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  • 19 Mar ’11


On what could have been

One of the great advantages to designers of having a blog is the opportunity it provides to take a look back at older work from the portfolio. Work which due to client demands did not end up looking the way you would have wanted it to. When the dust has settled and the class of ego’s and ideals is long since over it’s an appropriate time to revisit and reassess what could have been. This is an opportunity I’m going to take today to look back a job I worked on over 5 years ago. I was searching through some old folders and came across the artwork for the job last night. So I thought it would be a good idea to give an unfinished piece it’s moment in the sun.

The job was to create the promotional materials for The Opera Theatre Companies production of Pelléas & Mélisande. We had at the time a very clear idea of what we wanted to try to produce and about half way through the process the client decided they wanted to change the mood of the poster from quite a natural environment to a more structured architectural one. This is the finished poster:

It’s not a terrible finished piece, overall I was happy at the time but obviously looking at it now there are a thousand and one things I would change. But thats not the main focus of this post. What is, is this version of the poster.

Tragically (in my entirely undeserved and overly melodramatic opinion) left unfinished due to the above mentioned client change of mind. It’s the pieces like this that fall through the cracks of the creative process that, for me, are sometimes the pieces that hold a dearer place in my heart than successfully published work. Full of the potential to become something better than I could have imagined but ultimately and unknowably at the time, fated to end up hidden in a folder, to remain unfinished, indefinitely. I’ve spent the whole morning looking for the original photoshop artwork for this, all 250 layers of it. Each tree, leaf, and section of grass had been selected from other images, cut out and pieced together to create the unworldly environment I was trying to capture. I know that if I had another day or two to work on this, given the extra few years of experience now under my belt I could pull it together and final finish it out the way it should have been.

Which is why I’m setting myself a little goal this year. I’m going to try to unearth all of the old sketches, photos and photoshop files and finish this poster in a manner that befits. So don’t be surprised if you end up seeing more of those trees over the next few months. Now where did I leave that sketchbook!

Ian Sorensen

Ian Sorensen is a creative director who likes to write about himself in the third person. He has been making things look good for over 12 years and hopes to share his passion for good design / advertising / illustration with all those who visit this site. He also wishes you a good day!

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