Edwardian era inspired journal cover

Whew, this was a looong break from my blog! I'm back, and I've got drawings and inspiration to share. For a start, I signed up for Lilla Rogers bootcamp again with monthly professional briefs from January to June. This month was all about the Edwardian Era and the assignment was to design a journal cover based on a theme of Edwardian brooches. Much of the jewelry of this time was inspired by nature, with a lot of flowers and bugs. Yes bugs! I chose to focus on those and looked at a LOT of them this month. Some aren't so attractive, but many are actually kind of cute! See for yourself in my final cover design below.

Lilla always get us started with a "mini" exercise, just drawing around a theme without knowing what the brief will be. I found a couple pieces of bugs jewelry in my collection,  but mostly the initial sketches came from photos on my Pinterest inspiration board

As much as I love the style of those brooches they just didn't feel quite like me, so I started looking elsewhere for inspiration. Plants around the house, and books with different contexts. I like to look at old Egyptian art for example, with its flat shapes it easily translate into cool modern designs. 

After sketching a few icons more in my style I scanned them and started to assemble a layout in Photoshop. I also spent some time thinking about a concept for a title other than just "journal". Since I got into drawing bugs I thought it would be fun to do a play on words with the verb "bug" and also "gems", which were another theme from the Edwardian brooches.

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When I posted this picture on facebook a friend made the suggestion to leave it black and white, which was very tempting, cause it would save me a lot of work! But leaving it like that felt almost like cheating, too simple right? Perhaps I could still explore colors and painterly touches but restrain my palette to creams, gold and black, with maybe just a few small touches of colors. 

I used a light box to paint over my sketch a few details with a gold ochre watercolor. I scanned the paint and assembled with my line drawing in the computer. I liked the gold and black version but it felt a little bare maybe. Lilla suggested to use a magenta-gold-teal kind of palette so I filled in a few areas with these colors.

I almost went with this version, but while playing around with different color options I really liked the blue and gold combination. A friend of mine suggested I watched the series Hercule Poirot on Netflix for inspiration. I have been watching it all week. The sets and costumes in this show are top notch, and just the right era. I got mesmerized by a dress that had a big ribbon of a bluish color leaning eve so slightly towards purple. I just had to change my design with this color.

For the mock up I went back to designing more icons so I could add a little notebook next to my journal to show a black and white design as an option.

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There's my final mock up below, which I submitted to Lilla's gallery. Man, maybe it will get easier at some point, but that takes almost as much work as the design itself! I have to acknowledge all the people in the bootcamp group, I learn so much from just looking at everyone's work, especially with the mock up part. It's worth checking the gallery when it's public on the 27th, you'll see so many beautiful and different journals!