While creating Donnie Rawlen’s character week-by-week, I’ve noticed that he seems to lack a core. He was hesitant of the guns present at the end of “Six Slingers and a Singer” and took a brief drive to the docks to write. This is noir! He needs some rationale behind his actions. I set up a decently gloomy backstory, but it seems he’s leaning toward being some sort of depressed introvert. He needs some agency, dammit! So, I determined that a motivational poster might help to clarify how I view him, rather than how he’s been represented thus far. In the future, I think it would be a good idea for me to complete numerous small assignments for my weekly character assignments, rather than the two to three I currently plan for. More assignments involving him means a more fleshed out character, after all. I don’t want him to be a simple character, I’d rather he be a more mysterious, complex character. He needs some grit.
For this assignment, I pulled a realistic framing of a motivational poster, because typical internet-style motivational pictures just look too similar. They all blend together, and considering this is design week, I realized that a bland poster wouldn’t really reflect the things I learned from the Vignelli Canon. I’ve continuously used Edward Robinson as representation of Donnie, so I already had this picture of him on my computer.
It seemed like simple plug-and-play at that moment. So I opened GIMP, and got rid of the horses from the original poster, and plugged in my picture of Donnie.
I figured the text would be the easiest part, but it turned out to be the trickiest. Note the gradient in the frame’s card-stock-like border. I tried my best to have a similar gradient in my own text boxes. To accomplish this I decided to use the Selection tool to copy and paste sections of the original background and layer them over the locations of the previous text.
I’d already decided I wanted grit as my subject because Donnie’s been through a lot; losing his mother at childbirth, his father to Chicago gangsters, and his wife and child in a train accident. As a result, he’s become more deliberate in his actions and doesn’t like to waste time, hence his apprehension to join Johnny at the club in “Six Slingers”. But, he’s still around, and focuses on more productive activities, like writing, despite life-ruining events. I decided on the simple “Everyone goes through hardship. Don’t let it hold you back” to demonstrate this. He was alone after he and his father parted ways, and was alone after the train crash, so he found solace in this silent mantra, recognizing that others had been through similar situations and still triumphed.