Designing Aiko 2016 Edition: or, how I spend way too much time on Ai-kon mascot contest entries

Royal Aiko! That’s the theme of this year’s Ai-Kon mascot contest. I was super excited by the thought of the frills and ruffles and opulence that I could add to it. From their posting: What is “Imperial/Royal”? “Royal” is defined as “having the status of a king or queen or a member of their family”. This year, we’re looking for representations of Aiko as any type of monarch, including (but not restricted to) an empress, a queen, princess, etc. Designs are also not restricted to Japanese or British regal courts. A cool tidbit is that this is Ai-Kon’s 15th year! 15 year celebrations are often represented by a rose or a crystal. Feel free to use these elements in your designs, i.e. rose queen or crystal empress. I dove in, and I mean really dove in. I used it as…

Mmm, cake: drawing a dessert illustration for Winterfest

I love cake. It’s one of my number one weaknesses. When I got the chance to do a cake illustration for the Ai-Kon Winterfest art contest, I jumped at it. The design would be made into an actual cake by local bakery Cake-ology and served at the Winterfest cafe, and the winner would get an art table and a chance to eat their creation. CAKE. SERIOUS BUSINESS. So I sat down and began to formulate my entry. My number one focus was taste. After all, if I had to eat it at the cafe, why would I make something covered in gross fondant? I wanted to harken back to humble birthday cakes, the kind that (as previously linked) Cake-ology is superb at making. It had to have all the elements of sweet handmade cakes of childhood while still hosting a…