Wrestling merch + Artist questions

Two of the three designs I’ve done for British wrestling are now available, and I’ve got permission to go ahead and share the third one!  I already posted the Spike Trivet one, but I’ll post it again here just to have them all in one place.

The second one is a design for Candy Floss, who is currently in Japan and wanted a design combining Japanese pop culture with her cute, colourful style.  Her design is inspired by Sailor Moon, with a font that mimics the title font of the anime, along with katakana that translates her name phonetically (“Kyandī furosu” = candy floss) and kanji that translates it literally (“Wata kashi” = cotton candy/candy floss).  This one was fun because I haven’t drawn anime style in ages!  More on that later.  So far the Candy Floss shirt is only available in Japan, but I’ll post a link when it’s for sale on her web site!

The third design is actually the first one I finished, for Millie McKenzie.  She is well-known for both her suplexes and her angry faces.  I sketched one of those angry faces and sent it to her as a sample, and she chose it for her merchandise, which is why I didn’t share one of my daily sketches for that week!  This particular drawing is the design for her stickers, but there is a t-shirt that’s basically the same thing but in black and white.  These also aren’t available yet, but I’ll make a new post as soon as that changes.

And I owe a huge thank you to Ash Versus for sending these awesome people my way.  I have really enjoyed working on these!

While I’m here, I’ll go ahead and answer the next artist question, including a note on drawing in anime style.

5. Do you practice other styles/have you tried other styles in the past?

Of course! I think it’s very important to try lots of styles. When you’re an artist, you have to be a bit like the Borg from Star Trek: assimilate everything that crosses your path, keep what makes you stronger, and throw out what doesn’t. What you’re left with won’t look like any one style, but something new and unique and hopefully much nicer than a pasty-skinned drone with cybernetic bits.

The main styles I can remember assimilating were Bruce Timm, The Zeta Project (which is similar to Bruce Timm but rounder and friendlier), and anime. These three things, especially The Zeta Project, have had a lasting influence on my own art style.

A note about anime and manga styles: I hear a lot about art teachers telling their students not to draw it. I believe I had a teacher who told me the same thing. My advice would be not to draw exclusively anime. There are definitely good things to learn from it (the expressiveness of faces, for one thing), but if you only copy one style, you’re not really learning anything. And years later, you’ll still be furiously erasing things because you made that arm way too long for human proportions, speaking from recent experience. Copying manga really skewed my understanding of anatomy for a while.

I keep wanting, throughout this post, to say “while you’re learning.” Try lots of styles “while you’re still learning.” But you should never STOP learning! Every project teaches me something new, and one of the most effective ways I have of getting over artist block is to look at other people’s art, get inspired by it, and try new things.

Next time I’ll answer the question “What level of artistic education have you had?”  I’ll also write about the commissions I’m working on right now, and maybe a little more about my own project!


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