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...

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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!

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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!