In my research I was looking for a key element in which both Cities share. I came across a novel by Charles Dickens ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ which is set in both Paris and London. I did not have time to read the book, but instead watched the film (1980, Jim Goddard). I was interested in using the story to inspire my posters; Dickens being a significant figure in english literature writing about the French Revolution. However it was difficult to illustration from the text, because the story is quite dark and melancholic. Where as I needed to find something which simple and playful.
I looked in multiple illustration books, to gain ideas/inspiration on how to construct my posters: Method, materials etc. I was inspired by Simon Prades’ (above) and Apfel Zets (right) illustrations in particular and how they use environmental elements to communicate the character of a place. So I thought about how I could portray the Cities as being green. Parks that encourage wildlife, cycling etc.
My first idea was to illustrate the ‘green’ elements that our found in the cities - and create an overall personality/character that Paris and London share. My plan was to colour the image in different shades of green - inspired by the first Simon Prades illustration. However I didn’t continue with this idea, I felt there was too much going on and the design needed to be simpler but stronger. Then I tried to think of an animal that live in both cities. And I discovered the most obvious city dweller, the pigeon!
With these pigeon images I wanted to capture an essence of each city. A Paris pigeon and a London Pigeon. I started drawing from photographs of Paris/London streets, and experimented by overlaying the images on photoshop. I thought this concept of a pigeon embodying it’s surroundings or it’s home is quite successful. Though, I decided it would be more appropriate to display cultural and significant locations (like the V&A and the Louvre) inside the pigeons, rather than random streets.
After my crit, the feedback was that I should continue the pigeon theme over four posters, experiment with colour and screen printing. I took all this on board, and started to explore other locations I could use to fill pigeons. Sticking with the cultural theme, I chose to illustrate St Paul’s Cathedral and Notre Dame, The River Thames and The River Seine, and Kensington Gardens and Jardins des Plantes. I decided I was going to try and screen print, because this gave me further opportunities to experiment.