Postcard from Quarantine

Feeling like a fish in a bowl

Since the beginning of quarantine in March, I often found myself comparing the experience to being a fish in a bowl.

This animated postcard was drawn in Adobe Illustrator and turned into a GIF through Photoshop for my Graphic Design Tools class.



I started this process by using the pen tool to first lay out the main shapes and their respective colors: the background, the sand, the bowl, and the fish. To the background, I added a linear gradient to keep it simplistic, yet visually pleasing.

Postcard front 1; Adobe Illustrator

Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 2.10.03 PM.png

In the next couple layers, I created some arbitrary shadows in the sand and some more concrete ones on the bowl and fish. The two shades were used to increase the depth of the image in a cartoony way.

Postcard front 2; Adobe Illustrator

Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 2.11.18 PM.png

I used a few more layers to add all of the highlights to complete the illustration. Here is an image of the finished frame in Illustrator. The next step was to animate.

Postcard front 3; Adobe Illustrator


To create all the frames, I made three more artboards in Illustrator and slightly adjusted the positions and anchor points of the fish and sand shadows, each getting progressively more extreme. The next three artboards are copies of the first three, except in the reverse order.

Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 2.36.15 PM.png

Postcard frames for animation; Adobe Illustrator

Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 2.31.28 PM.png

The final step was to export all of the artboards and place them as separate layers in Photoshop. I then used the timeline window to create frames from layers, resulting in the "stop motion" type animation in my finished GIF. This is an image of my Photoshop file.

Postcard frames for animation; Photoshop


Finished Postcard


Finished postcard front; GIF

Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 2.59.06 PM.png

Finished postcard back; Adobe Illustrator