Posts Tagged ‘ poster ’

3, 2, 1…DRAW

More years ago than I care to recount (mainly because I have no idea) I acquired and subsequently lost my only USB cable. Every now and then when I need to transfer files from here to there I search for this minuscule MIA cable. Today marks my 93rd search, I’d say, but this sly cable still eludes me. I find this mildly infuriating. On my search and retrieve attempt this evening, though, I stumbled upon some stuff that (almost) makes up for the fact that what I actually set out to find still appears to be totally outside my grasp.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been drawing. Nothing in particular, just drawing. It’s just what I did. This particular creative drive is what led me to decide to earn my degree for graphic design (which had an ironic yet delightful conclusion that I won’t get into now, but it’s kind of awesome I swear). A lot of the stuff that I used to draw when I was a kid was lost, but teenage me hardly ever threw her drawings away (unless they sucked, if I’m being honest) so I still have a bunch. I kept them in my purple, plastic folder, in two categories: “Don’t like,” kept in one pocket, and “Damn I’m amazing at this” in the other (there really was no in between for me, now that I think about it). I also managed to hang on to a handful of the stuff I did on assignment for my various high school and college classes. I wish I had had the patience to actually make my work look as great as I thought it could be. But I still like some of the stuff that managed to tumble out of the tumult in my head and through my shaky hands. Here’s a handful of my inadvertent findings:

Childhood drawing ea1701 Karissa C

I don’t draw nearly as much as I used to. It’s kind of sad when I think about it. But every once in a great while I get some kind of idea that I’m able to see through. And sometimes, actually, I do get commisioned for something. Back in September I was asked to make an inspirational-type poster for a local school. I sketched it all out by hand first:

Dream BIG Sketch

I’ve got this thing about sketching in my math notebooks for some reason… This is what I ended up with:

Dream Big Poster by Karissa C 2014

Dream Big Closeup

Closeup of the poster. The blond girl is my favorite of the chibis :)


It was a big hit. Can’t say I wasn’t a little pleased :)

And recently I was hired to make a few posters for some kids’ bedrooms. This is one of them:

Giraffe poster by Karissa C 2014

A giraffe was requested for this one, so I first sketched it out on paper. (I did this right before bed one night and I’m blaming the horrendous sketch on the exhaustion I must have been suffering from.) A little tweaking in Photoshop the next day and things were much better. The next poster in the series is a couple of penguins. Hopefully I can work on that this weekend. (Penguins are so bodacious.)

I definitely don’t draw anywhere near as much as I used to, and not in the same way. One of the nasty side-effects of being an adult. Time was never an issue when I was younger; I never didn’t have enough of it. Wish that were the case these days. But I guess that’s the way it goes. Just trying to make the best of the time I do have. There are just so many awesome things out there to do. Sometimes I think that’s why I don’t spend a lot of extra time polishing my stuff; I always want to be off on my next creative idea :)


all images copyright Karissa Cole 2014 | contact


PDOY image copyright Karissa Cole 2013

It just occurred to me: the ratio of time I spend looking at creative things to the time I spend actually pursuing creative things is incredibly skewed. Seriously. I spend way too much time on Pinterest saying “I could do that!” and far too little time actually doing anything. Actually, it’s a bit laughable. But I try to chalk all that time up to creating a to-do list and deriving inspiration. Of course, there are so many things I’ve got to do already. My to-do list is pretty staggering these days.

As part of my ongoing endeavor to be more creative, I’m smack-dab in the middle of a super secret art project as we speak. Well, we’re not speaking. And technically I’m typing at this exact moment. But you get my meaning. Hopefully..

Anyway. I was doing some work with this particular project when I sort of tumbled into another one. Just a little thing. For some reason I started thinking, whatever is to be possible in our lives depends almost entirely on what we’re willing to do. Sometimes things only seem impossible because we’re looking at them from too far away. You’ve got to move closer to what you want, take those steps, and then, I think, you’ll find it’s no longer impossible. Limits be damned; nothing should stop you from at least trying.

That was my little thought detour of the day.

Of course, I rode on this train of thought on an empty stomach, and it is highly possible that once I eat lunch I’ll realize I was making no sense whatsoever. We’ll see.


Except Dead Ends

Originally I was going for inspirational quotes. But I now know I am incapable of not being sarcastic in some way.

 "Worrying is a misuse of imagination." Try thinking about how awesome it would be to have a pet dragon instead.

“Worrying is a misuse of imagination.” Try thinking about how awesome it would be to have a pet dragon instead.

"A good deed can brighten a dark world." If that fails, try a flashlight.

“A good deed can brighten a dark world.” If that fails, try a flashlight.

"If you don't know where you're going any road will get you there." Except streets marked "Dead End". They usually don't lead anywhere.

“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.” Except streets marked “Dead End”. They usually don’t lead anywhere.

I think I will file this under the “satire” category in my portfolio.


Slow and Steady

Slow and Steady (2)  by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved

Made in Heaven (2)  by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved

Fight fire (4) by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved

Change Zebra (2) by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved

Silence is golden by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved

I don’t remember what was said, but something reminded me of that adage “slow and steady wins the race” a while back. My brain instantly turned it around and came up with that poster above. A few clicks in Photoshop later and I took a few other well-known adages and just did my thing. I thought some of them were kind of funny :D

It’s very simple. . .

