Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hoot Nanner

Owls are a pretty hot item right now. Fun fact: my wife actually liked them before they were cool. It seemed unavoidable, so I just went ahead and did it.

As I get more comfortable with inkscape, I find that I can finish these smaller pieces much faster. I'm also making much nicer shapes. I've got a few ideas on the burner right now that I hope to create soon. One of them is a little tribute to Zelda's 25th anniversary.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Deceptively simple. Gingham is a neat pattern formed by intentionally offset stitching. At least, that's what I see when I stare intensely at my work shirts. If I made opacity changes and gradients available to me, this would have been a lot easier. However, I opted to create and manage a bunch of rectangles which were rotated, scaled down, colored, and clip-masked.

I will definitely be re-doing this one. There are flaws involving grouping, stroke color, and balance. Once again: theory is correct, but the execution got wonky. Trends being what they are, you can look forward to stickers featuring tartan, paisley, and argyle.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Inspired by William Morris. I love repeating patterns. It's really cool to look at a piece of fabric and try to find the edges of the repeating patterns printed on it. I find myself hypnotized by shower curtains and couches.

I meant to create something based on plant-like elements. It kind of reminds me of a tiger though. Weird. I realize I am a few stickers behind, so I will be making those up soon. Thanks for following me, whoever you are out there.


New post forthcoming. I fixed a small problem with my last sticker - one line that had three duplicates of itself stacked on one another, making it seem thicker than it actually is. I'll leave the post as-is so you can see the difference.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'B' is for banana

Not too sure how I feel about this one. Trying hatching as a method of shading. Kind of a pain. Experiment 50% successful.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Week three. First repeating pattern. Searching for a more elegant way of creating patterns. Tomorrow's piece is already in the works. Should be more complicated than these tend to be.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I wanted to draw, but I wasn't sure where to start. I wanted to make something cool, but it never quite turned out right. I had ideas, but I didn't think I had the means to make them work. I was experiencing what Steven Pressfield refers to as "resistance".

Normally, I would have accepted any excuse to stop working or trying. I would suddenly get a headache or get really tired. Sometimes a paralysis would set in as I weighed and considered future actions rather than acting in any way. Now I know the cost of giving into resistance - regret and stagnation.

I made a mark and I ran with it. Before I knew it, I had a usable sketch. Soon after, I was making my shapes, refining my nodes, applying color, scaling, and setting clip paths. I made something. I proved resistance wrong. I won today.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Horror

Wanted to get a quick one out there. The important part of this project is doing the work, even if it's not always fantastic. Metroid is 25 this year. Consider this just one of my tribute pieces. Oh and enjoy the behind the scenes look (every detail is a fully editable object, which makes revising and changing these things easy if you know what you're doing).

Metroids are horrible creatures. They haunt my nightmares. In the original game, you didn't even encounter a Metroid until the final area. And thank goodness for that, because those mutant jellyfish will hunt you down and drain your health with a fierceness. Your only defense against these beasts is to curl into a ball and constantly blow yourself up while praying you have enough of a window to hit them with your ice beam. Later games in the series made them even more menacing by mutating them or sending you into abandoned laboratories full of the things.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A really stylized Medusa for Halloween. The snakes were fun. I really want to re-do the face. Still pleased with the overall design of this one: it went through a lot of revisions throughout the day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Pushing against the borders - an epic beard. Inspired by classic wizards, lawn gnomes, and Olaf the Stout.

This blog was inspired by Noah Scalin's 365 project and the book he based on it. But I wouldn't have even known about the project if it weren't for The Accidental Creative. It's worth a look for anyone who considers themselves creative and who has or is currently going through what we call a "creative block". I've gone through a lot of blocks during my life and I've read a lot of books about getting over them. Todd Henry distills all of that knowledge and quite a bit of his own into his website, podcasts, and a great book.

Monday, October 17, 2011

'Spec Knucks

I wanted to break away from the usual today. I had to find out what sort of things the calligraphy brush would let me do. I decided to go outside my usual style and workflow to do something ridiculous.

This piece was inspired by Cartoon Network. I loved that channel growing up - coming home from school and watching Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, and Samurai Jack followed by a healthy dose of Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, and Gundam topped off with some Sealab 2021, Home Movies, and Aquateen Hunger Force. Watching it now reminds me of those old times - only better.

I seriously recommend Adventure Time, The Regular Show, Gumball, and the new Looney Toons to anyone reading this. It's like someone decided to take the wit and sarcasm from adult swim and add it to the regular daytime cartoons. Here, you can even watch them from your computer.

