Paper Sculpture

Recently, Animal Crossing released a mobile version of the game, which I was obsessed with for quite a bit. Naturally, I decided to make my paper sculpture into characters from the game. Originally I planned to use my favorite characters but later evolved the designs into my cats. I wanted to make more than one character, so I crafted a little bench for them to sit on. I had a few difficulties along the way, but overall, they turned out pretty cute.

Making the design was easy enough; I found a template online and traced and colored it using the pen tool. Actually putting it together was a more complicated process. In my first attempt, I used cardstock which did not go well because the paper was thicker and less flexible. The paper tabs were also too small, so nothing would hold together. I compensated by straying from the design and cutting bigger tabs as well as using bond paper. Putting them together still had some challenges because the design was so small, but overall they held together for the most part.

For the bench, I used a simple rectangle and folded in half. I made smaller rectangles for the bench legs and rolled them up and glued them to the bottom. I originally made four, but when I placed the characters on top, I noticed the middle sagged from the weight. I ended up making another two legs to glue in the middle for support.

Surreal Landscape

For my landscape, my concept is based around the silhouettes of my cats. I noticed that cats contort their bodies and sleep in the strangest positions, and I thought I could use the shape to create mountains. I have an orange cat and a black cat, so I used the difference in value to play around with depth in the image.

I found pictures that would work compositionally together and used the free transform tool to adjust the perspective of each cat. Once they were pieced together, they still looked a bit flat, so I lowered the brightness and saturation of the cats in the back. I also blurred them to set them farther back.

I placed pictures of rocks that I had and used the clone stamp to blend the edges if I had several pictures placed on top. Afterwards, I set the blending mode to multiply, so the texture would look like it was part of the cat.

One of the cats was sitting on a blue gray sheet, so I used the clone stamp to extend it  and make a river out of it. I used the free transform to add small kayakers to dramatize the scale of the mountains.

To create movement in the sky, I used some fluffy white sheets and set them on overlay to add clouds. I also painted in some colors for a sunset environment. I also added very subtle sun rays by putting the cloud filter and applying a radial blur on it.

Overall, this project was interesting because it pushed me to think beyond the content of the picture and more about the structure.

Digital Collage: Dum Dum

In my digital collage, I pieced together several of my baby pictures to create a single image. I looked for ones where I looked particularly dumb to show that I've been a hot mess since birth. When I found the picture of me scribbling away, my initial idea was to have that piece as the background image with the collage centralized on the piece of scribbled on paper. I decided in the end to have the collage in the background instead, so I could take better advantage of scale. My intention was to give the impression that the cutouts were all gathered at the table looking dumb together.

Self Portrait Digital Collage.jpg

I cut out each selection with a combination of the polygonal lasso tool and the eraser tool. For some, I had to edit the image further to compensate for the other elements in its original photo. For parts that were blocked or cut off, I essentially had to paint them back in and used the clone stamp instead of a regular brush in order to emulate the photo texture. In a few photos with various lighting, I also adjusted the brightness and saturation to make them more similar to the rest.

I added and emphasized certain shadows to make the cutout fit more into the environment. I first painted the shadow in with a brush in its own layer and then selected what was on that layer by clicking command+left click in the layers window. I then went to select>modify>expand to enlarge the selection, followed by select>modify>feather to soften the edges and mimic a shadow. I refilled that feathered selection with my shadow color and set that layer's transparency to multiply. Finally I went to filter>noise>add noise to add texture that would blend in with the photo's grainy look.

After I had all my cutouts placed, I wanted to push a few further in the background and create some depth. I decreased the opacity but noticed that the image ended up washed out. To counter that problem, I changed the transparency to hard light which resulted in an image with higher contrast. That combination allowed the selection to be set back but not get lost.

In the end, I have no idea what kind of monstrosity I created, but I guess that is also the essence I aimed to capture in this self-portrait. I just wanted to look at my baby pictures to be quite honest.

Package Design: Village Candle


My package design concept was to create the start of a limited edition holiday series. I picked Village Candle and built the dimensions around one of their smaller candles. The idea was that the outside would have a pattern related to the actual scent, while the interior would be its own environment. I illustrated a snowy landscape with a night sky as if the candle were sitting in its own winter wonderland. I attached grommets and a faux suede handle just for a finishing touch.

I also designed a placeholder, so the candle would not slip and slide inside the box. I made the holder's diameter slightly smaller than the candle's diameter, so the pressure would prevent the candle from falling out.

I made some illustrations in Photoshop with transparent background, so I could make them into patterns on Illustrator.

I made a warning label just for believability's sake. I image traced warning images off a candle association page and copied the information off the actual candle's label. With the pen tool, I made a SKU label.

While I was installing the grommets, I learned that a dumbbell is a handy substitute if you can't find a hammer.

Overall, the project turned out decently. From a marketing standpoint, the design might not be the most eye-catching if it were on shelves with other competitors. However, I liked the fact that the design is illustrated inside and out.

Minimalist Movie Poster: Split

Split centers in on Kevin, a man who suffers from multiple personality disorder and has a total of 23 different personalities. Throughout the movie, a potential 24th personality is often referred to as The Beast.

My initial ideas were to either spotlight the main personalities within Kevin or to focus on The Beast. I decided to feature depictions of The Beast drawn by Hedwig, a personality who acts like a 9-year-old boy. I wanted to find a balance between Hedwig's childish perspective and the actual horror of The Beast. I played with the juxtaposition and scale between The Beast and the window to see what would create the best effect.

For the hardwood background, I made two lines at the outsides of the artboard and used the blend option to effortlessly create an entire page of lines. Then, I used the twirl, pucker, and bloat tools to create distortion in the lines to give the appearance of knots and imperfections. With the brush, I made the wood into planks, similar to the walls in Hedwig's room. 

Again with the brush tool, I drew the image of The Beast. I wanted him to appear more as a shadow, so I set the transparency to multiply. I left the eyes with normal transparency to make them stand out from the background.

Similar to the drawing of The Beast, I changed the transparency of the pieces of tape holding up the drawing of the window. However, I used the screen transparency to lighten the layers below as Scotch tape would do. I also added a subtle shadow behind the paper to give the effect that the paper was separate from the hardwood surface.

I used Bebas Neue for the title. Once I created the outlines, I used the knife tool to divide the text into pieces and shifted them and essentially split them.