There was actually a second contest that closed on the very same day as the non-owl animal contest, with a much harder theme. Spoonflower announced they were teaming up with Robert Kaufman fabrics, and doing a mega contest, where the designs had to look at least partially like watercolor paintings, with two rounds. The top eight vote-getters of the first round would get a few weeks to create full collections around their first entry, and the winner of that round would get a contract with Kaufman to be a professional fabric designer.
They actually announced this one first, and then two weeks before it closed, posted about the animal one closing on the same day. Whaaaa? I thought it had to be a mistake at first, but alas, it was true. This was especially irksome for me, because I was going to be traveling for the week leading up to the last day of these two contests.
Since I hadn't made much progress on my watercolor entry, I figured I would just finish my animal entry first and then go back if I had any time. Hipster Piglet actually came together pretty quickly, so I got a little bit done before the trip started.
Of course, 'watercolor' is just an appearance, and doesn't give any suggestion for actual subject matter. I tried to think of something that was really 'me'. When I was little, I wanted to be a Ballerina Plumber - fixing plumbing by day, dancing on the stage at night. I drew a couple of the little B.P.s and some plumbing for the background, all in SketchBook Pro so I could make them look like pencil drawings.
Once we were back, I had one evening to finish up. I followed this tutorial to make the color look a little more like watercolor paint. The end result is still far short of what I was wishing to make, but a decent first attempt.
Definitely one I want to take another stab at! Not sure if I would necessarily make it a watercolor design again, but it's a concept I want to develop. One of the weakest parts is the color - I tend to be far too literal and representational with colors, so I need to do some thinking on how to come up with a scheme for this that is more cheerful and bright, but still allows for the ballet & plumbing elements to come across clearly.
I also uploaded a version with just the background, which I think makes an interesting blender print on its own.
Alas, but unsurprisingly, my design didn't make it into the second round. They didn't show the voting results so I don't know the extent of how poorly it did, ha ha!
My favorite entry was this one, which also didn't make it into the finals. Of the final entries, none particularly grabbed me. I thought all of them were good, but nothing seemed like anything super-special that's beyond what you see in conventional fabric collections.