Stefani Wilkens
Stefani Wilkens | Graphic Designer


A Work In Progress No. 1

Welcome back!

This week I wanted to kick off a series of sorts that looks into some of the projects I'm currently tackling. My thought is that these glimpses into the projects I have underway will give you a greater understanding of my creative process and potentially spark some ideas of your own!

That being said, the project I want to share with y'all today is a unique one that's near and dear to my heart. I have a client who's in the process of starting a wellness company that focuses in on the benefits of sleep and constructive rest. I'll be creating the branding, website, and printed marketing materials, as well as helping out with any other needs that may pop up as the company grows and expands. 

Today I want to focus on one aspect of this project in particular. My client asked that I create a series of five images that illustrate various restorative poses for the body. She wanted the end result to be soothing and meditative with a hint of sensuality and reflective of the calming atmosphere of the company's physical space. We decided early on that all the illustrations would feature the female form, as it is a woman-owned company that partners primarily with other female-led businesses. 

The first step in my process involved deciding what I wanted the collection to look like. I began sourcing imagery of the various poses, taking photos of friends who were kind enough to demonstrate the different postures, and pulling inspiration from various forms of illustration. Once I had a picture in my mind's eye, I began to sketch. This was quite the process, as anyone who's ever taken a figure drawing class well knows. I went through two different pads of tracing paper before I had even come close to completing the first few images.


Once I had a series of sketches that I was happy with, I set about simplifying each image – I didn't want them to be over-embellished. Using Micron pens, I traced the outlines of the figures I had drawn, adding in areas of shadow until I had a base illustration that depicted the physical pose as well as the essence of the company. Once I was happy with the state of these illustrations I scanned them into the computer and began cleaning them up in Illustrator. This was quite a heavy task, as every single anchor point has to be exactly placed in order for the digital image to reflect the same feeling as my hand-drawn illustrations.

Finally, I had a complete set of illustrations to show the client. She had been involved at regular intervals throughout the process so I knew she'd like the images, but it was a whole different feeling to see her eyes light up when I handed her the printouts of the final series. I could tell immediately that I had hit the mark, and that's worth all the praise in the world.

I assure you there will be more updates as this project progresses! Be sure to check back regularly to see all the latest and greatest.

Are you an illustrator? What's your process? Do you have any tips or tricks you'd be willing to share? If so, feel free to leave a comment and let all of us know all of your secrets!