Business Card Idea

Image shows a business card with a blue watercolor texture. The left side says "Kristin Philips, Multimedia Creative" and the right side has an octopus and contact information.

Business Card Design

For a possible business card design, I tinkered with a variety of ideas. I wanted the card to be a mix of traditional and digital media that featured my octopus mascot (see portfolio piece “Darcy”) with an original font. I created this lettering using a brush pen for my name and a fine tipped pen for the smaller words. I paired this with a sleeker rendition of the octopus and a watercolor texture that I then edited in Adobe Illustrator.

The font itself is experimental, a mix of my calligraphic style and longer, curling lines to mimic the octopus. Making a font by hand first gave me the option to allow the design to be “imperfect” in a way that made being organic and creative easier. Editing the font in Adobe Illustrator allowed me to clear up any imperfections and streamline the letters. I chose an open-source sans font to deliver the contact information; I felt the fonts paired well and kept the key goal, contact, as the most accessible part of the design.

Image shows a business card with a blue watercolor texture. The left side says "Kristin Philips, Multimedia Creative" and the right side has an octopus and contact information.

Red Dragon River

Image: Artwork depicting a red dragon perching on top of a mountain. Art work is stylized with a minimal color palette of reds, blues, and purples.

Project: Fantasy Graphic Design

For school and work, I’d created a variety of pieces in Adobe Illustrator. Creating one of my own for personal experimentation was a project long overdue. I love the work of John Howe and other classical illustrators, but I also have found a recent inspiration in the minimalistic work of present-day graphic designers.

Creating a minimalistic fantasy piece for personal practice was a great experiment. I researched graphic design depictions of mountains, and decided I liked a clean style with minimal gradient. I also spent a while on this piece seeking the perfect color palette that would allow me to depict nighttime but still complement the red dragon. Overall, I’m very pleased with how this piece turned out and hope to have the time to make similar pieces in the future.   

The piece is titled “Red Dragon River” and was heavily inspired by Tolkien’s Hobbit and a trip to Mount Pilatus in Switzerland.

Image: Artwork depicting a red dragon perching on top of a mountain. Art work is stylized with a minimal color palette of reds, blues, and purples.

 

Blue Bear Woods

Image shows a watercolor art piece that features a stylized background of green trees in blue mist, with a blue forest floor, and a stylized blue bear with an angular face.

Project: Fantasy-Minimalism in Watercolor

I created this piece as an artistic experiment, hoping to grow my skill with my new watercolor pencils. Previously, I had experimented with fantasy-minimalism in a digital format in Adobe Illustrator, and I wanted to implement a similar style in a traditional medium. Watercolor pencils translate well to simplicity, so I found this an enjoyable exercise. Creating something outside of the photorealistic in traditional media, something of fantasy, is always how I like to first test a new art form. Letting inspiration come alive on the page with a new media shows me the possibilities for any subject matter.

Image shows a watercolor art piece that features a stylized background of green trees in blue mist, with a blue forest floor, and a stylized blue bear with an angular face.

Photobook: Finding the Fantastic in the Mundane

Project Photobook

This pdf is a book I designed as a capstone for my photography class in college. The goal of the class was not only to learn photography methods and techniques, but also to practice experimental photography. I took all of the photos and per class instructions, completed the layout in Lightroom.

My focus with photography is often either macro and textural or landscape. For the course, I mostly focused on the former. I love to pick up the subtleties of manmade objects and compare them to natural macro scenery. I also included several “fantasy” scenes with Photoshopped mixed media pieces. Working on the book presented me with the opportunity to combine my love of book layout with my study of photography. It was especially opportune timing as I had my internship with the book printing press at the same time. Being able to have control over the entire process (within the restrictions of the assignment) was a great challenge, and I loved the end result.

