It was April last year when I received a message from Sayan saying that we were going to have Concord again. This brought back a whole lot of memories from when I was in Class XI which was when we last participated as students of The Calcutta Boys’ School in our home fest. Anyone who is a CBSite and nowadays, even people who are not would probably know that emotions run high everytime the oldest fest in town comes back for its next edition. I was naturally thrilled when Sayan had asked me whether I would like to design some posters for the fest.
However, I had to put up with a few problems. Back then, I had a run-down PC which was faithful enough to not go dead but at the same time, it was at times painfully slow. The other was me being a student of Ramakrishna Mission Narendrapur which meant that I could only work on it during weekends as we are not allowed to use laptops over there and the PCs are worse than the one I had at that point of time.
From a personal point of view, everytime I design something, whether it is from a tutorial or it is entirely my own creation, I start off having a blocked head. This was the case even when I got the go ahead from Sayan. He had given me a deadline to finish it within the 15th of April.
It was only when I was experimenting with smoke brushes one fine Sunday, that something started getting inside my head. The rest happened within the next eight hours.
The original composition had more than a 1000 layers. One for each set of smoky patterns. By grouping it down at an average of 20 layers per final set, I got it down to less than 60.
By using an array of layer masks and a bit of the liquify filter where I turned a flock of red feathers into a sort of red paint and a bit of playing with the pen tool and the cross, the phoenix finally rose on my screen.
To be brutally honest, I was a bit happy and nostalgic at that point; mainly because our batch was not lucky enough to have organised the fest in our last year of school.
The original poster had a white background. I chose white as the other two colours used were black and blood red and thus, white would naturally act as a nice contrasting background.
It looked like this.
Since, I anticipated a few complaints about the banner having a blank background, I decided to put an alternative background as well.
The objection as it was, did come, but from a point of view that was not expected. Our principal asked me to put something else instead of the cross.
Well that wasn’t much of a problem as after a few twerks and a few modifications like losing the cross and using an eternal knot instead, what came up was the final banner.
What actually scared me in the beginning, had actually turned out to be something like this.
They say your school is the best part of your life. It is too early for me to say whether they were right. However, one thing that I can say for sure is that you are never too old to go back to your school.
There was one more poster that I made for the fest and was close to my heart. It was regarding an event named “ Fan Fiction “ where you could write your own script about your favourite TV shows and enact them up on stage. Drawing all the characters and objects was fun and hopefully, in the end, it didn’t look too bad either.
Just by the way folks, in case you didn’t know already, Concord is going to be back for this year’s edition which is going to be held from the 30th of June to the 2nd of July. So be prepared to be left spellbound by our juniors.
Also, if you want to get a detailed tutorial on how I made the posters, feel free to drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Note: Sayan Bhattacharya is a student of the outgoing batch of 2015-16 of The Calcutta Boys’ School.
Here are a few more images in the process of making the poster.