Thursday, January 31, 2013

Better Chemistry Through Artwork

Exploring Science in Design

As artists, it is really important that we venture outside of our comfort level and look for inspiration in a multitude of places. DeviantART is a great place to find all sorts of different types of art that are as different or similar to your own as you can imagine. Beyond the arts, it’s good to look to other fields of study and other thought processes for creative insight. Bringing in elements from unconventional fields of inspiration can really broaden your audience and help make your art a rich experience for all who view it.

This shirt was designed with science in mind. I often study science books and watch nature shows for ideas to bring into my work. Better Chemistry is a nod to the science of chemistry and its beautiful visuals. This illustration can be worn while meticulously testing out your artistic ideas and solving your creative theories. Be an alchemist of art! Explore with your art tools and document the journey. Remember to show your work ;)

One morning, I was experimentally building sculptures with a molecular model set for organic chemistry. I thought it would be great to build a molecule chain that looked like a cluster of characters connected in these chainlike ways.

These characters are fun, but a bit grimy and not clean like these orbs were. Suddenly, I had an epiphany when I made the molecules look like the letters “dA.” I was super excited about this realization, but it needed something more. Sometimes, though, all you need is a spark to send you down what will prove to be the path to a breathtaking work of art.

While building this entire collection, I was working with =tonybricker, who I know to be a science-loving artist as well. I did a quick sketch for him of “dA” as a periodic table element. Whether for inspiration or to tool with until he went down a different road of his own, I’m not sure, but this would go on to be the basis of the graphic, and the other ideas floating around like molecules in our heads would be shelved for future use.

Our science-meets-art conversations went back and forth as we did more sketches to develop this new idea. We looked at the Periodic Table of Elements and researched how scientists have used it over time, even delving into how scientific illustrators themselves have tackled this topic historically. Research is fun when you’re interested in the subject matter and inspired by the outcome of your project.

It made sense for this design to be super clean and straightforward with a devious twist. We added a tagline that we’d come up with along the way, too.

From the sketchbook, the graphic went digital, and it was time to talk about color. Since we were dealing with science, we did want the color scheme to be “serious.” We explored many colorways and landed on grey and red. As you can see in our Shop and in the pictures below, both the grey-on-red and the red-on-grey T-Shirt versions are rich and vibrant without being too flashy. The Hoodie in blue followed, and we went with a colorway a bit cooler in temperature but just as strong.

It’s always a suspenseful time when we’re finished with our design and send it off to the printer. Will the end result come out looking like the vision in our heads?

The models donned the clothing at the shoot, and we were able to really appreciate the finished product. Success! Which colorway is your favorite?

Check out the Better Chemistry Through Artwork Hoodie here. Also, shop both colorways of the Better Chemistry Through Artwork T-Shirts here.