One of my favorite side hustles is working with my husband on the promotional materials for his students' Drama Club at Lynn English High School. Posters, programs, and stuff.

The newest latest is for a staged performance of two classic (and unnerving) short stories: The Necklace and The Monkey's Paw. Michael's first concept was a warm room with a wing chair by the fireplace and a window showing the snowy night outside. I saw something different. I tried to work up a concept of images of the objects central to the stories in a mash-up that was to be intriguing and engaging. 

Jotting down some rough ideas

Sketch, sketch, sketch

Aside from the age-old notion that the customer is always right, the more we worked on the concept, the more I saw the value in his original idea. I still loved my concept, but I suddenly had a breakthrough. I visualized a scene like he first wanted, but I flipped it a bit...in perspective and style. Together (he a very...involved client) we landed on a concept of the fire with haunting, outstretched shadows. Michael was looking for a little distortion and a few warped details. I was envisioning something in a color-blocked and cut paper style. In fact, it brought me back to my first explorations in the children's illustration space. Sharp lines, Photoshop masks, texture, lots of shading and color blocking. This was a perfect opportunity to revisit some of my early techniques. In fact, I think it's a great style for me to explore. It came together so smoothly once I had this image in mind. 

The new sketch

Work in progress

Sometimes, for a project like this (one that marries illustration and design), I find it really helpful to place text and design elements right into the art temporarily to "see" how it's going. In the end, after a REALLY fast process, The poster came together really well. the poster is in production as I type this post!

The finished piece!

Mockup template available here. Check it out. These are fun!