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Project 1 consists of 30 different small exercises. These invented and voted on by the class. The sky was the limit, we could propose anything we wanted. After narrowing it down to 30 projects, we were assigned to complete at least 10 for the book. These projects were meant to be completed quickly, focusing more on experimentation than on creating perfectly finished results. The real focus of the project was the book, which challenged us to make our disparate creations work together within. It was a great practical exercise. I have included the full list of 30 projects, and I encourage you to give them a shot. Maybe it can be good artistic practice, maybe it can be a Zen experience.


1. Design a tattoo you’d put on your body 20. Design a concert ticket 21. Vandalize a book 2. Redesign a classic book cover 22. Recap your day with Google pictures 3. Design without erasing 23. Design an ugly sweater 4. Design using only crayons 24. Design a family tree 5. Design a logo for a swear word 25. Design with mirrors 6. Make an insulting info graphic 26. Balance things on your head 7. Design a beer or wine label 27. Hand letter a phrase or quote 8. Create a random object promo poster 28. Make something small and photograph it 9. Design a license plate 29. Draw all of your meals for three days 10. Design your own wrapping paper 11. Alter a historical art piece in Photoshop 30. Create a landscape with one shape. 12. Describe and illustrate a dream 13. Draw and compare your first and current cellphone 14. Make something cool out of comic sans 15. Make a stencil and spray it somewhere 16. Design a color scheme and name it 17. Design a shoe or sole 18. Design a hometown logo or brand 19. Design a reusable shopping bag



Design a reusable shopping bag. Originally I was going for a more offensive design, using the phrase “Recycle, you piece of shit.” I decided that I would probably be embarrassed to carry that bag around, so I changed it. In the end, I like how the word “monster” ends in an ‘r’ just like the start of the word “recycle.” I have to admit, I’m still fairly partial to the version where a tree is apparently saying this to you.


Drunken Carnival Sunset

Make your favorite color scheme and name it. I like to create color schemes by making a gradient from one color to another, and then using the Photoshop posterize tool to reduce it to less colors. It often returns hues I would not have guessed, while still maintaining the steady gradient shift. The name is based on something a friend said in response to a really terrible chalk pastel drawing I did. It had roughly the same color scheme.


Make something small and photograph it. I work with comics every day, its one of my favorite mediums. Sometimes I work really hard on my comics, with only very small results as far as Tumblr attention goes. I drew this comic in like, one minute. Tumblr ate it up. My standard comic gets like ten notes. What does this mean for me as an artist? Should I just stick with micro comics from this day forward? I am troubled.



Draw and compare your first and current cell phone. I’m actually fairly new to the cellphone world, as evidenced by the fact that these are the only two phones I’ve ever had. I used the flip phone for probably 4 years, which was fine by me. Eventually my family switched to a new plan and I suddenly had a smart phone, which is pretty cool I guess. My main complaint is that it takes up more space in my pocket. Its surprising how long you can own something, and how frequently you can use it, without ever really taking a good look at it. These drawings helped me do that.


Make something cool out of Comic Sans. The plan for this project was to overlap Helvetica and Comic Sans to sort of “reveal the Helvetica within.” This didn’t really work out, so I guess I failed. This doesn’t make me feel that bad so take that for what it’s worth.


Design a shoe or sole. In general I like shoes with less stitching, so I went with a fairly simple deck shoe style. I decided to make the pair of diamonds into a logo of sorts for the shoe, which is continued on the interior fabric and the sole. I settled with an earthy color scheme consisting of greens and oranges. Not 100% sure about the result, but I know I’d wear it. I’m thinking white laces.


Design your own wrapping paper. Originally this was going to be a sweater design, but I decided, based on the subject matter, that it might be more appropriate as the wallpaper of some weirdo’s kitchen. And then I realized I was supposed to be designing wrapping paper, not wallpaper, but by then I had already designed a different sweater so it just became wrapping paper in the end.


The design is reminiscent of a project I did early in college, which depicted severed hands and saws in a similar repeating pattern. I decided to come back to that look, and I think it might be something to continue in the future. I don’t know, I like cartoon hands and blood, is that a crime?


Design a tattoo you’d put on your body. It’s a skull with a snake that has a duck head instead of a snake head. I would get the tattoo on my face, like in the picture.


Design a logo for a swear word. I figured the place to start for a swear word logo is with the first letter. They’ve already basically been branded to that letter, and it could be a good jumping point. After drawing it a couple times I realized the S shape could look like a poop, which is when everything came together. I made the stink lines kind of look like S’s as well, which was probably overkill but this is a swear word logo so that’s the point.


Design an ugly sweater.


I’m a fan of the number 23 and the numerology that surrounds it. I think the whole thing is ridiculous, but it gels with my sense of humor so I like to include it in my designs. The fact that this was the 23rd item on the list was not something I could easily pass up. After doodling a bit, I discovered that the flat-topped 3 could connect interestingly with the 2. To an extent, the 23 has become a subliminal message in the design. I like to think conspiracy theorists see things like this around them all the time.



Then put it all in a book. And I totally did. The proof is in the pudding, you’re holding the book in your hands right now. Unless you’re reading this on I guess I will probably put this book on as well.


Project 1  
Project 1  

A collection of quick, impromptu design prompts.