I was very honored to be invited for the second time to be par of the collaborative project Playing Arts, where 54 extremely talented illustrators and designers together create a deck of playing cards.
Here's the card from the last year's collaboration. I was invited to participate in the project and assigned to draw the 4 of Spaces card. I was thinking for a while how to layout 4 spades symbols in an interesting way without drawing a character and limiting myself to only one color and an accent color. So I came up with this surrealistic architectural drawing that illustrates a four level building. I was inspired by illustrations from the beginning of 1900's and how people imagined the future in 100 years.
You can see full card in my portfolio here.
This year I got to draw 9 of Spades. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about the layout and how to position nine spade symbols in an interesting way and not to keep 'em flat. Here are some of the original sketches from the notebook.
I didn't quite know which direction to go. I knew I wanted to have an isometric grid and play with 3 dimensions of it to position elements. First, I wanted to use shape on the number nine as a base and layout other elements around it. So I put together a grid in Photoshop and started to work around it. I also wanted to stick with just 2 colors this time too.
At some point I decided to stick with a building idea and illustrate an utopian high rise apartment building that had an abandoned billboard on the roof top. I somehow saw the spades symbols as pills, so the banner shows three of them on the tongue. And number nine was treated in the other dimension/angle as a neon sign on the building, a welcome to a hotel or some other nasty joint.
Here are some screenshots from Photoshop during the process.