The Adventures of Cindy Li
FOWD 07 New York: Beautifying the web with Illustration
November 20 , 2007
Once upon a time…
I was asked to do presentation on Illustration at the Future of Web Design in New York. Time flew by and November was here in a blink of an eye.
Walking into the conference venue was a bit nerve racking. This was the first time I’ve been in front of a crowd of people alone. The venue was in a glass area of the conference center and the sun was shining as we overlooked the water to New Jersey. The screen for the projector was being out shined by the sun. I tried to convince more people to either come up with a cloud/rain dance or combine all our jackets to create a large tarp so we could block out the sun. No dice. The sun did start changing once I got on stage, I almost started with “Imagine that you could see.” Ryan Sims and I ended up bonding over that, a little laughter to let off steam never hurt. :)
I’ve placed the PDF of my presentation here. The pdf won’t make a ton of sense without context. I believe FOWD made a video they will be posting at a later time of the entire event. The slides are just images but the last slide contains the urls that I have for screen shots.
- Level 1 of illustration is attraction. You want the users to be welcome, you are setting the stage, enticing them, making a first impression.
- Level 2 of illustration you are trying to get them to see you more than just a pretty face, you are connecting with them. Engaging them to have a conversation.There are so many designers out there you just have to choose the appropriate look for your site.
- Level 3 of illustration is having something of value, aids in comprehension of your product/site. There are so many uses for illustration besides just being used for branding, it is also being used as virtual goods. Asia’s been using this on their social markets and Facebook is only starting to tap into sites such as cylops (Korea’s myspace) has know for a while. Their users are paying money to decorate their sites. It’s not just businesses paying to decorate their pages. It’s the audiences. We’re also combining illustration to decorate our photographs. Everyday there are more people with digital cameras.
- How do you convince your business to use illustration? I would create a sketch of the illustration. Explain what the benefit would be.
- What style do you think will be next in illustration? Hard to say, I have no crystal ball but the fun part is trying to come up with your own style if your an illustrator so that people will hire you for your UNIQUE approach. Plus its not just the style, its the ideas behind it, the concept.
- How do you break into illustration? Blog, explain your illustrations, your process so that the visitors to your site can be wow-ed. :) Post your illustrations on places like flickr and tag them appropriately so people can 1. find them and 2. discuss and find you!
I’m a bit to shy to get up and ask questions where everyone is staring so I usually walk over to the speaker after things are over. I was relieved that people came up afterwards to tell me they got value out of the presentation and had questions.
Goes to the crew at FOWD: Ryan Carson, Jo Andrews, Melissa Kirk, and Bryan Veloso. It was a learning experience.
Thanks goes out to my friends who helped me and listened to me practice. Craig Cook, Chris Moeller, Jackson Wilkinson, Jason Garber, Veerle Pieters, Geert Leyseele, Brian Ivanovick and Matt Harris.