Anyway, watching a lot of The Regular Show inspired me to create this fist-bump sticker. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Peach Sticker for a Banana

Add this to that category of things I'm surprised I didn't do sooner. Peach is one of my favorite characters in the Mario universe. Gliding across tough areas in Mario Bros. 2, keeping my party's HP levels up in Super Mario RPG, and knocking fools out of bounds with a well placed butt-attack in Smash Bros. are just a few reasons she'll always be my first choice. I've always enjoyed the rage my friends express when she wins: twirling about, waving, and saying something classic like "Peachie's got it!" or "Aw, did I win?".

Original doodle on a post-it note. Said post-it also contains two more ideas I plan on using this coming week. They involve a wizard, and fist-bumping. Should be an interesting one.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I have a weird thing for bugs. Not THAT kind of weird thing, mind you. It's just that, given a blank canvas and my own direction I will often find myself painting a grasshopper or a luna moth.

Insects are an amazing artistic subject. Like flowers, they come in an astounding array of colors, shapes, and sizes. Beyond that, it's a lot of fun to study the behaviors and defense mechanisms of various insects.

Bugs are still pretty freaky. I may feel a sense of awe and wonder seeing a full size goliath beetle perched on someone's hand, but it would definitely squick me out to find one walking across my carpet.

So expect to find more bugs in the future here. I'm kind of surprised I didn't make one earlier. This one isn't based on a particular variety: it's an amalgam of insect symbols from my left-brain informed by artistic processes in my right-brain. In other words: it's a doodle. Enjoy.

Friday, October 14, 2011


It's October. Halloween is around the corner. Thought I would throw out a Yeti tonight. Nothing super fancy, but fun nonetheless.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nouveau Nanners

To make up for the lack of a post yesterday, I've decided to make three stickers today. The first sticker is in honor of my second week on the project (numbers are fun). Sticker two is actually a decorative border I will be incorporating into an upcoming sticker. The last sticker is an homage to one of my favorite art movements - Art Nouveau.

I am always thinking about the constraints of these stickers - their limited palettes, limited space, and constant shape. It falls on me to figure out new ways to shape the borders and press against the perceived limits. In this way, these little stickers haven't become tedious or boring yet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Nanner Draws Near...

A bit late - but happy 25th birthday, Dragon Quest! Today's sticker celebrates one of the most iconic monsters in the known world: the blue slime. I wanted to hold off on the slime (it was one of my first sticker ideas, actually) until I had something else I could add to it. Consider this an experiment in more decorative borders (testing the waters for an art nouveau-inspired sticker).

Admittedly, I didn't play the original Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior here in the states) or many of the other games in the series for that matter. I recently beat Dragon Quest 9 for the DS. I also enjoyed Rocket Slime and what little I have played of the Dragon Quest: Monsters/Joker series.

Despite my limited exposure to the series, I absolutely love it for what it is. It is awesome to see a game change up its gameplay, story, and themes so much while retaining the spirit of the original game. Other JRPG series added lengthy CGI cutscenes, convoluted plots, brooding teenagers, and questionable fashion. Dragon Quest retains the catchy music, light-hearted stories, and those great Akira Toriyama character designs.

Tomorrow is the end of week two. That was just for me. I cannot believe I'm closing out another week!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Still Here...

To make up for a missing sticker yesterday, I present two semi-related pieces. The first is what I'm told is the Kanji for "banana". I'm not actually 100% sure about that, but it seemed legitimate enough to fool a gaijin like me. The primary element in the sticker is actually the japan-inspired repeating pattern. I got the idea from this tutorial over at vectortuts+.

The second sticker is my take on the classic beckoning cat you've probably seen somewhere at one point in your life. I thought I would make a more rotund version and play around with some of the negative space relationships.

Inkscape's path-finder options leave a barely noticeable seam around the objects they create. There may be a way to mitigate that with some layer trickery. I'm noticing it more on my clipping masks for yellow-on-yellow. That might need a bit of research.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I didn't have a reference for a real monkey skull, rather I didn't use one. I had a symbol in my head, and I ran with it. I'm beginning to just run with ideas rather than sitting around researching everything and ultimately, talking myself out of the project.