I’ve never been much into now. I pretty much stopped paying attention to the world after 1994 when it comes to trends, social standards, and culturally accepted norms.

So put simply, I’m not a big fan of most modern anything, either ignoring it or readily ridiculing any inherit stupidity. I’m a bit like an old grumpy 78-year-old spinster hiding in a 22-year-old’s body, completely stuck in her ways. Occasionally, however, I stumble across some product of the 21st century that doesn’t make me weep and mourn the loss of all good entertainment. Usually, of course, whatever it is falls into either the science fiction T.V. show or soundtrack categories.

I have recently made a “discovery,” though. I suppose it’s hardly new for most people since it’s a T.V. show that’s been on for years.  I vaguely remember hearing about this show before, like most new things I ignored it. But my curiosity was irreversibly peaked when I saw a clip of it a couple weeks ago, so I watched a bit of it and fell in love. Granted, I’m not a big fan of the episodes flaunting characters displaying the common but altogether inglorious low moral standards (I’m very “Dick Van Dyke Show”). But there are some really great episodes. And more often than not I find myself  laughing like crazy, especially when a geeky reference is made that I completely get. I refer of course, to The Big Bang Theory. I won’t go on too much about how hysterical it can be and how awesome the scifi references are for a geek-girl like me. I completely realize how very behind in the times I am regarding this.

The whole point of this post is actually just to say that even something as simple as a sitcom can lead to a nice exercise in graphic design.

From the get-go Sheldon has by far been my absolute favorite character. So, naturally, I decided to make this 11 x 17 poster inspired by and sort of in honor of Dr. Cooper. It was a nice way to work some fun stuff into my graphic design portfolio.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock playing guide by Karissa Cole 2012

I shall never play rock-paper-scissors the same again.


Left vs. Right

In my post yesterday I mentioned my lack of right brain usage lately. I’ve been very left brained – math, logical thinking and puzzle-solving have been really the only things on my list of recreational activities. (My walls – covered in part with chalkboard paint – have been recently adorned with mathematical equations, and a list of the values of i with various exponents.)

I realize there’s been speculation regarding whether or not the left hemisphere of the human brain does indeed control logical, orderly thought and the like, whereas the right side pertains to creativity and emotions, but even so, I found myself somewhat inspired to create a poster regarding the notion:

Left vs Right by Karissa Cole - All rights reserved

I admit, as this falls very near the “typography” category, it’s not a necessarily superb piece. I greatly admire typographical work and they are often among my favorite design pieces. But I know little about the art, or at least, I don’t have enough skill to create the great pieces I so revere.

I did once take a typography class in school. But the only thing I ended up learning was how to restrain myself from leaping from my chair and strangling the instructor across the desk. He was the biggest idiot masquerading as a teacher I have ever known. Not only did he not know how to use Adobe Illustrator (I made the mistake of asking him how to create a certain look and ended up – no lie – teaching HIM how to use some of the tools and functions), he never once focused on typography, and instead had us create brochures and pamphlets. Uh, thanks dude, but we make that stuff in our GRAPHIC DESIGN CLASS. And I realize the two go hand in hand, but come on. What kind of typography class doesn’t focus on words? Plus, his own stuff, which he made us look at at the beginning of each class, were some really lousy designs.

But I digress.

Left vs. Right. And the battle continues. . .

the Original Accordion Hero

When I was a kid, Weird Al Yankovic was my all-time favorite artist. I remember I had a few of his cassettes – “The Food Album” and “Dare to be Stupid” – and I’d put a tape in my little Walkman, put on my headphones, and every night I’d fall asleep to songs like “I Love Rocky Road,” “I Want a New Duck,” and “Taco Grande.” I loved them all.

Come to think of it, Weird Al was pretty much the only music I knew (besides stuff I got from my parents like CCR, the Steve Miller Band and Harry Chapin) but I was perfectly content with that.

Although Weird Al no longer encompasses my entire music collection, every now and then I still go through and listen to my entire list of songs all day; which, yes indeed, is what I’ve been doing today. And strangely, although not having done much digital work, I kind of felt inspired:

the Original Accordion Hero (Pop Art by Karissa Cole)

I don’t know what made me think of it, but listening to “White and Nerdy,” “Perform This Way,” “Yoda,” – more of my favorites – the idea just popped into my head. I found this photo by Dwight McCann and used it as a reference for my vectorish pop art fandom piece here.

In a sort of ironic kind of way, after making this I found my old Greatest Hits Vol. II CD. These days all my music is digital – I haven’t really used a CD in years. I had completely and totally forgotten that the cover of that album was done in a pop art style, so I was seriously dumbfounded when I stumbled across it and realized the artwork I made today reflected the CD cover I hadn’t seen in about 15 years.

So I just had to play around with more vector art after I saw it. Only this time I mimicked the album art on purpose.

Weird Al Popart Poster by Karissa Cole 2012

Although I’ll have to think of a better caption for this one, I think, I have to say, occupying myself with my vector tools and a blinding array of contrasting colors was sooo much fun. And I’m sure I’ll stop seeing spots any minute now.

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