Pen Sketches
This past October, I elected to participate in Jake Parker's Inktober, in which he challenged artists to draw something in ink every day of the month, based on a given one-word prompt. These are a few of my pieces from that project.

The prompt for the Eden piece was "Lost." I brainstormed for a while—lost keys, lost loves, lost in an unfamiliar land—and settled on Eden, the paradise that mankind had lost in Genesis. I was taking a class on Roman art and architecture at the time, and based the architectural components of the piece on the Arch of Trajan at Benevento, Italy. The square reliefs to either side of the word "Eden" hold curled-up acanthus leaves, and the same plant wraps around the pillars. I decided to frame the scene of Eden with the arch to reflect the fact that paradise is still lost. The landscape doesn't extend past the boundaries of the frame, giving the impression that it is only reachable through this singular portal.

The prompt for the second piece was "Noisy." I decided to interpret this as meaning "musical," and settled on an illustration of a cassette. Though rather old school by today's standards, cassettes have a much better visual aesthetic than CDs or anything produced in the age of digital music. I wanted to show two very different parts of music coexisting together, and did this by contrasting the cassette and its case. The case is a recording of a classical piece, while the cassette has the handwritten title "Best of Queen." One is professionally produced and the other is not, and their musical genres are as far apart as they could be, but they both coexist in the same medium.

The third piece, with the prompt "Fast," is an illustration of a 1960s Jaguar Mark 2. Cars from this period have a very high-class and sleek appearance that I mimicked using strong highlights. To emphasize the idea of speed in a stationary vehicle, I chose an unusual perspective that stretches the body of the car and almost gives the impression that it is shooting towards the viewer.
Doctor Who. Playing Cards
As a long-time fan of the television show Doctor Who, two and a half years ago I found myself pondering the fact that the main character, over the fifty-some years of the show’s history, has been portrayed by twelve main actors. This is a quirk fairly unique to Doctor Who, and I thought this peculiarity might be well-reflected in playing cards, where each suit has thirteen cards (on the thirteenth card, I placed the TARDIS, which is one of the few things in Doctor Who that has remained largely unchanged throughout the show's history).

In the course of designing the cards, I created four new suits, altered many of the photographs of the actors, and designed the card backs and a matching box.

For most of 2014 and 2015, I sold these playing cards online via Etsy. Because I was constructing each deck by hand (printing, cutting, corner-clipping, box construction, packaging, shipping, etc.) I was eventually forced to stop production because I wasn’t able to keep up with demand. More recently, I updated the cards to reflect changes in the show and my improved Photoshop skills, and had a second run professionally printed. I am currently selling these, and by the time of writing I have sold over 170 decks to customers in 7 countries.

For more information on the Doctor Who-related touches on the cards, or to purchase a deck, visit my Etsy page.
McNeal Hall Drawing
The final project for my drawing class was a large-scale rendering of an interior space using perspective. We were limited to a location inside McNeal Hall, which was where the class was held. McNeal is a sprawling building cobbled together with bits of architecture from several different decades, and as such provides a wide range of options for interior settings.

I started by exploring the building and sketching thumbnails of interesting spaces—that's the sketch on the bottom left. After selecting which view I wanted, I executed a full-size detailed sketch (bottom right) before rendering it in full on high-quality paper.

I was most enamored with the older, brick portion of McNeal, and settled on doing the interior of a stairwell. I thought that rendering all of the bricks by hand using perspective would provide a worthy challenge. I was not wrong; I maintain to this day that the laws of physics break down in the upper left-hand corner, where the horizontal lines of the bricks become almost vertical and space ceases to have any meaning. I enjoyed rendering the lighting effects as well, and I'm particularly proud of the water pipe running up the wall in the back left.

The finished drawing is 18 by 24 inches.
Typography Book
In my typography class, the final project was designing a book in which we discussed the similarities and differences between two notable typefaces. I was taking the class for an additional honors credit, and was required to add another component to the book. I chose to do a short history of typography that, twelve pages later, turned into a short(ish) history of typography. I also included a healthy seventy-nine citations in the paper, so I faced an interesting challenge in laying out a twenty-seven-page book with footnotes broken down into four main sections.

Given that I was dealing with a lot of text and content, I knew I needed to give the words enough room to breathe so as to not overwhelm the reader with an unattractive block of solid text. Since the book was discussing typography, I wanted to showcase letterforms, particularly those of the two typefaces I had chosen to compare and contrast (Caslon and Hoefler Text).

After some brainstorming, I decided I wanted to start each section of my paper with an oversized letterform. This would help bring the viewer's eye across the spread and to the small lead-in block of text on the bottom of the right-hand page. You can see this in the center photo; the swirling orange shape is a capital italic Q in Caslon that starts on the left page, dips off the bottom, and continues on the top of the right page.

The main content pages feature a loose three-column grid. The inner column is left blank to provide a clean, empty space for the eye to rest. The center column is filled with the body copy, which is set in a serif face with a small x-height and enough leading to keep it airy and visually light. The column nearest the edge of the page is a sidebar where I illustrate examples of what is being discussed in the text.

The sidebar is a dark gray, and that same color is used for the body copy and anything else that would usually appear as black. The orange appears as a highlight color throughout the book, notably in the in-text superscript footnotes. The orange squares on the edge of the page are a section-numbering system designed to be more intuitive and useful than page numbers, particularly in a book of this length with only four sections.

