My 2017 'Birds of a Feather' Challenge

... nearly there; only a few days left to go!

I think it’s about time I wrote about my 2017 Birds of a Feather challenge. It started on the 1st of January 2017. The challenge: Create a peacock image every day for the whole of 2017. Only eight more peacocks left to create!

Peacock illustration challenge 2017

My favourite job is logo design. I love it. I find it so hard to spend only a sensible amount of time on a logo project when we have one in the studio. Yes, the client may have only paid for three days of logo research and development – but – they always get more (don’t tell anyone!). If I didn’t need money to pay my bills and to invest in the causes I care deeply about – I’d create logos free of charge.

There are so many different ways to visualise the same thing, so the fundamental question I ask my logo design clients is “What feel do you want your logo to create in the mind of your potential customers?” – E.g., do you want it to come across as Friendly, Energetic, Creative, Professional, Serious, Trustworthy, Contemporary, Traditional and so on. They may want their business to portray a number of these traits, but the logo must focus ideally on the one essential characteristic to be effective.

I must stop rambling about logo design and get to the point of this blog – The Birds of a Feather challenge!

Day 345

Peacock illustration 345

A number of our clients say – the visual development work that goes into the production of one logo for them should be seen more widely because they find it interesting and think others would too. Demonstrating the way one idea develops into another based on their feedback and their unique business identity. Just because their business does not yet have a VISUAL identity when they come to us – it does have an IDENTITY… all we do is make that unique identity visible.

The other reason I LOVE LOGO DESIGN is, I get to ask people all about their business, why they’ve started it and where they hope to take it the future. I find discussing peoples businesses with them fascinating. Family members and colleagues think I’m nosey … I call it interested in people 🙂

Oh, I’ve rambled about logo design again! Back to the challenge.

Day 346

Peacock illustration 346

The Birds of a Feather challenge came from a rash decision I made back in October 2016. I decided that as part of our major rebrand and business name change to Pavoni Creative I’d create a peacock image every day for the whole of 2017. Pavoni is peacocks in Italian by the way.

I wanted to make the challenge difficult for myself, so I set a rule that the peacock image had to be an interpretation of the classic peacock stance – facing forward with its tail fanned out – like the picture at the top of this page. If I’d allowed myself to create peacock images with the peacock in different positions … the challenge would have been way too easy.

I wanted to be able to demonstrate:

  • how to visualise the same thing in a multitude of different ways
  • how each representation portrays a different feeling and
  • how one visual idea leads to another

There have been spin-off benefits which I didn’t plan for:

  • I’ve been sharing my daily peacock on Instagram, and it’s so interesting to see which ones are the most popular. Some of the ones that have taken 5 minutes to create are more popular than ones that took me a whole day to create!
  • The challenge has forced me to grow creatively – thinking in new ways. I’ve forced myself to carry on with the project through thick and thin, while on holiday and through some tough times of bereavement.
  • I now know the various Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator filters like the back of my hand 🙂

On the downside:

  • I’m addicted to Instagram now and
  • I’ve started hoarding things that I could make into a peacock. I’ve got a years worth of beer bottle tops waiting to be turned into a peacock any day now!

I’ve mixed feelings about the looming end of my Birds of a Feather challenge. I’ll miss it, but I’ll relish having the time back to spend on other projects.

Looking at various objects and wondering how I can turn them into peacocks has become a way of life. Its become a habit, so I don’t know if I’ll even be able to stop creating peacocks.

Maybe I’ll randomly do new peacocks when inspiration strikes. Maybe I’ll ask other people to create the peacocks this year instead. Crowdsourced peacocks 🙂 I’ve found the people around me have been an excellent source of inspiration when my creativity has taken a day off!

What challenges have you got planned for 2018? I highly recommend doing a 2018 challenge 🙂 If you’d like to take part in a 2018 outsourced peacock challenge, then send me your peacocks. The same rules apply – the representation must be of a peacock facing the camera with its tailed fanned out. Creative interpretation of this is highly encouraged 🙂

Day 298

Peacock illustration 298

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