Monday, September 2, 2013

Bob: Almost a Palindrome

Well, a couple of weeks ago my brain was feeling icky. When my brain feels icky, drawing usually helps. When I don't have any idea what to draw, I ask my 2 year old or my 3 year old what I should draw. This time, I asked the 2 year old and he requested 'circles'.
"Big circle," he says.
"Okay, now what?" I ask.
"Little circle," he says.

This goes on for a bit and once he's lost interest, I begin to connect the circles and add more circles until I see a figure begin to emerge. I give him teeth around his one big eye, which instantly becomes his tongue, or maybe just his throat? And I decide I don't want him to be stuck only one way. So I turn him upside-down and give him a second identity. Two sets of feet [slash] eyeballs and a pair of hands that really do express his anxiety from both view points. Then we move on to dinner and diaper changes.
right side up
Thanks to Facebook, I noticed Signal Snowboards is hosting a design contest via Talenthouse.
I hesitated for a few days. I'm not a snowboarder. And this is a youngster competition. I'm not young. But I am a designer. But I don't have many Facebook friends or art fans, I'll never win a popular vote. But is it really about winning? Isn't exposure just as good? Despite my chronological age, I'm a beginner as far as the 'art' world is concerned. But... in the design world, I'm a veteran. My stuff's been all over the planet and I dismiss that achievement outright. It doesn't count. Nobody knows I'm the one that did all those designs. I was a work-for-hire after all. Should I bother?

I downloaded the templates. I scanned my circle guy with the toes for eyelashes and eyelashes for toes. I manually trace him out with the pen tool because I hate the lack of control I get with auto-trace. I start assigning the limited colors, 3 max for the base of the board. I choose deep forest green (evergreen trees), an icy muted blue (sky) and a light cool gray (ice and snow). My little guy looks like he's in free-fall and shouting, swearing, screaming, whatever... I think the logo fits as his exclamation. So I place one bubble for each guy as well as one for the rider, since they are in this ride together. For the top sheet of the board, I wanted to pull the image from the base through it as to merge life on Earth with their 2D little universe. So, I used complimentary orange and deep red to illustrate a shadow puppet effect as well as highlighting the intensity of this 'extreme' sport. I included the exclamation bubble in the shadow, but without the mark, because of the intensity of the situation; even speech becomes a solid object that would cast a shadow. So, I guess I'm doing this... I'll enter this in the contest...

So I upload the file and Talenthouse requests a title and description of the work. I'm terrible at this. My 2nd weakest characteristic right behind lack of confidence, a clever title. Since my little guy works right side-up or upside-down, I thought Bob would be an appropriate name. He is not symmetrical, so he's not a real palindrome, but he's good enough for me.

In the end, I think it would make for a cool board. I'd love to see it in production. I'm not sure of the median age of a snowboarder these days, but I think they may dig it too.

Your votes and your support would be greatly appreciated.
Voting opens September 5th.
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