Rough Sketch to Final Draft 2

December 30, 2012

A while ago I wrote about how I created the poster for Night of the Chicken 2. A few months after doing that play I was fortunate enough to see another play I wrote get produced. Actually it was a series of short plays, all of which had monsters in them. I also made the poster for this play. And once again, it was a sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating experience. But I learned a lot, and I am proud of the finished product.

Here is my initial concept sketch, which I did with markers. Very sloppy. Very messy. Very crowded.

I was trying to go for that old B-movie horror/sci fi poster look. Corny, but cool.


Originally I planned to feature all the monsters from each play, with a big robot/cyborg in front. But the robot I came up with was just too cute.

I had this other sketch of a zombie that was more gross, and therefore more appropriate for the poster. So I traded the robot for him and dropped the other characters.

big zombie in marker

Once I had my concept narrowed down to one giant zombie stomping around in a post-apocalyptic world, I began to create the image digitally. I decided to make this poster in Adobe Illustrator, which I did not know how to use. But my awesome and patient friends Brad and Sharon gave me some lessons.

First I made the zombie by scanning in my original drawing, and then tracing it in Illustrator using a Wacom tablet. This process took a really long time, because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.

Then for the burned out city in the background I took inspiration from a computer game called Canabalt, which Sharon told me about. This sounds stupid, but my initial sketch had only one layer of city silhouette. When I saw the two layers in the background of this game it BLEW MY MIND. Of course! Two layers of city silhouettes. Only an idiot would put in one layer. Total lightbulb moment.


So I drew the city in Illustrator, slapped my zombie in front of it, added some text, and…

Well here is an early version of the poster. Not so hot, but at least I had something to work with.


From there I just kept tweaking the colors, the fonts, the wording, until I couldn’t tweak no more.

I got a TON of help from my friend Kim, who is really good at giving constructive criticism, whether it’s for writing plays or making posters. I also got a lot of help from my friend Brad, who is a bad ass graphic designer.

Here is the end product…

It’s no masterpiece. It doesn’t even resemble an old B-movie poster like I had originally planned. But if you had showed this image to me a year ago and told me I had made it – in Illustrator no less – I would have NEVER believed you.

One comment

  1. […] is a zombie that eventually became the central figure of the Monsters, Mutants, and Other Tales of Love poster. I drew this on paper, then scanned and traced in Illustrator using a wacom tablet, and then […]

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