The Design of BUSCEMAY

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BUSCEMAY is officially over. I think a good estimate is that we watched 90% of the things we set out to watch and I honestly feel that is was a pretty good effort on our end. I didn’t believe that it would be as difficult as it turned out to be to watch some TV and movies but the planning of it all around our regular viewing schedule turned out to be quite strenuous. In the end we failed on a few fronts but came away with this as being a big success.

Now enough of that mumbo-jumbo. I wanted to write this blog post quite a while ago but I never had the time with all of that movie watching I had to endure. I would like to go through a quick rundown of the design of the calendar and portrait for y’all. Hit the jump and come for a ride with me.

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I’ll start with the portrait. This started as a simple one-color project that we thought we would just throw some text under and pop it up on here. After I got done with the initial look I decided to get fancy and try something I hadn’t done before: color. I’ve done color illustrations before but never like this. Generally when I get out the Wacom I am just doodling or something. Nothing too fancy. It usually involves me just sticking to one or two colors and never THIS much illustration work. I soon decided to just jump in head first and see what happens. At the very least I’d have the black & white version to fall back upon.

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Above you can see the evolution of the illustration. It really did start out simple and just keep building until it became something that I hadn’t imagined. All of this is hand drawn. No simply clicking “live trace” in illustrator. It does have that feel but I assure you that the amount of hours I spent creating each little leaf and line in his face reflects a level of work that Live Trace can’t quite replicate.

Once the portrait was settled on and nearing it’s final stages I turned my attentions to the calendar. When we decided to go whole-hog on this thing I knew right away what I wanted to do. No more would simple graphics suffice. I remember seeing these old Marvel calendars from the 1975 that matched up with 2014’s dates and I wanted to use them as a reference. (1975 Marvel Calendar on Andertoons Cartoon Blog)

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As you can see from the link above I had some pretty excellent reference material to work with. It really provided me with a good base and I like to think I didn’t just straight-up copy it, but I added my own flair to it. The design of the calendar was fairly straight forward but it was more of a problem figuring out which movies/TV to select and where to place them. Steve Buscemi is actually in a lot of stuff! I couldn’t believe it when we did our initial research but that turned out to be a good thing because it gave us a LOT of great material to work with. We decided to begin and end with some of our favorites: Big Fish and Airheads to start us off and then 30 Rock and The Big Lebowski to cap it all off.

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I created a nice title with a bit more color in it to accent the calendar and bring it together with the portrait. I used the AW Conquerer type family for the whole calendar. I felt that after working with it just a little bit that it had a nice illustrative feel for the header and it worked very well with the overall feel of the project.

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The images within the days of the week were all stills from the movies/TV and the were given a simple halftone pattern to keep with the illustrative feel. The AW Conqueror type family was used for the dates as well and I emphasized some dates just to help break up the monotony of the calendar. It was one of those little touches that the Marvel calendar did that I really liked and wanted to bring over to this as well.

Overall BUSCEMAY worked out great for us. It had us watching some things we hadn’t seen or wouldn’t normally watch. It also had us rediscovering some movies we hadn’t seen in a long time and it made us really appreciate all of his characters on a new level. I am already looking forward to next May when we can do it all over again.

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