Dear diary, part two

Playing cards ‘Sphinx’ and ‘Alchemy’ – refining the compositions and final illustrations  Visual diary, two-page spread – ink and digital, student project, 2010

‘Sphinx’ and ‘Alchemy’ – sketches, compositions and final illustrations
Visual diary, two-page spread (student project, 2010)

Playing cards ‘Secret Passageway’ and ‘Ivory Tower’ – refining the compositions and final illustrations  Visual diary, two-page spread – ink and digital, 2010

‘Secret Passageway’ and ‘Ivory Tower’ – sketches, compositions and final illustrations
Visual diary, two-page spread (student project, 2010)

The design brief for this project was to create four playing cards based on the word ‘arcane’. And arcane is such a wonderful word:

Arcane – my top ten synonyms

Arcane – my top ten synonyms

The process went something like: figure out what to draw (using word maps and thumbnail sketches), find suitable reference material (photographs of pyramids, camels, medieval suns/moons, monks, castles…), and then sketch and arrange the elements to make a meaningful composition. You can see the final playing card designs here.

These pages are from the visual diary I designed for my Design & Arts College exhibition in 2012. Two years’ worth of research, ideas, word maps and sketches had to be edited to fit a single, professionally printed journal of only 72 pages. It was no easy task but it’s something I’ll always treasure.

5 thoughts on “Dear diary, part two

  1. makingartme

    I like this. I use a mixture of words and little drawings when I am trying to figure out my ideas, so this takes my fancy.The finished cards are good! too and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the journal.

    Reply
    1. Anna Cull Post author

      Thanks. The ‘research/word map/sketch/play’ design model was new to me at the time and, at first, I really struggled to use maps rather than lists… and now I find it a really useful way of exploring options.
      And yes, there will be a few more posts about the journal — I put SO MUCH work into it, I might as well show it to the world : )

      Reply
  2. seandlane

    Really interesting assignment for the cards and I love your approach to it! I have always loved playing cards, both the playing and the actual cards themselves. When I was younger I was always looking for the perfect deck, I would have been very interested in your four cards (I am now, too!)

    Reply

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