Inspiration & Reference
Naturally, the first step was to crack my knuckles and log on to Pinterest. I knew there were a lot of historical/vintage/antique representations of the "man in the moon," and Pinterest was rife with examples. I had two in mind from the get-go: the moon from Le Voyage dans la Lune (top right) and a cool jazz moon from an old McDonald's commercial (bottom right). I also wanted to create something that went along with all of the anthropomorphized sports mascots of yesteryear. Aubie the Tiger is the mascot for the school where I got my undergrad (as did my dad and my brother and my partner, Lou, and my sister is set to start studying there in Fall 2016), and I saw the vintage representation of him (top left) a lot growing up.
Now for Actual Drawing
Once I got a solid Pinterest board lol I got down to sketching. Below are my sketches (and explanations) in chronological order.
I started with a full body because I thought it would be funny to have the moon holding a smartphone. Eventually I decided that the illo would be more useful as an asset if it had a simpler silhouette.
I wanted the round head to work real bad, but this looks like a baseball with chicken pox. I was about to give up when my good friend, mentor, and confidant, Chris Piascik, suggested that I make it a quarter moon so it would be more readable as "the moon." He's a genius.
I went with the quarter moon which helped, but the low hanging face and the backwards cap made it look like a kid which was not the goal.
The backwards cap was looking awkward on the crescent shape, so I decided to go with the classic mascot/sailor hat. I can't remember why I decided to flip it, but I did. I put "YAY!" in the hat because I wanted the moon to be neutral but happy while cheering us on.
Tighten it Up
Once I got the sketch where I wanted it, I moved into Illustrator and drew this pup with the Pen Tool. I did it in black and white, but I made it blue and cream here so it's more fun to look at.
Roughen it Up
Then I treated it to my patented rough up technique so it looks more hand made instead of machine made.
Let's Monetize It!
I knew I wanted to turn this into something physical. My first thought was a shirt, but shirts are expensive and hard to sell and you end up with 40 shirts under your desk that nobody wants. I decided to go with an enamel pin. To get the pin to look right, I needed to drop the shooting stars from the sides, and make the colors a bit lighter (than the first image in the god forsaken case study) so they'd look good surround by golden iron.
This image is the image that I sent to the manufacturer and they turned out really nicely. There are some photos below. Make sure you buy one for yourself in the shop!
Thanks for reading this. I got about 85% done then accidentally deleted it, so I had to start all over, but I think it was worth it.