Saturday, 23 September 2017

BLIGHTINGALES - music album illustrations


Based on my long and insightful researches (i.e. checking “likes” on Facebook and Behance and posting a one-question questionnaire on DeviantArt) I discovered, that my viewers/readers are most interested in my gothic illustrations.

Oddly enough, I don’t have too many opportunities to make such artworks. But today I can finally share with you a mysterious, ruined gothic cathedral painted as a cover illustration for a grey-metal (doom-death-symphonic black) band “Darken My Grief”.



So far I could only listen to a few demo fragments, but I hope I managed to capture an appropriate atmosphere. Luckily the band’s frontman – Duddu had quite a clear vision regarding the whole graphic design.  Considering this, the task may sound like a piece of cake, but in practice, it meant seemingly endless editions of the whole mass of tiny little elements. Apparently, that’s what happens, when two perfectionists meet. Anyway, the final result was worth the effort!

One of my ugly concept sketches – let’s call this phase “a necessary pain”. Probably at this stage the clients are seriously wondering whether they made the right choice when hiring me:

The final illustration – I had almost a total freedom here. The only requirement was to capture a woman and a flock of birds. So I decided to put them in a gothic environment (with cathedral’s ruins in a shade of whitened bones. Charming, I know):

The front cover design:

The back cover illustration (probably you can notice letters DMG hidden in the central symbol resembling an angel – this symbol is actually frontman’s brilliant idea):

Some of the lyrics backgrounds:



And now I’m waiting impatiently to listen to their music...  

Sunday, 6 August 2017

STEAMPUNK TOWN SQUARE

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve shared with you a “full size” watercolor drawing. 
Working on commercial illustrations, solving matters related to moving abroad and preparing online classes in designing fantasy architecture took all my time.

But now I’ve got a good reason for coming back to the blog! And the reason is a drawing commissioned as… (I bet you’ll never guess):


…a Birthday gift :) 


Actually, after completing a sketch, I decided to paint the cake on a separate piece of paper.

I was a little bit afraid, that I would need to make some editions in this part (and I needed indeed!). In such a case I would only need to change the cake without destroying the whole intricate work. That’s why the original looks in this way:



Yes, the base of the cake changed into a fountain. It suits a town square pretty well, isn’t it? 



Tuesday, 17 January 2017

BEGINNINGS WITH FREELANCING: AN ANTI-GUIDE

Who likes reading "failure-stories"? Everyone of ourse! It just so happens that I have one for you today. It could be titled “A Freelance Illustrator - My Ineffective Way to Financial Independence” (not very catchy, I know).
The story takes place about 5 years ago, when I earned a Master’s diploma in architecture and could finally start to develop my illustrator’s career. I had knowledge about design, drawing skills, tons of energy and... a business plan! What could go wrong? Well, pretty much everything.

My business plan looked more or less like this (don’t try this at home!):

1. An illustrator needs an online portfolio. But wait… I already have a well-developed portfolio on DeviantArt, hurray!

2. Writing a blog is a great way to present yourself to your watchers and potential clients. Naturally hundreds of people would wait impatiently for every new post (because they have absolutely nothing else to do) and I’d surely earn some money of it (there are many professional bloggers, right?).

3. Now the most important point: I should join a team of awesome, experienced and enterprising people. They would create a super-popular product (a game/book/music CD/whatsoever), and hire me for making illustrations. Well, “hire” may be not the most precise word, as I would have to work on a profit share basis, but that’s ok! This super project would surely be my springboard to success, make me recognizable and... bring me money.

4. And one more brilliant thought from me at that time: Even if I won’t be earning serious money, that’s fine, because I love drawing sooo much.
...........................................................................................................
However, there were a few small bugs in my elaborate plan:

1. If you want to do something professionally, you have to make an impression of a professional. While DeviantArt is a great (and highly addictive) platform for social networking with other art lovers, it’s not the best place to show yourself and your works to potential clients. Let’s be honest, all these emoticons (which I love) and a little bit chaotic interface don’t make a great impression at first sight.

TIP: Make your own website and/or create an online portfolio on www.behance.net . Behance is a great place to present your projects and resume in a professional way and I got many good job offers from people who found my works there https://www.behance.net/ElwiraPawlikowska .

2. Most of the people earning money through blogs are those who write about… earning money through blogs. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but in case of illustrators it doesn’t really work anyway. However an idea of running a blog to let your watchers know you better is still fine! Who knows, maybe they will be keen to support you in your future endeavours?

3. I could write a whole dissertation about absurdity of working on a profit share basis (unless we’re talking about gigantic, well established publishers). First of all, if someone is unable to collect money for an illustrator, he/she won’t be able to run the project and the marketing process in order to make the product popular. Marketing a product requires strong entrepreneurial abilities and people with such abilities are able to gain some money to pay an illustrator for the job, trust me (or not, the choice is yours J )! So, by “working” on profit-share basis for a group of enthusiasts (yes, yes, it applies even to those super-experienced guys who have been developing discussed project since high school) you are going to achieve neither glory nor decent money. To discourage you even more  I’ll mention, that (based on my own experience) many such projects are NEVER EVER PUBLISHED. Eventually they are printed on demand and thus, they reach only friends and families of creators (which means no new fans, as your mom already knows that you’re brilliant J).

A SUPER IMPORTANT TIP: If you want to expand your portfolio, focus on your own projects. Illustrations attracting most clients to me are my personal works:




4. There is no rule saying that you are entitled to monetary compensation only if you hate your job. Unless you want to live with your parents for the rest of your (or their) life, you just have to earn money from what you’re doing. Good luck!

PS: Right now I'm doing fine J

If you found these reflections valuable somehow, you’re very welcome to share this article!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Steampunk Playing Cards part 3.




Ready for the third (and yet the last) post about "Steampunk Plaing Cards" made for a Polish playing card company "TREFL"? It took me about two months to prepare the whole deck, so regardless your answer let me present clubs and spades!

Just in case you missed the previous two parts of presentation, here they are: part1 and part2.




Clubs were meant to refer to technological and scientific aspects of Steampunk. Strange, exaggerated glasses and lences are such a typical feature of Steampunk styliscs, that I couldn't resist choosing observatory for a building representing the ace of clubs.

According to my own guidelines jacks should be robots, which are technological achievements itself. But the jack of clubs should express the scientific atmosphere even harder. That's why I designed him as a mix of a microscope, oscilloscope and... some other parts.

From the 'Did you know' series: in Poland clubs are colloquially called "żołędzie" which means "acorns". That's why the jack of clubs is examining an acorn.

And now, last but not least: spades. Spades are related with exploring secrets of the sea (a distant echo of Jules Verne's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea). These pirates obviously know many sea mysteries:



What about the rest of the cards? Let them remain a mystery... unless someone has a deck in his/her hands :)