Women in history are often glossed over, their stories not told and many don’t know the deeds they accomplished. We don’t get to learn about many of these incredible women and their accomplishments because they’re wiped from the history books. I created a brand, sort of a publishing company, and picked three women to bring to life via character design and poster illustration.
For the logo itself, I wanted to include two typefaces, one with a more modern look for ‘Women’ and a rougher, traditional font for ‘History’. I played a lot with different fonts and effects to fine-tune to look and feel I was going for, which is a blend of bringing these historic women’s stories to the modern age.
A big part of the project was the research aspect of it. I didn’t want to start designing characters without researching their stories, the countries they were located in, and the period to get an accurate depiction of the clothing they wore. Thankfully I love history, so diving in and researching clothing from Ancient Ireland and 13th century China was a lot of fun and I made sure to take extensive notes.
Once I was satisfied with how much research I had done, I felt confident enough to start doing sketches of the characters armed with my costume notes. I did a variety of traditional sketches to get a feel for how armor works, general poses, and some quick iterations down on paper before I transferred over to working in Procreate on my iPad.
Once onto my iPad, I worked on finalizing color palettes and general looks of the characters as I made decisions about the final designs of the characters’ looks. I started with head turnarounds before going to full bodies and working on the clothing and the coloring.
One thing I wanted to do was illustrate posters of the characters matching locations or moments that were important to their stories.
For Joan, I picked the fort in Orléan where she lifted the siege in nine days.
For Muirisc, I picked the Croagh Patrick, where she set up her stronghold in Ireland.
For Mazu, I showed her astral projecting in a storm, a principal point of her legend.
Over the course of this project, I had to cut things out for time’s sake that I wish I could’ve done, like stickers, short books, and (maybe) animations, as well as tell more women’s stories. The next phase of my project over the summer will be to finish out the goals of stickers and the short books and then begin on telling more stories about more incredible, historical women.
I plan on finishing the stickers within this month and either add them to my Redbubble or print them off through StickerMule and sell them on my Etsy in sticker packs.
My favorite thing about these kinds of projects is the fact that basically every aspect that went into it was done by me, whether it was the research (though I did have help with Mazu, thanks Jenny!) or the character designing. I also learned a lot about time management and when to give and take with projects, especially when it comes to working on multiple projects at once, as is the life of a college student.