atlanta dolphins

so i worked f or five days straight, and stayed up all night long on the last night, finishing nine designs for atlanta aquarium’s dolphins on parade.  here are a few of them.

this is doctor dolphin, similar to my doctor turtle for the sandy springs society.  all of my dolphins have real clothes on them, which means that i glue on the seams and paint on the details of the clothes.  those scrubs will have puffs and folds just like real scrubs.

and this is travel dolphin, similar to travel turtle for the same folks, which sold for a whopping $19,000, none of which went to me.  he’s got a solar backpack, a digital camera around his neck, travel stickers everywhere, and his t-shirt shows the world as seen from atlanta.  all the additions will be built up of sundry stuff, like a real hat, and then fiberglassed onto the fiberglass dolphin.  that way, hoodlums can’t pull things off them.  got to be aware of that when designing.

this is casual-dress dolphin.  i modeled him on the consultants at my ex day job.  business cards, receipts, the rubber band ball.  sandy haired and paunchy, with glasses, like practically all the partners.  he may look friendly, but there’s a shark’s fin on his back.  i’m going to contact my ex company and see if they’re interested in sponsoring it.  they could display it in the lobby.

i noticed that i didn’t have any women represented.  i took great pains to design a coffee-colored skin tone for all my dolphins (except the gold one) so that we could cover the potential for racial issues.  but all the dolphins were men, and that’s not right.  so i made a district attorney dolphin, modeled on my kid’s various lawyers, all of whom were female.  and go getters they are, too.  conservatively dressed, but with expensive accessories.  and she’s no shrinking violet – this dolphin has a shark’s fin to show how serious she is about winning her cases.

i’ve got five more dolphins, all pitched toward individual sponsors, and we’ll see if they like any of my ideas.  as for the ones shown above, maybe a travel agency, maybe a law firm, maybe a consultant or a phone company or a hotel chain will like my designs.

i can only do two of them,  however, no matter how popular the ideas turn out to be.  because i’m going to be away on my residency during half of the allotted time to finish the projects, and that limits what i’m willing to take on.  first come, first served.

so, wish me luck.

dolphin parade at atlanta aquarium

(note:  i got commissioned for two dolphins, and am working on them in more recent updates to this blog.)

there’s a cool fundraiser that cities and other organizations do, where they get a bunch of artists to paint fiberglass animals, then position them around the city, and then auction them off.  you’ve probably seen something like it in your city.  the people who make the fiberglass animals (and other things) supply them, sponsors pay for them, and the artists are chosen based on their designs, given a small stipend, and allowed to use the organization’s logo on their resume (is that a privilege or a right?)

public art.  i’ve done this before.  sandy springs had a turtle trot to raise money, and i designed and built two fiberglass turtle sculptures, both of which sold, one for $19K.  i tried to get a commission when the cows came to atlanta a few years previous, but my proposal wasn’t chosen, so i did my research for the turtles, and got both entries accepted.

what did i learn about this process?

you have to pitch to the sponsors.  for the cows, i thought of things like rhett and scarlett cows waltzing.  cute, whimsical, but did it give any sponsors a thrill?  no.

for the turtles, i looked up the sponsors.  a hospital.  a travel agency.  a gourmet supermarket.  a real estate firm.  and tailored my proposals accordingly.  so, i did a doctor turtle.  and a travel turtle.  and i did a real slick watercolor (the drawing for rhett and scarlett was in colored pencil) and labelled it all professionally and everything.

marketing.  packaging.  that’s what sells.  the content has to be good, but they really love slick.  even tho there’s nothing more contrived than slick.  the public equates it with accomplished.  something you have to know.

anyway.  it’s dolphins, to advertise the aquarium’s new dolphin tank.  it’s a family thing, of course, so i can’t aim it at bars or liquor companies or night spots, otherwise there’d be stripper dolphin.  but i figure coca-cola dolphin, or i could always try travel dolphin and doctor dolphin again.  i could do atlanta braves dolphin, or delta pilot dolphin.  but nobody would sponsor redneck dolphin, or gangsta rapper dolphin, so i’m not even going to bother.

i’m going to spend a few days working up likely proposals, and in the meantime i’m trying to get the sponsor list from the organizers.

i love doing these things.  trouble is, the work needs to be done between august and october, and i’m spending september and october in europe, so it’s got to be done in 30 days.

i worked for months on the turtles.  if i get a commission, it had better be for only one dolphin.