Almost ten years ago I created a very quick sketch of a Dramiel with teeth for a fellow Tusker at the time named LocalLegend. He wanted something for a forum banner (remember those?). That illustration later appeared in my Eve Fusion Project as the basis for an Angry Birds parody called Angry Drams. Some of you may have a sticker of that somewhere, I gave away about 400 of them at various Eve meets over the years. Maybe more. I don't count.
I bring this up because that drawing is about as old as my attempts at working with CCP on Eve merch. Which began a decade long back and forth dance between us. Over the years countless people who know better than me have told me to give up, forget it, move on, do something else, and give up. Countless. Hundreds. I probably should have. Goodness knows I must be crazy.
Thing is, I love Eve Online. I've been writing about it for over a decade in these pages. I've created thousands of pieces of art, logos, wallpapers, comics, and god knows what all. My lovely Wife and I have been to Eve events around the world, heck we've been to Iceland three times! Who goes to Iceland three times?!? Crazy people, that's who. Are we noticing a trend yet? I'm not the "giving up" kind of person.
And so, back at the beginning of this year, some folks at CCP put me in touch with the people who run the Eve Store and we started talking about a collaboration. Back and forth we went for awhile, me trying to figure out what could be done and them trying to figure out what should be done. Pretty typical back and forth stuff. Until someone (and I wish I knew who) at CCP pointed out the Angry Dram illustration, "Why don't you try something like this?"
Lightning. Boom. Go.
I had the absolute best time creating these drawings. I'm sure I drove my Wife nuts with my laughter while making them. It took some practice to get the mojo back and figure out the style and the spirit I wanted to capture. I looked at old Muscle Car trading cards from the 1960/70 era, Keep on Truckin' stuff from the '70s, Flying Tiger planes from WW2, and other sources for inspiration. But ultimately what made these so satisfying for me was that they were completely and totally original, sprung from my brain, and captured. With each ship I tried to capture what I believed to be the spirit and soul of each one. An exaggerated and hyper nutty version of these little can-do space planes that I personally have flown literally thousands of times myself.
They brought me an incredible amount of satisfaction and joy in creating them. And I hope that others will enjoy them as well. I hope they sell. And yes I know that shipping is an issue and I wish I had better news for you, but there really isn't anything I can do about that. Right now we don't even have events to attend and sell merch at, which is historically were most Eve merch is sold. So how well will they do? I have no idea. For me, the best part is creating something and the personal satisfaction that comes from that process. Always has been. Whatever happens after that is out of my hands.
For much of my career "art" was a hobby. My main career was based around design, creative, marketing and advertising. Commercials. Business. For the past year I've been focused on ways I can turn that hobby into an actual career. And so the timing of this collaboration couldn't have happened at a better time for me. Its as if it was destined to be.
If I had given up at any point along this journey it never would have happened.
Which is why we never give up on our dreams.
Never. Give. Up.