Design Challenge One: Janel Maske

Roads to Doha / 10" x 10"

Roads to Doha / 10″ x 10″

Roads to Doha / detail

Roads to Doha / detail

Roads to Doha / solid coordinates

Roads to Doha / solid coordinates

J Maske head shot

This first challenge gave me a great excuse to spend hours and hours on Google Earth. I love exploring the world by satellite!! I wanted to go far far away from my cold snow-covered world here in the midwest. After poking around in China, Japan, Australia, and some teeny tiny islands with sheep on them, I got caught up in the deserts of the middle east. I especially loved all the man-made islands in the Persian Gulf, but just could not translate them into a design I was happy with. So I turned inland at Qatar. I thought the small villages looked pretty neat from the sky, but what really caught my eye was the system of highways. It’s long stretches of graceful roads intersected with lots of roundabouts and ramps that go to places that haven’t even been built yet. And every one is different! highway 1 highway 2

After playing around with the layout for a bit, I settled on a vertical pattern with a half drop repeat. I drew the whole pattern out in pencil. Usually for a geometric design like this I would plot it out in Illustrator, but I just wasn’t having fun. So I got out my t-square and triangles and circle templates and had a blast! It reminded me of drafting class in high school (best class ever). I then scanned it into Photoshop, and fully intended to trace over it in Illustrator to make it all nice and neat. But then I said “nuts to that!” and decided to play up the roughness of the pencil. I found that I really liked the way the layers of color over and under the pencil marks looked like roughed up paint.

Island photoI usually find choosing color schemes to be really hard (there are just so many choices!!) so I tried a dozen or so, and finally settled on one that actually kind of matches the region. The water in the Persian Gulf is this strikingly beautiful blue, with shallow areas of bright turquoise.

Thanks for checking out my design! I had a lot of fun creating it!

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11 comments on “Design Challenge One: Janel Maske

  1. Cool fun geometric design! Love that you kept the rough lines… They look great :D

  2. Wow, this is so very interesting… I loved reading about how you came up with your design. I’ve been following this whole thing with interest– my godmother is Jonathan’s mom :) and I saw her post a link to this on FB, so here I am! Best to you, Janel :)

  3. JoAnn Maske on said:

    I would love anything your creative heart designs! Your process was so interesting to read because it gave a true picture of your enthusiastic passion for design….I also love the thought behind the color scheme:)

  4. wow. this abstract is really striking. i love the colors and almost painterly quality. really beautiful, janel!

  5. Rebecca on said:

    Your design is really interesting and definitely caught my eye!

  6. I love the feel of your design! The rough look really adds interest. I enjoyed hearing about your process and the way you came up with your colors.

  7. This is great. I agree with everyone about the bit of roughness, it adds just enough grit to make it really special.

  8. Janel Maske on said:

    Aw, thank you for all your nice comments!!

  9. A researcher after my own heart! It’s hard not to get lost in it. You did a great job filtering. This design is so sophisticated and not like something I have already seen!

  10. Tasha on said:

    Very creative! And I love the colors too.

  11. Ellen Kuber on said:

    Loved the contemporary feel, its sophisticated quirkiness, with space to breathe – a great stripe-alternative. The colors are easy to live with.

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