Original artwork, poster design

Flow State Poster Series

Self Initiated
Exploring a new creative process

When designing, I often find myself trying to create and edit at the same time, which is not a healthy process for any artist; things can’t always be perfect on the first try. To break myself out of this pattern, I’ve explored several different methods to keep self-critique out of the creative phase, from imposing severe time limits to disabling the undo command. 

This poster series is the result of one of those explorations. This time, I chose to use an image-making process that I could influence but not completely control, ensuring that I could not get caught up trying to fine tune every detail in the middle of trying to create.

The actual image-making process is surprisingly simple. There is no 3D work or rendering involved. It’s just a computer screen filled with color, an old glass bottle, a phone camera, and lots of Photoshop. The hands-on nature of the process — literally camera in one hand, bottle in the other — lends itself to focused exploration, twisting the bottle, camera, and monitor every which way to see what new and unpredictable image would result, turning lights on and off to create different reflections. Eventually I turned the process back in on itself, putting some of the resulting images on screen and distorting them again.

Four unused and unprocessed photos

I selected four of the resulting images for post-processing. With no specific end goal in mind, I decided to see where they would take me. I ended up leaning further into abstraction, wildly altering the colors and cropping out any clue as to the actual subject of the image. 

When I was satisfied with the images, it was time to lay out the posters. To contrast with the energy and chaos of the imagery, I decided to go with something simple and structured. Eventually I landed on a look that reminded me of old magazine editorials, with rule lines dividing clear blocks of type. Studio Triple’s typeface Jaune was a perfect match, combining sans serif construction with a fluidity that matched the images. 

The title came at the end, as I realized that the combination of a tactile process and exploratory workflow had induced a flow state a couple of times over my sessions creating the imagery. This is something I want to further explore as a creative tool in the future.