Saturday, January 28, 2012

Two entries, one palette, fifty-one votes

I have two Spoonflower contests to catch up on. First up, the theme was to create a cityscape. I decided to go with the city where I live, Goleta. This area cracks me up sometimes. We could get into the politics of why unused or underused plots are left as-is, but the end result is that you get a strange mix when you drive down Hollister, which is the main drag: strip mall, empty weedy lot, business park, airport, gym, apartments, another strip mall, "old town", expensive condos, car dealership, nursery, school, lemon orchard, hospital! I wanted to do a cartoony overhead map just focusing on Hollister. Plus I wanted to have it be pretty small and dense. Once again though I didn't have enough time to really get it quite the way I envisioned. I kept having to stop myself from making it too accurate - adding all the right kinds of trees, shrubs, etc.

Hollister Avenue in Goleta, CA

If I'd had more time, I would have gone further down Hollister (I was only able to get from Winchester Canyon to Fairview, and I wanted get to Patterson), and spent more time on the repeat so it looks a bit more evenly spread. Definitely one on the "possibly remake someday" pile. I keep going back & forth on this one - at first I thought it was ok, then I saw some of the other entries and decided it's terrible, and now I'm starting to think it's marginally alright again. This came in 174 out of 180, with 15 votes, so I know where the Spoonflower voting public stands. Ha! You need to look at the top ten for this one, some of them are really amazing.

The following contest was for "outdated technology." I was obviously quite tempted to do something with computers - old floppy disks and so forth. But eventually I decided to go with something from my favorite book: the Count of Monte Cristo. There's a scene where the titular count interferes with messages sent through what is translated as a "telegraph," but it's also described as being a series of relay towers with "beetle-like arms." Of course I had to know more. As it happens, they are also called semaphore towers, and they have an apparatus with three jointed bars that the operator can rotate into different positions, each of which represents a character. So for my design I drew semaphore towers out in the countryside, each on their own hill. For more variety I added some oxen in there too. I decided I kind of liked the set of colors I used in the previous design, and they worked for this one too, so I just used them again! I have five different towers, which are displaying the letters B-R-U-C-E, which is, of course, the name of my son.

French Semaphore Towers with Oxen

This came in 181 out of 203, with 36 votes. So I doubled my votes from last week, ha ha! I didn't get either of these to quite gel, which was frustrating - but I'm much happier with a couple that are in upcoming contests, so stay tuned.

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