Sketches for Pretzel Boy

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A whopping 4 years ago, I made and posted this little sketch. Fast forward to this summer, and I had an idea to do a promo using 4 business cards. This guy popped into my head and a strange little story began to take shape.

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I originally had him tabled, eating the defeated, evil hot dog. I might have gone this route if it didn't present the dilemma of needing a horizontal format. I also liked the idea of a 'picnic' cape, but it seemed too detailed once these got to their business card size.

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I DO regret not re-referencing my original sketches. I love the little bean like shape, simplicity, and giant-head proportions in these thumbnails. I usually scan and blow up my thumbnails, but didn't in this case. The final art reflects past work, so it does slide right into my portfolio. I did love that little bowing gesture for the last frame but I think he needed to fly down to connect the dots of the story.

Pretzel Boy: Life is NOT a Picnic

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Introducing: Pretzel Boy! Watch him as he defeats evil Hot Dogs with a single squeeze of mustard. Wooooo!

This is my latest promo. I was inspired originally, by the kind folks at 4by6.com - I received an offer to try their portfolio packs, 4 designs of a business card in quantities as low as 20. This seemed like the perfect time to try a wordless story as a promotional. I'll share some sketches tomorrow, but for today I wanted to show the original art (above, gouache) and a peek at how I packaged them. The quality is lovely, I would certainly use them again. I love weight of these cards!

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I knew that I needed to send them all at once, much as I wanted to send them over time. My lovely Picture Book Junkies reminded me of how crazy mail is in publishing: thanks, ladies! Also, I knew that the cards needed to be seen from the envelope, since you only get a split second to catch someone's attention. It took awhile to find the right size and material, clear envelope and label. I think the nuttiest thing about this (other than the premise of an evil, floating hot dog) is that I've only sent 12 and I only plan on sending a few more. So if you've received one, it's because I really, really want to work with you.

My Picture Book dummy confessions.

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Long ago I set a goal to get this picture book dummy done. After many detours this year, I devoted a big chunk of time to it. I sketched, scanned, tweaked, resketched, edited, resketched, rewrote, resketched, etc, etc.

I finally pulled together something to share with my generous and talented illustration friends. I was really nervous about sharing it because deep down I knew it just wasn't what I wanted it to be. I had a feeling it wasn't a matter of a tune-up. This guy needed all systems replaced. But at it's heart, I have characters I love, and a vision - even if it's gotten muddy.

I feel like I did achieve my goal in the sense that I finally pulled a whole book out of my head. But will I submit it? Nope. It's been sitting aside for a few weeks. Soon I'll throw it back into the fires. This dummy-making business is not for the faint-hearted!

One awesome thing to come out of it - a postcard to promote myself, finally! It's been over a year since I've mailed a little piece of me out there. I'm crossing my fingers that these two characters are well received. They have SO much more to share with everyone besides pancakes.

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I also managed to refresh my website, blog and customize my twitter page a bit. I might blog more about the process for this work since it's so complex - not just gouache on paper, you guys!