Inkling/Octoling society is rather interesting, and we’re fed just a little info about it via single player’s Sunken Sea Scrolls.
In one of those scrolls we spot the only male Octoling to feature anywhere in the game. I tried to imagine what he might get up to in his spare time – namely, dropping some sweet taiko beats. But we’ll call them Tako beats for the neat multilingual pun.
I’ve posted this image a couple of times previously (though not on my blog) so let’s not go too much more into the Splatoon aspect and instead look at the seal in the bottom right.
Regular readers will know that I often sign my works with a seal containing the top character. That character is in fact the Chinese version of my surname (Ling in Mandarin). It features two trees and has the meaning “Forest”.
I have been toying for some time with the idea of expanding on this seal to make it even more personalised. I do have a Chinese name that I could use (Yi-Fei) but I don’t particularly identify with it, not least because I think one of my Chinese teachers for a while thought it was Zhi-Fei and I was taught my own name incorrectly. I speak the rest of the language equally poorly as I know my own name so I wasn’t keen to include it in the seal.
So that left me with my English name, Alethea, which I quite adore. I decided to take elements of the name and turn it into a Sinogram of sorts, aping the look of Chinese characters and hinting at the English alphabet.
You can see a variety of Chinese scripts here, the evolution of the language has gone through many different appearances and stylisations! I chose to experiment with seal script and standard script. I also played around with going from very simple stylisation where the letters were more obvious to more abstract interpretations. Here are some of my experiments.
At conventions I like to do free watercolour name tags, so I worked a lot on the idea with the hope of offering commissioned Sinographs as a “tier” up from the free name tags. I’m hoping to also experiment with my laser cutter to be able to offer another tier – I’ll engrave your name into a physical seal. Experimenting with this idea, I filled many pages with Sinogram drafts, challenging myself to think of the letters in various different ways and practicing to perfect the style of each character and stroke.
Obviously to be able to offer these at cons would require me to actually have time at a convention to spend on them, and time in the evening to complete overnight work if I’m making physical seals. So, that kinda leads into a little internal debate I’m having over whether to do another table at Supanova in November.
Well, that ended up going from a very lazy blog post to a much longer one that touched on more topics than I’d expected! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.