BLOBS #111 RESULTS

Welcome to RESULTS DAY! If you did any character creating this week, share your designs using #theblobblog! I would love to see what you imagined!

And if you wondered where my Blobs come from...

it was inspired by our holiday preparations! Last weekend we went to find a tree and I was on the lookout for interesting shapes. Here's what I found...

We went to two different tree stands to find the right tree for our home. As we searched I found a stone tile, a wreath with a pine cone and some exciting pea gravel. After we came back, I noticed the bright sun casting all kinds of shadows on our wall (can you tell what kind of windows we have?).

We went to two different tree stands to find the right tree for our home. As we searched I found a stone tile, a wreath with a pine cone and some exciting pea gravel. After we came back, I noticed the bright sun casting all kinds of shadows on our wall (can you tell what kind of windows we have?).

Next, I converted shapes into Blobs...

...and after I created my Activity sheet, I did some sketching!

Blobs111_beforeandafter_SKETCH_fb.jpg

Character creating usually happens late Thursday night for me. But today I was able to spend a few minutes doing initial character sketches earlier. I ended up using my eraser quite a bit - oh no! I was stuck after only a few seconds into creating characters! I started with the bumpy pine-cone inspired Blob first. I was going to turn it into a pet, but I couldn't quite figure out what kind of pet. Maybe an IT pet? I decided to keep trying and a reptilian creature started to appear...then an iguana popped from my page. From what I could remember, they had a flappy spine of some sort. 

After playing around more, I added some holiday spirit. What if someone was getting an Iguana for Christmas? That sounded fun to me so I did more digging and finished that character sketch. I moved onto my first shape and stuck with the holiday theme. Below are all of my transformations.

                        OWL'S STOCKING

                        OWL'S STOCKING

                    ZIGGY LOVES IGGY (her new pet iguana)

                    ZIGGY LOVES IGGY (her new pet iguana)

I wanted to add more of a scene, so I spent lots of time designing this...

There's not much here though! Most of my time was spent tweaking my character to make it look like she was giving her new pet a hug. I wanted IGGY's scales to look like they were pressing (gently) into her cheek and went through many, many, many versions. 

My last Blobs looked like they could work together. Yaay! Almost like they were having a conversation. And since I just posted my Holiday cards on FB earlier this week, I decided to create a new SWEET DEAR. But, who could he be talking too...  

                                                   SWEET DEAR and his neighbor BEAR

                                                   SWEET DEAR and his neighbor BEAR

Deer's bandana was inspired by a special someone who visited the beauty parlor today...

chewy_blog.jpg

our cute pooch (with a lot less hair than he entered the parlor with)! Instead of doggy paw prints I used deer tracks on my deer's bandana. I love when real life inspires character details. It makes new characters more believable.

And that's it for characters this week! I hope you had fun coming up with designs and maybe even imagining a story. 

Thanks for stopping by and check back on Monday for a new batch of Blobs!

 

BLOBS #110 RESULTS

Welcome to Results Day! 

This week's batch of Blobs were inspired by our Thanksgiving weekend road trip! We went to Indiana. I kept my eyes peeled for shapes that popped out to me throughout the weekend. Here are a few...

Rolling out dough for yummy pumpkin pie, spiky looking flower, shimmery leaf bouquet filler, and a familiar ceramic sugar pot with cap. 

Rolling out dough for yummy pumpkin pie, spiky looking flower, shimmery leaf bouquet filler, and a familiar ceramic sugar pot with cap. 

But it wasn't until our road trip home when a collection came together...

I zoomed in to pluck these shapes out...

Blobs110_inspiration_BLOCKING-SHAPES.jpg

...and turned them in to Blobs #110! Here is a quick look at before and after sheets...

110_before and after_sketchesALL3_blog.jpg

I was so very happy to have my daughter Anna, join me in creating characters! It's been a while since I had a partner to sketch characters with and I loved doing these side by side. Of course Anna cranked her designs out much faster than I did and even gave me some pointers. Here's how they transformed...

