Recently I completed artwork for Sydney-based production house, Ion Nibiru, a company that offers creative projects in film and theatre. The title is drawn from an amalgam of ideas, ranging from Greek literature to Babylonian mythology. For their logo, they asked me to create something that reflected those qualities, so I set about roughing out ideas. Over the next few posts I’ll share a more coherent version of events that led to its completion.
The process begins with some sketches in the trusty process diary, playing with certain motifs but trying to keep each new concept fairly different from the last. Recurring motifs included Greek and Roman armour, wings, a bird of prey, and of course the constellation. We wanted to convey the idea the character was embarking on an expedition with some tool to navigate, be it a map, lantern, or Nibiru in the sky.
From these almost-thumbnails, Ion Nibiru picked the top right, a winged female Guardian in Greek hoplite panoply. She wasn’t based on any particular being from existing mythology, rather an amalgam of ideas. The Greek armour also hints culturally at the Ion reference in the name.
The above sketches are further developments on the thumbnail. The wings are modelled off photo reference of an osprey, a large coastal bird of prey.
To develop it further, a couple of rough tonal studies were made, some with the horizontal composition and others with the front-on perspective, though Ion Nibiru began leaning towards the latter with wings stretched upwards in twin arcs as opposed to folded at the sides.