Signs and Stickers




Hong Kong 香港 Claire O'Brien Illustration

This week, I didn't get a whole lot of drawing done. For whatever reason, I just wasn't feeling very productive. But it wasn't for lack of inspiration - I have some of my best ideas while I'm on the commute to work in rickety old mini-bus climbing one of HK's hills at 80 km an hour. 


Hong Kong 香港 Claire O'Brien Illustration
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I have been thinking about doing something with signage for a while now. Hong Kong is full of it. You don't have to look very far to find something quirky or quaint, and the signs are an amazing hodgepodge of old and new. Neon strobes here. Traditional hand-lettering there. Everywhere, juxtaposed against each other, fighting for space. So I decided to make some surface patterns, just because I hadn't really done one before, and I wanted to try it out. I had the idea in my head, but I wasn't exactly clear on how I was going to execute it. Big mistake. 

Hong Kong 香港 Claire O'Brien Illustration
Hong Kong 香港 Claire O'Brien Illustration

After having spent hours on the lettering (I did most of it by hand), I realised that I might as well just not have bothered. It was boring, and corporate. I mean, it was fine. But it just wasn't me. So after half-heartedly posting it up I had to pull the listing down again. I feel like I lost my creative voice on this project, trying too hard to make things look 'just so', and I forgot to make it fun, like my other work. 

The next attempt was a little better, but I still really didn't like it. You would never have thought that I spent hours making the lettering by hand. And now that I'm looking at it, I kind of have to wonder what the point was, when it just looks like an anonymous font from a word-processor. Hmm. 

Hong Kong 香港 Claire O'Brien Illustration


Just so it won't be a complete waste (and because I don't believe in only learning from successes), I'm going to post them here, as a 'work-in-progress.' Hopefully, if and when I do attempt the subject matter again, it will look a million times better. 


Hong Kong 香港 Claire O'Brien Illustration

I can't wait to punch this project up a notch and make into one of my best. But for now, here is the scaffolding. Have a happy weekend! 

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