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Illustration: People Are Alike All Over

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People Are Alike All Over (2017)

Shortly after publishing my first wholly independent artwork, Pelagium, to some success, I was contacted by a musical artist from Boston, a client named Dominic Francisco. Dominic had just completed work on an award-winning experimental album and accompanying short film titled "People Are Alike All Over." He commissioned me to create a poster-sized promotional illustration to be used at various film festivals. The commission was later expanded to include typographic elements. The collective goal of the project - poster, film, and album in all - was to recreate the emotions Dominic felt as a young child stumbling upon an eerie episode of The Twilight Zone. "People Are Alike All Over" is about isolation, hope, dread, and the insignificance of human kind.

 

Reference and Inspiration

After establishing the Twilight Zone episode "People Are Alike All Over" as a thematic basis, and Pelagium as a visual jumping off point, the client provided me with a series of works by other artists he wanted me to use as inspiration.

I combed through the images, created a mood board, and picked out the themes and motifs that seemed to resonate with the client the most. Visually, he enjoyed circles, human faces, skyscapers, and pareidolic imagery. Thematically, I chose to pursue depictions of human isolation and dreadful foreshadowing.

The painting of mine which caught the client's attention, and his chosen references.

The painting of mine which caught the client's attention, and his chosen references.

 

Ideation

The next day, after running some brainstorming exercises, I began generating thumbnails sketches. I took my best ideas - eight in total - and sent them to the client for input. Each concept was designed with the potential for multiple arrangements of typography.

 
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Proof of Concept

I refined five of the sketches in to color thumbnails based off of the client's preferences. The client then made his final choice, and I went through in to the rendering phase.

 

color and typography

During the illustration process, the color palette was simplified and made consistent with the client's previously existing album artwork. I began to generate dozens of potential typographical arrangements and submit them to my typography-oriented peers for critique. In the end, the best solution was to flip the image and nestle the text and graphic elements within the clouds of the illustration.

This resulted in a trade-off with the change in the way the image read - a left to right interpretation originally would br the viewer's eyes from the astronauts to the dead planet. It now brought the calmer face on the far side of the surface - originally intended to be a subtle suggestion - in to focus, creating a more peaceful and thoughtful image that grew more and more sinister the longer a viewer stared.

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The final fine illustration, to be sold seperately as a fine art print.

The final fine illustration, to be sold seperately as a fine art print.

The promotional poster, with integrated typography and awards.

The promotional poster, with integrated typography and awards.