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Tile One

Annotation is a new thing for me. Typically, Iíve assumed that everyone who needed to know what was happening already knew. This is a short-sighted belief. There will come a time when people (myself included) will need a reminder. This annotation project is that reminder.

So, right off the bat, the blank tile. The size of this project was determined by the number of students in my outgoing fifth grade class plus one. This year, that number equaled 19. A prime number. Great. So I knew very early on that I needed to make an additional tile. But who would I give it to? Would I keep it? I decided to leave it blank and simply incorporate the empty space into the image. I went back and forth about where it should be placed, eventually settling on the upper left-hand corner as being a place that would be easy to work around.

After this, I made a list of younger siblings. I knew that I wanted their tiles to line up with their older brothersí and sistersí. After looking at the connections Iíd need to make, I knew that Iíd need to feature a tree somewhere in the art. This was my the biggest restriction. I also knew Iíd need a boat, bees, towers, a giant hand, a squirrel, a curved striped thingy, and a pig.

I decided on the pieceís large theme fairly soon after this. We had read a Navajo story in which humanity traveled between worlds through the stalk of giant reed. Each world they came to was different and filled with magical creatures. I changed the reed to a hollow tree and placed each world on a branch. I judged that this would make a pleasing composition and a fairly easy design process.

Next, I brainstormed lists and drawings in a sketch book. When I had enough, I put together a quick 5x4 grid in illustrator, printed it out, and started some very rough plans.

I was having trouble making things fit until my wife suggested that I attempt a 4x5. This worked out much better, and I was able to start composing my plan document.

In photoshop, I compiled my sketches into a single, full-sized image. I drew from this compiled image once all the planning was done. The first item to go in was a tree sketch. In addition to the branches and leaves, youíll note a kite in the upper right and a curved striped thingy in the lower right. After the tree, I knew these would be the most difficult elements to work into the design.

I hope you found this interesting and informative.

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I think I'm supposed to put some copyright information here at the bottom:
Copyright Daniel Miller, 2011