Thursday, March 4, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

Entering Shirt.Woot Derbies is certainly a good way to train yourself to design in a timely manner. Once you read the new theme you basically have, at most, three days to submit for the highest chance of printing. But sometimes it's good to not rush things. When you design at your own pace, one of the luxuries you get is to be able to walk away, leave the piece for a couple of days and come back to it with fresh eyes. Another luxury is to try different methods of execution. It's perfectly ok to spend a day perhaps applying color to linework, then realize it's not the best style. When you're not rushed, you can shake it off, chalk it up to experience and start again another day with a different style and discover you love your design even more than you thought you could.

This sort of happened to me with the design Breath of Life from the Renew Derby back in December. I did this hurriedly, and was okay with it enough to submit, but I knew it wasn't what it could be. The white outline bothered me the most. It cartooned a design intended to be more serious.
It didn't win, and after the sixty day waiting period, I came back to it and was ready to "finish" it. I modified it so it was no longer dependent on the outline, redid the shading on the waves and added more realistic shading to the horn. I'm a lot happier with it now. It's currently being scored here at Threadless. I'd love to get your comments there if you have some time.

So when you're shopping around for possible new homes for designs, always ask yourself if it's finished. Sometimes they are, but a lot of times you'll find opportunities to take them even further.

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