                                                                                  ANNA'S LEFT (CRAB), AMY'S RIGHT (FAMILY OF PEAS ON A SPOON)

                                                                                  ANNA'S LEFT (CRAB), AMY'S RIGHT (FAMILY OF PEAS ON A SPOON)

                                                                          ANNA'S LEFT (ROLY POLY) AMY'S RIGHT (CEREAL LOVING BLOB) 

                                                                          ANNA'S LEFT (ROLY POLY) AMY'S RIGHT (CEREAL LOVING BLOB) 

Since I couldn't come up with a character quick enough for this shape, I turned him in to a purebred Blob (one who belongs to no particular species...except Blobs). Since spoons were on my mind from the previous design I decided to give this Blob a breakfast dish he would somersault out of bed for...cereal! 

Because he was covered up by another character, I spent some time figuring out what the rest of him might look like in color...  

           He looks like he might be friends with the HUNGRY HALLOWEEN Blobs!

           He looks like he might be friends with the HUNGRY HALLOWEEN Blobs!

Moving on...

                                                ANNA'S LEFT (FISH WITH SUNGLASSES, AMY'S RIGHT (DUCK LIKES TO MAKE HATS)

                                                ANNA'S LEFT (FISH WITH SUNGLASSES, AMY'S RIGHT (DUCK LIKES TO MAKE HATS)

Anna helped me with this guy! I pictured a duck sleeping, but it was absolutely not working for me. So she helped draw a better bill and finished off his homemade paper hat. Thank you Anna! DUCK seemed like he needed a friend to give a hat to, so when I cleaned him up I added this little toad...

And the last character...

                                                                                         ANNA'S LEFT (BABY GOAT), AMY'S RIGHT (KING CAT FISH)

                                                                                         ANNA'S LEFT (BABY GOAT), AMY'S RIGHT (KING CAT FISH)

And that's it!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check in Monday for Blobs #111.

BLOBS #109 RESULTS

Welcome to Results Day! I hope you had fun coming up with characters this week.

My inspiration for Batch #109 came from a Scout Engineering Day we attended this past weekend. It was hosted by the Society of Women Engineers at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The day was packed with activities and speakers for both parents and girls! We kicked off the workshop with the funnest challenge I've seen for kids. I highly recommend it for classroom icebreakers or rainy days. The best part is the limited number of supplies needed! It was called the Marshmallow Challenge

Here's what we were given...

One yard of tape, One yard of string, One marshmallow and 20 spaghetti noodles.

One yard of tape, One yard of string, One marshmallow and 20 spaghetti noodles.

We had 15 minutes to build the tallest structure we could possibly make! The girls formed teams as did any parents interested in participating versus watching. The structure had to support one marshmallow perched at the very top. Here's what our five-person adult team came up with... 

Our structure ended up being 27" tall! All possible because of teamwork!

Our structure ended up being 27" tall! All possible because of teamwork!

When Monday rolled around, I decided to use the materials and our tower as inspiration for Blobs #109...

inspiration_after.jpg

Once shapes were converted in to Blobs, I started sketching...

If you've been following Character Results for a while, you may have noticed that events/experiences going on in my life usually influence my character designs. This month has been a big birthday month for our family with many celebrations. I decided to have each character celebrating their birthday. Can you find the accessory they all have in common? Check out the transformation...

Dog does not seem happy about his Birthday...! I wonder why?

Dog does not seem happy about his Birthday...! I wonder why?

                                   Ram's Birthday

                                   Ram's Birthday

What do you think Thorn Bug wants for his birthday?

What do you think Thorn Bug wants for his birthday?

Rat gets his favorite snack on his Birthday!

Rat gets his favorite snack on his Birthday!

Rat is a little loose. I really did not want to google RATS for reference. So, I guessed on their hands and feet!

And that is it. What did YOU come up with? If you feel like sharing, post designs using #theblobblog on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram so others can see all the amazing characters brought to life this week!

Thanks for checking in! 

Blobs #110 will be posted November 27th. Happy Thanksgiving!

BLOBS #108 RESULTS

Welcome to Results Day! I hope you had fun with characters this week! I found them to be a little challenging! But more about that in a bit. First, let's take a look at where these shapes came from...

We love cozy fires! This is the wood pile in our backyard.

We love cozy fires! This is the wood pile in our backyard.

I didn't need to go too far to find a batch of Blobs for this week. I picked shapes that were interesting to me and turned them in to Blobs #108.

I didn't need to go too far to find a batch of Blobs for this week. I picked shapes that were interesting to me and turned them in to Blobs #108.

Now a Before and After look at how my designs...

