Play with Cliffe

Cliffe Castle Museum contacted me a while ago (I can’t tell you when, as the email has disapparated) – They were getting the builders in to construct a new children’s playground, and asked my permission to put Cliffe the Caterpillar on it!

I gave the go-ahead, and they proceeded to lay down some outlines with thermoplastic. By the time August rolled around, news broke that the playground was ready to open to the public. I eventually found some time to stop by in a very wet and grey October…

Family faces blurred out.

Food That Fought

You may have seen that Youtube had a redesign: They call it One Channel, and it provides a more unified experience across a few different platforms. One consequence of this is that whether your YouTube channel is on a computer, phone or television, it uses different parts of one large backdrop.

YouTube One Channel background specifications
Here’s the template people have to work with.

I don’t really use my YouTube account for projects any more, as i’ve sidled away from video and 3D animation projects (the ancient ones are still there and on Vimeo). John and the Final Boss Fight team do though…

Captain Crumpet - click to enlarge

An older face, an odd mascot

This month, the time rolled around again to get my eyes tested, find out how short-sighted I am now, and consequently purchase a new pair of glasses. There were a few days of mis-judging distances and staring at the rims, but now they’re being cool. This was a big enough change to do an update of my self-portrait, which was last altered in 2010 (when I previously bought new eyewear). Behold!

My 2012 self-portrait

One of the places this guy lives is up in my site header, giving you a bit of a DreamWorks Face every time you come here. Here’s a comparison with the previous version:

Sadly, I had to delete some hair. Still being a little generous here.
Sadly, I had to delete some hair. Still being a little generous here.

I’ll have to update the photo on my Contact page too, as it’s showing it’s age (ironically by not showing mine).

So, around confronting my own mortality (well, inching closer to 30), more contributions are underway for friend and regular subject Final Boss Fight. In their 48th podcast, they discussed how Super Mario Bros. has such a bonkers premise. They started throwing words together to highlight this: What about a monobrowed pig with laser eye powers, saving his friends (magically transformed into Bonsai trees) from an evil Architect?
Hey look, it’s come to life as boxart!

I had a Master System myself. Pro Wrestling, Olympic Gold, Rampage... ah, memories.
I had a Master System myself. Pro Wrestling, Olympic Gold, Rampage… ah, memories.

Try as I might, it still looks better than the official cover Alex Kidd in Miracle World had. If you click the above image it’ll take you to the DeviantArt page, where you can download it in various wallpaper sizes (with an FBF logo replacing Sega’s).

To keep to the rule of three, I have one or two sketches that could expand into a project. Tease!

Frog Spirit colour test

Final thought: I live in the UK, and it’s a Bank Holiday (3-day) weekend. Of course, after a working week of clear skies, it’s rained every day.

Many, many Caterpillars

A scant few days after my last post, I was offered a commission!

Cliffe Castle museum are revamping their materials, including the boards for a nature trail. They decided that their rather “dry” images for the children’s sections weren’t cutting it anymore. “Cliffe the Caterpillar” would be born!

Cliffe the Caterpillar - first sketches
Initial sketches. Caterpillar #9, ‘The Devil’s Hotdog’, was quickly dismissed.

The first stage of this project was to produce images of a caterpillar’s four life stages… to go on the five information boards. Ah. Easily solved by adding “emerging from chrysalis” as the fifth picture.

I provided some rough inks of a range of caterpillars, eggs and chrysalides to choose from, allowing them to mix & match parts for their ideal mascot. Once the final design was sorted, the chosen images could be polished up supremely.

Cliffe the Caterpillar - Some concept inks

We’re still hammering out who owns the rights to the final images, so i’ll play it safe and show you one Cliffe, a bit faded & through a watermark:

Cliffe The Caterpillar, life stage 2 (watermarked)

The project continues into October, with the creation of Cliffe reading a map, eating leaves and suchlike.
*Yes, that does mean there is Cliffe The Caterpillar The Butterfly. Don’t be too logical.