A sparce map of Minnesota showing the locations of 4 schools This map was created for the work in progress documentary What's The Point? It features the stories of four high school students in four different Minnesota schools and tries to look at how these different environments affect the students.
The purpose of the illustrations was to clearly define each of the four environments where the documentary takes place.
This was my first time creating images that needed to be viewable on a television screen. The biggest challenges involved condensing my imagery down into simple to read icons and getting a vertically oriented state like Minnesota to be recognizable on a horizontal screen. When the map was scaled accurately the locations were clustered too close together to be useful so I warped the map to bring more focus to the subject.
My first drawing of the town of St. Clair Each of the icons went through several revisions as I searched for the right balance of clarity and specificity. Here are some examples of what went into the St. Clair icon. At left is my first drawing of the Town that ended up being too detailed.
A drawing of the St. Clair water tower I then went through the process of condensing the imagery into simple quickly read icons. When the decision was mad to use a map I tried to represent the schools, but quickly returned my focus to the communities that surrounded them. I used curvilinear perspective to add a dynamic element to the map imagery.
A simple black and white drawing of St. Clair Drawing of a tractor Blocky icon representing the town of St. Clair
A simple icon representing a farm The first drawing of St. Clair's High School Second drawing of the high school showing more detail
detailed icon representing landmarks in the town of St. Clair that was too detailed for the map A simple icon representing the water tower in the town of St. Clair The final icon chosed for the map. A very simple generic icon representing a Minnesota farm.
Since I last worked on the project I've had several thoughts about possible improvements. Adding more color in the piece would be nice. I also want to give it a stronger conceptual twist. For example presenting it in the form of a travel post card or producing it as a pull down map at the front of a classroom and then filming it with a camera.

Other elements like the handwriting used in the trailer would be fun to animate using painter and it would be nice to animate the credits in the same way. Maybe even adding little drawings in the margins like you would doodle on your notebook paper as your taking notes.