[Shortform]Illustrator,Mint-tan Class Description
Find out how you can connect characters
and food together to create work
that's perfect for turning into merch.
This class will teach you the ins and outs
of making merch without having to go through
the trials and errors commonly associated with
entering the merch market.
You'll learn how to deform characters,
create yummy-looking food art to add
alongside your characters, and get tips for
selling & marketing your own merch.
Clip Studio Paint (PRO / EX)
Recommended: Version 1.12.8
Minimum Version: 1.10.5
Mint-tan's Profile & Portfolio
※ This portfolio includes fan art.
Hello there, this is Mint-tan.
I'm a freelance illustrator and merch creator
based in Asia. Although I mainly work
as a freelance illustrator, I have been creating
fan merch and actively participating
in local and international merch communities since 2015.
It started with my friends dragging me to conventions,
but soon, I started loving it. In large part,
because of the kind response I received
from people who loved my merch.
This taught me that merch could be a medium
used to share love and happiness.
I still remember how surreal merch-making
used to feel like then and how I felt like
it was something only "big" artists could do.
It was also surprisingly difficult to get started
due to the lack of helpful information available.
After 7 years of merch-making,
I felt like I reached a level where my experiences
and expertise would help serve as
the perfect introduction for others
interested in following the same path.
Projects & Awards
Lokapala: Saga of Six Realms (with Anantarupa Studios) - Illustrator
Various projects (with Re:ON Comics) - Illustrator & Comic Artist
How to "SD" Everything:
From Characters to Objects
Have you ever noticed how different a rubber duck looks compared to a real-life duck? Let's take a step back and analyze: What traits make certain things look SD, and how can we apply that to our work?
Are you interested in creating food-themed art that has the power to make audiences hungry? Let's learn how to create delicious-looking food art to add alongside your SD character.
Tips for Selling & Marketing
Done with your designs? Merch-making doesn't end there! I will use my experience as a long-time merch creator to guide you through the process of selling and marketing your merch: both online and offline.
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SECTION 01. OT
- Introducing your instructor
- What you will learn
- Helpful websites and software
SECTION 02. Design Concepting
2. Let's Build a Mindset: Merch is a Commercial Art
- Explaining the meaning of commercial art and why it includes merch
- How to select a target market/niche
- Observing trends
3. The Many Types of Merch and Things to Prepare Before Designing
- Explaining merch types and their pros & cons
- Navigating and finding a manufacturer
- Listing things to prepare before designing
4. Design Thinking I: Characters, Food, and Their Personality
- Getting to know which factors communicate personality (shapes, colors, etc)
- Analyzing and explaining the thought process of my previous designs
5. Design Thinking II: Creating a Character-Centric Merch Concept
- Analyzing a character's background and personality
- Brainstorming and mind-mapping
- Coming up with a design concept
SECTION 03. SD Characters & Stylized Food Art Basics
6. What Does “SD” Mean, and How to Do It?
- Explaining what "SD" means
- Demonstrating different levels of character body deformation
- Creating SD characters using basic shapes as a guide
7. How to Draw Parts of an SD Character (Eyes, Mouth, Hair, Hands, Feet)
- Demonstrating various ways to deform the body of an SD character
8. How to Pose SD Characters
- Introduction to SD body geometrization
- Common concerns surrounding SD character posing, and how to solve each of them
- What good posing calls for
9. How to “SD” Not Only Characters but Also Objects
- The basics and principles of deformation
- Explaining how to deform non-human objects
10. Creating Stylized Versions of Food & Drinks to Go With Your Merch
- Demonstration - Drawing Food & Drinks: Transforming photo references into a stylized rendering
11. Let's Design Our Merch!
- Turning text-only concepts into workable sketches of merch design
- Adding additional objects as supporting items
- Demonstration - Finalizing merch design
SECTION 04. Finalizing Your Design
12. Fulfilling a Manufacturer's File Requirements
- File format
- Cutting template/path
13. Bonus: Tips on Selling and Marketing Your Merch
- Setting up an online store
- Tips on hobby conventions
- Setting up pre-sales
- Tips for marketing your merch on social media
**The release date of this class, curriculum images, and associated content can be changed without prior notice.
5 Class Exercises
Stylized Food & Drinks
Is there a specific reason why you chose this specific topic/themes?
Food is a universal topic that can easily connect any character. While characters may live in a unique universe, there's always food to bridge the gap between them. Food has that kind of power. It links everything together and brings an element of joy to your character. And although food art can definitely stand on its own, I chose to focus on merch because the demand for it has grown a lot since I started out. When I was a beginner in the field, there was a lot of gatekeeping of information. I didn't really have anyone I could learn from or ask things about the process of merch-making. So, I relied solely on trial and error. My goal is to create a class that could serve as a guideline for those starting out to make merch-making friendlier to you than it was to me.
What makes your class different
from other classes?
Besides being a creator, I'm also a student on many online learning sites. While I think every creator has a unique specialty, I noticed most classes replicate the same curriculum commonly found in books, videos, and other classes. My experience as a student makes it clear to me what I want to see from a creator, and my experience as a creator has given me insight into how I can deliver that to my students. Hence, this class covers how to make SD characters, food art, and merch: a combination of topics that I specialize in and are unlikely to be found anywhere else, with insights you can easily apply to your everyday work. This is a class that doesn't just end at drawing. I will also let you know what comes next.
What would be the most important takeaway from your class?
Although this class is a combination of three topics, the most universally applicable would be observation skills. As with any commercial art, consistently observing, picking up on the latest trends, and applying those observations to your merch is vital. The term "SD" stands for "Super Deformed," it is a way to find inspiration that doesn't come from thin air but instead comes from the observation of real-life objects and is then simplified accordingly to fulfill its purpose within your work. While seemingly insignificant, observation is a fundamental part of all types of art. So, even if you don't end up creating "SD characters or food-centric merch," this is a skill that you can take with you and use in the future.
This course will use Clip Studio Paint (Pro / EX)
Please purchase and install these program(s) for an optimized lecture experience.
*These programs and/or materials will not be provided with the lecture.
Like this class?
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This course will open on February 19, 2023 (PST)
*The duration of the class discount may change without prior notice.
*Please ensure to fill in your email address correctly, as the payment and class information will be sent to the registered email address.
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