For years, I have wanted to do an artwork based on the Blue Ball GIF. If you are not familiar with it, here is one of the many that have been made:
Basically, people make these small GIFs where a blue ball goes in and out of the frame and you are free to animate the rest of the scene as you see fit. Above is a composite of many of those GIFs. I’ve had a couple challenges to overcome when figuring out how to use this as inspiration. First, I never wanted to set out and make an animated GIF. The Blue Ball GIF certainly has its charm, but just making an animated GIF would feel more like copying than a source of inspiration. And since I would not be doing something animated, I needed to figure out a way to illustrate it so it kept that dynamic feel. Let’s be honest…an animated GIF is fun because it moves. I wanted to figure out a way to harness that. Finally, I needed a theme for the illustration. If I just did an illustration of machines, it once again feel like just copying.
Since I have had this idea to make a 90’s hip-hop soundtrack, I decided to make that the theme. I could use icons and imagery from that time period and include a group of machines of my own creation. Here is only one portion of the illustration in progress:
I’m happy with the machines and details within the illustration, so I am currently trying to work out the color. I have once again decided to use a limited palette but I wanted to have more than flat colors. As you can see, some of the machines have shadows on one edge. It is a small addition, but it adds some dimension to an otherwise flat illustration. My hope is that I can expand on this idea of the “flat factory” in some other illustrations. First, I need to see how this turns out…