February 27, 2023 • Illustration

Finally shaping up into something

Since 2019 (which is only four years ago but feels like, what, 50?), I’ve been trying to build my own little shapes and parts library. Initially I did it so I could then use the pieces to “build” little illustrated robots (as foreshadowed here and here), then potentially as an asset library for the game I tell myself I’m going to build in GameMaker one day after I just take the time to sit down and learn it.

Since 2019, and in spite of a few cute results, I’ve failed at this endeavor three times, because hand-drawn illustrations, that all take on different line widths when you resize various pieces differently, simply aren’t a good fit for this sort of thing. I also failed at learning GameMaker. After a brief burst of practice in 2020, wherein I taught myself to create this pointless-to-everyone-but-me spinning wheel, other unexpected things popped up and I forgot everything I learned.

I’ve never particularly *loved* Adobe Illustrator, but I’m over the moon with Affinity Designer 2 and all the fun shape-building tools it offers, and so attempt No. 4 (as seen at the top of this post) is taking shape in the vector realm. And because vector graphics scale nicely and all the shading and other fiddly bits are very easy to manipulate, the problems I’d constantly run into during assembly aren’t present here. To wit, while dropping some created parts into my main working file, I spontaneously took some shapes and turned them into this weird frazzled Martian flower child. It took about two minutes, was fun, and while I probably never will do anything with this specific character beyond write this now-too-long entry about them, I think it’s a cute validation of trying, trying, trying and trying one more time until something finally comes together.

Wish me luck on attempt No. 2 at the game creation thing. I’ve moved from GameMaker to Godot, and so far I’m having fun (when I find the time to sit down and learn it).