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Lab Logbook // Entry 002

A post about the making of my most recent Memory Lab piece

I recently finished the first of a new series of prints and am very happy with how it turned out. To elevate some of my personal work from the past few years, I took my time with this piece, spending around 3.5 weeks to complete it.

The work began as a late-night sketch on my iPad. I had created an animated piece with the phrase "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past" last year, and I wanted to develop it into a static piece. I created a simple 1x1 design but then decided to expand it to a 4x3 format (24" x 18") and add more depth. I experimented with different elements, icons, and imagery, drawing inspiration from psychedelic concert posters of the 60s and 70s, vintage propaganda posters, and contemporary illustration styles.

Two weeks later, I landed on a layout and general approach that I was happy with. The centerpiece is the classic "Big Brother" eye from 1984, which is situated within a rectangle symbolizing a screen. A hypnotic wavy line burst surrounds the eye, and just outside the frame of the screen is a line motif. The vertical lines with dots on top and a slightly curved line connecting them above and below the frame represent people as well as the poles lining our streets with wires that enable the media's messages to reach our homes. Each corner features a unique icon related to communication, including the wifi icon, a large TV-type satellite, a reel-to-reel icon, and the world.

I used the font Prohibition Oblique, all caps, and black and white against red to give it a tabloid-y headline feel. I then added some stippling to give the artwork more depth and grit. I also added an overall combination of halftone patterns and paper textures to the piece.

Overall, I'm pleased with how this piece came out and have learned some valuable takeaways for future artwork. These include starting with a more comprehensive sketch, building a library of assets, figuring out a more seamless Illustrator to Photoshop workflow, and doing test prints along the way for scale.


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