Friday, November 5, 2021

Jack-O-Lantern Designs 2021: Publix Commission Edition!

 Hey Everyone! Don't worry I didn't forget to do my annual pumpkin designs! Yes it may appear that way, seeing as it's now November, but there's something different in store for this year (literally), and when you add the worldwide shipping delays to the equation, we're unfortunately a bit late. 

So what's the deal?

Well, earlier this spring, I was contacted by Publix Super Markets Inc. with a request to license some of my jack-o-lantern designs for some Halloween-themed reusable tote bags! They were inquiring about the very first two contact sheets, and upon informing them that I had over 10 years worth of these things, they stuck to their initial request of the 2010 and 2011 sheets. 

There was one little complication though. Since I have been using the same template for over a decade, the resolution of my typical designs aren't very high at all. I remember finding a public domain pumpkin image as the background back in the day, but it was pretty low resolution and I can't even seem to track down the original anymore (even with reverse image searches).

The great folks at Publix had a solution, and bought a high res stock image for me, with the understanding that I would up-res and clean up the original facial expressions so they would work when printing (thank goodness for keeping the original photoshop files for all these years!)

So here we have new HD versions of my 10 and 11 year old designs:

For Comparison, here's the original low-res versions:

But WAIT! There's MORE! They also asked if they could commission an entirely new set for them, including one with their logo on it. So this year's designs are literally brought to you by Publix Super Markets, Inc:

Despite this project having wrapped up all the way back in April, because of production and shipping delays, it took a while to get the totes into the stores, and I wanted to wait to post until I had some in my hands. The team at Publix ended up picking and choosing various designs from all three contact sheets and mixing and matching:

I think they look great, don't you? They should be available in Publix stores around the country NOW! (Although I've been informed that they're actually selling out! So get them while you can!) 

This turned out to be a great experience for me. I find it fun to see such old drawings that I did as a fun request from a friend bringing joy to people a decade later. As an artist, I look back on these old contact sheets and see them as simple unrefined works - and yet here they are today, still resonating people. It's a good reminder to stay humble and while it's great to constantly be pushing yourself as an artist, your current skills don't invalidate your old work. 

So again, sorry for the delay, but HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

As always, feel free to check out previous year designs here:

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