That was the elation I felt when I completed the final animal in the Alphabet Animal Art Challenge! 52 weeks, 26 letters, and I created both a prompt list and an animal for ALL of them! It is quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself, and NOT easy.
I had several reasons/goals/ideas when I first dreamed up this challenge and I am happy to say that I met them (and perhaps even surpassed them!) There is so much to share, in fact, that I hardly know where to begin… (And, if you are just hearing about this challenge for the first time you can read the original post here).
First, the animals! All 26 of them. One for every letter of the Alphabet and almost all of them posted within their allotted 2 week time frame!
It is rather amazing seeing them all together. Such a wide variety! The first animal, armadillo, is a bit out of place. After that first letter, and motivated by a comment from my husband, I decided to go “cuter” with the look of my animals. I am really glad I did! I think that I was able to achieve a pretty good consistency of style throughout the year and, scale aside, these animals could work well in combination in addition to solo. (In fact I plan on tweaking the armadillo to use in a project I have planned). I chose a handful of favorites to create the title art for this post, but honestly, while I definitely have ones I don’t like as much, there is future “potential” for most of these. One of the great “side effects” of this challenge is that I now have a large library of animal characters ready to use in patterns, greeting cards, and any other sort of art. In fact, many of them have already been used in these ways, which you will see below.
Next, I wanted to share all the “prompt” posts I did for Instagram.
These were posted every Sunday (except for 1, which got delayed due to some major computer issues I had) to kick off the new letter and give some ideas to get participants started on their next letter. (Of course, after the first quarter most other participants dropped out, but I persevered in sharing the prompts anyways, always in hope of new people joining in!) Each prompt had 7 animals listed. I researched animals and created these letter by letter as the year went along. You might be surprised to learn that I did NOT check prior to starting the challenge if there even was an animal for every letter of the alphabet. Honestly, that didn’t matter to me. I figured there would be an animal for MOST of them and I could always use adjective descriptors for a letter that did not have an animal. It turned out, however, that every letter DID have an animal!!! And in fact, I was able to fill all 7 “slots” on my prompt list for every letter (although for Y some of them are “adjective Y” animals)! It was a bit of work putting together the lists but it was also fun. I liked looking up the letter and discovering new and interesting animals.
As I mentioned above, I have built up an impressive library of illustrations that I can now use for other design projects.
Surface Pattern Design: I have ideas for patterns for many of the animals I have created, but so far I have only created one seamless pattern. It features the flamingo and is titled: Flamingos and Flowers. This design is now available as part of the Floridian Collection in my Spoonflower Shop.
Greeting Cards: I also created several greeting cards, basically on an “as needed” basis as occasions popped up throughout the year. So far I have created 5 different greeting card designs, 2 of which, the elephant and owl, have 2 different color variations (I chose to only include 1 color version of each card below but you can see the other elephant here and the other owl here).
I think it would be fun to do some coordinating patterns for these as well. I am particularly found of the Birthday Owl!
Onto my final thoughts:
- One of my goals was to force myself to be creative on a regular basis. This challenge definitely achieved that goal! There were definitely times when I really did not want to create an animal for a particular letter, but since I committed to the challenge I did. I am very happy for that.
- Another goal was to improve my animal drawing skills. Character design does not come easy to me, so this was a great way for me to grow that skill set. I think some animals were more successful than others, but even my least favorites gave me good practice.
- If I am disappointed with any part of the challenge, it was the dropping out of most of the participants after the first quarter. I totally get it… it was hard for ME to keep up sometimes and I created the challenge! But I did miss that social aspect of it.
I think that’s it! It is a little weird to be done with this challenge. But I am excited to move on to a new subject matter! I announced the 2018 Alphabet Art Challenge theme a few weeks ago: Fruits and Vegetables! It will be a nice change of pace. I would love for you to join me!
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear which animal is YOUR favorite! You can comment below.