Monday, August 22, 2011

The Birth of an Ad Character!

I've now worked for my new company, Mixo, long enough and enough of the artwork is finally out there that I can start talking about the creative process and showing off some of the behind the scenes stuff. And I thought that I'd kick it all off with some pics on how our company mascot, Mr. Mixo, came to be!

Mr. Mixo is our Snap, Crackle and Pop, our Twinkie the Kid, our Kool-aid Man. And we really wanted something that aesthetically paid homage to the great ad characters of yesteryear.

Mr.Mixo started out as a drawing done by another artist, and as cute as he was, it didn't quite capture "our look and feel" and once I was hired on full time, I took the character under my wing, or in this case, under my Bic ball point pen.

You can see the original Mr. Mixo taped down in the lower right hand corner. I took that character and ran him through my cartoon filters and worked him out with some pen sketches (anyone else out there sketch in ball-point ink?). Note my boss' sketch just above the card. It's a Mike Becker original! You can also see where I was highly enamored by the old "My Three Sons" shoes. Weird stuff sticks in my head.

Next up came a more finished sketch (still in pen) that would be my guide once I took him into Illustrator. Note his obvious "soda jerk/ice cream man" look, which was originally how we wanted him, back when our collectible tins were going to contain ice-cream flavored drink mixes (they're now filled with sweet-tart candy and papercraft prizes).

Then it was time to build him digitally...

 We even had planed to make an exclusive Mr. Mixo Kookycan (the name of our first product) for San Diego Comic Con, but it never happened. Maybe next year...

Mr. Mixo would eventually go through one more makeover, when we wanted our focus to be more on the designs of the collectible tins and the creative, "artsy" papercraft accessories inside. With a few changes here and there, we ended up with our current (but probably not final) version of Mr. Mixo...

And that, kids, is how I make an ad character!