I bound the book using a perfect bind and an adherence method involving hot glue and a frying pan that I had developed in my free time the previous summer. The cover functions rather like the dust jacket on a hardcover book, complete with interior flaps that enclose the endpapers of the book proper. The cover is adhered to the front endpaper, though, and can no longer be separated from the main pages.
Wing Studies
Over the last few years, I've developed an interest in wings. I'm not quite sure where it came from—it just sort of happened. I started with just doodling wings and feathers, and then decided I might as well learn it properly and start off with basic anatomy, the same way you learn how to draw the human figure.

So I learned the bone structure of the wing, and the placement of all of the feathers and their names, and even studied the wing's evolution from the dinosaurs to today's avians.

I wanted to put my newfound knowledge to good use, and thought it would be interesting to construct something in a craft or three-dimensional setting, as opposed to just sketching. I decided to make a pair of wings—one white, one black—where each feather was made from its own bit of paper. I chose a sturdy construction-style paper to keep the feathers fairly stiff, and set about planning my wings.

I based them off of the wings of the peregrine falcon and turkey vulture, though I took some liberties with the exact structure and feather placement. To make sure each feather was the correct size and shape, I made several paper mock-ups and used them as stencils. Once I had traced each feather, I numbered them and proceeded to cut them out and assemble them. The wings are adhered together primarily with glue stick, and the feathers overlap each other, so running a finger down the length of the wing feels like descending a very shallow staircase.

To make each individual feather stand out further, I outlined each one in silver or gold pen and drew in some of the vanes to create a richer visual texture. As a final touch, I very carefully cut out curved strands of shiny blue and red plastic and adhered them to the leading edges of the outermost five primaries on each wing.
Color Theory
In my color theory class, we explored various color palettes and their uses in modules—repeating geometric patterns based on a simple square design. For the final project, we were encouraged to combine the skills and techniques we had learned in class into something larger-scale. I decided to do a branding project for a fictitious company, and developed a poster, website, and business card for them.

The first thing I did was scrap the idea of a module based on squares, because we'd been doing that for the entire class and it was growing repetitious. I designed my own module based on a triangle design instead. I wanted to explore how I could balance a large number of colors in a sophisticated and clean way, so I chose a split-complementary palette (magenta, orange, and green) with an added achromatic scale (grayscale).

I decided to use strong diagonal motion to create a series of visual "mountains" made from each of my three main colors. The diagonal motion lent itself naturally to the triangle module I had developed, and also mirrored the strokes in the "A" and "V" in the name of the company (Avalon). Each visual pathway in the "mountain" area transitions through a gradient of the chosen color, occasionally switching colors partway through. Interweaving through the colored mountains are peaks of black and gray, which help keep the colors bright while not overwhelming the viewer. I also thought it was important to keep a strong white space around the name of the company, to ensure that the main purpose of the poster wasn't swamped by the decorative elements.

When designing the website mock-up and business card, I focused on keeping the unity of the brand as cohesive as possible. I kept the color scheme and design consistent, and brought in triangles as bullet points and thumbnails to mirror the triangular nature of the brand identity as a whole.
Character Illustrations
A little over a year ago, I was commissioned by a friend to illustrate her and her friends’ characters in their Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

I drew each character in pen first, using the skills I had learned in my drawing class. In addition to a simple outline, I included quite a bit of hatching and cross-hatching, in order to create a more tactile visual texture. Once I had sketched each character to the specifications given me, I uploaded a scan to my computer and digitally watercolored them using custom Photoshop brushes.

My friend was planning on using the illustrations in a book she was compiling, and as such also wanted a custom border for each character. I had always been interested in Celtic knots, and consulted a book I had on the subject for inspiration and some technical tips. I ended up creating a one-by-two-inch rectangle for each character's border, and carefully aligned the ends of the rectangles so that I could duplicate the design and it would line up properly, and thus be tiled into whatever length my friend required.

From the left, the characters include: a fallen paladin with an enchanted vampiric sword, a cleric of a sun deity, a dwarf wizard with a bat familiar, a druid with celestial wings and power over the wind, and a human wizard from a wealthy family.
MyBivy
MyBivy is a mobile app designed to help veterans (and anyone, really) suffering from recurring nightmares get back to sleep ("bivy" is military-speak for "tent"). The app communicates with the user’s smartwatch, and can therefore monitor his or her heartbeat. If there are physiological signs that a nightmare is about to occur, the app wakes the user with an alarm before it happens.

For my part, I designed the app thumbnail (top photo) and also a web banner (below) displaying all of the news outlets that had covered the app during its development.

When I was selected to design the logo, the app's creator had several particular things in mind. He wanted a tent and a heart monitor in the design somewhere, and he preferred a blue or night theme. I focused on keeping the design as simple as possible, since app thumbnails are displayed at such small sizes. I presented him with a number of options (of which the nine on the left are a subset) that played around with a combination of colors, styles, and typefaces, and he selected the one he liked the best. We then made some small adjustments to my original design until he was happy with it, and he took it from there.

MyBivy ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 where it raised over $26,000 in a month. To learn more about the app, visit their Facebook page.


website designed by Victoria Roberts