#Mermay is one of those fun challenges on social media where artists who participate try to make a new work that relates to mermaids for all 31 days of May. Either they follow an existing prompt that's floating around or they make their own prompt list. It's similar to other monthly challenges like Inktober, OCtober, Huevember, and other art challenges like that. Essentially the goal is to get you drawing or making art for every day of the month regardless of what month and what challenge it is.
This year was my first time joining #Mermay and I had a fun time experimenting with the way I paint, though if I were to do another month long challenge like this, I'd probably do it in a completely different way that won't hurt my hands later.
I only managed to make it through 20 out of 31 days of Mermay but this was way farther than I ever expected to get through. The following is the entire collection of works I made for Mermay, but the specific pieces that I've included in my illustration portfolio will have context and behind the scenes information about them down below.
All of these are available as prints in my store, by the way.
For this challenge I made my own custom prompt for Mermay. A lot of the prompts were just whatever popped into my head at the time and I made a massive list with well over 31 ideas just in case on one of the days I wasn't feeling that particular idea anymore.
For day 7, the prompt was "mermaid cookies with some tea."
I had a lot of fun with this one in particular because I got to achieve and interesting kind of softness while also playing around more with colors. In general I would say that doing Mermay this year really helped me push my colors into much more vibrant and sometimes unexpected territories.
The prompt for Day 9 was "Reverse Mermaid."
Day 9 was absolutely one of my favorites. Perhaps a very very close second to Day 15. I just found a lot of joy with this concept of a mermaid with a fish top half and a human bottom half. And of course I had a lot of fun messing around with colors for this one too.
For Day 12 the prompt was "mermaid in bathtub."
I had a LOT of fun with this one, color wise. This was one of those ones where I could experiment more with how I color skin tones. By default I've always colored skin in a very flat way. But when it comes to painting, one of the things I've always wanted to do was introduce a variety of colors into the base skin tone color.
In real life your skin has a variety of shades and hues in it and it also can change depending on the lighting situation you're in. For this piece, I wanted to do more color variety by also picking up the vivid and wacky colors that were all over the rest of the piece. (On previous days I've played with more colors in the skin, but this one I feel was the most succesful.)
The prompt for Day 15 was "a mermaid banana chilling in an ice cream sundae."
This one was probably the one I spent the most time on out of all the works for Mermay. The more I worked on the concept the more I fell in love with it and wanted to push it more and more to make it a more dreamy and surreal image.
It also probably took me the most time because this was the first time I've paid so much attention to the different surfaces I was painting. The glass bowl was something I've never painted before; so I tried to pay extra close attention to how the bowl's reflection looked and how it interacted with the ice cream and the mermaid herself.
I also have never painted food like this before and it really made me notice how wet and shiny some parts of food can be. The cherries and the chocolate sauce being a big part of that. Doing this painting has honestly made me really interested in doing more painting studies where I try to get better at illustrating and painting food.
The prompt for Day 17 was "chef/baker mermaid."
This one was a fun one to accomplish because throughout this challenge I've been trying to find ways to bring my cartoon-y illustration style to meet the painting style I was trying to develop. So the exaggerated facial expression, the exaggerated cake that was about to fall, the movement in the piece. I wanted to go in this direction and see how I can combine that with the way I was painting.
For years before I did the paintings for REMiniscence, I've been trying to find that balance while teaching myself digital painting. I've always been someone who prefers to draw cartoons and exaggerate emotions and scenery rather than staying close to realism. However, it always felt that most of the contemporary painters I've admired and studied only have realistic anime/realism/hypperreal art styles. While all their paintings always looked fantastic on a technical level, they still weren't alive enough for me.
So far in my quest to marry cartoony looks with painting, this has been one of my best efforts.
I've been drawing since I could pick up a pencil, but the past 10+ years are when I really started to seriously study it and improve. I'm very interested in character design and character based illustration. My fondness for big bold colors and fun concepts follows me here as well.
The Halloween Spirit 2021
A project where I redesigned an old original character from 2013 and breathed new life into her in 2021 via painting.
#Mermay Day 15
The 15th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
A cute print of a painting that was offered in the April 2021 sticker club.
#Mermay Day 9
I participated in #Mermay2021 which was a challenge to draw mermaid related paintings every day for the month of May. A good handful of these I liked enough to include in my portfolio. This is the 9th painting in the series.
#Mermay Day 17
The 17th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
M-GIRL T-shirt Design
A continuation of the M-GIRL collection. This illustration is for the t-shirt design.
#Mermay Day 12
The 12th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
#Mermay Day 7
The 7th painting in the #Mermay2021 series.
An original character I created and designed multiple Virtual-K relaunch products for. This illustration is for the holographic poster design.