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Initially, I used graphic design to create design comps prior to designing a website. At University I used it to create a range of work for course assignments and an internship I had on campus. Eventually that skillset migrated to freelance work for web design, branding, logos, collateral for print campaigns, and t-shirt designs for events.


Nowadays I use it to create digital renderings for proposed design concepts prior to answering calls for art, painting murals, or creating commissions.



In the original intuitive painting, design decisions were dictated almost entirely based on elements from the abstract mark making phase. At first the end result was a mystery; I did not know how my finished piece would look. With the sidewalk mural, I would know how the finished piece would look before beginning it because it would be based on the digital rendering. 


When creating the rendering in Adobe Illustrator, I stayed true to the original painting, with only minor changes to the overall look. 


Design Decisions


First, I decided it would look odd to crop the figure in the way she was painted on the canvas so I created the rest of her lower body to match the upper half. 


Since the figure was going to be located in Downtown Raleigh, I chose not to paint her in a bikini, opting instead for a tank top because it more realistically reflects attire seen in the area especially in warmer summer temperatures. 


In the painting the bikini was white. For the tank top, I chose yellow because I like bright colors and thought the yellow would work well with the rest of the colors in the scene as well as her accessories and the primary colors of her hair and lips. 


To complete the rest of her outfit, I considered pants, shorts, capris, yoga style leggings, or a skirt (long or short) as options. All would have worked. I chose a skirt. After completing the design I realized it could also be interpreted as a dress and that is okay too.  The pattern is just random shapes using colors from other areas of the painting.  Since she was wearing a skirt I chose heels ruling out flip-flops and sandals because I have trouble drawing/painting feet.


I simplified the background it using large areas of flat color as suggested. I almost chose not to put in the water but then remembered North Carolina does have hilly areas, mountains, and bodies of water. In fact, my first thought went to Lake Johnson Park only a short drive from downtown Raleigh.


The last design decision I had to make was what could she be doing? For me, it had to be something I would see people actually doing. As I thought about it I walked around downtown and observed people on the street and in coffee shops. 


Headphones were the first things that caught my attention. I first considered painting them on her ears but decided it would change her hairstyle and I really liked that. Then I considered putting them around her neck and immediately ruled that thinking it would detract from her form. I considered putting the headphones in each hand, making it appear like she was holding them up to her ears. But again, thought doing so would detract from her form. In the original painting, she was holding an object in her right hand so that seemed like a logical place.


I put a phone in her left hand because everywhere I looked people were holding phones. 


Since she was not wearing or holding the headphones to her ears, I added the music notes to reinforce the idea she was listening to music.


After I completed the digital rendering I loved that version of her too.  In fact, I was so excited with the way she turned out; I could see her appearing in future projects.

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