I had a hard time coming up with characters quickly this week! I had to step away and come back again when I got stuck. I could not get my exact blobs to work, so ended up modifying them a bit to make me happy! 

I had a hard time coming up with characters quickly this week! I had to step away and come back again when I got stuck. I could not get my exact blobs to work, so ended up modifying them a bit to make me happy! 

Keep scrolling to see them come to life...

                           PIG TELLS ANT A JOKE 

                           PIG TELLS ANT A JOKE 

This was my favorite character. Who doesn't like laughing!? It's always fun being surrounded by cheerful friends or family, so I turned my blob in to a pig who loves making his friends smile. 

Next...

LOLA AND HER HOOP

LOLA AND HER HOOP

Can you spot the transformation from my initial design to the color sketch? My character went from human to...GUINEA PIG! Why? We love guinea pigs! We have had three pet GPs in our home. Since my initial blob was very blocky I decided to try a simplified creature shape and chose, the adorable guinea pig. Researching various guinea pigs almost got me off track though! Especially when I came across guinea pigs in costumes.

Blob 3...

                                     THE ANT COASTER

                                     THE ANT COASTER

Ants were still on my mind after blob 1, and led me to creating ANT COASTER. I did brief research on coaster structures and came across these paper roller coasters! 

And my last blob turned in to...

           WALRUS WANTS TO PLAY CHECKERS....AGAIN

           WALRUS WANTS TO PLAY CHECKERS....AGAIN

This was probably the hardest character to create! WALRUS strayed away from the original design, but the tusk-like shape and squared off corner inspired this guy. He is my least favorite aesthetically because his body still needs work as well as the checkerboard. BUT, this is a creativity exercise and I'm not getting too caught up for now. The important takeaway is the concept. Especially if it leads me to developing a story. That is when WALRUS would get fine-tuned and I'd develop more character studies. For now, I like the thought of an adorable, sweet walrus always wanting to play the same game with his friends. Who could possibly turn him down?

Thanks for stopping by! Check back in on Monday for a new batch of Blobs!

BLOBS #107 RESULTS

Welcome to Results Day! I hope you had fun coming up with characters! This week's shapes came from a walk I took on Monday with our little pooch. I decided to look for shapes as we strolled. Here is what I found...

                                Ivy, a Ginkgo leaf, an Oak leaf, and the top view of one of our Halloween pumpkins.

                                Ivy, a Ginkgo leaf, an Oak leaf, and the top view of one of our Halloween pumpkins.

Next I blocked out some shapes that were interesting to me...

...created my sheet, then sketched out some characters!

107_SKETCHbefore-and-after.jpg

Now for a closer look at each transformation...

                                                          The Balloon Giver

                                                          The Balloon Giver

                                                          Hippo is shy.

                                                          Hippo is shy.

                                                            A dog dressed up as a lion for Halloween and a little zebra wanting a treat.

                                                            A dog dressed up as a lion for Halloween and a little zebra wanting a treat.

                                          The Bluesy Boos 

                                          The Bluesy Boos 

And that is it - quick character and color studies! I had fun with these shapes and hope you enjoyed seeing the design process. Check back on Monday for a new batch! 

BLOBS #106 RESULTS

Welcome to Result's Day! If you're stopping by for the first time, here's the scoop: We kicked off a giant Imagination Experiment on Monday. It was an invitation to Children's Book Illustrators to join in the "CREATE A CHARACTER" Challenge using Blobs #106. If you gave it a try, let us know how the Challenge worked for you!

Participating artists will be entered in a random drawing to win a 30 minute phonecall with literary agent, Marietta Zacker. That announcement will be made later this afternoon via Twitter (the winner's name will be added to this post as well).

If you want to check out results, tune in to Twitter between 8am-2pm Eastern time today. Artists will include the hashtag #theblobblogMZ with their characters.

Instead of participating today, I'm focusing on three extra pieces of information for readers/participants:

1) Examples of potential questions you could ask Marietta

2) The inspiration for Blobs #106

3) and the winner of the random drawing (posted later!)

Let's talk about some questions you might ask an agent like Marietta. And please use these as a guideline to create your very own! If you're the lucky winner - get to know her. Below are a few interviews you can read:

Literary Rambles (2009)

First Five Frenzy (2013)

12 x 12 (2014)

Marietta Zacker: Agent Looking for Diversity (2015)

You'll find a couple of these link to even more interviews. Yes, more reading.

