20230123 – I like the way you dance

TLDR: Every now and then, I leave my wife a note on her desk with a compliment or anecdote on why I love her. I did that again last Saturday, and it inspired me to do some postcard designs.

I’ll talk a bit more about the cards and process; if you want to read that, click on “Continue Reading”.

I met with a friend of mine for cake and a chai latte, and on the way to the café I went by a shop for postcards. I visited the shop, browsed for a bit, and bought some.

I want to leave my wife a note with a compliment on her desk. I want to say, “I like the way you move” because she has this hideous inventive dance move that she really enjoys doing but hasn’t done in a while, and I love how much she enjoys herself doing it. But I went to the postcard shop the day before, and I wanted to give her one of the postcards I had bought. They are not compatible! I stick with the postcard, write a different note, and that’s that.
But the thought of “I like the way you move” and “postcard” sticks with me so much so that I start drawing. A small innocent doodle kicks it off.

The doodle (1) is followed by a rough (2), which turns into a sketch (3). Looking at the sketch, I don’t like the clothes, so I tried something different (4). I’m still not happy, which leads to another variant (5). There I feel like I got something that could work. I still didn’t know what the card could look like, so I started simplifying it. I start hesitantly (6) and gradually increase the brush size (7) until (8) I see something I like. I tweak it a bit (9) and then go through some experiments (10, 11, 12, 13) on how to develop it further. I’m still not sure what the card will look like in the end.
At this point, I leave it be for a bit, walk the dog, and do something else. When I got back to it an hour or two later, versions 8 & 9 still resonated the most with me, so I took that one into Affinity Designer to clean up. Which led to the final:

That’s it; I’m ok with it. Saturday is supposed to be a day off, so I stopped there. At least until the evening, when I mindlessly doodle some crude dancing figures into a notebook while I watch german Valorant league matches on Twitch.

I click through music I bookmarked on Bandcamp and land on DJ Format & Abdominal’s “Get Hungry”-album. It is funky, it is fresh, it is hip hop, it is great, and it gets me into a good mood. My mind goes back to dancing postcards. Under the influence of that album, I draw another card. No iteration, just a rough doodle and then straight to the final.

I’m continuing my musical exploration into funky music but switching to the youtube-channel “My Analog journal.” Listening to music from their channel, I decided I wanted to do something with a lighter lineart, because both cards so far were more on the “thick side,” design-wise.

I’m not sure which set I was listening to at this point; I think it was something Salsa’ish. I remember that I was thinking of Charleston & Lindy Hop. So that might have influenced the initial rough (1). Looking at the rough, I stopped playing the youtube-music and switched to a Kitty, Daisy & Lewis album (here’s the link to “Going up the country” on youtube). Now influenced by Swing & Rock ‘n Roll, I draw the sketch (2), which I then start abstracting (3). I like how it looks but decided to experiment a bit further (4, 5, 6).

Still, version (3) looks the best to me, which I take to Affinity Designer again to clean up. But I don’t like the lineart on empty background, so I combine it with version (4).

I still like the lineart, but not the composition overall. So I decide to throw the initial idea of a full-figure motif overboard and scale it up to end up with an image I actually like.

A few hours later, I’m back to listening to funky breakbeat Hip Hop. Via youtube I stumble upon “The Allergies,” who also happen to have a Bandcamp account, and I end up buying four albums immediately. Bouncing on my chair, some thoughts on typefaces from earlier last week probably lingering in my mind somewhere as well, I quickly draw an idea doodle (1) which turns into another photoshop sketch (2).

I like it as it is. I opened Affinity Designer once again and cleaned it up.

There you have it, how I turned my days off into a bunch of postcard motifs. Will I turn them into actual postcards? Probably not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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