The Craft Project

Making a Mess to Make a Logo

So I’ve been working for the last couple of days on designing the Raven Mad Designs logo.  I started (creatively enough) with drawing two ravens as silhouettes.  This part turned out to be relatively easy as I have a beautiful raven sculpture in my living room window that I could use as a model (much easier than trying to get two ravens to sit still so I could draw them).  This drawing formed my base image in photoshop – two ravens looking at each other, one cawing at the other.

Next came the much more tricky part.  The ravens I drew for the base image had very clean lines, and although they looked cool they didn’t really exemplify the “mad” part of the “Raven Mad” name.  I was inspired by the idea of bringing that feeling into the logo using paint splatters over the silhouettes.  The problem – I found out very quickly – is that I’m not so good at drawing paint splatters (in fact, I’m really not good at it).  I banged my head against the wall for a while (and yelled at photoshop – always a therapeutic exercise) until it suddenly occured to me that I didn’t need to draw paint splatters – I could actually splatter paint, then photograph the mess I had created, bring the image into photoshop, remove the background from it, and use that to design my paint splatters.  Feeling quite proud of my ingeunity, I grabbed some black craft paint I had lying around, a paint brush, and some white paper and headed outside to create my masterpiece.

A few points on creating paint splatters:

1) Outside is windy (yes, I know, this should have been obvious) – after you chase your once white, now more off-white, piece of paper around your apartment’s parking lot remember to weight it down with something.  It would be ideal to not weight it down with your very favourite pink Lululemon water bottle – unless you have no other choice.

2) Craft paint doesn’t splatter – it’s too thick.  You can’t get it to drop out of the container well at all, and flicking it with a paint brush really doesn’t have the desired effect either (although it will cover you and your favourite pink water bottle with black paint).  In fact, using craft paint for this activity results in a really unattractive image, that doesn’t even remotely resemble paint splatters.

3) Now that you have failed miserably, you will discover you are locked out of your building, covered in black paint, and are unable to retrieve keys, turn door handles, etc. without covering everything else – and I do mean everything – in black paint.

I went back inside and back to the drawing board.

I searched through all my craft boxes and assembled every type of black paint I had, looking for something with the right consistiency.  The victorious candidate turned out to be glass paint.  After my disasterous first attempt I decided that I would splatter my paint inside – I think I’m safe in typing this as I don’t think Tyler or my Mom are reading this blog at the moment.  For those of you wondering why Tyler wasn’t around to find out about me splattering paint inside the house first-hand I’ll fill you in: he’s in Dawson City on a paleontology contract at the moment – working with National Geographic to dig ice age mammal bones out of the oldest dated permafrost on the planet to get ancient DNA out of them (yup – he’s a smart one).  Of course, if he was down here right now he may have been able to tell me a way to create paint splatters without actually spattering any paint as his photography work with al-Khemedia Studios leads him to be a bit of a photoshop wizard.  Oh well, he’s not here – so I splattered my paint on the dining room table (don’t worry, I was actually very neat and no mess at all was created).  The resulting paint splatters make me very happy – as I truly enjoy running amuck and creative chaos I suppose this makes sense.

The final paint splatters

After the paint splatters were created the rest of the plan went off without a hitch (although it took millenia to remove the background from the image).  A little trial and error with sizing, placements, and fonts and I had myself a logo.  Never fear though – I’m not done this week’s project quite yet – while putting this logo together I came up with design ideas using ravens for roller derby socks and a t-shirt, which I’ll just have to try out…more soon.

Introducing the brand now Raven Mad Designs logo

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