behind as it now seems too big and cluttered. I should also put the crazy Starbucks lady bigger, showing focal point. Lastly, at the right, I changed it to a ladder into the coffee pool, instead of the jumping board.

That’s it for my draft compositions and click here for the final!

Till then,

ILLUS | varoom illustration process

The topic I’ve chosen for this assignment is Obsession with coffee.

As a caffeine junkie, I’M SUPER OBSESSED WITH COFFEE. I practically can’t live without coffee and I need it to survive!!! And I’m very sure that there are people whom are like me amongst us, whom are obsessed with coffee and the wonders they give us.

Target audience persona

My target audience are mainly adults aged 20s – 30, whom just graduated from University, or started working in the design and media field for a while.

16 thumbnails

The 16 thumbnails I had are very rough sketches and layout of how I wanted the final composition to be. I sketched a few designs of how much coffee people drink, how they look before / after drinking coffee (bulging tired eyes, a little crazed). I also had an idea of a coffee crackhouse, with drugs, syringes and coffee bags, in replacement of blood bags.

I narrowed down to working with a coffee crackhouse theme and started my pencil compositions.

I feel that amongst the 4 compositions done, the last 2 were easier to depict and had better layout and compositions. Following that, I placed the Varoom template on top of the composition, in order to not touch on areas which will not be seen very easily.

Composition wise, I think that this layout will be better to work with for the template.

Next, I started working on my digital composition!

Read here for my research!
Till then,