the flag mafia has a gun to my head send help

i may have a problem.

or maybe it’s only a problem if I address it??

but the might I wielded before was nothing compared to this new dark power I have discovered. behold!

it’s really interesting how many flags are designed to be off-center towards the pole (the “hoist”). it looks odd when viewed as a static image, but when you see them in motion you realize that they actually look centered since the tail of the flag moves more than the rest. try plugging in the bangladesh or french naval flags into the flag waver link above to see what I mean. there are a lot of design considerations like this to factor in that may not be obvious.

I think that’s a big reason why I appreciate flags so much. They are such a good case study of “practical art”, art that exists to communicate a message as quickly, efficiently, and stylistically as possible. a clear advantage of graphic design/art over other communication mediums is how concise it can be. and I also appreciate them for their historical and societal connotations. they are symbols, and symbols are powerful. they are neat, and I appreciate the minutia of the design of good flags. there are a lot of factors that make a good flag good which post people don’t even realize.

mens suits are a proven cure for insomnia

i understand that this blog is becoming a fashion one more with each passing day but what are you gonna do I suppose.

mens suits suck.

they are the same thing over and over again with nearly no variety. in my opinion the design isn’t even that appealing. I understand that something neutral and minimal can be classy in the right circumstance. still, there has got to be some more variety before I lose my mind. at least women in the west can get away with more pizzazz.

man even just tiny little stripes or blocks of color can add a ton. and while I know that is what neckties are for, i have a very deep, personal, and petty vendetta against ties. ties were locked up in the dungeon where they belong for this exercise.

and while I hardly think that “new is always better” in anything, I swear that suits haven’t changed much at all since the colonial period. look at like rembrandt paintings or whoever. what we have today is basically the same thing. featureless black mass of cloth with a few points of contrast around the neck and sleeves.

I’m sure this is heresy to many, but if we had to settle on a design for hundreds of years, couldn’t we have settled on something good?

whatever. I’m not advocating that every business executive needs to start parading around in a tie-dye hippie wonderland, but surely we could play around a little bit with mens’ suits. I understand having a muted main color and simple shapes. start small to aid the easily-startled. but let’s at least get some slight variety in here so I can feel a little less like a bystander from Mr. Roboto.

i’m hardly saying that all of these designs are winners. they are concept doodles like anything else. need to experiment to throw away the bad elements and keep the good. but goodness I feel like even these few designs have more interest than 99% of the suits I’ve seen in my life. and this is just scratching the surface, you could go way more creative than this. I was playing it safe to make something I think a businessman could in theory wear today in an the ocean of peer pressure.

i can only hope that one day western suits can look as good as this.

Flags 3

got pretty hung up on stylized comets and planets with rings on this one.

when doing comic concept I always try to do most of it in B&W. I didn’t used to but I learned my lesson. things always manage to look different in color.

I really like this batch overall. just some tweaks here and there. i think most of them would be fairly striking even in B&W. I found the Good Flag, Bad Flag pamphlet to be a good resource. it breaks down flag design and why things work and other things don’t in an understandable way to the layman. i am by no means an expert on flags, but hopefully i have enough design experience to make something striking and poignant (or at least recognize when a design isn’t).

on a side note, i wish my state flag (Kansas) could be one of these. or something like it. or just something that isn’t the flag we have at the moment. it’s just so bad. along with the like 20 other state flags that look just like it. none of them stand out, and you can’t even see what’s on the seal at a distance. in my opinion many badly need a redesign.

with these two designs at least they would be fitting for kansas with kansas-y colors (sunset, sky, fields, clouds). simple and distinct. the mostly unknown state banner is fine too, we could always use that. a man can dream I suppose.

(quiet clothes?) LOUD CLOTHES???

how classy should we go?

how loud? how casual? again, design trends are pretty independent of when or where you live. some fashion trends could easily have happened centuries before or after they did in real life.

even if i sit on these designs for years on end without using them there is no definitive end date for the comic at this point. even I have no idea where it could end up in 20 years.

and without spoiling too many future ideas, this comic could very well end up exploring many more places and times than what has been shown so far. even if some of these outfits aren’t appropriate for the moment, they very well could be at a later date.

At a glance

I find silhouettes and shapes just as important as detail. Silhouettes can be tough for me to integrate into the background and still make it look good. always learning.

