I hope you’ve had a great April! I was personally able to get some days of vacation, which allowed me to (finally) tackle a project that I’d been looking forward to for the past year: recovering, organizing and digitizing all of my old monster designs and drawings.
This might seem simple… just scan them for a few hours and that’s it, right? How many could there be? But actually these drawings span a period of fifteen years, from when I was around 9 years old to 24. I don’t think I’ve kept even half of the drawings that I made, but still it’s a huge library. So yeah, it was a lot of work, but I’m glad I was able to do it.
From an early age, I picked things up fast, so instead of paying attention in class, I spent most of the time drawing. Most teachers complained at first, but then let me be. I’m still not sure if that was a good idea (xD), but as a result I became an addict to monster creation and extremely practiced at it.
These monsters (or “Pokémons” as I called them back then, since I was a huge Pokémon fan) were my pride and joy. I remember setting milestones for myself: reach 100 designs, reach 200 and so on. If I recall correctly, at one point my monster list had more than 1200 monsters in it. Many designs were half-assed and I threw them out years ago, but an insane amount of them were quite detailed, drawn in full color and had their own name, type and features. So, in other words, this collection of designs is a goldmine.
For a while I kept those drawings in their original form: a dozen notebooks, lots of scattered pages, a corner in some school work, the back of a class schedule. Then I compiled them in huge albums that took up a lot of space. Eventually I cut them out and put most of them (the ones that fit) inside of a shoebox.
I’ve wanted to scan these designs for a very long time (I mean, what would happen if the originals were damaged?? That possibility haunted me. It’s a whole life’s work, almost literally). But I knew it would take me a while so I kept putting it off.
Now, after spending at least 8 full afternoons (and quite a few mornings too) scanning, cropping and ordering monsters nonstop, I’m finally done. Hoooray!
I’ve scanned a total of 969 files, most of which include 2, 3 or more drawings in a single file. Many designs were drawn again and again over the years, with improvements or design changes, while others were drawn only once – I’ll need to further organize the drawings to make sure, but I believe there’s at least 500-600 different monster designs in there, some with more than 5, 10 or 15 variations.
As an adult, and a person who is dipping their toes into asset creation for other people’s videogames (previously I only made assets for myself, for projects that never came to light, like the aforementioned Monster Embassy), I’m suddenly very aware of the possibilities of all these monster drawings. What if I improve their designs and make pixel-art for them, so people can use them in their own games? Is it a possibility (no matter how remote) that I could earn a living, or at least a respectable amount of money, by doing what I always did best as a child – creating colorful creatures?
I don’t know, but I think I’m willing to find out, or at least try! 🙂 I haven’t made monster pixel-art in ages, and I’m really looking forward to it.
For now I’m attempting, for the first time, to sell assets for money with my Game Boy SFX pack, which will update once or twice a month with more assets and gradually increase in price. But eventually I will focus on visual assets, which are the ones most in demand and the ones I have the most practice in. These monster designs are an excellent candidate for future asset packs, I think. I wonder what people would do with them? After so many years drawing them and not using them for anything, the thought of other people being able to enjoy them is thrilling.
Thanks for reading and best wishes!