So, in '08/'09, I asked if I could design some mascots for Kuzuricon, an anime convention in Kalamazoo. The coordinator was like, go for it! So I did. I designed like ten, but the first pair of mascots were these two:
The design was supposed to be Michigan-centric, so I named the girl Ringo (Japanese for "apple", Michigan's state Fruit), and I based her entire design off of apple blossoms. Kuzu is a wolverine.
Well, I got it from all sides. I spent so long on this and everybody hated it. They hated the name (too mannish!, they cried), they hated the colors (too girly!, they cried), they hated the wolverine (it looks like a cat!, they cried).
In retrospect, I do not really like these characters but for entirely different reasons. When I designed them, I was thinking too generally. Ringo is kind of plain, and I don't like the style I chose, but in any case...
It was all very disheartening because I spent way too much time designing these characters (for free), then designed a bunch of other characters (that I liked more) which they hated for various other reasons.
Anyway, the thing that bugged me most was that they were nitpicking over the name, Ringo. Girls can't be named Ringo? Ringo Starr can only be named Ringo? It was all very frustrating.
JAFAX, a convention that is much more seasoned, organized and something I wish I were a part of just unveiled their new mascot named RINGO. AND IT'S A GIRL.
I am not feeling ripped off, I am feeling justified. I am feeling pointy and vindicated. Take that, Kuzuricon! Girls can be named Ringo!
This is Jafax's cool new mascot named Ringo, whose design is very cool. The style is really slick and is anime without being TOO anime. Check out the talented illustrator behind her here.