Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a new creative collaboration with Mat Klicz, a London based graphic designer, who is passionate about branding and packaging design, which you can see more of his work here.
We wanted to work on a project that was thought-provoking, had a bit of substance behind it, and something that we would both enjoy!
Racking our brains over a few Skype sessions, we decided to work towards the story of Animal Farm, by George Orwell, one of our favourite novels of all time. Our ‘styles’ are very suited to this sort of story, which was an important aspect in choosing the story.
With its connotations towards the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalinist era of the Soviet Union and communism, we thought this would be a brilliant story to work towards. (By the way, if you haven’t read the novel – it’s a real classic which I highly recommend). If you want to find out more about the story behind Animal Farm, or want to find out more about George Orwell, see the synopsis and plot here or here.
After discussing the story between us and how we can come up with some sort of creative solution that showcases our design and illustration skills, we thought of the idea of creating a set of currency designs, that reveals the main characters of the story – like the pigs of Old Major, Napoleon, Snowball, to Boxer the horse.
We decided on currency designs as we wanted to communicate what the currency would look like if they did take over a nation (or even the world), and how their dictatorship would spread across all forms of everyday objects – like money.
Firstly we took inspiration from the Soviet Union and propaganda posters, and how this can inspire and influence us in our artwork in creating this Animal Farm inspired designs. This helped massively when I created the illustrations, and I got to work and created portraits of the main characters, and how they would look.
I conveyed the characters to look powerful, ruthless, who everyone should obey. Much like that of many dictatorships across the world, like North Korea for example, the leader is seen as ‘Godly’, and someone who everyone has to listen to.
Creating portraits using watercolour, gouache and then scanned digitally to form the portraits, I used a limited colour palette of reds, blacks, yellows, and blues for an adjacent colour, that is similar to the mood boards that we created – which you can see below.
These portraits were then edited digitally, and using Mat’s graphic eye, imported into his currency designs – to create “The Union Of Socialist Farm Republics”. Creating a £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes, these include an abstract and stunning interpretation by Mat, and we are super happy with!
We are going to professionally print and photograph these designs, which I can hopefully show you all soon. You can see our inspiration, the currency designs and portraits below, which is also on my portfolio if you want to take a closer look.
Thanks to Mat for working on this project, it was a complete joy working with you, and to the famous George Orwell for writing Animal Farm – one of my favourite authors!
Many thanks for listening and visiting my news page today. You can follow what I’m up to on my Twitter, Facebook or Google + pages, I’ll really appreciate it if you do, and don’t be afraid to say hi to me! Many thanks again, and have a great day!