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Overview

In 2016, I worked with artists to enhance the drawing process with technology to make it easier for them to express themselves. I developed a systematic approach that allows artists to paint more in less time by making drawing dimensions and perspectives more apparent as well as making color formula development easier. My responsibilities included initiating the project, designing the product, creating the MVP, assembling the team, and planning fundraising events.


Confidential information has been withheld.

Role

Product Designer

Team

Solo Founder

Contribution

Vocabulary creation
Taxonomy system
Information
Architecture 
Research
Wireframing
Prototyping
UI/UX Design
Testing
Branding
Implementation

Tools

Axure Pr
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
InVision 
Figma

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Problem Statement

The process of creating a single painting can take an artist several weeks or months. 

 

Solution

 

The solution involves the following two steps:

1- An application that allows artists to upload a photograph or collage photo and separate the colors and layers, making it easier for them to see depth and perspective.

2- An application that provides artists with color formulas.

Market and Competition Research

I conducted market research in order to determine business opportunities and competition. I found that there was no technology available on the market that could assist artists in their manual processes.

User Research

The objective of the user research is to better understand the current user journey, identify pain points, and identify opportunities for improvement. 

Artists typically take 2-3 months to complete a painting.
Approximately 87% of respondents expressed an interest in learning how to draw faces.
88% of artists worked more than one job or had a second job.
"Sometimes it takes me a month to finish a painting, sometimes it takes me a year. It all depends."- Art student
"I would love to be able to paint faces well." - Art student
"As soon as I get home from work, I work on my paintings." - Professor at MassArt

Observational Research

I spent several weeks observing artists in order to learn about their different methods and approaches, as well as identify common trends.

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Discovery

User Personas

Alberto Bacolod

Occupation: Acrylic and watercolor Painter

Age: 26 

Challenges:

  • "I don't know how to blend color shades"

  • "If I make a single mistake, I have to start all over again. "

Young Student

Mirlande Abad

Occupation: Oil Painter

Age: 19

Challenges:

  • "I probably could make my paintings picture perfect if I spent a lot of time on them, but the truth is I don't have the time! I rarely do." 

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Journey As is

This is how these two personas go through the process of painting from the idea stage to experimenting with color palettes to ultimately painting. As I understood and structured the journey for potential users, it was one of the most valuable artifacts.

Research 

To help my ideation process, I spent a few months understanding in depth the different techniques used and old invented tools that assisted the old masters in their drawing and painting such as cameras obscura. Additionally, I have studied how camera lenses distort reality, and how the eye perceives color in an environment that is both light and dark. Moreover, I also conduct research on the way in which a picture is printed in one layer by a printing machine. 

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Ideation

I shaped my findings into opportunity statements to support the ideation process. I used the How might we (HMW) frame as it doesn’t suggest a particular solution, but give room for innovative thinking.

Prototyping and Testing Process

>I created a manual process to test it with potential users.

>Using C++ and OpenFrame work I developed an MVP to separate color layers from photos or collages. 

>I created an MVP for color formulas. 

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Implementation

In terms of implementation, I preferred the storyboard and agile backlog technique over other techniques as they clearly show the relationships between larger pieces of work. 

 

As a result, I have prioritized the implementation process as follows:

Minimum requirements: necessary features for the creation of the product. 

Major requirement: the features that users expect from a product of this type.

Nice to have: features for the user's delight. 

Results & Impact

Currently, this program is not available to the general public. Those with access to the software have provided positive feedback. Notably, they can now paint in less than three days what used to take them a few months. The following is a testimonial from a painter who used the software, and photos of her paintings before and after she used the application and software.

"It's so true! You don't know what you're missing until you have it." - Valeria Watson

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Other things I worked on

I organized a photoshoot with the help of friends and enthusiastic artists. Later on, these photos were used to create a set of paintings for fundraising. Each painting took about 3 to 4 days to complete.

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