I thought itd be fun to track the process behind creating the designs for the greek gods project I'm working on. I ended up starting with Hermes because he is an old favorite of mine. There were a lot of sketches leading up to this overall look but here's a glimpse at the rough sketches once I settled on his design.


I wanted him to feel light and airy so I kept him pretty lean without a lot of bulky muscles. When I think of people flying I almost always go to the superman pose in my head. Instead I tried to think of people that seem to defy gravity, acrobats, gymnists, ect. I remembered watching videos of skateboarders in animation class and that caught my attention. They seem to suspend themselves in the air during tricks so I really honed in on them when coming up with poses. I thought it was pretty appropriate. He's one of the younger Olympian gods so I wanted him to feel more youthful and the skateboarding influence really reinforced his childish nature. 

For his costuming I wanted so keep it pretty clean. I was playing with the idea of him carrying a bag or something to visually show him as a messenger but ultimately I felt it was too heavy handed and just made him feel cluttered/weighed down.... not really what I was going for. Instead I focused more of the traveling aspect of his myths. I gave him the classic winged sandals and designed him caduceus as more of a walking stick. Game of Thrones has so many amazing costumes I always find myself using them as a reference. The traveling cloak is based off of Jaime Lannisters' costume when he decides to go north at the end of season 8 (sorry for the spoiler). I loved its simplicity and the way it fashioned off to one side instead of at the center. For the color palette I went with gold. While I was doing my research I found a couple of sources that had gods associated with certain colors. Hermes was associated with gold. I'll continue to give each god/goddess a dominant color in their designs but I probably wont go full monochromatic. 


Sending Lots of Love


Heres a little walk through of the process. I start out with rough thumbnail sketches. I was brainstorming and thinking of valentines related puns. Honestly most of them were centered around cats like "you're purrrrfect".... but I did cat themed valentines last year. So I ended up focusing of the snail mail aspect. The whole point was to make people feel special by getting a surprise in the mail and people my age just don't send letters.

Once I got the rough idea down I gathered a lot of reference of vintage mail uniforms, classic letter packaging, and the singing telegram lady from Clue (because I like her outfit but also that's just a great movie). Then I went digital and sketched out a cleaner version in Photoshop. When I was happy with that I moved onto flat colors. For this color palette I wanted it to have lots of pinks and reds for a rosy look. When the flat color was done I duplicated the layer. So I had two layers, the first flat color layer and the identical copied version on top. On the copied layer I locked my pixels (its the little checkerbox icon about your layer panel). That basically just creates a mask so I can only draw within the preexisting pixels. So then I just painted in my light. For this I used a warmer/desaturated purple for the shadows and a soft light pink for the highlight. Then I set the new light layer to overlay and adjusted the opacity down a bit. Then I just added some line work to my letters and put in my background color. 

(that little guy is the pixel lock icon)

(that little guy is the pixel lock icon)

I had them printed. I cut them out and stuffed them into some envelopes with stickers (who doesn't love stickers). I have pretty unattractive handwriting so I thought I'd go the extra mile and do some fancy lettering. After all the envelope is the first thing they see when they get the letter so I wanted it to be a little work of art on its own. Honestly I spent waaaaaaay too much time addressing the cards. I split it up over a couple of nights but it was still a lot of time. I wanted the envelopes to look similar to the one I had drawn on the card itself so I sealed them with stickers from Target designed by Alison Black. 

It was a blast crafting these little cards and so rewarding! I loved getting photos from my buddies with them and their card. Its just nice to know you helped put a smile on someones face.