Designing our blog profile photo: easy-not-so-easy


I kept mumbling the word as I was trying to come up with an idea of how this blog’s profile picture would look like.

A fortnight earlier, my best friend had sent me a private message, asking if I would like to develop a blog together. I had accepted the offer immediately without a second thought. Who wouldn’t want to join hands with his/her closest friend to show the world their perception and to be able to acquire more learning through every newly published post?

For I am not someone who is especially good at writing (and at English), I consider my major task as illustrating, taking pictures or making drawings of daily things that strike me. I was also glad to be entrusted the profile picture’s design, which proves to be quite important to make our site look livelier and friendlier to visitors.

However, the task turned out to be much more difficult than my initial thought: I couldn’t figure out how to represent the concept of our blog effectively while still leaving a mark of our personalities on it. My first reaction was to jot down any keyword relating to “worldlittlelights” that came to my mind. After about half an hour, the scrap paper had been filled with a list of words varying from tangible objects such as bulbs, satellites, lighthouse, candles, windows, eyes… to conceptual things like world view, perception, society, culture, knowledge,…, together with a bunch of 3x3cm thumbnails for the design.

2014-05-10-1832 3The scrap paper with keywords and thumbnails.

For a long while, I couldn’t detach myself from the idea of using photographed images of different lights or light bulbs as a metaphor for our goal (musing over little things that shine in our life, from which comes the name of the blog). At the beginning, I tried using poster colors to paint on incandescent bulbs, to suggest that light gives colors and warmth to our life, but the paint didn’t give the exact effect of transparency which I had wanted. I then abandoned the first failed trial.

Light BulbsPoster colors painted on light bulbs, which didn’t give the exact effect I wanted for the photo.

My second trial was to take many pictures of illuminated bulbs and put them all together on a pitch-black background. On the occasion of following my parents to Ikea, I played around with my camera and captured quite a few images to use as reference, for I didn’t want to manipulate references downloaded from the internet to use for personal purpose. Arriving back home and looking carefully at the photos taken, I discovered that not many people, including myself, would enjoy looking at a profile picture with such a great contrast between a completely dark background and the fierce light coming from the hanging bulbs displayed on it.

Bóng đèn 2A few reference images taken at Ikea.

None of my photo manipulations pleased me. At a certain moment, an inner voice told me: “Let’s just get back to our traditional method!”. I took the advice and turned to my favorite doing: drawing and inking. I began sketching two curious girls who were eager to discover more about the world and its beauty and to observe all the little lights shining around them. Yes, these two girls with the same look, the same curiosity and eagerness, are Nhi, the founder of this blog, and me. I then got puzzled again when the inking phase had been done and the coloring phase comes at hand. After a few trials, we agreed to just leave the two girls in their colorless world, waiting for the lights to come and to bring hues to their life.

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So this image here is the final result. It took me an unnecessary long time to complete my mission. I’ve got to practice more since my drawing and coloring skills are still nowhere near being consummate. Even though this image isn’t quite suitable for a profile picture, we are just leaving it for now, and I’ll improve it little by little as my skills improve. I have also been idle for a long time. Nevertheless, I hope this will be a good way for me to start contributing to this blog from now on.



2 thoughts on “Designing our blog profile photo: easy-not-so-easy

  1. thanks for stopping by and liking my recent post. I enjoyed your sharing of the thought process that led you to your current design. I think it depicts two people with a joyous attitude toward life. I think you did a great job with your concept rendering. Best Wishes!


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