At the end of September I helped Impact Arts and Bike For Good create six large scale banners for the Women on Wheels Festival. Bike For Good requested an outdoor artwork which would be displayed at their Glasgow South Hub. The banners would show different types of cycling, be inclusive and celebrate the range of women who are in the community and using active travel. I was delighted to have an opportunity to showcase my work for a local charity in my own neighbourhood and do something on a very large scale. The six banners cover nearly 30 metres of wall space! Since the banners needed to be printed so large, I decided to scan drawings and finish the images in Illustrator to ensure maximum quality. Drawings were made on A4 paper and scanned at 3200 dpi to retain the texture of the felt pen lines.
The biggest challenge was the size and format of the images - long and skinny (the height is 80 centimetres, compared to a length of 4.5 metres). What worked in the end was having several figures or elements to fill the length and keep the eye moving along. When I used to work at Geist magazine, we would joke about using "jaunty angles" to help along a layout. When in doubt, tilt.
Another challenge was using Illustrator, which is a programme I haven't used in a work capacity for many years. It's amazing how skills and technical knowledge can lay dormant but with some practice you begin to remember. Mental muscle memory?
I enjoy the process of whittling down an initial sketch into something that works for the client. There are elements of the first pencil drawings still in the final banners, but the final result is very much a team effort. I'm happy my cheeky ducks in the rain made the final cut. I stuck my neck out on that image, but really wanted to do something more abstract and comment on the joys of Glasgow weather!