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Mundane Objects

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009
‘How do professional illustrators come up with ideas?’ I often get asked by students and aspiring illustrators. A lot of them believe we have  especially developed brains that when we start thinking of ideas, light bulb just lights up, like one of those old-fashioned cartoon.
Well, that is not true. How we come up with ideas is not so much different from how anyone else would come up with ideas: lots of research and lots of brain-storming. Simple as that.

Recent illustration I did for Fast Company Magazine (October issue) was a story about how to promote  a red-carpet event efficiently so more people know about it.
My solution?: research whole bunch of mundane yet ‘loud-speaking’ objects, put them together to come up with a bizarre theater machine that is screaming ‘promotion’. Sometimes, an idea can be as simple as that.

first, think of anything that's related to: 1) red carpet event 2) promote loudly.
then, put them together and think if you can come up with interesting enough visual.
voila! Now you have an illustration. The key to inventing a surrealistic object is that how the things are connected together somehow seems believable.
after the digital coloring. now this weird surreal PR machine is complete.
final layout in the magazine. I drew a long red carpet so they can lay it out the way they like. Big thank you to Henry Young, Associate Art Director of Fast Company Magazine.
© 2022 Yuko Shimizu