Langston Wells is a Communication Design student at Carnegie Mellon University with an interest in motion graphics, branding, and illustration.

Currently looking for Summer 2020 internship opportunities and open for commissions or collaboration.


︎  Motion Graphics
︎  Illustration
︎  Case Studies
︎  All Projects


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Reflections 


Illustrator
Illustration / Commission / Spring 2020


Final Illustrations︎︎︎







PROCESS


What ︎︎︎


After creating a visual identity patterned after the During the pandemic, the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Culture Room commissioned me to produce a series of illustrations depicting my experiences with the overlap between culture, technology, and language. For my commission I created 3 illustrations based on interviews and conversations with friends and co-workers who relayed their thoughts, worries, feelings, and successes regarding the cultures they are from. The illustrations tackle themes of immigration challenges, white supremacy and guilt, and overcoming distance through technology.


How ︎︎︎


I began by creating rough pencil sketches of my ideas for each illustration, using the themes and sound bites I had compiled to determine the best way to convey each story. Once I was happy with the general layout of the illustration, I blocked out the scenes in Illustrator using simple shapes and tone to see how my ideas scaled and to get a sense for balance and depth.




From here, I added in details, starting with the characters, then moving on to the environment and eventually to the props. Once the details were near finalized, I began doing short color experiments to see which colors conveyed the proper tone for each piece. Finally, once all the details and colors were finalized, I brought in harsh, black shadows to add weight and believability to the world where-in these characters lived before checking it over a final time and sending it to the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Culture Room for final thoughts and revisions.




FINAL SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS ︎︎︎






CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS



Sensitive Storytelling︎︎︎


While I initially had trouble coming up with stories around this topic due to the sensitive link between culture and individuals, once I began listening more to those around me as they shared in their experiences living through COVID and the doors it opened or closed, powerful stories began taking shape in my mind and the visuals began writing themselves.

Suitability of Color︎︎︎


As one’s experiences within a specific culture are innately personal, it was difficult for me to begin placing the proper colors in each scene that would convey the appropriate tone for the subject matter. To work through this, I began by briefly consulting other designers <link> and looking for reference imagery from existing illustrations or movies that would help solidify the suitability of each color scheme.