Over the years, I've come to develop a very minimal aesthetic with my designs (see my first two games). While I'm happy that I can boil things down to simple geometry and pull it off, I've always had trouble with simplifying and stylizing the real world. Lately, I've been consuming a lot of content created by Kevin Dart's studio Chromosphere and illustrator James Gilleard, and they've truly inspired me to figure out how to push my style while still retaining its minimal qualities. After analyzing their work, I've come up with what I think makes their pieces so successful, and what I myself want to learn.
They keep their work very geometric.
They tend to utilize straight lines, sometimes even perfect 0°/45°/90° angles, and curves based on perfect circles. James Gilleard especially seems to work off of a grid, which I myself have never tried. Working with these guidelines in mind ensures that the work always feels well designed and cohesive. I say guidelines because sometimes they will add in "off" angles or non-perfectly circular curves, and because of the limited use, it helps to diversify the composition.
They utilize texture.
Whether its some slight noise, full-blown grunge, or even jagged outlines of shapes, all of their pieces have some level of texture/abnormality to it. A little noise goes a long way.
They have a vast understanding of lighting and colour.
Adding a light source to your work (whether on or off camera, real or fake) can help to dictate a lot of how your scene looks. It can also dictate your colour palette. Speaking of colours, I've noticed that each and every piece of work they do has a very solid colour palette which elevates the work on a whole. Each colour they use feels deliberate.
I've decided that I want to practice these techniques by doing studies of real-life pictures, my first attempt seen below. Using my own photography, my goals are to learn how to abstract and stylize things/change how I see the world. I'll start to utilize grids and grow accustomed to making things in a geometric fashion. I'll also expand my colour vocabulary learning from real life lighting. I'll continue to do these for as long as I can/need to, or until I come up with a new project to help me grow.
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