Revisiting an old illustration - my creative process

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: my first paid illustration job was creating illustrations for a chocolate bar collection.
To be honest it wasn’t as much a paid job as it was a contest and I won the first prize. Nonetheless, it was the first time I was paid for something I drew and that was a big deal.

This was back in 2012. I was finishing my master’s degree and used portuguese idiomatic expressions as an inspiration for the project. If you don’t speak portuguese you won’t be able to tell but in the illustration, the boy is saying “I fell in love with you“. That’s why he’s hurt. How clever am I?

Anyway, back to the present. I decided to revisit this project and see how much I’ve evolved over the last few years. Let me tell you a little bit about my creative process.

illustration process.jpg

I still like the original colors so I decided to keep them quite similar changing only the green to a teal colour I really like and the brown turned into dark blue to better fit the palette.


One thing I knew I wanted to do differently was the lettering. As you may know, I really like experimenting with it and I take any chance I get to practice.
I started with some classic calligraphy. It was supposed to be as if the kid wrote it. But I felt that it didn’t match the illustration I was creating. I wanted it to feel funny and light and that just didn’t match with the classical approach.
I decided to play with the words a bit more and ended up with a mix of styles I was happy with. The word love is where I kept the emphasis. Because nothing is more important than love. Right?

Lettering process

Lettering process

It was very fun to recreate the character. I wanted him to have this “I couldn’t help it. Sorry, not sorry!“ expression and I think I was able to achieve that with his tilted head / shrugging shoulder / raised hand combination.
I had a blast trying to convey more personality to this guy through the details like the air and arm plaster.

then and now_illustration comparison.jpg

All in all, this was a great challenge!
Sometimes I feel stuck in my work like I’m not evolving enough but remaking this illustration helped me see how far I’ve come.