These Boots Were Made for... MawMaw

In Electronic Illustration class, we had an assignment for a poster. In it, our main element had to be a cowboy boot design.

I struggled in the beginning to maintain my focus. At the same time this project was assigned, my grandmother, MawMaw, passed away. I have been taking her passing very hard and had a very hard time. So, I decided to put that energy into my boot design and create a cowboy boot that I could pull some of the things I'll always remember MawMaw for into the design.

I knew I wanted to do a red-toned leather boot. MawMaw wore a lot of red and I felt like I had remembered a Dr. Pepper red being one of her favorite colors. My sister confirmed that red was her favorite as well. I wanted some simplicity and beauty because MawMaw was absolutely beauty inside and out. The picture here, it's one of my favorite of her. I took this image when I was probably in elementary school. She loved her hats. If I had choice of the boot type, It probably would have been more of a dressy biker boot mixed with a working boot style. I'm not so sure Maw was a cowboy boot type of person.

When I think of her, I remember how she like "bedazzled" things. So, I knew I wanted to bring in some rhinestones, so I took a bit of time to learn how to create rhinestones in Illustrator. I knew they had to be a bigger element in the overall design, without being gaudy. I played with the size on them, and then had to revisit their size to make sure they were "readable" when the final poster was printed. Along withe the rhinestones, I wanted to create some intricate stitch-work, adding to the look I remember from MawMaw.

She loved her flowers. I wanted to incorporate flowers as a bigger element in the overall design as well as the boots because of this. We also were tasked to translate some design aspects into a t-shirt design with only using 3 spot colors. With that in mind, I knew I couldn't just use my boot design because I had 8 colors incoporated into just the boots. Flowers were the element I wanted to bring over with some typography. So, I designed with the shirt design in the back of my head.

The copper monogram with the letter, "M" is probably the most special to me. Maw was superstitious. As a wedding gift, she bought me a sewing kit, but it didn't have scissors. With the kit, she gifted me a penny. Then, "sold" me a pair of scissors for a penny to complete my sewing kit. She mentioned that gifting scissors was bad luck, or would cut my luck in half. I can't exactly remember what it was about gifting scissors. Then, at my wedding, she had me put a penny in my shoe for good luck. It was important to me to include a penny-inspired part to the design. I carried the monogram onto the umbrella to give more detail in the umbrella.

After the poster design was completed, I created the t-shirt, bringing in the floral elements and the typography. It's clean and simple. We were also tasked with designing a sticker on a 4x4 artborad. I decided I would bring the boots only into that, as they make the perfect die-cut sticker.

Overall, the design doesn't scream, "MAWMAW". However, I know my thought process for how I designed it and she was very much with me in thought. I felt the quote used in my typography was fitting, and really helped bring the boot design together for the overall poster. Is it an award-winning piece in the world of graphic design? No, but I am proud of my finished work. I put so much of my heart into it.