A Poster for a Music Festival that I Have Always Wanted to Go To

But alas!!! So it goes that I have never quite been able to attend. But over the years, I have heard lots about it and been most enchanted by the lovely descriptions and whimsical name. However now having created this poster, it’s almost as if I have attended in spirit!! And I’ve read enough about it over time/researched it thoroughly enough to validate that all my previous suspicions about it were correct that I feel quite confident presenting to you my poster as a good representation of this lovely event. And who knows, maybe this summer I’ll finally go! It kind of seems like I have to now…


The following is the poster’s accompanying artist statement! (To clarify, that is to say: me. I am the artist. You’re welcome.)

This poster is for Northern Lights Festival Boreal, Sudbury, Ontario’s annual music and arts festival. I tried to create a design that would capture the spirit of the place and the event and appeal to the target audience. This festival has a strong focus on independent Canadian art so I created an image of pine trees because they quintessentially northern Canadian. As they are found in boreal forest they also relate to the name Festival Boreal. It was important to me that my design had a whimsical, aesthetically pleasing look because this festival is a community-focused and family friendly event, and I wanted my design to communicate this – I didn’t want it to be something that would ONLY appeal to teens who like partying, or parents looking for a mellow family outing. As this event is marketed to people of all ages I wanted my design to be something that would appeal to a wide range of individuals, so I settled on a “Nature” theme because it is something that all people can relate to on some level. It is also an important feature of this festival, which is outdoors on the shores of Lake Ramsay, so I thought it was an important element to include. I put the trees on a dark background to evoke the night sky because I wanted to connect the design to the “Northern Lights” part of the name. It also contrasts really well with the light-coloured text and the yellow sky above the trees. The colour choices were important to me. The bold, bright colours contrast and stand out nicely against each other but don’t clash or overwhelm the viewer. I also tried to make use of complimentary colours – for example, the red underneath the green trees. I painted the trees to get brushstroke texture because, as this is an arts festival, I wanted to appeal to people who enjoy art. The font I chose, River Drive, similarly has a painted texture, again because I wanted to create that connection and also because I wanted to repeat the brushstrokes texture of the trees. I tried to repeat elements where possible, such as using the same simple font, Futura, centered at the very top and bottom of the poster to communicate event details. I chose to use a second, cleaner font because if I had written everything in River Drive, it would have been too hard to read as in a smaller size and taken away the impact of the event title.

To assemble this poster, I started by painting and scanning the trees. Then, using masks, I created a multi-layered effect. I also used several effects and tools such as the blur tool, paintbrushes erasers to smooth out edges, enhance colours, and add in additional. My ultimate goal with this poster is that it will draw people’s initial attention, attract a wide spectrum of people to the event, and communicate the pro-art, nature and community tone of the event to viewers.


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