1st Year of my Gig Poster Work Crit. Looking for improvement advice.
I've just wrapped up my first year of creating gig posters here in Houston, TX and thought I would post them all and try and get some feed back. Any good advice or criticism is much appreciated.
At the moment my process consists of drawing the poster by hand in pencil on paper in a format that is the same aspect ratio as the poster will be printed. I then ink using microns (Here's one issue I've been having is my microns erase when I'm cleaning up the line work before I scan. Is there a better pen to use?) I then scan at 300 dpi, throw the piece into Photoshop CS4 and adjust the levels to make the line work stand out better. Then I clean up any little specs or dots. I put the file into Illustrator CS4 and live trace to get clean vectored lines. I then put the file back into photoshop and color the piece. Each color on a separate layer underneath the line work layer. I color very close up at x400 magnification typically with the brush tool. And for depth I've been using the multiply effect and going over the lines. At the moment I feel like each poster is taking much longer than it should have to complete. I'm talking like 20-30 hours. I don't mind it really because It feels like a pretty zen state to be in while I work on them. Since I work full time and am enrolled in classes I can only work on the posters during 8pm, and 5am haha. Maybe this is slowing me down some. I will be attending art school at KCAI starting this fall so hopefuly the education will help things.
I'll be posting these in order of newest to oldest so you don't laugh right away and close the window haha.
Some typographic elements work less well than others, however that's practice and composition which you'll get, looks like your later posters (if these are chronological) are showing improvement as well. I like your illustrations, they have an honest look and it's clear that there is a lot of time invested in each of them.
Your photographic experiment looks rushed and it looks like imitation of some other piece of design to me, stick with your illustrative work would be my advice, they'll take less and less time as you practice.
I then ink using microns (Here's one issue I've been having is my microns erase when I'm cleaning up the line work before I scan. Is there a better pen to use?)
Do you mean that when erasing the pencil lines, you end up losing some of the inked lines? I've had problems with that in the past, so what I now do is go over my pencil lines with a very thin ink pen (not necessarily the whole pencils, sometimes just key outlines, guides etc.), then I erase the pencil lines leaving just my 'rough' inks, and then I ink the illustration properly over the 'rough' inks. That way I'm never actually erasing over the final inks, and they stay nice and opaque.
Looking at your illustration style, I'm not entirely sure if this method would suit, but thought I'd share it anyway.
I like your work and agree with Kim A's comments - just keep at it and your process will streamline and you'll develop a keener eye for what works and what doesn't.
Keep it up and I look forward to seeing more of your stuff.
"One day we'll all laugh about it as we try to warm ourselves around a barrel of burning posters, equals once more." - Crosshair