Since this blog was inspired by the book based on the Skull-a-day project, I thought today's sticker would be a tribute to that. Thinking back on yesterday's rushed thoughts (I was about 20 minutes from deadline last night), working with symmetry is great for these little projects. Von Glitscha talks great lengths about designing vectors in this manner. He champions the idea because you basically only have to work on one half of the design to complete it.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge, Inkscape doesn't have a fleshed-out reflect tool. Adobe Illustrator has a fancy one-button-click tool that takes your half of the design and creates the rest of it. For me: I have to duplicate my half, flip horizontally, nudge everything over, select the individual points (we call 'em nodes in Inkscape land) where they need to meet, use the join nodes tool on each junction, then refine the new meeting point node to mitigate "seams". It's that easy.

Maybe I'll happen upon that tool somewhere down the line. Regardless of whether it exists or not, I actually appreciate having to get in there and bang my head against shape-building and Bezier tools. I feel like as I learn more, I am able to take more risks and create more complicated designs.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Colonel B.A. Nanner

Just a fun, quick sketch based on a simple idea: draw a monocle and build a character around that. Faces are always fun for vector illustration since you can pretty much do half, then flip it around for the other half.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I hate this

It's me. I wanted to do a self-portrait as part of this project, but I think it would actually take more time to create something I'm happy with. I still have a lot to learn about vector illustration before I tackle faces again.

One thing I've noticed about each of these pieces, is that reducing things down to three colors is the hardest part. I like the ones based on my sketches the best because I can plan around the limited palette (there's a lot to be said for the positive/negative relationships that can occur here).

So I didn't want to post this because I don't think it's that great. Just the same, I promised a new one each day- not a good one each day.

I want to do this again. I will re-do this, but I will continue making new ones. My re-do won't count. There are so many reasons I shouldn't be doing a self-portrait right now anyway.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Inkscape has a plugin that generates gears. You plot some points, fill in some blanks, and you get gears. The crazy thing is that these are functional: rotating one gear, rotates the whole set according to the placement of the teeth and all of that.

I was originally looking for a way to create a custom pattern that could be applied to a path. I wanted to make my own tooth pattern and apply it to a circle to make my own gears. The program can totally do that, but it's going to require some more research on my part to make it happen.

I really wanted to make something that evokes a hidden power in the banana. Once again, the theme would be to use the sticker as a window to the inside. This is more of a stylistic gear pattern I created(Inkscape will create the shapes for you, but placement and extra elements are all up to you). I may revisit the idea of gears when I learn a new technique for making them and a much cooler overall concept.

One week down. Seven stickers done. One follower (thanks, man). The stakes are higher. The pressures are greater. But I'm having fun, and that's all that matters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Strongest Woman In the World

Chun-Li on a banana? I would be happy to randomly find Street Fighter anywhere in the supermarket, really.

This would be maybe the third piece of Street Fighter fan-art I've produced in my life. It's not great, but it sure beats the Vega I drew in my notebook in middle school. Look forward to more Street Fighter down the line: just about every character in the series would make an awesome sticker. Count on seeing at least my favorites: Fei Long and Makoto.

Almost a full week down. I'm learning some things about my process and I'm finding a groove.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I had some ideas in the queue that I was excited to put to use tonight. However, going through some recent projects I found a sketch that basically went unused.

I say "basically" because I used the sketch as a means of learning Inkscape - sort of a crash course, really. What I ended up with was a cool idea with a cool head and an awkward-looking body. I accepted the fact that it wasn't great work, that I had learned some things I wanted to learn, and tossed the file aside.

So I scrapped that awkward body, threw out the weird color-scheme, and added some science-y lightning bolts and an antenna. You finally made it, Ro-bro. Make me proud.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The idea behind this one wasn't to come up with a sweet alien design (not even close), rather I wanted to think of the sticker as a window to something whimsical. What if the banana were a spaceship, and the sticker was the porthole the passengers looked out of? Make sure the folks at the nut-house have that in writing.

The important thing to consider here is that I sat down with barely an idea. I wasn't sure exactly how to make that idea work, but I tried. I worked against resistance, and I won today.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


One of my favorite series of video games is Disgaea by Nippon Ichi Software. In the game, you take control of a powerful entity from the netherworld who commands legions of (admittedly cute and fuzzy) monsters. The thing I like most about the games is that they don't take themselves too seriously with their stories and characters. The game play is top-notch, and the special moves are always over-the-top.

So enjoy today's sticker, "Prinny Veteran". Prinnys make up the peon divisions of netherworld armies. They shuffle around your castle all day with their fanny-packs of doom, comically tripping on random things and saying "Dood" a lot. Also, they explode when you throw them.