Sunday, August 19, 2018


This week's theme was the 1920s. (Yes, even though we just had an Art Deco contest.) I have previously done a 20's fashion design for the tennis contest. I started with some famous slang terms from the twenties: "the bee's knees" and "the cat's pajamas." Hence, bees, and pajama-clad cats, doing the Charleston:


I had a lot of fun drawing fancy twenties-style pajamas. This came in right in the middle of the pack, as usual. My favorite was the colorful high-rises.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Two food contests

There were two contests in a row with food-related themes. First, a contest with a LOT of modifiers:
  • It was for a company that does iPad coloring books, so it was to be in black and white linework only
  • Plus the top designs could be featured in the coloring app, which does NOT do repeating designs, so our entries were supposed to be (or easily formatted to) 2200 by 3300. (as you can imagine, most people ignored that in order to make something more appealing as a repeat, since there's probably a bigger potential return on investment for yardage/wrapping paper)
  • And the actual theme was "food frenzy."
My inspiration was actually really simple. When I noted down the contest themes, I summarized it as "Food Coloring." So hey, how about those cute little bottles of literally food coloring?

Coloring food? Food coloring!

I even took a few reference photos of food coloring in our kitchen (without spilling it everywhere!), like a responsible artist. I'm really happy with how this came out. It almost made it into the top third of the contest! My favorite entry was the doodled fruits.

The next one was simply "tacos and burritos." I did polka dots (using the colors of traditional Mexical folk embroidery) with empty taco shells.

Imagine the tasty tacos

This ended up right in the middle of the pack. My favorite was the one that ultimately won.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Circles? Triangles?

This week's theme was "Circles are the new triangles," which, apparently starting from a viewpoint that triangles were (recently?) the tip-top of design, means that now circles are ultra-popular. Which was kind of a weird way of telling us to make a circle-featuring design.

I based mine on equations associated with circles, and then put them on hands, as if for cheating on a geometry test:

Sweaty Palm Cheat Sheet

This did not do well. I did have fun trying to make the writing look like a few different handwritings. My favorites were the marbles and these slightly-doodly dots.

Saturday, July 21, 2018


For the "medical professions" challenge, I did a bunch of diplomas and certificates, in honor of all those years of medical/nursing/pharmacy/etc school. I drew made-up shapes instead of letters, to give the impression of text without having to actually come up with fake schools and whatnot. (And, to work cross-language, no translation needed!)

So Many Years of School

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out! Regardless, it got nowhere in the contest. My favorites where these pills and bandaids.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A punt

I got intimidated by the "emerald forest" theme (which they specified to be forest-themed, and use at least some shade of something you could reasonably call emerald green) because I wasn't able to make a big, detailed forest illustration look the way I pictured it in my head. So, inspired by my younger son's love of pinecones, I just made a repeat of pinecones (specifically, those from coastal redwoods) in various shades of green. Not my best effort, but at least something.

Jewels of the forest floor

It didn't go anywhere in the contest. My favorites were the sorrel, this array of leaves & berries, and this dreamy illustration.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

"Princess Awesome" gives second chances

This week's contest was a sponsored one in concert with "Princess Awesome," which makes clothes for girls that includes some areas outside of the girly norm (dinosaurs, science, fire engines, etc). I've gotten my niece one of their dresses before. So the idea was to make a fabric they could use - something you would want to use for a girl's clothing, but not completely traditionally "girly."

Well, as it happened, I had a (nearly) complete idea ready to go for this. For the "ballet" theme a few years ago, I made a new version of my "ballerina plumbers," but unfortunately failed to submit it in time for the contest.  (TLDR on why I keep doing "ballerina plumber:" it was my desired profession when I was about six; plumber by day and ballerina by night.)

Sooooo, I tweaked my previous design a little - I boosted the pink (and tweaked some of the other colors) for a better contrast, and redid the pipes in the background so they are nicely curved. Thanks, me of three years ago!

Ballerina Plumbers (My Dream Job at Age 6)

This came in pretty much smack-dab in the middle of the pack for the contest, which is not too shabby considering how much of a "niche" idea it is.

My favorites were the ones about beetleschess, fishing, pirates, and outer space.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Four wheels

For the "four wheels" contest, most of the suggestions in the theme were for vehicles, so I went with inline skates.

Inline Skates Zooming

I used the "summertime" colors from the set of shared palettes created by the "synergy" group I'm part of. I'm not 100% on how it came out - I just couldn't get it to look the way I pictured in my head. In any case, at least I made it out of the bottom third of entries! My favorite was the "rolling robots."