Chicago Dubstep Connect is a small and relatively new company which promotes live dubstep performances in the greater Chicagoland area. Their goal is to reach people who love dubstep and enjoy going to concerts frequently.
Two days ago, CDC requested a background for their Twitter and Youtube accounts. I had pretty much completed the project when I decided to reformat it into a wallpaper in addition to the social media design request. Last Christmas my dad gave me my first tablet, a Wacom Bamboo. I've found that it's actually harder to use than drawing with a pencil because you can't look down and see what you're hand is doing. I'm saving up for a Cintiq but who knows when I'll be able to get that =/. Anyhow, in order to get better at using my tablet I put my mouse back in the box and put the box in my closet. This project definitely helped me get better at digital painting and lighting.
I always approach my projects as a problem or puzzle that it's my job to solve. So when you're creating a background for someone's Twitter/Youtube, what's the problem? There isn't much one can communicate through this medium, as it is not dynamic or interactive, nor is it usually very specific. So what should a Twitter background do? What CAN a Twitter background do? To answer this, I looked at over 100 Twitter accounts for well-known brands. Many had backgrounds with minimalist design and a small amount of contact information. Some just used a simple color-scheme or even one of the design options provided by Twitter. Eventually I came to the conclusion that this project would be mostly aesthetic in its nature.
With that in mind, I wanted to create an aesthetic that projected the emotions that CDC wants to use to connect with their target audience. If you take a look at some of the photos on CDC's Facebook page, you'll see that the people at CDC like to party. Since the client and the target audience both enjoy nighttime activities, I wanted to show this and evoke a positive emotional response through humor. Since the age bracket for the target audience ranges from late adolescence through the mid-twenties, I was allowed be more adult, but less mature, in my approach. Humor in this age bracket is often a derivative of shock-value, so I wanted the result to be something that would reject traditional, more conservative values.
The end result is the main focus, Chicago Dubstep Connect, in appealing and eye-catching typographic neon signage with a woman passed out on the sidewalk below. The marker all over her body and the empty bottle next to her implies that she's had a rough night. Her role in this project depicts "that one time" that the target audience can relate to when they've had a little too much. Thus, the target audience can connect with CDC in a more personal way.
Tools: Photoshop CS5 Extended, Wacom Bamboo tablet
Stock (Neon signage): [link]
Stock (curb and wall): [link]
Stock (girl and outlet): [link]
Case Study: [link]
Note: the preview is the final composition as seen on my Behance account. Unfortunately the work itself doesn't get any bigger than this, as it is intended for screen display. As the wallpaper sizes increase the street simply keeps going in both directions. I do kinda wish I would've done this at 300 dpi; this would be a sweet t-shirt/poster
UPDATE: Finally reworked the background, which was too dark. It took me a while to get around to doing something about it because I didn't expect that such a subtle change would have such a big impact! I'm glad I finally got around to it though. I found that by adding just a little bit of light in the right places, the piece as a whole became much more whole. And not only that, but the light also helps increase the impact of the work itself by allowing it to flow into the darkness and become much more grand in its expression. Well worth the effort!