Sometimes, the voting body of Spoonflower followers mystifies me. I very often have contest entries that don't measure up to how I pictured them in my mind, and much less often than that, they get a good number of votes anyway.
One week, the contest was to do a design in black and white which had something to do with "your neighborhood." I immediately decided to do something with white lines on a black background, since most people would certainly be doing the opposite. Which of course led me to think of nighttime, which made me think of all the nocturnal creatures we can hear rustling around after sunset, up here in the hills.
I'm sure you'll be super surprised to hear this: I had very little time to get this one done. So I did a very loose, simplified sketchy style. Little houses with lit windows, trees, and eyes glowing in the night.
Not all that pleased with how this came out. I seriously considered not bothering entering it in the contest. But, this actually got 97 votes (and 13 "likes"!) and almost made it into the top quartile. What?? Like I said, sometimes I'm mystified, but I shouldn't complain!
This entry was actually quite similar to what I wanted to shoot for, had I enough time. I also really liked this "European old town" and delightful assortment of medieval architectural details. My overall favorite was this Escher/cliff dwelling/infinite staircase landscape.
For the "Nutcracker" (as in the ballet, not just the toy) contest, I also ended up doing a black-and-white entry even though it wasn't required. Again, short on time. I referenced the mouse army (interspersed with candy), and once again fell back on a simple, cartoony style.
I'm happier with this one than the neighborhood design, but still expected it to rank very low. But, it actually got 92 votes and very nearly made it into the top third! I want to do at least a colored-in version of this at some point. My favorite entry was this one.
Another propt was "groundhogs." That's a hard topic to come up with an idea which a million other entries won't be using as well. I decided to do groundhogs in their little underground tunnels. As I often do, I used existing patterns for texture: hibiscus for the dirt, and geometric stars for the tunnels.
I didn't know what to do with colors, so I just picked the number-one most popular palette on ColourLovers - though I did add a maroon to have a darker detail color.
Color by COLOURlovers
Astoundingly, this got 139 votes and came in 26th place. Don't get me wrong, I'm much happier with how this one came out than the one above, but that's still way higher than I thought it would place. My favorite was the ultimate winner.