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R: A Junior Design Students - Narrative Character by Madi Gubser (2019)

This illustration is based on a short story I wrote in English class about a daughter looking at various pictures of her now sick mother throughout her life, whilst also reflecting on the hardships her mother faced before she fell sick. We were then instructed to create a mash up of different animals to resemble our main characters. The animals I chose were a raccoon, bat, bird, and a fox. The raccoon represents anxiety, which is something the mother struggles with frequently. The bat wings illustrate the strong feelings of isolation that both the mother and daughter experience because of the mother’s condition. The bird claws symbolize the strength that runs through the mother’s veins, and the fox ears and tail demonstrate adaptability, which is a necessity for those struggling with diseases/illnesses.

The project started out with a class brainstorm of traits that our main characters possessed, and then a few sketches of our background that our creature would be in based on our story setting. After we had our backgrounds established, we then compiled different images from online to construct our room and then put them together in Photoshop, which we then transferred to Adobe Illustrator to outline. We then did a similar process for our creatures, gathering different animal photos to combine in Photoshop and then moved on to Illustrator. In Illustrator, I used the paint tool to give my raccoon a fuzzy exterior, and used various gradients on the bed frame, windows, and table based on the light source. Related website
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