Greetings From Paris

I originally did this illustration in 2015 as part of a very old-school graphic design exercise- When I say 'old school', I mean... We weren't allowed to use computers, but we could use paper, pencil, ink, and Copic markers. We were timed, given various cliche reference photos of France in the form of an overhead projector that paused on each photo for about 3 minutes before going to the next one so that was a *fun* challenge), given print outs of the type specimen we were allowed to use, and told to make a poster for the city of Paris. The print out of the type was intended to be traced, a thing I was NOT a fan of (I think tracing is a huge cop-out when you can just draw your own version of what's needed.) 

Our professor circled the desks like a shark, doling out precious advice to us scrambling designers. 7 minutes in I thought the assignment was a ridiculous throw-away, something I would never put in my portfolio. How can I complete a drawing and add type by hand when my reference photo won't stay still?? Frustrated, I started with a lacy line drawing of the Eiffel Tower because an impression of such a complex structure was all I got in 3 minute increments,  at least it gave French vibes with its brush stroke-exaggerated curls and implied lines. Next, I added my hand drawn type wishing I could take my time.

Finally, the professor came to my desk, he said nothing, which usually either meant he was curious to see how you could save such a failure of an assignment, or that you're doing a good job. Eventually he said, "You'll need to add a background, and try adding the French flag somewhere" and walked away. Even more frantic than before he came up to my desk, I thought "I do not like this flag comment, how can I add the flag without adding y'know, a flag? More importantly how can I get away with a background in so little time?" I took a risk (because this isn't on a computer, there's no 'undo' or 'command z' with Copic markers and ink) and decided to kill two birds with one stone; the background would be the flag. I didn't need the projector of reference images anymore. Blue sky (maybe it's not the same blue as in the flag but hey the idea is there), white fluffy clouds draped in the center, and a bold red, chunky chisel tip marker sunset, splashed at the bottom.