When Australian-based graphic designer, Joy Li, was given the challenge to explore and interpret the concept of “Playing the Hand You’re Dealt” – most would assume she’d go for a deck of Poker cards. For someone who has an extensive background as an illustrator, physical art creation, and graphic designer, she is not going with that stereotypical option.
In that case, what would a creative content talent like Li do? This being a massive collaboration with HP and Adobe, going all out is necessary.
For Li, knowing she is the one to kick-off this global art challenge with her fellow ambassadors, it’s very much about how she will be applying her creative interpretation to the challenge.
With the card game theme in mind, the Australian graphics designer opted to work on a concept that brings nostalgia, familiarity, and a touch of geek to the table. In combining these three elements together, she created an original one-of-a-kind collectible trading card. “It’s a callback to our childhood!”
Of course, this is not any ordinary table-top game card. In fact, what Li put together ties back to her background as a content creator and illustrator. In her own words – as this is the start of the challenge, her role “is to be the [proverbial] creative card dealer to the others’ creative path and act as a reflection of my own creative journey.” Creating a concept like this is not new for Li as she had already explored and worked on various design and creative projects that directly challenge stereotypes. For this campaign, it will be a good opportunity for her to really try something different with a group of creative collaborators.
For Li, the card will be a loose interpretation of the Jack card. “It’s symbolic as it represents the first letter in my name. It also reflects my creative evolution as a ‘Jack of Trades’ within the creative industry. Even how I deliver this artwork to the next #HPBackFromMAX collaborator – Digital Cinema Creator, Yoshihino ‘Yoshi’ Enatsu – will follow the trading card game format. I intend to give him the physical card in person at Los Angeles and even provide the digital files for him to work with,” she added.
As for the artwork, it is very anime-esque and will feel right at home in a deck of Yu-Gi-Oh or Weiß Schwarz trading cards. Similarly, the rainbow foil design means the card is an Ultra-Rare. Those familiar and, even the few who have no clue, can immediately tell this is a special and truly unique trading card. Design wise, it will look and act like it belongs in a competitive table-top card game deck. Li, besides making the fun moments of collecting and playing with trading card games the central focus of her idea, wanted to incorporate the concept of hidden talents. Hence, the name – “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, and how its abilities are both subtle yet have the most impact.
To achieve what she had in mind for this collectible trading card, Li worked with a Z By HP workstation and extensively used two of its major features – the intuitive touchscreen and digital stylus. The high-specs and interactive functions that the large all-in-one PC offers allowed Li to design her concept with relative ease. It also helps that the colour accuracy that the HP system offers will help ensure Li can produce her work without worrying about the hue/saturation re-balancing when she prepares for the final output. Similarly, the variable chassis design made sure she remained comfortable while she worked on this project.
By going the extra mile to deliver her trading card game artwork and her working files to Yoshi, she achieved two positive results. Firstly, she developed a 360-degree experience from conceptualization to delivering the creative concept to Yoshi. By doing so she, in the second instance, provides the next collaborator with a wide scope for interpretation for how her concept can be updated, changed, or used as an inspiration or extension for his own creative concept.
“I’m hoping that beyond the art and design, considering the user experience, this card will be able to spark Yoshi’s creativity and confidence to see, understand, and realise the boundless potential this design concept has to offer. The cards have now been dealt!” Li added. By the sound of it, she is most definitely keen to see what Yoshi will do to make her vison come alive through his own creative inputs.
The next step for Li’s idea will take an interesting turn, as Yoshi works on it with an entirely different medium – cinematics. What are his plans? How will he execute it? Why would he consider these options? Find out the answers in our next Back From Max creator’s entry.