One tried-and-true method for achieving greatness in your chosen medium is to hold yourself accountable for creating and publishing new material within that medium every single day. It’s a strategy that Co.Create has committed to documenting rather thoroughly, and the latest example involves a man and his aliens.
Andy Martin is a freelance animator based in London who has been drawing a new alien every day since January, and posting them on his blog, HandyMartian Presents Illustrated Aliens. The aliens look vaguely patterned after animals that we have here on Earth, but always with an extra limb or an abundance of eyeballs or an unenviably high thigh gap or something else that qualifies as a monstrosity. The creatures have a lo-fi analog charm that serves as a rebuke to some of the aliens Hollywood has introduced.
“Over the past couple of years, I found I was working more and more on the computer, so I set myself a daily character design project,” Martin says. “Towards the end of January, I had a few days to spare, so I decided to make a small animation out of the characters I’d done. This was going to be a one-off, but it’s spiraled out of control a bit.”
Martin’s drawings tend to stay away from the traditional idea of the little green man alien that has pervaded pop culture over time. Instead, he looks at each month’s stock of aliens as belonging to a different planet, and at the end of the month, he puts out a video showing what the latest planet itself looks like.
Although the artist confesses that he’s not particularly interested in aliens, he settled on them as an object because he was excited by the endless possibilities of drawing imaginary creatures. “Part of the aim of this project was to develop my character-design style and see what happens,” Martin says. “I’m finding that it’s pretty varied but hopefully there is a running thread through all my designs and animations.”
Have a look at some of the daily aliens in the slides above.