Now questions. How on earth do you come up with questions she has not been asked?

Figure out what YOU want to know specific to where you are in your journey.

Here are some examples to help kickstart your own...

What smaller conferences or writer workshops have helped shape your own clients' writing careers?

How do you lift clients up when you receive multiple rejections on submissions made to editors?

How do clients pitch projects to you? Are they verbal concepts first or do you prefer stories be presented in dummy/manuscript form initially?

How do you approach career planning with your clients? Do you set up goals for the year, number of books to develop, etc?

What is the usual timeframe a writer/client will turn a revision around (successfully) after you have provided editorial feedback?

Do clients often start off as part time writers/illustrators and evolve into full time?

How many projects do you hope a potential client has up their sleeve before signing? What happens if you fall madly in love with only one story and the others are really...not so great?

I hope these help stir up some ideas!

Now - how Blobs #106 developed...

Last week we talked about Mother's Day. And because I had such a glorious day (made possible by my loving family) last weekend, I decided to use a couple moments as inspiration for batch #106...

The first three Blobs came from a hydrangea I picked for my mom. It wasn't the usual fluffy white, pink or blue petaled plant you might see. The flowers had a creamier color with a pop of hot pink on the petal tips. I loved the bold contrast (like my mom). I learned it was possibly a mix between a hydrangea opal classic and magical opal antique. Then I loved it even more because of the name - magical opal antique? It was like a word trio. I zoomed in on the petals to create these guys...

See if you can spot similar shapes the next time you see a hydrangea!

And the fourth Blob came from a photo my daughter took of a tree she liked during our sunny stroll to the DIA...

I used only a portion but enough to suggest some type of character.

And there you have it! Shape collection made simple.

Thank you to every artist who participated in the Challenge this week! I hope you had fun and made some of your own discoveries.

And thank you again Marietta for joining us!

*UPDATE*

The winner of THE CREATE A CHARACTER Challenge is Heidi Sheffield!

You can find her designs here.

We adored Heidi's designs and the execution! Each character had personality and left us wanting to know more! What did that little furball of a pup just do? Thank you again for giving these Blobs a try and making them your own Heidi! 

 

 

 

 

BLOBS #106 CALLING ALL CHILDREN'S BOOK ILLUSTRATORS!

Welcome! This week we are trying something new...

Today we're kicking off an Imagination Experiment for the first time ever. We are inviting Children's Book Illustrators and Author/Illustrators to participate in this week's Character Design Challenge. We hope you will join us in celebrating our differences and using the power of creativity to inspire kids!

To add more excitement to our experiment we invited a Guest Agent to stop by Twitter on Results Day...

The wonderful Marietta Zacker of Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency will view artist entries posted on Friday, May 19th between 8am - 2pm Eastern time using the hashtag #theblobblogMZ.

All participating artists will be entered in a random drawing to win a 30 minute phonecall with Marietta. A winner will be announced later that day via Twitter.

TO BE A PARTICIPATING ARTIST: 

* Use this week's Blobs 106 to create a Character/s.

* Post your design/s (and original Blob) on Friday, May 19th between 8am-2pm Eastern time on Twitter with the hashtag #theblobblogMZ

* Use any medium, modify Blobs if you like and...have fun!

Marietta's clients include Pat Cummings, Jennifer Black Reinhardt, Ben Clanton, Brooke Boynton-Hughes and Selina Alko. She is also an Agent Liason for the We Need Diverse Books campaign. We asked Marietta who her favorite childhood character was growing up and below is her response:

"Anansi and Swimmy. Oral storytelling played such a role in my youth - in my entire life, really - and Anansi and the work of Leo Lionni (Swimmy, in particular) were perfect, given how crucial it was for me to see and understand the story visually. As I was learning English, those stories were accessible to me and they made me feel successful as a reader. Then later in my life, when they translated these stories into Spanish, I was able to fall in love with Anansi and Swimmy and many other characters in a different way, as an adult, remembering the angst I felt as I learned how to read, but grateful for characters and illustrations that allowed me to feel whole. Memorable characters with outstanding illustrations are key!"

Thank you for being a Guest Agent this week Marietta!

Participating artists can download Blobs 106 here.

A social media badge is available as well!

Happy Creating!

