A few weeks ago I was asked by Breadpig to design a t-shirt and poster based on perhaps the best known passage from Animal Farm;
'For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran: ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS'
To avoid cliché I decided not to feature any of the book's characters in the illustration. As I rhythmically banged my head against the desk, trying to work out what I should illustrate instead, I remembered that insane Russian skyscraper, built from wood. The whole thing has this really organic look to the woodwork, like the guy who built it was hammering panels on at random. With this as a base I could add elements of Soviet era oppression (such as the Kremlin), as well as more modern symbols such as CCTV.
With all these ideas gathered into a final sketch I began to vector the image, first working on the silhouette and then filling in detail. At this point it was obvious I needed to bring in something to suggest the characters, even subtly;
warning: this next bit is pretentious.
I wanted the cameras to look in - making a point about how CCTV (and surveillance society in general) is often turned on the people it's meant to protect. Just as I began to consider dropping them entirely a simple solution presented itself. They just needed to be attached to the buildings.
Below is the finished image. Visit Breadpig.com to find out more.