The first part of the project was a photo essay. We had to shoot a minimum of 75 photos and then narrow it down 12 photos and post it on a 15×20 illustration board. The photos had to be printed and not altered. My subject was street art in NYC. I’ve always been fascinated and passionate about and NYC is the perfect place for that. I think that street art is one of the most beautiful things about NY and also very misunderstood. Even when I’m in a rush if I come across murals I will stop and stare. This was a really interesting and exciting project to work on because it was very inspiring and fun. So it didn’t seem like work, more like an adventure. It was really exciting to find new pieces. The photo essay was incredibly inspiring that I decided to carry it onto my next project where we had to make a book.
From this essay I began working on my Street Art book. The book had to be non-adhesive and 16 pages. I wanted to make a book inspired by the beautiful street art that lives in our backyard. Banksy said “People become cops to make the world a better place. People become vandals to make the world a better looking place.” This was a powerful quote that really aims at the misconceptions about street art. I wanted to make a book that showed the beauty of street art, the beautiful colors, patterns and illustrations. I started looking up different types of folded books and photo collages. I decided to draw NYC city and then use the photos I had taken and clip them behind the buildings to build a colorful bright city with street art from all over the city. Imagine a world with color. Because of this concept I decided to go with an accordion fold where the book would open to a landscape of NYC.
After all my research I had to go digital to create the city illustration and edit the photos. I made several rounds of mockups. One issue that I came across in the beginning was that each image was gigantic and I had about 15 images and (I needed a total of 25-30 images) my file was already 3 gigabytes! (Yikes). Then I had to start over but luckily it was early in enough that I didn’t really panic. Another issue I came across was how to make the images look cohesive with all these different patterns and colors.
Some images that I really loved had to be take out because it didn’t go with the color palette. I was a little bummed but I’m sure I’ll be able to use the images for other projects. For the back pages I included the actual images of the street art so whoever bought the book can put have a souvenir of the actual art piece. After the mockups and various versions it was time to fine tune the placement of each image which was incredibly gruesome but all worth it in the end and narrowing the images used.
And now the Final Piece!
And folded (Front) & (Back)
I was happy with the way the piece turned out. Even though the city was made up of so many different images it somehow remained cohesive and powerful. The entire process was a great adventure and only fueled the fire for my love of street art.