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Silhouette Project

One graphic designer's ode to his newborn daughter

by Perrin Drumm in Design on 30 August 2012

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When graphic designer Brent Holloman was about to welcome his first child into the world, he had learned enough from friends that those formative years can fly by. In order to enjoy and remember the early stages of his daughter's development he decided to draw her silhouette once a week for the first year of her life.

Holloman started with a photo of the baby's profile and traced it—her name is Vie, short for Genevieve—but now that she's 17 weeks old and moving around a lot more, he takes a video on his iPhone, grabs a frame and traces the image in Illustrator. "I usually just start with the week before and line it up as much as possible and then tweak areas that have changed, which is very fun," Holloman says. "It's crazy how much they change when they hit a growth spurt. No wonder they are so fussy; If your head expanded an inch in a matter of weeks you would be a little cranky too!"

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For inspiration, Holloman cites Matt Stevens' Max100 project, "100 inspired interpretations of the greatest sneaker of all time," which translates into 100 illustrations of the same Nike shoe reimagined as a Lego, a pancake, a piece of steak and more. When he first started the Silhouette Project, Holloman admitted that he was a little intimidated about being able to keep up with making a new illustration every week, but he's found that not only is it a fun exercise, it gives him the chance to design the way he wants to design, as opposed to only working on client projects. "It's tough to find the time to work on them outside of freelance, photography, and my band, but it's worth it.," he said. "With each one I wanted to create a better design than the last. It has become part of my weekly routine."

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His goal at the end of the year is to print a poster of all 53 illustrations (including the silhouette from day one), which is just about the best and most meaningful birthday gift a one-year-old is likely to get from her dad, but in case it wasn't clear, Holloman has wholeheartedly embraced his new role as a father. "Fatherhood is wonderful! My wife and I thought we could never love anything more then our dog (our mini-dachshund, Milo) and we were so wrong. Every time she smiles and laughs it makes me one happy dad."

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Keep up with baby Vie's growing profile on Holloman's blog, and look out for the poster at the end of the year.

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