When I was a student at Deer Creek Mackinaw (Dee-Mack) High School in Mackinaw, Illinois (1984 thru 1988) I was really into anything that was even remotely related to art. I loved drafting classes and all of the different art classes too. Our art teacher, Mrs. Schultz, organized some of the best art students there and had them paint a few organized and approved murals around the school. I was allowed to paint a Space Shuttle mural upstairs on the big 2-story wall just outside the library. I was also into space, and I had some NASA photos and mission patches and I basically just painted a collage of some of the items in that material. I dedicated the mural to the crew of the Challenger mission that was lost during their launch on January 28th, 1986. This large mural was a big project for a high school student … and I never actually technically finished the mural. I had intended to paint land masses on the earth, but never got around to it. I took these photos in the summer of 2002, so the mural was at least there for 14 years. I think they had to paint over it a few years ago, though.
I’ve always had both an artistic bent and a computer bent, so computer graphics have always been sort of a hobby of mine. I can remember writing programs to light up individual pixels on the green display of my Apple IIe computer when I was a teenager. I remember drawing out a Garfield cat onto graph paper first, then mapping out all the pixel X and Y locations on the graph paper to type into my computer program. Ahhhh, those were the good ole days. 🙂
I’ve been a Woot (woot.com, what is Woot) customer since May of 2006, buying cheap electronics here and there whenever I saw Woot offering something that I really needed. When I subscribed to the Woot RSS feeds (so I wouldn’t forget to check the daily sale) I noticed that they were holding weekly Photo-chopping contests there. And they were actually giving away monetary prizes too, or at least monetary credit for purchases on Woot! I’ve got a little bit of Photo-chopping experience, so I started keeping my eyes open for a contest theme that I would enjoy working on. Then Woot Contest 98 caught my eye.
The Challenge: Alter an existing comic-book cover so that it’s named after and features a product we’ve sold on Woot.
This was definitely down my alley. I searched the Woot blog for a product that would work good in a comic book cover. I saw the Navman portable GPS navigation system and immediately thought that I could turn either Spiderman or Superman into Navman.
Navman portable GPS navigation system
Source comic book cover
Then I started chopping! I used lots and lots of image layers to get all of my changes into the image. Layering also gives you lots of flexibility and allows you to fine tune things later without a lot of work. Here is my final contest submittal:
My contest submittal
Woot Contest 98 Results. I didn’t receive a monetary prize, but I was very honored to have won the “Champions’ Championship Champion” award. After inquiring what the heck that award was about, I was told that it is voted on solely by previous contest top 3 prize winners. So I’m actually quite honored to have received this nod and respect from the previous contest winners on my very first entry. That felt pretty good, and gave me the confidence to enter more contests. Also, my entry came in 5th in the Viewer’s Choice award, which was pretty cool!
I saw this product in a magazine somewhere and thought, “Hey, I can make that!”
So I did. I bought a plank of cheap pine board and cut out all the shapes and screwed them all together. The painting was the hardest part, and even that wasn’t too difficult.