hello hello bex m'dear, i am back
sadly, this will be shorter than my previous crit because a. you've improved hella since my last one and b. i only have a few concerns. As usual you can always pm me about things and as usual you're really good so don't freak yourself out or doubt yourself. NOW we shall begin. (also feel proud i'm abandoning my usual format for you )
You told me that you think your weakness is cookie cutter graphics - a hilarious term as far as i'm concerned but mostly, not as much of an issue as you worry it is. I think being from way back in 2012 has given you a paralyzing fear of it. Personally, I don't think you have graphics that look so much the same that they're not a style they're just a rut, I don't see that in your graphics. You use textures, you use different comps, you use stock - you try and push yourself out of your comfort zone, and tbh, even if you did have a lot of stuff looking the same, that's really the only advice I can give you.
However (and fortunately) I do want to push you out of your comfort zone a bit. Right now, I'm noticing a lot of very busy canvases, similar textures being used (some of which make the canvas seem more crowded) and just with your very deep colouring too, some very heavy on the eye graphics.
So, for example - here+ here+ here+ here+ and here+ All super pretty graphics - all with too much in common. Busy bases, smoke-y textures, lightning textures maybe? It draws attention away from the focal point when the bases are this busy. What I'm gonna suggest is you practice a couple things. Firstly, negative space - while I see you using it in your sigs, i don't see it in many other places - you've proved you can fit lots of people on banners and CIs, now I wanna see you try something else but without making them small, putting them at the bottom and using the smaller pictures to make up space. I also want to see you get comfortable with using stock without using these smokey textures on top of them (trust me, I know it's hard D:) but it'll make you think about the composition of your bases more and help you decrease how busy and almost messy they are (and not messy in terms of blending mind, just in terms of composition).
The other thing I notice, which seems more of a technical sloppiness sometimes, is you putting people on canvases and then having them just fade into textures/background a lot. So here+ here+ and brighton rock+ while it can look kind of cool like it does in the sig, i'm not sure it's a habit you should fall into. While blending things into textures can look rad as heck, I would definitely suggest making sure they're not just sort of there but hidden and not really part of the comp like in the brighton rock banner (i didn't even notice it was there until I looked closer) and or just like you struggled to remove stock/textures from their faces - even if it's on a low opacity brush, I'd remove some of the texture from them usually. While it's fine to have them fade into the background, it often just looks sloppy so, as a technical note I'd just say don't rely on that when you're putting people on a graphic, the ones like this+ where no one is faded out look much cooler and neater than the ones I pointed out up there.
I do also agree with what Ashley said about the text, I'd like to see a bit more variety there too!
Finally, I noticed a bit of occasional contrast issues. Nothing major, mind, just a few places where graphics looked over or under-contrasted to me. This could also be my screen, or your screen, so either way just keep an eye on that. For example, the whiles on the book cover are really intense compared to the rest of the graphic and the shadows on this+ seem a bit much to me compared to the softness of the rest of it. I'd suggest just playing around with that as you colour.
aaand idk if you want anything taken out but personally I would get rid of this+ this+ and this+ for the reasons i outlined up there
Okay. So, I might have been a bit hard on you, BUT you know I love your gallery and I'm now going to tell you my favourite pieces because otherwise when will I ever get a squee fest in here
this+ holy texture use and colouring like ?? and that comp, it's amazing, definitely my favourite style of things you make
this+ how do u achieve simplicity with so much on there plz teach me
this+ literally this is my favourite thing in here
this+ hi ur perfect i would like to marry this blend
basically, bex, your gallery is wonderful I would like to see it become even more wonderful and ily and your perfect graphics a lot, and it was actually hard to come up with that much to say I ate a whole can of pringles before I'd worked out where the issues were. tmi but my keyboard is now very sour cream and onion :|
like i said, plz ask me things if you're not sure and i'm always here to help
Edited by Inexplicable, 10 July 2015 - 08:53 AM.