Mar 8, 2009

This Old Art

Rockhurst High School Mascot.

It's been a few years since I've landed a mascot design for a school. I did two other bird themed mascots for another high school in Arizona. And I also did a scorpion mascot for another high school in Arizona as well.

Unlike the past mascots which I created from scratch this mascot had a history with the school. They didn't want a completely new approach they just wanted the existing art re-created with my flair.

I call this type of project a "Creative Re-Model." The foundation and framework don't really need to be torn down it just needs to be reinforced and built upon with a better artistic structure. So I guess that makes me Norm Abram and I welcome you to my blog edition of "This Old Art."

The Creative Stages

1. A Fowl piece of mascot art. The art they provided as their existing mascot looked like a 20th generation photocopy.

2. Too adult and serious. My first rough sketch pushed it towards a more sophisticated NFL type look with the character. The client requested a younger and hipper hawk.

3. Youthful, but too aggressive. I looked at hawk photo reference and that was my problem, young hawks don't have smooth head feathers. So I re-worked the head and showed his teeth. (I know hawks don't have teeth) The client thought it was the right age now just too aggressive.

4. Youthful, confident and strong. The client was happy and approved the art for final build.

5. Drawing out shading details. With final approval I build out my vector art. One edit I did do was to shorten his beak a bit. I then printed it out and drew in my shading detail. Using this as my guide I then built it in vector form.

6. New high school mascot art. Final art delivered to agency.

Come to think about it I'd love to re-design my old high schools mascot art. We were the "Timberline Trail Blazers" and our mascot was a poorly rendered lumberjack. I think I need to make a cold call this week.


Leif Peng said...

I dunno what leaves me more impressed: your gorgeous re-imagining of 'Ol Hawkey' or that American high schools can afford to hire agencies to have their mascots professionally redesigned! ;^)

Andrew Thibodeaux said...

Great work and insight as always!

cristof! said...

von, i love your work! thanks for blogging.

with this mascot art, the right foot looks like it should be the left foot/leg with how the toes are stacked.

otherwise... keep doing what you're doing!

Aaron Riddle said...

Great work! I love the final colored product.

damondidit said...

"...And remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses."

Thanks Von.

hah, my word verification for posting was "jised"

Vonster said...


Abram quotes! Still waiting for a dato head mitring bit plugin for Ai though.


Clay said...

As usual, love your work ... Great use of the animation as well.

But if this were the "Brand New" site, I would have to point out that I think the "R" is a little too flat and might benefit from looking like it follows the contour of his puffed-out chest. I'm just sayin' ...

Stephen Olmstead said...

Love it Von! So glad that my home state gets to be graced with your wonderful work. :) All of these schools are within my general vicinity. I'll have to take pics if I happen to be by one and see it on a the signage. :)


Lindsey said...

I loved running across the post as I plan on proposing to redesign my old High School's Mascot. They have been in a terrible whirl wind of using inconsistent logo variations of their mascot including a complete NFL rip off. I want to propose to the redesigning what WAS our original viking head and bring it up to date style wise etc. Keep things consistent with a fresh updated look. Great job here Von.

ben said...

Hey Von, I enjoy reading all your blogs. I have read/watched all your tuts on illustration class. This job reminds me of one of the first vector illustrations I did for pay. It was the Eagle for my alma mater, Biola University I designed it about 5 years ago and I want to do it over. There are some issues with the perspective in the face and shading. Anyways I enjoy your stuff abd have learned a lot from studying your work. My wife is from Eugene and my Uncle is a pastor in Salem. It would be cool to run into you and chat about design when we are up for a visit. Take Care. - Ben

diana_11_6 said...

Love your stuff. I am wondering though if the front foot is right? Should the talons go up that way on the outside foot? I'm too literal, I guess. Just my weird thought process at work, sorry.

cat said...

be entertained

Andrew E. Clark said...

Ditto what Clay said about the R not conforming to the chest.
I realize that this is like pointing out that the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows or fingernails.
I also really like the tough, athletic 'R' that it began with. It matches the confident and strong attitude.
Thanks for sharing and inspiring.