Process: Initial sketch to final vector artwork

Initial sketch for client approval, before creating finished vector artwork

In the process of revamping my portfolio website, inevitably some things didn't quite fit or were cut to make room for newer projects. In a quest to pare down to a minimal approach, I focussed on primarily showing the finished, polished work I produce. However, I do think that it is still useful to show some of the process involved in producing the work I create.

The image above shows very simply the method I have gone through to produce a finished vector illustration. This particular piece is the third in a series of illustrations done for Edwards Estate Agents on the theme 'One thing I love about Bristol...' - see more about the project here - and celebrates all the areas of green space around the city using the idea of "Green Pockets".

At the sketch stage I began by drawing out ideas and iconic elements relating to each park or area of green space, with these elements centred around a particular pocket. Then, in Photoshop, I pieced together my sketches to work as an overall composition, the format in this instance to fit an A6 postcard size flyer.

You can see in the original sketch I included the names of each area typographically, when it came to the final artwork I felt there was already enough going on in the image and that it was good to leave something for the viewer to work out, so left them out

Most illustrators will work in this way. It makes absolute sense to sketch first to fully work out the idea, and also so that a client can have a sense of what the finished piece will look like. The image will often develop in the process of creating the finished artwork, but is certainly the best way to start!