Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Top 5 Videogames of 2011 PT.3

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I would consider it one of the best in the series. One of the best, if not the best game on the Wii. The most fun I've had with motion controls in a long time. There's so much to like about this game, I could go on and on. But this isn't a blog about my gaming habits, it's a blog about my daily project.

Today's sticker features Fi - a new character who embodies the spirit of the Master Sword. In the game, she serves as your 'Navi' character - guiding you and giving you hints (sometimes warning you about the low batteries in your Wii remote). I decided to show her form using only highlights. The triforce was added to drive home the Zelda theme and illustrate the importance of the character in regards to the rest of the series.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Top 5 Videogames of 2011 PT.2

Today's game: Bastion. It's amazing. It was one of my favorite gaming experiences of the year. The artwork alone was enough to convince me to get it - but the narration, gameplay, and music kept me coming back for more. The soundtrack is free to listen to at bandcamp (seriously, check out 'Build That Wall' to see what I'm talking about).

I've wanted to do a horizontal sticker for a while now. I used some artwork from the game, fearing what may happen if I try to come up with my own interpretation of 'the kid' in a short amount of time. The dimensions of the sticker don't make it seem like there's much of a difference between horizontal and vertical, but the difference is pretty striking.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Top 5 Videogames of 2011...

I'll be using these next 5 posts/stickers to tell you about my five favorite games of 2011. I figure this is as good a time as any to make a bunch of game-themed stickers. These aren't in any particular order.

Today's sticker celebrates Pokemon Black/White. I probably have more time invested in this one game than in all the rest of the games in my top 5 combined. This game has all the nerdy stuff I cannot get enough of: collecting, exploring, fighting, obscure mechanics, resource management, 'deck building', and customizing. I loved all of the crazy new graphical touches. I was thankful for the increased battle speeds. I delighted in all of the battle challenges and post-main campaign story stuff. This isn't the game that will make people into new Pokemon fans, but it will certainly please anyone who has tried to catch 'em all before.

Went with a pokeball design because it seemed to fit the format better. My wife suggested I base the design around my favorite new Pokemon. I honestly couldn't choose a favorite from that whole list. I suppose you could go back to my second post and pretend I made a pidove sticker.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Experimenting with calligraphic lines and intentional off-setting. It's hard create something haphazard without making it look lazy and thrown together. I've wanted to try this style for some time now, but I could never get it to look right. Not a total success, but I think I figured out how to make it look believable - make your line-work first, then create shapes underneath.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My regular job has me tracing around objects pretty much all day with the Bezier Pen tool in Photoshop. Since the paths are being used for raster objects, it isn't really important to create nice shapes with prime point placement, correct anchor point usage, or shape building methods. Just the same, I and everyone else on the team is a ninja with the pen tool - creating clip paths and masking products with cold efficiency.

Hence, today's sticker is based on a real image of an ice skate. I think I would have preferred to use the more traditional method (research, draw, scan, vector, color) over this quick and dirty approach. But as I'm trying to get back into regular updates, it seemed more important to get the work done. I was curious as to how this approach would look - and now I know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Done Yet...

I didn't want to just post another lame experiment. This is a simple design using the pattern tool and seam workaround. I also managed to get some use out of the align and distribute pattern (no more unintentionally off-center objects for me).

Tomorrow will be an idea generation day. Time to hit the stimuli queue (books and other media I'm absorbing for future creative breakthroughs) and see what I can find. I've learned to create some competent vector shapes - now it's time to take it further.

This project isn't done until I've made 365 stickers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Duplicate the repeating pattern with the awful seam problem, offset slightly, and the seams disappear. There. Now I can go on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Experiments

No great answers about my anti-aliasing issues. This makes pattern-making a major pain. I won't let that get me down though...

You know what does work? The pattern along path feature. I made a quick digital sketch of the classic noodle bowl patten, and here it is. I imagine there are some quirks to this feature, but it feels like a small victory for me.

My Christmas presents are currently resting on my scanner, making it pretty tough to get things done in general. I hope to get back to actual work soon. All this research is going a long way to helping me accomplish that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kind of ugly

After getting burned by the pattern making tools in Inkscape (remember the houndstooth umbrella), I decided to consult the manual. Turns out, patterns always create seams. Something about anti-aliasing.

It's really disappointing to say the least. I created the above image as an experiment in repeating lines (gotta have this stuff down to do tartan right). It's got ugly seams all over the place. More experiments down the road I guess.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Project I was talking about...

Thought I would go ahead and post this while I'm here. Made this for a friend's birthday card (he's fan of the color green, giraffes, and art deco prints) with Photoshop's primitive vector tools. I have to give a lot of credit to this great tutorial by Chris Spooner. Check out his awesomely-designed blog and sweet vector tutorials.


I've been sitting on this one for a while: much like the Chozo statues themselves - sitting in the dark waiting to dispense their treasure.

Metroid deserves more than one sticker for its 25th anniversary. It deserves more than two, actually. For all the great things that the Metroid series has inspired (Cave Story, Symphony of the Night, Shadow Complex, and Monster Tale to name a few), I would start a new daily creative project and blog to celebrate. But I am one person with one daily project I have trouble updating regularly, so it's not in the cards for now.

I am still gathering knowledge on Inkscape's features. I am trying to approach these vectors with more care and more craft. I don't have the time to really scrutinize every point and shape the way I would like. I'm still not confident with these really complicated pieces. There's a long way to go yet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Getting away from the holiday theme for just a moment. Lord Vader seems kind of content in this piece - almost happy. It's kind of adorable.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bizay Bizay

Got nutcrackers on the brain. As it stands, this is my current sketch. I want to use the idea, but I'm not too fond of the current direction.

Aforementioned project is complete. It was an illustration for a birthday card coming up at the end of the week. I will post it on Friday evening.

A similar project has recently come up. The turnaround time should be soon. Thinking a lot about stencils. I should be back to thinking complete thoughts once all these holiday shenanigans are at an end.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


An idea similar to my princess peach design. Reindeer antlers are really fun to draw - they are also great practice for curved bezier shapes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weird Shoes

Thinking about elf shoes and ice skates. This time, the elves won out. These seasonal colors and attitudes have allowed me to clear my head a bit and think in new ways.

I have a couple non-sticker projects coming up that I think will go much smoother with my recent training. I'll let you know how that goes.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Seasonal Nanner

Re-flavored the stickers for the season. Enjoy these holiday themed nanner-stickers.