Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Birth of Stikette!!!

TA-DA! Here she is with our old and well-known friend Stik. It brings me great pleasure to introduce to you and to the world, the first ever Stikette!

So, here’s the story…

Carolyn and I met on Earthday 2010 – just over a month ago. She was one of the seven people who joined me for a Guerrilla Gardening adventure -http://bitsandpeaces08.blogspot.com/2010/04/guerrilla-gardening-attack-2.html. During this time, we all shared some stories about ourselves with the other planters, as many of us had just met for the first time.

One of the stories that Carolyn told us was about her job. She was working for a recruiting agency in Burlington – where she lives – and she has big plans to start her own company. She wants to create a job finding service for people who want to have ‘Earthfriendly’ jobs. We all agreed that her ambitions were grand and we all wished her success in her pursuits.

When our work was finished, we all chatted for a while and I handed out some of my peace Stik-ers to everyone. Some had seen Stik before, and the others all gave me positive comments about my little friend. Carolyn totally fell in love with Stik! She thought that he was a truly amazing dude!!! “He’s such a hard worker and it always looks like he’s enjoying himself no matter what he’s doing.”

A couple of weeks had passed and then I received an email from Carolyn. She told me that she was gearing up to start her new company and that she wanted me to help her with a logo. She told me that she really thought my Stik character was cool and that she would like to have him in the design… as well as a Stikette (being Carolyn) who would be helping Stik find an Earthfriendly job. I was flattered and told her that I’d see what I could do to help her.

Interestingly, just the next day, I stumbled onto this image somewhere on the internet and I thought that it kinda symbolized, more completely, what it was that Carolyn was trying to portray with her business.

Over the next two weeks we emailed each other everyday, sharing images and ideas to move her project along. It ended up being a bit of a wild goose chase… but we did have fun! In the end Carolyn told me straight out, that she wanted to scrap those ideas and that she really felt inclined to revisit her first ideas with Stik and Stikette. HA! Back to square one.

I stopped pursuing any other ideas, at that point, so that I could focus solely on what Carolyn wanted. I thought about all that had gone on during this process and I began wondering if I was a little reluctant to use Stik for this purpose. I had used him, in the past, on a few other projects…

While I was living in Cranbrook, BC, I met a person who wanted me to create an animated Stik drawing for the upcoming Airshow. She wanted to use the animation on a website to promote the event. I did the work, but the animation was never used. Actually, this is the first time that anyone has ever seen this animated series – Boy! Aren’t you lucky readers today!!!! Have some fun and look at all that is going on in this nine frame series. I’ve got these frames just teeming with all sorts of fun things!!!

I think that my hesitation was with bringing a female Stik to life. Stik is Stik and that’s that – eh! What’s a Stikette? I had no clue. Well, I was soon to find out… I started my initial sketches and soon I had my paintbrushes keeping very busy.

Another point about this project that makes this interesting is that Stik has always been drawn in ink. Even if the drawing was to be in full colour, I used coloured inks. It has been several years since I’ve painted in ink and when I checked my supplies I found that most of my inks had dried up and were now useless. I was about to create my first ever Stik painting!

I had to figure out how I was going to create the perfectly straight lines that would be needed for this painting and then my memory sent me a message from almost twenty years ago. When I was studying Interior Design I had to create a painting using only straight lines. My teacher told everyone to open up their compass sets and pull out the tool that I’m holding in the above photo. To use this instrument you have to use a paintbrush to fill in the area between the two metal ‘tongs’. Then you hold the instrument perfectly vertical as you run it along the side of a ruler or any other straight edge. This tool can also be inserted into a compass so that you can draw perfect circles.

I’ve used this instrument only once in my life… well actually twice… with this being the second time!!! You can see that it worked very well.

After a couple of days, this black and white image was finished! I knew that the final painting was going to be full colour, but I wanted to give Carolyn a black and white image that she could use for her business cards. A full colour image would cost her more to reproduce and I wanted to try to save her a few dollars.

To create this image, I first scanned the painting when only Stik and Stikette had been finished. Then I printed it and added the ink to the Earth in an interesting way. Then, I scanned that image and continued. I used a Photoshop program to help me create the swirly sky. I super zoomed in on Stik’s tie and Stikette’s dress to create a pointalistic texture.

Carolyn had told me that she wanted Stikette to be holding what we ended up calling ‘the job card’ to her far side. The message being that she was the person between the job seeker and the job… they had to use her to find the Earthfriendly job. I thought that this was a great idea, but I had to put a twist in it.

In some of my previous Stik art, I had incorporated an animated aspect into the design. Here we see Stik simply throwing a peace symbol, which starts a chain reaction throughout the rest of the image.

Here is another example of how a static image comes to life using animation ideals. This is also an example of what a full colour ink Stik drawing looks like.

My idea was to have Stikette holding ‘the job card’ to her one side and as the job seeker approaches her, she begins to connect the two. I didn’t tell her about this idea and I really hope that she likes it!

Even though I don’t have all the information that will be put onto the business cards, I went ahead a made up a few anyway…

…just to give Carolyn some ideas.

With that finished, I was soon planning the colour schemes for the painting. At this point in time, Carolyn had only seen one image of the painting. I sent her the above photo of me painting Stik with that special tool – it didn’t reveal too much of the rest of the artwork. I wanted to surprise her with the final product. I also wanted to send her some images so that she would see how much time was going into this painting…

This shows the first two colours that went into the sky, using a very small paintbrush!

This shows the sky after the third colour is painted, as well as the beginning of the peace-sun.

Carolyn emailed me a reply telling me how mean I was cuz I kept on teasing her with all these partial photographs!!! LOL! She said that she was really happy watching the painting coming to its completion.

Well, that’s about the end of this story. I’ve just finished emailing these images to Carolyn, but if she doesn’t check her email right away you will be the first ones to see the completed art. I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the first ever Stikette image and the first ever Stik painting. I hope that Carolyn likes it more!!!


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