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Spiraling Downward Illustration: A Junior Design Students - Narrative Character by Sydney Tomasello (2019)

This illustration is based on the short story I wrote called “Spiraling Downward,” a story in which a young man named Spencer going to his weekly visit with his best friend, Stephen, in prison. The scene illustrated here is the visitation room of said prison, where Spencer is waiting to talk to Stephen. The creature in this scene represents Spencer, with a combination of animals relating to his personality traits. The majority of the body is a panther, which represents Spencer’s calm, but calculating overall personality. The creature also has a raccoon tail and the wing of a raven, demonstrating how Spencer is clever. On top of the panther head, there are ram horns, demonstrating the personality trait of being strong headed. The panther legs were replaced with frog legs in order to show how Spencer is wanting to change his life, as his conflict is his complacency. I chose these specific combinations to give insight on the primary characteristics of Spencer, showing that he his a calm, calculating, and clever person.

This entire project began in English class, where we were given the assignment of writing a short story about whatever we desired. I developed the story “Spiraling Downward,” through the process of brainstorming, peersharing, and revising. Then in Design, we decided on the scene that we wanted to depict, and chose what animals we could combine to make a creature to best represent our character. We then went to the internet and compiled images that were the objects in our scenes and the animals in our creature. Then, in Photoshop, we combined all of the images to make the background and the creature. They were then imported into Illustrator where we began to trace the different sections using the pen tool. After creating the two separately, I combined the two images together, and added drop shadows to make the image look more dimensional and create a smoother transition of creature to background. Related website
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