March 10, 2021

I Tried Super Deformuary

Last month I tried to undertake an art challenge of my own creation: Super Deformuary! I would draw Super Deformed big headed chibi characters every day in February while streaming on Twitch. Each character would be chosen at random based on suggestions taken by my watchers. This is one of my most favorite ways to draw famous characters. It’s a style that people recognize and it’s fun to try to find the balance between drawing the character as they are known while adding that rolly-polly simplified aesthetic. So I thought to myself “I’ll try it for a whole month! What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the idea was sound! Or so I thought. I did get some great suggestions from a couple people, but I had to add a few myself in case I didn’t get enough ideas for characters that I was interested in drawing. Things went pretty well for the first few days, but I soon found myself spending too much time on a single illustration and sometimes bleeding well into the next day. And then my arm got sore, just in general from leaning on it, not only from drawing but I’m sure drawing didn’t help. So the initial challenge went out the window, and was in jeopardy of being cancelled altogether.

But I couldn’t let that happen! I started to feel better so I changed focus and endeavored to complete 14 drawings instead of the 28 that I was originally shooting for. And in the end, I did! When the month ended, I combined them all into one picture, right here.

You can also see all of the individual Super Deformurary entries on my Tumblr page from when I posted them after completing each one. I will get around to posting some of them on DeviantArt too, with a bit of extra commentary in some cases, and then eventually the ones I like best will be posted here in the Illustration page.

To summarize my Super Deformuary experience, I am not happy about how I could only draw 14 pieces instead of 28, especially considering October in 2019 when I did both Inktober and Skeletober in the same month and did a combined 64 pieces of art. But circumstances are what they are and I learned to live with it. The artwork itself I thought was mostly ok, but I struggled with making some things more detailed than they should have been and some characters don’t really look as accurate as I hoped, so mixed feelings overall. Also I have to admit that I did get tired of drawing in the same style the whole time. But I did find the random selection of characters a lot of fun and pleasing to work on. I got to draw a wide variety of characters from lots of different sources, with a good mix of males, females, humans, creatures, and robots,  and that is what the experiment was all about.

I wish it had gained more traction as it went along. I was hoping more people would notice what I was doing and start following it to see who I was drawing next. I’m a bit underwhelmed at the response, but I knew that was a likely possibility going into it. So it is what it is, and while I obviously hoped for a better outcome overall, I’m still glad I went though with it. Hey, I accomplished half of a thing! In these times, even only half is still pretty good!

And here’s the chaotic aftermath. In order to randomly select the characters that I would draw, I wrote the names down on strips of paper, folded them up, and put them in a plastic jar that once held jelly beans, then I’d pull one out each time I was about to draw one. A very high tech solution.

For some reason I kept them all this entire time after pulling them out. I don’t know why and I don’t know what to do with them now. Throwing them all away seems so undignified.

Anyway, no more art challenges for awhile, and I’ll be scaling back on art in general outside of my day job to let myself heal up a bit.