Summer 2009 Recollections

August to September“Jellyfish Baby” … the three components behind this project…

One of my aims of this summer (2009) was to brush up on certain areas of my creative practice that I felt were lacking. My main concern was software skills, Illustrator in particular, which are a must so I wanted to set myself a project which would force me to work with the program.

1st – Jellyfish and little brothers just don’t mix

Now, there’s a bit of a story behind this. To start with, I spent the summer in Thailand and we frequented one nearby beach on a weekly basis. On one such visit my little brother (15) got stung by a jelly fish. It left a tiny pink patch on his arm, nothing serious. The next time we went to the beach another jellyfish decided to express its affection for him and he came home with another little red dot on his arm. Still, nothing to worry about, people get those all the time. He joked about it, saying that the jellyfish had just swum up to him to say hi. On the visit after that, one adventurous jellyfish resolved to give him a proper hug, none of that little red dot nonsense. The jellyfish, third time lucky, left a hand-size sting on his forearm and he had to go to the hospital to make sure he didn’t get an allergic reaction from it etc. So, in part my Jellyfish Baby project was inspired by the overly friendly jellyfish attracted to my brother.

2nd – 8 Arm Creature Attacks Screen

a desktop wallpaper design I found on Deviant Art

I had this image as my wallpaper around the same time as the jellyfish+brother incident.

“8 Arm Creature” by

3rd – Illustrator Tutorials to the Rescue!

from Online Computer Arts tutorials…

The Sketch…

{the original sketch, pencil & paper}

{scanned in and touched up in Photoshop}

Vectorizing in Illustrator

{first attempt of tracing the key shapes of the body, adding some cute bulbous eyes and starting to add gradients for highlights}

{refined the outlines and curves, added shadows, spots, touched up the mouth and eyes, and added more gradient highlights}

{the bottom half of the body wasn’t working so I tried redoing it by mocking it up in Photoshop, I also toned down the white highlights on the tentacles}

{the body still looked too flat and too much like a curtain, not gooey enough, so I tried to rework it again in photoshop}

{I kept changing it to the point it looked like a melted candle…at which stage I gave up and decided to look for some references to help me make it look more realistic}

Visual References

top left: Flubber from ‘Flubber’

top right: Bob from ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’

bottom left: Pearl from ‘Finding Nemo’

bottom right: a jellyfish

Visual Development

{my housemate helped me sketch out in Photoshop a more realistic looking body for the jellyfish baby}

{the latest version of the jellyfish baby character after reworking the design in Illustrator based on the sketch}

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