OLAGA SAMOA: Inspiration behind the Samoan lifestyle journal

Heya! I designed a Samoan Lifestyle Journal. Yup. The idea and inspiration for the journal came about a month after the passing of my beautiful mum. My way of dealing with grief and loss was to go through her beautiful things and read so many of her prayers & writings she left behind. One day I just sat on mum's bed and wrote down all the things she would say to me on the daily. I missed her voice SO MUCH! that the idea of collating everything I learned & experienced from her as a Samoan child just grew into the form of a book. It is a hardcover Black & White 252 page blank lined journal sprinkled with common sayings, childhood prayers, basic greetings and illustrations of food.

The journal is called "OLAGA SAMOA" Samoan Lifestyle. The concept of the book was to celebrate and capture the spirit of everyday down-to-earth Samoan life in a fun, honest & playful way. I created this feeling through my perfectly imperfect illustration style and handwriting. 

INSPIRATION : Basquiat books on my desk.

INSPIRATION: Basquiat books on my desk.

DESIGN INSPIRATION: I love the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I love the innocence of his works and the raw gestural style of his paintings & drawings. See his works here
I just read today on twitter that one of his paintings just sold for a record 110.5 million! Woah

Who is he? Basquiat is a Black American artist with a signature art style of elusive symbols, diagrams and child-like scribbles. He is an acclaimed contemporary NY graffiti sprayer turned artist of the 80s and is considered a pop culture icon of today. Hip-hop artists such as Swizz Beatz and Jay-Z adore him and own a few of his works. Lucky Ducks 

 

Snapshot of a spread on my mac. This was the first spread that I put together and pretty much set layout &  tone for the rest of the book!

Snapshot of a spread on my mac. This was the first spread that I put together and pretty much set layout &  tone for the rest of the book!

Draft proof of a page spread

Draft proof of a page spread

What it will look like minus title

What it will look like minus title

INSPIRATION: Basquiat Cider Packaging Design

I pulled an illustration from an old college design brief (below) and paired it with a popular old skool Samoan song ( see spread above). It pretty much set the whole tone for the journal. It felt right that this perfectly-imperfect style of illustration fit my vision for OLAGA SAMOA so perfectly! 

Below is the Cider design packaging brief where the idea for illustrations came from

Beverage Packaging Brief - Basquiat Cider.
DESIGN a cider brand for a secret hideaway Japanese restaurant in New York City. The atmosphere of the place is laid back casual and eclectic. The place raves 5star reviews for their fresh Japanese menu. The name 'Basquiat' was chosen to represent the history of the street, building and area. A hand-painted typeface on the labels was created to emulate the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's handwriting and re-occurring symbols in his paintings. 

Mockup of labels on the cider bottles I bought from Aldi lol

Mockup of labels on the cider bottles I bought from Aldi lol

I hand-painted the sushi menu items with Indian ink and brush to emulate Basquiat's Style of work. Illustrations were then scanned and vectorised in Adobe Illustrator!

STYLING THE SCENE: I made a ceramic artist-palette style plate, bought some sushi and designed this restaurant style situation on my outdoor table setting using a mix of textured plates and fake wine (vegetable oil haha). I put together the illustrations to form a pattern for the placemat. I took the photo of setup then applied the placemat pattern in photoshop. Presentation is everything! Well to me it is. Does it look real?

The five cider flavours

The five cider flavours

The cider ingredient label

The cider ingredient label

Tavao Fa'avae-Eli