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Self promotion as an illustrator is really fricking important. Who’s going to hire you when they don’t know you exist? No one. That’s who. So after finishing up my teaching and residency at ECA I set myself a bit of a marathon task of creating self promotion pieces for something like 5 different areas of illustration. Self promo is super fun because you can basically make whatever you what… except you can’t cause you also want to create something that showcases your skills and is relevant to the client. But it’s definitely a chance to experiment and indulge, so I’ve had a pretty great time!

To make up for my recent absence of posting up new work, I’m going to post up each of the self promo pieces every day for a week. These will all be sent as physical and digital mail outs next week, so fingers crossed!

Piece 1 (design): Bunnahabhain Tales Of The Sea Whisky label competition

This competition is pretty sweet as it involves charity for The Fisherman’s Mission, but also relies heavily on being a Scottish brand. Living in Edinburgh, wonderful coastal scenery is pretty much on my doorstep:

cat_o'neil_sketchbook(Okay that’s in Ullapool which is ages away, but shhh)

I love dramatic landscapes, and drawing the sea is super fun. But I liked the challenge of making something that balances design with a purpose alongside just being aesthetically pleasing. The brief asked that the design incorporated the Helmsman of their brand identity along with the text, but otherwise was fairly open.

cat-oneil-whisky-bottle-labelSeeing as the label would wrap around a bottle it made sense to have a design with a central focus. But I felt that a strictly central focus label may look a bit too rigid, so I placed an asymmetrical focus on the actual center piece. Also, figuring that the bottle itself would be relatively dark it made sense to have large sections of light tone to bring out the label. So… it should hopefully look like this!

cat-oneil-whisky-bottle-label-in-situIt’s potentially a bit of a departure from their original brand identity, but there’s no point second guessing what they want in a competition. The only thing is that if I’m lucky enough to actually win there’s a problem in that I don’t actually drink whisky… but that’s ok, I’ll just give it to James instead (who has also done this brief, check it out!)