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 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.

BLOBS #102 RESULTS

Welcome!

This week's Blobs were inspired by our recent trip to New York City. We saw so much! Maybe you've seen the same sites too?

One of our first stops was the beautiful New York Public Library. In the children's section we found the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals. Below is Piglet! I took his main body and modified a couple sections to break things up.

Since this weekend is Easter, each of my character designs involved...a bunny. Here is what I came up with for my first blob...

                       Meet EASTER BUNNY ROBOT

                       Meet EASTER BUNNY ROBOT

One of our last stops was the American Museum of Natural History. We spent the day inside because it was pouring outside! Before visiting, we learned some of the exhibits inspired the characters in the movie Night at the Museum. You can even go on a special tour to see them all! We found Tyrannosaurus Rex (below) who went by "Rexy" in the movie. There were many shapes in this guy and I had fun picking one out...

Here is my character...

Easter Bunny overslept on Easter morning - oh no!

Easter Bunny overslept on Easter morning - oh no!

The next shape came from the Staten Island Ferry. We rode this on the sunniest day - yay! When I searched for a shape I zoomed in on the letters. I picked the "y" because it looked particularly happy to me. After creating an outline, I decided to section it off a bit more and ended up with this... 

My character was near EASTER BUNNY ROBOT so I decided to have him react to the situation...

Bunny running away from EASTER BUNNY ROBOT. Maybe he will search for the real Easter Bunny?

Bunny running away from EASTER BUNNY ROBOT. Maybe he will search for the real Easter Bunny?

My last shape was inspired by a show we loved watching last fall: Project Runway Junior. Have you seen it? We could not leave New York without visiting Mood Fabrics and meeting Swatch! Guess who greeted us when we got there? He was parked at the door and ready for a quick pic. I loved the silhouette of his ears and decided this one would be my final Blob...

My bunny character used this shape as a mode of transportation...

Easter Bunny is getting some help from an Egg dispensing Segway.

Easter Bunny is getting some help from an Egg dispensing Segway.

I colored up my first shape, EASTER BUNNY ROBOT. Then added a couple uncertain, but maybe a little curious characters...

Will they fill their basket? You decide!

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Easter!

BLOBS #101 RESULTS

Welcome to Results Day! How did your characters come out this week? Find WISHFUL GUINEA PIG, a questioning KING plus more below...

                                       CHICK DISAPPROVES...then marches off.

                                       CHICK DISAPPROVES...then marches off.

                                           WISHFUL GUINEA PIG

                                           WISHFUL GUINEA PIG

                                        HIGH FIVING WHALES

                                        HIGH FIVING WHALES

                                   KING GIVING ORDERS

                                   KING GIVING ORDERS

I decided to go back and play with my linework for some of my designs...

...then I colored up my CHICK DISAPPROVES because it is always fun illustrating characters with big personalities!

Thanks for stopping by!