See the full book: Fantasical Mundane

Birds

This was a deeply personal project that gave me the opportunity to explore mixed media work. I’ve always loved mixed media—it gives me the best of the tactile creation that comes with traditional work and the endless possibilities that comes with digital creation. For this project, initially for a contest, I wanted to explore the connection I noticed in some of the more memorable losses in the past two years. During my last year of my undergraduate career at Michigan State University, both of my grandparents died. It wasn’t something I really had the time to deal with emotionally at the time, and I’ve always been the type of person who grieved privately. The news of both passings reached me via text message while I was in the middle of something—I was at work when I heard about my grandfather and in the middle of a group project when I heard about my grandmother—so I had to push the issue aside to finish my degree. A year later, I really wanted to let some of the emotions play out in this piece. Emotional pieces are not always easy to do, but I think that is the beauty of art in that it gives us that chance to let old emotions finally breathe.

I started each piece in pencil, and then added color with watercolor pencils and a portable wet media brush. Next, I scanned each into the computer and added additional vector details via Adobe Illustrator and text via Adobe Photoshop. The freeware font is called “Daniel” by Daniel Midgley. The process for each piece took a few hours, but I was really pleased with the resulting mix of messy and neat, flowing and abrupt. It’s the most personal piece in my portfolio by far, but definitely a good creative exercise.

 

View full pdf here: Birds by Kristin Phillips

Darcy, the portfolio mascot

This is Darcy, the new portfolio mascot! Darcy represents my multi-genre skills, including writing, editing, art, and social media. I created little Darcy using mixed traditional and digital media (pencil, technical pen, Adobe Illustrator, respectively). Darcy is holding a tablet pen and a USB mouse to represent digital media, a quill and ink bottle for traditional media and writing/editing, and a hashtag and @ symbol to represent social media. I picked an octopus because of their problem-solving abilities and implied multitasking skills via the eight appendages (also because they’re stinkin’ cute!).little darcy

PW T-Shirt Design

When my college department held a contest for a t-shirt design, I knew I wanted to enter. The Professional Writing program has a chameleon mascot named Clyde who represents our versatility as students, and I was inspired to remake his image on the t-shirt. After going through multiple designs, I finally decided on a cute and simple version of Clyde. For the background, I used a free splatter brush to give the shirt a more versatile appeal. On the back of the shirt, I wrote “Rhetoricians have more fun” as an inside joke that I hoped would win over my peers. I was super excited when I won the contest and my shirt was reproduced and worn for the Professional Writing Bar Crawl.

Screen Prints

I have created a series of Autism awareness screenprints and artwork. The project started as a way to raise positive awareness and to give my brother a t-shirt that could make him feel proud of his identity as an Autistic person. My sister later started her own awareness project to help elementary students understand ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and to minimize bullying of neuro-diverse students. For this project, she requested that I make additional prints.

Autism, or more recently renamed as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a subject frequently misunderstood. Although the diagnostic criteria and understanding has made great strides in the last few decades, ASD remains a very complicated issue for Autistic individuals, their families, and the general public. Often popularized in negative stereotypes and used as a fear-mongering tactic in discussions of vaccination, I wanted to create a positive public awareness piece. My little brother is on the ASD spectrum, and is always upset by negative groups like Autism Speaks that talk about ASD as a disorder akin to cancer. It was important to me to create a piece that positive supportive.

During my class on screen printing, we were encouraged to research the history of screen prints as a public awareness tool the transcended class and race. I designed this screen print with my brother in mind, using the similar color blue as Autism Speaks, but with a positive, person-first focus. Later, this poster design was used to sell T-shirts for my sister’s Gold Award Girl Scout project, and helped her fund a classroom project to teach elementary school students about ASD and how to be accepting of classmates with ASD.

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Graffiti Dragon

Graffiti Dragon

This is a mixed media piece created in Photoshop for a fantasy art context. The goal was to imagine a unique species of dragon and draw it in its natural habitat. As you can guess, my dragon had camouflage skills and very sticky toes.

I was very excited when my dragon won third place in the contest!