One of the most challenging parts of working with an established brand is the creation of new artwork based on already developed aesthetics and characters. In the case of Digital Dog Direct, the character Digi the Dog is a big part of their brand, but he was created by a freelancer who no longer works with the company. That makes it difficult moving ahead with artwork that includes the character. Upon working with them, I was given a set of about 10 Digi characters that were created with different poses and with different facial expressions. These work great for simple projects but it begins to get much more challenging as people envision Digi doing more and more complicated things that cannot be achieved with the base 10 poses. Up to this point I have been able to tweak those files to say, move an arm up or down, or even add clothing. For the Fourth of July holiday I was challenged by the art directors to make Digi do something totally different to make the artwork stand out more, and be a little more fun and creative. To me this was akin to saying, “write a new chapter of a book in someone else’s handwriting.”
I was up for the challenge.
I was pretty sure I had enough assets to be able to transplant Digi’s head on any kind of body I was able to draw, so I was confident that I could make Digi do just about anything. After sketching out a rough idea, I was able to find a Digi head that would fit the new pose. It was then just a matter of building his new body in illustrator, and trying to mimic some of the freelancers details that made Digi unique. What I ended up with was a fresh new piece of art based on a character created by someone else, quite a long time ago. All in all I was happy to challenge myself and the artwork was very well received by the business and the customers it was designed for!