Jimmy’s Coffee T-shirt design

I enjoy illustrating. I wish I was better at it, so I tend to take a stab at illustrating when the stakes are low. This T-shirt design competition for Jimmy’s Coffee is a good example.

I submitted six ideas, but while working on the first five I had the idea to draw iconic Jimmy’s inside a cloud of wispy steam coming from a cup of coffee.

Jimmy’s Coffee T-shirt design submission.


The Challenge:

Other than successfully illustrating a few iconic faces inside wispy coffee steam? My approach for anything tends to be with a pencil and paper. I like sketching my ideas out. Just seeing rough images in my head appear on paper is usually enough for me to decide if I’ll push forward in attempting to execute an idea.

When it comes to illustrating human faces, I like drawing the same person a few times in different poses before I do anything digital so I can get a good feel for their facial features. After the sixth or seventh illustration, accentuating features and placing shadows tend to come more naturally to me. Now, this all takes quite a bit of time.

For this illustration, time is exactly what I didn’t have. So instead of going through my usual pencil/paper-process, I went straight to Illustrator, took out the pen tool, and started line-drawing digitally. What you see here is the outcome.

Spoiler: Jimmy’s did end up choosing one of my submissions, but they didn’t go with this one.