A man near and dear to me (Billy), is a digital artist in the video game industry. He is also pretty handy with line art, too. [I jest. He is very talented.] Given these gifts, Jax and I asked him to create a logo for the Pagan Princesses site. That was almost two months ago. It has been a struggle to both articulate what kind of imaging we want and encourage him to put his own spin on the art.
After a few weeks, Billy worked on an image based on the first batch of source material we sent him (images that kinda sorta represented what we wanted (‘cept we wanted something fresh and new)). For example, we really liked the image of a girl sitting in a martini glass. We thought it was cute and frivolous. Billy balked at this outright. He thought it was sexist and would sexualize our content. D’oh! I guess he was right (do NOT tell him I said that!).
Billy started putting pen to paper using other source material. This led to several conversations that went something like this:
GG: What is that?
Billy: It’s for your logo.
GG: Yeah, but what is that?
Billy: Isn’t this what you wanted?
GG: Well, yes. But…no.
Other such conversations included questions from me like, “Why are our [cartoon] butts so big?” and “Did you give me [cartoon] wrinkles?!” Admittedly, the onus for communicating what we wanted clearly was on the princesses. We did the best we could, but still fell short of the needed (and elusive) mark. We could offer global ideas about what we wanted, but could not offer ideas on execution.
Then Jax and I had a fresh perspective on an image. We were inspired by the spiral goddess. “Could we have an image of her wearing a crown?” we asked Billy. We compiled and sent new source materials to him. This led to a few exchanges about perspective and focus and how a prominent crown would compete with a dominant spiral. All the while I’m thinking, “Egads, man! Just draw the @*$% picture!” This was followed by several weeks on inactivity (save additional, occasional nagging on my part). [Note: Truly, I am not a nag. I am simply persistant!] Jax and I were starting to fret. We really wanted to have a logo finalized and printed on t-shirts for Pagan Pride Day (September 19th).
Then the gods smiled on us. BAM! Billy got an inspired idea and jotted it down at work. Low and behold, he created an image that was exactly what we wanted but were unable to articulate. He took our ideas for what we wanted and gave us what we needed. What a guy! What an artist!
He knocked out the image and helped us create iron-on decals so we could make t-shirts. We represented at Pagan Pride Day, met some great folks, and were truly proud to be pagan…and princesses!
As you can see from this process, getting to an image that was attractive and substantively meaningful to us and artistically satisfying for him was not an easy journey. We gratefully thank Billy for his time, inspiration and talent. Oh yeah, and for his patience!