Valentina’s Date

Project brief

Create a poster for Valentina’s Date, horror/sci-fi short story written by Phaedon-Z, featuring a portrait of Gin Flasher – narrator of the story.


One poster including title, tagline and author name, featuring portrait of creature character.

Creative process

Valentina’s Date walks a fine line between socio-technological sci-fi and body horror, the glamorous and the mundane, nostalgia and futurism. We weaved all these contrasts into the character design, colour scheme and nuanced background.

Gin Flasher, the point-of-view character, is larger than life, sensual yet unpredictable and dangerous. Concentrating on the unsettling part of her personality, we chose to paint her taking up the entire canvas, arresting the viewer with her eyes and physique, creating a claustrophobic space, blocking all exits. We have her dominating the viewer by being placed slightly higher than them. Gin looks human, but she is actually a creature and we have included subtle nuances to that fact. The flaring nostrils, the yellow eyes, the bared teeth, the design of her dress and jewels are all allusions to her creature self. Her radiant beauty is a deadly facade so we have placed a lot of emphasis on her makeup and styling to bring that out. Gin is famished for love, we therefore painted her to look emaciated. She is eating a chocolate heart dessert in the first part of the story and we chose to paint that as a visual metaphore for her story.

The background alludes to the setting of most of the story in the green booth of a patisserie, but the inclusion of the skull design together with a circuit board texture further captures the primordial horror element Gin Flasher mixed in with the futuristic timeline of the story.

The title design alludes to the sensual and retro branding of chocolate and cake shops.

Tools and media

Photoshop and Illustrator.