Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Evolution of Our Mascot

The visual evolution of our mascot, Redcap, has taken over a year to complete. The original image of our mascot was a black & white image from the Public Domain, a Brownie, from page 212 of English Fairy Tales (Jacobs, J., 1895 New York : Grosset & Dunlap). It was chosen because it looked comical and appropriate for a, "nasty little blighter".

Flying Buffalo had their iconic, Grimtooth the Troll, from the infamous, Grimtooth's Traps series, so we wanted our own mascot that people would identify with our material. We named him, Redcap, after a group of evil little tricksters that were said to keep their caps bright red by dipping them into the blood of their victims. We thought he'd make a comical Fey, "Dungeon Master", that takes great joy in the misfortunes of his players.

Not being too artistically inclined, we took the original black & white image and made the cape red. This image was fine, but ultimately still pretty generic. It needed personalizing, but we had to find an artist that could bring out the personality of this particular little imp.

After following the artist, James V West, on Google+, it didn't take long to realize that he was perfect for the job. Yes, there are many talented artists out there, but West absolutely possessed exactly the sort of style and artistic vision that we knew was needed for such an important project. After all, this isn't just a cartoon character, it's a brand, our brand. It had to be exactly what we wanted and felt would best represent the spirit of our work.

Once chosen, we approached James about the commission. Except for necessary background details, we left it entirely up to him how to capture the character visually. It is our belief that you don't tap a creative artist and then hobble them. An artist has to be free to create. You want the artist to feel like the subject is as much their child as your own. That's how you inspire the best work. And James blew us out of the water literally within hours. He took the reigns and ran with it!

It is with great pride that we present to you, our gleeful little reprobate mascot, Redcap. The images on the left are by James V. West. The image on the right is the colorized version of the original public domain image we used for 2017.


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