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Feedback on illustrations please.

Hi, I'm Michelle a Graphic Design/Illustration student.

I'm struggling with my first proper brief!! I am to create merchandise and posters for punk band called 'Bi-Polar Bear' (in there own words.. something that will make you think, WTF) They liked my original sketches for this tightroping polar-bear. They wanted bright/contrasting colours and bold black lines.

I'm not sure it works now its finished... What can I do to improve?

I think the position the bear is in is a bit stiff, and doesnt really flow. The outlines dont seem to flow well. (I'm using illustrator and new to 'Live Trace' etc. What can I do to improve?? Should I use the pen tool? Simplify the shapes? Work on anatomy/certain areas of the illustration?

Also the poster design, I know the type feels a bit 'blah' any ideas on what I can add to it? Or what typefaces / composition to use?

WTF Bi-Polar Bear


Please be honest I am open to all constructive critisism!!
WTF indeed. Sorry Michelle I don't like it one little bit.
The character is lacking ....eh character. I know you are after a shock element but I'd re think if I were you. Maybe try and make it look a little like a Polar Bear and add some movement too. Check out some reference.
Are you sketching the drawing first?. Scanning and redrawing in Illy? Why not try using Photoshop?

Maybe try again. I know it's your first proper brief and everything but it aint right.
Plan B time.
Keep at it and have fun.
Hi Michelle, I'm afraid I have to agree with Typo, it's too straight from the head with no research. You have to think about Bi-polar as being a split personality disorder. Personally I would use this in the illustration, something that springs to mind is a polar bear's face split in two halfs, one half being a calm white face, the other being angry perhaps with the eye being like the ones you have done in your original, and the green would work too on the angry half of the face, think the hulk I suppose.

Give it some more thought, look into the subjects deeper.
sorry about "deeper", thats the artist in me coming out, ye just go with it, you've got a good start, just needs a bit of research for refining the image


Well-Known Member
I wouldn't go with the split face thing personally, might come off as cliche. But I'm not sure a clown bear works either. I say leave the computer alone for a bit and do lots and lots of sketches first.
Jim is as usual correct a mundo.
Sketch first.....lots of 'em.

A lot of folks think because they have a clever computer the don't have to learn how to draw.
We see it alot on the forums..."I have a 200 quid wacom tablet but my illustration is naff, what am I doing wrong?".

Paper and pencil first please. Lets see those scamps.

ps. Ask Berry what a 'scamp' is. It's old school, but often over looked these days.
Yup. I see. I disagree that I'm one of those people though.. Not all my illustrations are done on the computer. I am actually quite the sketcher myself... and I actually generally prefer traditional work to digital.

I'm just trying to get used to using the computer more, I guess it took over more then it should have.

I will deffinatley keep sketching until I'm happy with what I've got before trying things out with the computer :)

Thanks for the imput.

I like the style of your illustration, but it's a bit blank for me. The T-shirt thing is better than the flyer though. I think it's more of a problem of position, I think it should be placed better in the middle of the chest.

But further more, it's just scary. It's like the bear wants to attack me, so I'm not attracted to buying the Tee.

The poster is just... wrong I'd say. it's just out of balance, and empty. The typo doesn't match the illustration and so. Try making the poster a little "full'er", try placing some items over each other. It's not a problem if the text is over the bear, you know..?

If you'd like to know what I mean with "fuller", send me a PM, I'll share some inspiration then.

Hope this has some use for you...