Following last weeks post, a friend of mine surprised/shocked me by setting up a spreadshirt-shop for me and then forcing/encouraging me into uploading artworks. I’ll make a habit out of uploading my weekly illustrations to the shop, at least if it makes a somewhat decent design for that purpose.
Go to https://smilesandgiggles.myspreadshop.net/ if you want to buy a piece of clothing with an illustration from me on it. Spreadshirt is a german print-service, so if they ship internationally then I guess it will not be cheap.
It’s been a rough week or two. The image text is a bit deceptive though, I’ve been struggling not so much with doing something new but rather with falling back into bad habits. I let other people’s agendas, perceptions, and perspectives cloud my own mind.
I want to see if I can build something of my own. Create art that makes people smile and makes the world a little bit of a friendlier place, even if just for a few minutes. And earn a living with it. But what happened slowly since I left KARAKTER and more so in the past two weeks since I ended my “take it easy -vacation period” is that I let other people tell me that I won’t be able to earn money with my own art, that thus I should do something different. >> Oh it’s nice art, but I would never pay for that. <<, >>There’s no money in making people happy. … <<. That I’m such a good freelance artist, why would I not want to join their project? There’s a team that needs art direction, why not take it over since I obviously don’t have anything better lined up? I should do monsters, I should do character skins, do Riot-style, do mobile, women 50+ target audience, serious cute realism stylized military casual ….. Because I can do all of those things, other people want me to do those things and thus I should do them.
Which led to me doing “preemptive commissioned” portfolio work. Every morning I got up with the goal of creating another artwork that would catch attention and get me commission work. I was working feverishly, manically. I was doing work for unknown internet people that I had no interest in myself and I wasn’t even getting paid for it. I tunnel-visioned towards “You’re only worth something if the next artwork you do is something cool that other artists and game companies will like”. Read that again. “You’re only worth something if … other (people) will like”. I’m so thankful that through therapy, personal training, coaching, and a lot of work on my part I have learned to catch myself before slipping too far down this spiral. Those steps down are so familiar though, I walked this path so often, so many times. That dark place is still far easier to get to and feel at home than to believe in me and let myself feel happy.
I need to find a way to keep my own ideas in focus, to not let myself be distracted by other people so easily. Maybe physical whiteboards or something.
Coincidentally, it’s suicide prevention week in the USA. As good a time as any to reach out to the people around you and ask how they’re doing.
On Monday I challenged myself with another random drawing exercise. I created a list of various attributes, gave each item a number, then went online to rolladie.net to randomly select two items out of the list, and ended up with the following two attributes: Brawl Stars | Tiefling Brawl Stars refers to the hit mobile game “Brawl Stars” from Supercell, Tiefling refers to a race from Dungeons & Dragons.
I decided to draw a Tiefling character that stylistically, complexity-wise might fit into the game Brawl Stars. I went to donjon.bin.sh to create a set of random Tiefling character descriptions, picked one from which I took the name and some other features, and then got drawing.
On Monday evening I saw someone post title card sketches on Instagram, which then led me to do this drawing on Tuesday.
Lets’s close the first month of freelance with a set of illustrations I did for Dino Trocknungen GmbH and in collaboration with Kassel based design agency Lockruf. Dino Trocknungen was going to brand a set of construction waste containers and wanted to utilize their mascot for this purpose. They were acquiring a new truck as well, which was potentially gonna get a print on the door(s). So they were looking for poses/actions of their mascot which would suit the theme but also needed to fit onto the containers. With this info and some temporary design layouts from Andreas Bollerhey (of lockruf) I had a lot of fun just sketching proposals. The client selected his favorite sketches, Andreas gave me some additional info on how he’d like the files to be set up so he could make adjustments for the final layouts, and off I went to create the illustrations.
I had the opportunity to design a mascot for a private beer brewer and illustrate one small vignette that can be used on a label, sticker, card, etc.. Initially, the goal was to cartoonify the client into the mascot, and I briefly explored some options based on some of the cartoons/comics the client grew up with. The last option I threw in because in our conversation I had learned that there’s a family crest that features a bull and an axe. He liked the bull and so that’s the option we went with for the final illustration.
This is the result of a random character design prompt. Brain + Lizard = Braizard. My first thoughts went towards brain-eating zombie lizards, but I didn’t feel that so I went with something “cute” instead.
Shortly after announcing my return to freelance, I got an e-mail from a musician who had seen and liked some of my various explorations from the past years. The musician was looking for someone to create an album cover for him. The music wasn’t going to be published, instead, it is only for his own private use. For a briefing, I received a spotify-playlist of music from other musicians, a short description of the theme of the music that he wants to collect into an album, and a budget. From there I listened to the playlist on repeat and did a couple of sketches. I’m happy to say he liked all of them, but he decided on only commissioning me to finalize one for now.
The band name and album title I made up myself from the description that I was given.
I’m really happy with this project, I had a lot of fun listening to the playlist and letting my own imagination & emotions guide me through the process of making those comps/sketches. I’m also happy that I got to work on the one sketch that I threw in as an “out there”-suggestion.