Aztecs – Join the Empire

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    Aztecs – Join the Empire
  • Role  Illustrator
    Client  Australian Museum
    Studio  Freelance
    Credits  Developer – Beaconmaker, Designer – Amanda Lo
  • I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to draw Aztecs, lots of Aztecs—it was awesome.
  • These illustrations were for the Aztecs exhibition at the Australian Museum. Basically at the end of the exhibition there are a whole bunch of iPads, which has this app—Join the Empire. You can take selfies of yourself with the app, which puts your face within the illustrations. You can then share it with your friends and find out about the different types of Aztecs—from the emperor, to a noblewoman, to a warrior.
     
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    The illustrations were also used as a poster in the exhibition itself, to help draw attention to the space where the iPads are. I had to draw in extra parts of their bodies, which was a bit tricky.
     
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    Below are the sketches for all of the characters. They were pretty much approved first go, which is very rare.
     
    For me sketches are a very important part of the process. I always do rough and then “tidy” sketches to present to the client before moving on to the final illustrations. This way all of the kinks can be worked out in the rough stage, instead of making massive changes to a final, fully coloured illustration.
     
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    I used a consistent colour palette with this project, which to be honest I do very rarely. But it's to the benefit of the project, as all the illustrations are consistent and look part of a set—which is something I'm going to try and do more reguarly.
     
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    Originally I gave them red noses, which was purely a stylistic decision—I like to really bring out the nose. But the musuem wasn't so crash hot about it, so went with normal colour. I still fond of the coloured noses, I think it adds a lot of character.
     

  • The staff at the Australian Museum are some of the loveliest people I’ve ever worked with. Every stage of the process was meet with enthusiasm, and I lapped up all of the details on this ancient civilisation with the upmost vigour—it’s absolutely fascinating stuff.

    Every once in a while you get an amazing project like this and you realise this is why you illustrate, to draw great stuff and hopefully make people happy. Anyway, enough of that. Below are some photos from the exhibition itself. Apologies for the lighting, it was well dark in there.
     

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  • 2014