A Step Back

Since we are now going to be starting the last project for studio one, I started to reflect on what I have done, especially the first project.

For anyone who’s reading that isn’t my teacher, we had to design a set of playing cards. The method that I chose to do to implement my cards was something that I am not very comfortable with which is hand drawing. I don’t really see myself as that great of a drawer, I would usually rather paint something or just straight up draw it digitally, but for the style of cards I wanted them to be it had to be hand drawn.

As I started looking at ways to best design a mandala I also started to look into the history of them and what they really represent. As it turns out, mandalas are a representation of the world in which the cosmos and human beings meet each other and they also represent five different senses which are a part of the universe (Jung, 2010). The lotus flower which are very common within mandalas are thought to be the symbol of earth itself ontop of the cosmic waters (Tucci, 1961).

After reading what they represent I started to choose what I wanted to use in my playing cards. I chose to use the sun, the moon, and a lotus as the main ideas. I think that these worked really well in the end product and they worked well together.

So, I started to draw up my designs. I was semi pleased with what I had actually come up with and drawn, as I said earlier I don’t think of myself much as a great drawer. But it was when I put them into illustrator, image traced them, fixed up lines, and added colour to them, I was really happy with how the designs turned out.

I think that using this process for my cards was the best way to achieve the style that I wanted. I would have like to try and make all of the lines directly on illustrator to make them all look cleaner and not as hand drawn as they look, but then I don’t think they would have had as much detail as they do now.

So I was pretty happy and pleased with how my work turned out.. until I walked into class and saw the designs of everyone else. Everyones designs looked really clean and like they were actually meant to be on a deck of playing cards, and I thought mine looked way too hand drawn and the lines weren’t good enough and there were all these little things that were becoming wrong to me and I didn’t even want to show my teacher my designs anymore. But then he said he liked them and that he really liked that it does look hand drawn. I really need to learn to stop comparing myself and my work to others, especially when everyone does work so differently and even though some peoples work may be a hell of a lot better than mine, it can just be something that I can admire and try and work towards.

playing cards style guide - emily mccrenor (dragged)playing cards style guide - emily mccrenor (dragged) 1


We’re going on a Bear Hunt

This is the first group project of the first studio class that I am encountering of the many, I presume, that are to come. While I really enjoy working alone because I don’t have to rely on anyone else and I can just work in my own space and at the pace that I want, working in groups is also very beneficial. Working in groups I think creates more creative work pieces because you all feed off of each other and can receive feedback from one another in an instant. You pitch an idea to your team and then someone else will usually always have an idea that feeds off of your idea that can make it better, this then can give you and everyone else more ideas.

The project that we are working on now, the Alice project, I love that it is in team work. The only one thing that I dislike about team work is that I always feel like I am not doing enough work in the team compared to some others but apart from this, this project has been very beneficial. Learning about paragraph styles, character styles and object styles in inDesign reminds me of a classic children’s book written by┬áMichael Rosen, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”.


In this story they face obstacles, like paragraph styles, they can’t go around them, just like we can’t override them, they have to face them and go through them. This is exactly what we have to do with paragraph, character and object styles. As annoying as they may seem at first, they actually turn out to be very beneficial and a tool that I wish I had learnt earlier for past assignments.