The 2016 Solitude Open stamp is arguably (in my mind) one of the better stamp designs I've done over the course of these few years. I was able to get a return client this year and that means a great deal to me. Going into 2017's design process, I knew topping last years was not going to be easy.
Just before being able to get to this stamp, the TD of the event got into a workplace accident. When we finally got to talk about this year's ideas, he already had something in mind. It came from a vision he had. Whether it be the medication he was under or the amount of creative energy this guy has, I'm not sure. We hit the ground running with the idea of a hybrid animal of sorts rocketing out of a tree canopy clutching a disc golf disc. The process moved and transitioned from a rocketing bird to more of a look of Notre Dame gargoyles. The idea was this hybrid animal is overlooking one of many signature Solitude holes, Hole 18. We most importantly, wanted the beast to be locked onto the viewer. I've never been to Solitude, but i'm pretty sure you can't replicate the feeling of first seeing this enormous hole.
The beast development changed a bit from each draft. I felt that the lurking creature that was created before the final was too shy, and not imposing enough. I took a hard look at some of the more dynamic gargoyles at Notre Dame. I felt like reducing the musculature and having the beast cresting the mountain helped create that uneasy feeling.
In the end, it was great to really dig into a different sketch style and really play around with more of a traditional approach. If you're interested in purchasing one of these fundraising discs, please contact Brian T. Usher at firstname.lastname@example.org