Exercise: Giving instructions

How to make a cup of tea.

Tea is a part of my everyday life. As I type this, I am drinking tea. I really do believe that a good cup of tea makes everything better. I start off every morning with a cup of english breakfast tea as my parents did. I made my parents tea on the weekends and brought it to their bed, then I would lay in between my parents and watch them read the paper and sip their tea. Its a memory I treasure. Anyway, for those reasons is why I decided to choose “making a cup  of tea’ for my instructional illustration. Although getting to my house would be very interesting considering where I live. But I was drawn to the tea!

I once drew a map to get to my wedding. I was married on a small island in thailand. It was a beautiful map and I had them printed and given to every guest upon arrival to the island. Its somewhere on a hard drive and if I can find it, I will post it. Its about 4 years old, so you could see my style back then to how it is now. (pretty similar)

So I started off with googling “how to make a cup of tea” and wow, there is a lot of information out there. Some even make sure you know that you have to put the spoon in the sink when your finished with it. Cleanliness is important I guess. I also noticed there were a lot of electric kettles. I did ponder for maybe one second if I would use an electric kettle. Nope. I love the design, nostalgia and the whistle of a traditional stove top kettle!

I collect some images for a visual reference off the internet.

Coville-tea-blog howtomakeacupofteatraining_and_assessing_workbook-10how_to_make_a_cup_of_tea_by_kirsht-d3d9uxl877450b6795e96c3d312f7872d7598acc0ec6501eeeba59c8ad117fdc4627249 56d0821fa6439caf6463e1c4518a8100

After looking at these references I began my brainstorming.

I thought about the steps and options. Then I sketched different formats that I could use. It could be on a A3 or 4 portrait or landscape format… a round format.. or even a vertical or horizontal timeline style.

I also thought about my audience. Who’s reading these instructions? Who needs to know? How will figuring out my audience change my format? Is it with packaging? on packaging? Something you can hang on your kitchen wall? Functional yet decorative?


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I played with different format ideas and also did some drawings from observation.

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The tea bag drawing was from observation and I immediately fell in love with my little drawing. That will be how I base the rest of my illustrations for this exercise. I did attempt to add type in different ways but wasnt happy with it.

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The colour choices was almost instant. I want to use these colours. However, that was also because I am using giant acrylic paint markers and I only have 7 different colours. Its also difficult to mix them.

I attempted to make my own little flip pamphlet  and I thought it might be easier to arrange type and images on photoshop. So I did all the designs separately and scanned them in.

My drawings below. I didnt worry if they were not perfect. I was happy for it to have little mistakes because it gave it a cutesy, easy going character.

Making a cup of tea should not be formal! Unless its with the Queen.

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tea 5tea 8 tea 9

Look how cute it is! Its about the size of a real tea bag, maybe a bit bigger.

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There was some problems with printing. For some reason, trying to print on the car stock.. it would get blurry towards the end. I tried to solve this problem a few times until I gave up! If I was a real illustrator, I would just send it to the printer, then its their problem right?

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You can see the photoshop Jpeg version before I printed and cut below. I showed a few people in my office. They really like it. Said they would hang that in their kitchen! I still think if i had more time then I would continue to perfect the illustrations and printing methods. Maybe try to use different materials. I wanted to use actual tea bags to make a draw string bag that this could fit into.

Just incase you are making tea while traveling… and forgot how.



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