BLOBS #105 RESULTS

Welcome to RESULT'S DAY! How did your characters come out?

When I created Blobs Monday, I needed a new direction. To avoid Same-Shape Syndrome, I decided to use events from the weekend as inspiration. My son's music school had their Spring concert on Sunday and instruments were still floating around in my mind (along with super awesome performances from all!). The form most interesting to me was...the guitar! After studying it a bit more, zooming in on my favorite parts and playing with silhouettes, I had Batch #105. Can you tell which part of the guitar Blob 1 came from?

Here's a look at my sheet before and after characters...

Who knew an instrument could inspire an entire collection!

Before I started the design process I needed a theme. Can you spot what it is from above?

If you guessed LOVE, you win. All of my characters are celebrating...MOMS! With Mother's Day this weekend I created characters built around loving, cozy, sweet caring mama creatures. It definitely helped me sort out the solution for Blob 4! That was a tough one.

Let's take a closer look at how these characters developed...

                     MAMA STEGOSAURUS SINGS TO BABY

                     MAMA STEGOSAURUS SINGS TO BABY

 GORILLA DAD GIVING A BOUQUET OF BAMBOO TO MAMA

 GORILLA DAD GIVING A BOUQUET OF BAMBOO TO MAMA

                    MAMA SKUNK GETTING READY FOR A MOTHER'S DAY HUG

                    MAMA SKUNK GETTING READY FOR A MOTHER'S DAY HUG

                           Mama Walrus never takes a break, not even on MOTHER'S DAY! Here, she is a SLIDE for her pup.

                           Mama Walrus never takes a break, not even on MOTHER'S DAY! Here, she is a SLIDE for her pup.

And that's it! Did you feel the love?

Next week we have something very special planned so be sure to stop back in. We'll leave you with a couple hints...it has to do with one enormous experiment and a fantastic prize. And fun too!

Thanks for visiting and Happy Mother's Day to all the fabulous mamas out there!

BLOBS #104 RESULTS

Welcome to RESULTS DAY! This week I decided to experiment and color all of my characters up! Below you will find...LAZY ALLIGATOR, WILL RHINO DIVE?, CAMEL and a very JOYFUL PRESCHOOLER. What did you come up with? 

First, a look at the before and after collection...

Blobs104_COLORED_BeforeANDAfterPOSE.jpg

Now, let's zoom in...

                                                                               LAZY ALLIGATOR

                                                                               LAZY ALLIGATOR

SHAPE 2 was inspired by an activity my daughter will be participating in soon and has been on my mind...

                                        WILL RHINO DIVE?

                                        WILL RHINO DIVE?

SHAPE 3 was super sketchy to begin with. I liked the original shape but could not get my CAMEL to work. I ended up straying from it to get proportions right...

                                            CAMEL and COMPANION

                                            CAMEL and COMPANION

                                              JOYFUL PRESCHOOLER Looks like she just heard some news. What do YOU think this little girl is so happy about?

                                              JOYFUL PRESCHOOLER

Looks like she just heard some news. What do YOU think this little girl is so happy about?

Thanks for stopping by!

BLOBS #103 RESULTS

Happy Friday! 

Today's results are a little different...

After an unexpected computer system shutdown yesterday, I had to change gears. 

Last night my sweet 5 year old computer was  cleaned out and today I am in the re-installation phase of all programs. Trying to catch up.

With that, the loose character designs below were inspired by Earth Day tomorrow. What inspired your designs?

Here goes! My main character is really Earth - in different forms. If we can picture our relationship with the planet like the ones we have with family, pets, best friends and our cozy homes...maybe we will feel more connected to it (and treat it differently).

Super rough sketches of Earth as Home...Keep it Clean!

     

     

Earth as pet...Play with it!

                      

                      

and a quick sketchbook sketch of a dog playing with a boy hiding under a pile of leaves. A ball is resting on top of his head...

Earth as best friend...Listen to it.

                        

                        

Earth as family...love it...

                       

                       

This is pretty far from the original shape, but what the Blob did inspire was a grouping of some sort. Here is the next sketch of a family on a picnic. Earth is the parent along with mama moon at its side and kids are hovering. Maybe one is handing Earth a sun hat? And could that be sun as a neighboring picnic-er? The next phase would be tightening these characters up!  

Back to nursing my computer to a full recovery and...thanks for stopping by.