Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hummingbird Sign

This week I finished this logo/sign project for my brother-in-law.  They wanted a hummingbird feeding on a trumpet vine and gave me the image below to show what they wanted.  I am always torn between the scientist in me saying, "Is it accurate?", and the designer in me saying, "Simplify, simplify, simplify!".  For example, the leaves of the trumpet vine are compound and toothed. I tried drawing the leaves with teeth but felt it was distracting and there was too much going on.  As you can see I opted for smooth in the end.  (At least it still has the idea of compound leaves.)

I think the designer won that round but I can never silence that scientist in me.  I do appreciate that attention to detail can be incredibly helpful when trying to render something accurately, but sometimes it holds me back and constrains my work. "The head is too round and the body too narrow, a bird only has two wings, there should be a bend there because that's where two bones meet, etc."  I especially think this when I see beautifully simplified, flat work (like this) where it looks like all the bones in the animal's body have been broken and flattened to fit in two dimensions, but still retaining it's identity even if only by a thread.  I feel myself wanting to move in this direction... of wanting to be more free with my shapes and forms.  But everything in life is a balance and to honor that inner scientist I remind myself of this saying from the Dalai Lama, "Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively."


Unknown said...

I think the designer winning out was the right call! I think it looks wonderful--and very clean!

Amy said...

Great post Vanessa! I really like the design and would love to hear more from you on the intersection of art/design/science!!

Cathy said...

Really nice, Vanessa. I'd like to go to Western Gardens sometime.


April said...

Your work is always so lovely. I think it feels just right.