A nuclear conflagration ended the world as we knew it in 1980. Hellfire rained from the sky leaving pitiful few to battle it out for survival with monstrous mutations and perversions of science in the radioactive wastelands of America’s Northeast.
The loathsome creature above is Pink Zeppelin which was the horrifying result of a freak accident fusing two hapless high schoolers into an abomination that could not possibly exist — yet it lives! All it remembered from it’s past life was the arena-packing rock bands it loved. Now it finds solace inside a Sound Odyssey in the ruins of a shopping mall in New Jersey. He/they/IT jealously guard(s) the remains of that record store and the musical treasures within. After guns, ammunition and food, the most precious commodity in this hellscape is vinyl records.
I have drawn PZ a number of times with pencils and ink, but I decided to go digital and put Affinity’s superlative suite of software to the test and do a vector version of my monster. There are some raster elements within courtesy of Affinity Photo, but I tried to keep it vector as much as possible.
I did most of the work on this one with a laptop perched in my lap (strangely enough) while I sat on a couch halfway watching mostly crappy or so-so television shows. If the shows are too good, I won’t pay attention to my work. That’s where Amazon Prime on my Roku comes in. Make no mistake, they do have a lot of quality programs, but they also have a deep library of crap. That’s where I live, and that’s what I have on as I cobble together the shapes and colors that will become my creatures.
Pink Zeppelin took a while to get together. At first, I was trying to mimic what I was doing in pencil, but it got too bogged down in detail. I wanted to keep the vector work simple and keep the design in line with the other Monster Heads I produced. I had to force myself to keep it simple as I arranged the shapes that formed the creature’s head.
Sometimes I had to close the lid of my laptop to walk away for a break. Sometimes I would sketch out some rough ideas with pencil and paper considering the shapes that I would assemble into my character. I’d start fresh with a new document and attack my monster anew. Eventually I liked what was coming together.
Usually, I make these things perfectly symmetrical, but I decided to abandon that notion as I progressed on the more brutish of the two heads. The hair flopping down over the eye is what sold me on this direction. Creatures in post-apocalyptic wastelands are not overly concerned with symmetry and perfect hair styles.
Once the beastly head was figured out, it was time to work on the more human head. I’m not sure why I drew this creature with one monster head and one human head. My pencil did it! It came out that way on my first drawing of this creep and has remained that way. I always had it figured that the monster was like some of the guys I remember from high school who went to vocational school and were fanatically devoted to Led Zeppelin. The human guy was the more sensitive, pseudo intellectual type who probably did too many drugs and lost his mind when Pink Floyd’s The Wall came out. He didn’t need no education, but he did require copious amounts of weed. I thought Pink as I call him would be easy, but he took longer to work out than Zep the monster.
After the heads were done, it was just a matter of arranging elements in a square layout similar to the other creatures created in Affinity Designer. I don’t really have any dazzling insights on how I arrived at any of these decisions. I just played with shapes until I was happy with my two-headed guardian of the finest stash of vinyl in post-apocalyptic New Jersey.