A Look Inside the LIB 2019 Official Artwork!
February 25th, 2019 - Caroline Cantrall
Art and innovation lies at the center of everything we at Do LaB believe in. From our online promotions, to our music lineup, to the large-scale structures that we make – creativity is the common denominator in all our efforts.
Every festival season, we set sail on the campaign high seas with a vision for what that year’s Lightning in a Bottle art direction will be. The official art is one piece, but its elements set the tone for the remaining artwork leading up to the festival – including the lineup, email newsletter, printed festival guides, and more.
In years past, the official art for Lightning in a Bottle has been created by artists outside of the Do LaB team. Artist Roy Huerta, who draws idyllic scenes on festival dance floors, dreamt up last year’s official art masterpiece. Preceding him we’ve worked with the likes of Tycho/ISO50, Hans Walor, Locust, and many more.
This year, however, we decided to look within. Over here at Do LaB HQ, we are extremely blessed to be surrounded by a community of creatives, dreamers, free-thinkers, and visionaries—and the boss-man of our design department is, of course, no exception. Get to know Chris Hong, our Senior Designer, in this brief interview where he discusses this year’s art inspiration and the process that went along with creating it.
What was the inspiration behind this year’s official art?
Do LaB and Lightning in a Bottle’s core creative drive is to produce innovative designs to share with our community, and I wanted to execute the key art in a way that we haven’t done before for previous official art. We knew we wanted to execute the concept graphically, and I came up with the idea of creating vector illustrations of festival elements and composing them together to form an overall image. It wasn’t until later in the creative process that I settled on the idea of making that image a lightning bolt: a symbol that would set the tone for the festival’s visual. We then drew inspiration from traditional architectural and topographic drawings and the artistic and creative direction for LIB 2019 was born.
I drew inspiration from various artists and designers with different styles: YoAz’s exceptional design style of combining geometric shapes and elements to form a larger image, Rafael Araujo’s use of math and numbers to build the framework of an element, creating lines that would provide the basis of the art, and Fugstrator’s style of creating vector illustrations and applying paper textures and highlight/shadow leading to graphic and dimensional outputs
How did you choose the elements and what was the process of creating this year’s art?
Choosing the elements to showcase in the key art was quite simple because I based the decision on elements and areas from Lightning in a Bottle 2018 – stages, art installations, structures, dancers and performers. However, choosing which elements would work together in terms of composition and color story was a bit more challenging.
I enlisted help from two of my designer friends Nicolette Connell and Marcelo Pereira, who have previously worked with me on Lightning in a Bottle 2018 and Dirtybird Campout East 2018. We split the illustrations to create in Adobe Illustrator with Nicolette tackling the interactive performers, Marcelo adding vector textures, and me creating the Do LaB structures like Lilikoi and Swizzle Sticks. I also finished and finessed the elements, picking the best stylistic and geometric elements to include that can tie all assets together, as well as creating the overall color story that would create a cohesive design. It wasn’t easy but after a lot of tweaking here and there, and playing around with different placements and ideas, we landed with strong layout and added shadows and textures in Adobe Photoshop.
In 2018, Do LaB outsourced the creation of the key art to a fellow artist within the LIB community. How do you compare creating LIB’s official art in-house versus commissioning and collaborating with an artist to interpret the rest of the campaign’s artwork?
Working with Roy Huerta and his beautiful artwork was an honor and the resulting designs were a big success. The advantage of creating the official artwork in-house this year has been having full creative control over the execution of the art. This has lead to a simpler process of passing ideas back and forth between the design team and the company’s founders, the Flemming brothers, which allowed things to progress quickly.
Check out more of Chris’ art in his online portfolio.
For fun, check out the original concept sketch of the piece!