audience: Longwood and Farmville community walking around campus
completion date: Fall 2022
objectives: Create a poster to promote Longwood Percussion Ensemble's (LUPE) upcoming sci-fi themed performance.
approach: In the initial meeting, the client mentioned wanting to mimic the iconic 80's sci-fi poster aesthetic with citizens screaming as their home gets destroyed by invading creatures. He also mentioned wanting a Crown of Thorns plant -- which one of their pieces is named after -- and depictions of steel pans. Immediately, I thought of making the steel pans the smaller invading UFOs while the Crown of Thorns plant was to be the primary villain, mutated and rampaging across the city!
I first went to work with the multi-headed Crown of Thorns vine monster. I knew I wanted to make it a menacing science-experiment-gone-wrong, or perhaps it was even the alien leader. I started with the midtones of each element of the monster, ensuring I was separating the thorns from the vines, the petals from the eyes, and the eyelids from the eyeballs. This was to help me with shading later on. Once the foundation was set, I turned my attention to the dramatic sci-fi flat-color shading. I like to start with the shadows, use the shape builder tool to keep it within the established silhouette, and then move on to highlights for added depth. Because I wanted the flowers to be shooting lasers out of their eyeballs, I also had to account for the flashing bright light that would project onto the flowers and potentially accentuate the shadows directly behind the petals.
For the smaller UFOs, I initially created small tentacle aliens inside of glass domes with the steel pans underneath so that they would match the vines of the Crown of Thorns monster. However, the client and I agreed that the aliens are not as important as showing off the steel pans, so I flipped them upside down and kept them as opaque football-shaped space vehicles. To add depth, I added smoke in the background, silhouettes of the rest of the city, and plenty more UFOs on the way in. To make the overall poster a little more interesting, I kept with a pink, blue, and orange palette since orange and pink aren't that common on campus. I also went with atypical margins, making the top larger for the title. However, I let the title break the rectangle so that it felt more integrated with the catastrophic scene below. For the finishing touches, I added in the concert details in the bottom left, ensuring I kept a good type hierarchy with the headline and small sci-fi-themed blurb.
software: Adobe Illustrator

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