I find a lot of these have interesting shapes which can help differentiate characters. the types of clothes a character wears is just as important as their body shape and body language, since it helps the audience recognize them. it is their ‘brand’, if you will. it also makes certain poses more or less difficult to draw. 😉

what are half of these outfits? i have no idea. the story of my life: we can take it further.

Clothes makes the man

I really do like drawing and designing clothes. which is kind of odd since I don’t care at all how I dress in real life.

playing with shapes, playing with ideas, the norm. trying to make believable designs that I could see someone wearing in real life, even if they are not necessarily practical. these are intended for the renes, though I may end up stealing elements to use for other nations. the renes in particular do not like showing skin. part of that is their colder environment, but i would hazard a guess that their climate and their particulars of modesty play into each other over time. I think that tended to happen in real life.

patterns add some flavor, but they can be a little difficult and tedious to do in B&W without breaking silhouettes or muddying the body language. if I ever use designs in the comic I have to do B&W versions to make sure they work. but right now the shapes and the silhouette are more important.

We can take it further

some of these had specific design goals in mind, but most are just experimentation to see what I like and what I could potentially use. the colors are interesting, but I need to constantly keep in mind what they will look like in monochrome. silhouette and shape tend to play more to not only my strengths but the comic’s strengths more than patterns and colors. patterns especially can get really tedious for me (learn from toriyama and his regrets with those spots on cell’s design! goodness, what a pain). part of me is interested to see some real wild colors and patterns in scifi work, for the sake of having some design notions that are more alien to our current sensibilities. not everything should be ‘cool’. it’s the same principle why marketing is hesitant to be authentic to, say, some historical hairstyles. I say go for it. depending on your design goals, it is often more prudent to make something strange or alien than something cool. i think that is a huge reason why a lot of scifi design also feels so neutered and tame, because many products catering to those sensibilities often ends up forcing a homogeneous result (not to mention that it is difficult to inspire wonder with the familiar).

a few of these designs will most likely show up again in some form in the future. I won’t elaborate, but I am looking forward to what it entails. I still think i can take them much further 😉

boring scifi outfits zzzzzzz

I have ideas for a multitude of different time periods in mind for the comic world. as I mentioned earlier in the thread, technology doesn’t progress in the same pattern in Motherland as it did in our world. they invent certain things sooner, some later, some never. some things that we may even think impossible may be old hat to them.

all this to say that certain designs you’ll see may be anachronistic to us, but that is also kind of the point. (they invented the laser without inventing radar first? the audacity!) still, I try to make things feasible to the best of my ability — it wouldn’t make much sense if they invented AI without inventing computers, etc.

i love scifi, but some scifi can be so boring and drab. i’m trying to spice up the practical with the penache. never underestimate mankind’s ability for bling. why should space travel be dreary? get some african pattens up in there.


we’ll see how many of these designs I actually use. most are just a jumping off point to see what I like and what I don’t. I want the style and world of motherland to be unique, but unique should be minimized if it isn’t relatable. I won’t stress too much if it occasionally wears its inspiration on its sleeve.

Rene outfittery snazzle bedazzle

doing some other art stuff for jobs in real life so haven’t had too much focus for the comic as of late. still gonna be slow going. if only we had some snappy clothes to make the wait less painful—-


mostly made up designs again but of course have some elements that I stole from other designs I liked. these outfits are ideas for the Renes, the powerful neighboring nation that is attacking Allano at this point of the story. trying to make them their own thing but there are some elements of deco and the byzantines thrown in there among others. some of these designs may be a bit too modern for what I’ll end up using but I have a plan to use them later 🙂

these are clothes worn by rich people. people who do manual labor could neither afford nor would want to deal with getting these dirty. certain colors and patterns were much more difficult and time consuming to create before machine production.

The tragedies of colorblindness, part 2

the wife helps with color schemes a lot lmao. color helps but it’s not really my thing. doesn’t really excite me and i don’t think in color. kinda sucks cause I think it would help differentiating the characters but B&W lets you do things color can’t too. color can get a bit messy and miss the silhouettes and body language if you’re not careful. which I am not.


sometimes I just play around with doodles and color those though. but most of what i do is doodles anyway I guess. do what you like i suppose 🙂