Ariel, one of my awesomest clients, asked me to design new characters for Offbeat Bride's branding (I also did the web design for all the Offbeat sites). Not only have I not done much illustration-for-hire, I really haven’t drawn anything serious in a LONG TIME.
I went to the art store to buy some Micron pens, a pencil and eraser (which I didn’t own) and I almost cried with joy from the smell and feel of art supplies (it didn’t hurt that My Chemical Romance’s “Sing” was playing and the gothy redhead behind the desk was doing My Little Pony mod).
We’re not done yet, but Ariel was eager to show her community (because that community is TIGHT YO) - their feedback is putting me on artist cloud nine.
I was worried that people would pick the characters apart (and they still might), or that they were TOO ANIME (they kinda are), but the feedback is so positive. Seriously, the Offbeat crowd is the most supportive and fun online community I know of.
Case-in-point: They’re already joking about slash fic between two of the characters.
Ariel has done an amazing job directing me in the character designs - she really wants to represent a variety of brides (we didn’t really touch upon age or ability, but she’s covering race, gender identity, sexuality, style/ interests, weight and deviance). This is the first time I’ve ever had to be pushed to try harder to show overt acceptance. This is me we’re talking about. I’m so grateful to be able to work with someone who is as devoted to these values as I am.
I often fantasize about a really radical and fulfilling career - this is one of those moments when I feel like I’m really living my dream. Seriously?! I’m getting paid to draw and promote radical acceptance! AT THE SAME TIME!!!