Saturday, December 12, 2009
Today I would like to tell you about one of my assignments which is very special for me because it was my first project I fulfilled independently as a freelancer. It was a panda drawing project.
A teacher from the USA William Cunningham was looking for an artist to create a panda mascot for his classroom. He posted his request on DeviantArt website where I was one of the whole bunch of artists and illustrators willing to get this job. At that time I worked as an artist and illustrator for a web design company but I needed extra earnings, that’s why I visited DeviantART from time to time to check out whether there were interesting project over which I could work evenings and nights. Luckily, I have a rich portfolio containing quite a number of interesting works. And I was chosen by William for this panda mascot project.
William Cunningham had a rather funny and appealing to children idea to create a classroom mascot representing a cute panda character wearing a hoodie and socks. And this was my initial sketch of the mascot which the client accepted at once.
After that I proceeded with a raster (pixel based) panda image to show how the mascot will look like in color.
And eventually I created the vector image of the panda which looks somewhat smoother in comparison with the raster one.
The client was happy and that was when I realized that working as a freelancer artist and illustrator could give me more freedom in choosing interesting projects, communicating with clients and setting price for my illustration job. Furthermore, William Cunningham proved to be a very decent person. He was so supportive and patient that I had very positive feelings about possibility of starting my freelance career. I was also impressed how this guy was interested in making his teaching process fascinating in every possible way. He is willing to invest his own money in something that we would think is auxiliary in the educational process. However, those minor auxiliaries play a very important role of mortar which glues together every piece of knowledge we acquire from our teachers and holds them tight in our memory, for our brain is created to store much longer those things which we cognize “to the accompaniment” of positive or negative emotions. Teachers are intended to teach us as much effectively as possible and evoking positive feelings is one of the most efficient methods to catalyze the process of knowledge acquisition. What does a child need to have positive feelings? Well, much less than an adult needs… Just a fascinating game to play. I hope that this little panda character will help William to create the environment conducive to learning and imagination development through a game in his classroom.
The panda mascot project being accomplished, I still had this drawing aftertaste and I wanted to draw something interesting instead of those boring assignments I often got to do for the web design company I worked for. I was still “panda-minded” and used to make doodles of little panda bears when testing my new brush pen. Some of those sketches turned to be quite nice and I want to show you a couple of doodles.
I was happy when William got back to me with another project for his classroom. He wanted to make visual improvements to the scrolling flash icons on his website. There were icons linked to various pages of the website. The icons were represented by a dozen of ugly worms with dialogue balloons containing links. So I suggested replacing the unattractive worms with…pandas. I want to show you how I drew those panda bears.
You can also see them all in the William Cunningham’s online classroom.