Ending in June, DC Thompson ran a competition called The Tartan Bucket Prize. Which was essentially tasking any unpublished artist to create a humorous short story to be published by DC Thompson in the same vein as their previous stuff but freshly in-tune to a 21st century audience.
A couple of limitations were in place, firstly that it had to pretty much be violence free/child friendly, secondly that it could only be two pages long and thirdly- I only had 4 hours to do the entire thing (as I came to know about the competition very late on to its announcement.)
My idea was essentially- Planes Trains And Automobiles, only starring Simon from PSTP and about Birds trying to make it on time for Migration(which I translated in this context to pretty much be a 'Bird holiday.')
Simon was a character I created by complete accident when having to draw the heroes of PSTP doing various poses to support the original title banner on the site- Having a free arm to fill in this particular pose I drew the crude essence of a Parrot giving the thumbs up. Eventually he came to be a star character, even having his own catchphrase.
On deadline day, I had to work a full 10-6 shift and got home around 7, So from then on I sat down to write, pencil and ink the comic and all somehow before midnight- I did it with about five minutes to spare.
I really don't expect to win and unfortunately I've no idea when the winners are going to be announced but I did at least get confirmation that my entry made it on time and will be considered.
And also, at the very least I found that the core idea was strong enough to have legs for an ongoing series, one I may actually look into. There are many ideas for the antics of Ainsley and Simon.
The hardest part for this challenge was trying to communicate my basic idea in the harsh limit of Two Pages(normally for a scene like this, setting things up, I'd take atleast three times that.) And also having to end it in a humorous conclusion was tricky, given these characters needed to meet. I'm obsessed with pacing in comics and this doesn't do much for me in that department but at the end of the day, it is what it is, I think it gets enough of a point across. I just know that if Lost In Migration gets its own mini-webcomic series, the introduction of the characters will be spread over alot more than two pages!
As an exercise in Character Design, I want to someday design an entire Pokedex of my own Pokemon(Meaning- 151 of them) It's not exactly a pressing need (nor entirely useful to my career goals) but I found myself forming some ideas quite easily so I'm looking forward to possibly taking a week out when I finish my ongoing projects and just seeing what I can do.
In the meantime- I did some rough sketches of what I might have as a starter Trio, this is probably as far as this exercise will ever go. All I can say is- PIRATE BOAT BIRD. Yeah, yeah exactly.
My concept for a Female Hero who'd star in a never-to-exist Zelda title has enjoyed a bizarrely vast amount of Zelda fan appreciation and in the past has been lovingly crafted into three dimensions by my good friend Nils, now it has been brought to life for real, as crafted and worn here by Nsomniacartist.
She has some record of production over at her blog, which makes for an interesting read- especially when it comes to the crafting of the props like the Master Sword. So interesting to see her break down my design elements into an actual working costume and I found it really inspiring to see how seemingly simpleit is to craft such cool looking props(I want to make my own shield!)
It's something of a relief from a character design point of view to have knowledge that you 'did good' on your concepts and created something that works in 3D(Although I'm certain most if not all the credit for 'realizing' any part of the design goes squarely to the cosplayer.) Having had the pleasure of seeing a few of my designs in three-dimesions I do get quite overexcited when the process validates my design choices and translates well. I'm sure there was lots of tweaking involved to get this design to work in reality but never the less it feels really cool to see it look as good as it does.
Thanks for all the Zelda fans who dug the concept. I wanted a design that would represent a strong, deadly character and not just to stick boobs on Link and put on the skimpiest outfit possible. I'm most proud that, amongst all the attention the piece got, most comments recognised and appreciated that effort.
I'm beginning the visual thinking on a short story I'm doing upon completing Issue 3, I'm a ways off finishing that but I want to arrive at a strong conclusion for my visual elements on this story as it'll be brief- I want it to be memorable.
For this project I decided it might be worth my while rendering my ideas in 'realism' atleast, realism compared to what my work has become. I'm still learning to understand the economy of lines and the magic of simplistic stylised art- and it's been something of a focus for me in the last year. For my work on this short story- I felt that maybe I should work with more detail- give myself more room and THEN translate my design to my eventual presentation. It's been an interesting approach to my character design and depending on how all of my concepts go, one I may use more often down the line.
These are early designs. She's a Pirate and a Scroundel who gets tangled into the main characters story and hopefully by time I'm done, she'll clearly be giving "Female Han Solo" vibes.
As I have a few artistic ventures, I file it all under the roof of 'Crimson Feather Studios'. Right now, it's but a name! but someday it'll house similar lifeless geeks like myself, beavering away on something epic.