Monday, November 29, 2010

8-BitVS Feature: Kirby's Epic Quilt Patch!

For those who did not know, both Jo and I are fans of GoNintendo, a blog run by Kevin Cassidy, AKA Raw Meat Cowboy. He does a great job of taking care of the Nintendo news of the day, and does so with a level of speed and panache that few can compete with.

What you may not know is that there was a recent contest in which readers who entered their names into the picking had an opportunity to be randomly selected to create a patch for an epic quilt that was being made (...Sewn? ...Quilterized?) to commemorate Nintendo's recent release of Kirby's Epic Yarn! I entered my name in the running, and like a roundhouse at a face-kicking competition, I WON!

The excitement was palpable, but the celebration was short lived as I remembered that I couldn't draw a bath, let alone a picture of a beloved, if somewhat rotund, video game character.
Not Pictured: Art

My kirby looks like he just swallowed a hooker. What special power would that get him? Chlamydia? The Clap? You can tell it must have been a hooker by the hollow, dead eyes. Also, why is he looking up?

Anyway, it was obvious the Kirb-vestite wouldn't do for a quilt that would no doubt tour the nation, so I did what any good American would do: Worked hard, practiced often, and got good enough that I could draw Kirby with no problems.

Just kidding. I made someone else do it. But can you imagine? That would have been really cool if I did it.

Jo, my sister, fellow-poster, and resident artist on the site, sat down with yours truly, and we went to work thinking of concepts:

Figure 1: Priming the (Insanity) Pump
Our first set of concepts lacked focus. They consisted mainly of a Kirby who was so sloppy-drunk that he couldn't remain standing, but still insists on staring at you like a weird cousin at a family reunion (bottom-middle), and what appears to be a Charizard engaged in a Pokemon battle with Kirby (upper-right).

Figure 2: I'm Scared
 I think that's Meta-Knight in the top half of this sketch, but I don't know why he's still there... It's obvious from Kirby's expression that he was already dead when Meta-Knight arrived. Either that, or he's spent a little too much time at the Fountain of Dreams.

Figure 3: The Artistic Process
We were finally on our way during the third concept sheet. We chose the final design from the ones on this page, actually. Can you guess which one it was? (Hint: It's not the "Dreamland Strangler" in the upper right-hand corner. That just leaves "Rockin" Kirby, and "Shigeru Miyamoto" Kirby.

Both would have been a valid choice, but at the end of the day, we didn't want Miyamoto to send out "The Troopas" to teach us a little lesson about respect (We heard that's how Reggie Fils-Aime got his start; give that guy a "Super Mushroom" and a set of brass knuckles, and he won't even remember who he hurt the night before).

In the end, we decided on the "Rockin" Kirby, and I was sent out for art supplies while Jo got to sketching. When I returned, we began filling in the pencil lines to give it some personality.

Next, we used the new colors that I had procurred, and finished some of the coloring and some outlining.

Last, but not least, I found a really sweet Earthbound font that looked kind of 8-bit-ey, that you can download for yourself here, and used it as template to add some lettering across the top. I strengthened up some of the lines, because my talent lies in tracing something that is already there, unlike Jo who can generate magic from thin air, and sent it off to the Grandmaster Quilter.

The final product is now done, and has been on display at the Nintendo World Store in New York City for the past few weeks! As can be seen in the picture below, the quilt was on the show floor for the grand re-opening commemorating Mario's 25th anniversary!

Can you see it? Then you must have x-ray freakin' vision, because there's a RAILING in the way!
Still, though, it's amazingly cool!
     A huge thanks for Kevin Cassidy at GoNintendo for giving us the chance to participate, and another to Nintendo for allowing the fans such a unique opportunity!

-BitNick and Jo


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