Illustration – Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

As part of the spring term TY1SK module, I completed a range of design tasks to improve and build my Adobe software skills. Here’s a blog post about my ‘Drawing Vector Objects’ task, where I made an illustration for a social media banner about Yaa Gyasi’s book ‘Homegoing’. Throughout my design process, I took several screenshots to help explain how I ended up with my final design.


Design ideas and design process 

According to my research into this book, the author is a Ghanaian-American. Ideally, I’d like to create something unique to her country. In Ghana, hibiscus (flower) is a very popular flower. To create the background pattern, I’ll use Ghana’s flag colors, but in pastels. 

Figure 1. Inspiration and sketch, color swatches

As the design process went on, my Illustrator skills improved a lot.
My first step was creating a background pattern, but watching tutorials helped me get a better solution in the end.

Figure 2-4. This is a screenshot of the process I used to create a background pattern. I selected all three colors and then chose Object – Pattern – Make from the menu bar. After selecting the proper options to rotate this pattern, I was able to see how it would look later on. The pattern was saved in the Swatches panel, and then a rectangle was drawn using the Rectangle Tool, which was already filled with the pattern. In the last image, we can see the final pattern for the background.

Figure 5. Tracing the initial sketch

The final design was achieved using the Pen Tool, which allowed me to follow my plan and bring it to life this vector-based illustration.

Software tutorials

During my pattern creation process, I encountered a problem, and it took me a while to resolve it. The problem I experienced was that I was unable to obtain a rotated version of my pattern. To achieve the desired result, I set some pattern options (Tile type: Brick by Row, 1/3) and then used the Rotate Tool to achieve the desired result.

Figure 6. Setting Pattern Options                         Figure 7. Rotate the pattern using Rotate Tool

There were several software tutorials provided in the brief that showed a partial solution to this problem. However, this was not sufficient, so I searched for further online tutorials that provided me with the necessary information. I found this particular tutorial where I learned about Pattern Options and how to set them correctly.

The following is another very interesting tutorial I found useful:


Design resources and articles

When searching for research sources, I became interested in the book’s story. An African family and their descendants are traced through generations in this novel, beginning with two sisters in 18th century Ghana – one who stayed and one who was shipped to the United States.

To avoid copying and pasting the original cover page, I conducted additional research on Ghana as a country and its characteristics. As a result, I decided to use the colors of the country’s flag (red, green, yellow, black) and the emblematic flower hibiscus, which gave the banner a distinct African feel.

As part of my research, I read a number of reviews from famous newspaper websites in order to gather as much information as possible regarding the book and the author. For example:

and many more…


Learning throughout the module

It was a very helpful experience completing this module’s tasks as it allowed me to gain a better understanding of Adobe software. Despite this, I can clearly state that it was somewhat time-consuming to watch a variety of online tutorials until I discovered the right ones for my specific needs. Despite this, I was able to learn a little bit from each of them. The time I took to complete this task was definitely worth it, and I am looking forward to working on more of them in the future.

Taking the last two quizzes, I realized I still need to continue watching instructional tutorials and lessons, which I presumewill give me more confidence in completing and designing my own projects in the future.