Cats in boxes, revisiting a theme.

Today’s MazeToons features a cat (It’s actually my family cat, Mittens) playing in some boxes. It’s a reboot or is it reboxing of a theme I have used before.

maz062218_color

I have talked before about how much I dislike my earlier work. I’ll likely dislike my current work someday soon too. But I think it is useful to share these images because they provide an important lesson- practice and you will continue to get better. We never stop learning and never stop improving. With that in mind I thought I would break this down a bit.

Here is the first appearance of cats in boxes:

catreboot.jpg

It’s a very early Sunday from 2015. It probably ran in no more than one or two papers! I was still drawing on paper using a Flair felt tip pen and though there is some depth to the boxes the drawing feels over all kind of flat.

Second attempt a few months later…

kittensinboxes

I really don’t like this one at all. A few problems with it. I was still drawing on paper but I was working at actual size. So the detail is off. It took me a while to learn how to make the dailies both compelling visually and challenging as mazes. This doesn’t have that balance yet. It’s poorly drawn and the boxes don’t look right, only some of them are in color. I was still struggling with the concept of newspaper and color and making the sure the print process didn’t make a maze unsolvable. I’ve since learned to trust the process a lot more.

Let’s take one last look at the latest maze:

maz062218_color

It is much more illustrative. It’s a whole picture not random pieces with a maze built around it. I still do mazes that have random components but this one the boxes form both a full picture and are the maze itself. The kitten has a lot more personality. Anytime I use a character that is all black it means I can’t make them a solvable part of the maze so it limits my space I have to work with for maze complexity. That is the reason this maze is a 18 second solve. There are a lot of shadows which help provide some depth and illusion to the maze itself. The cat is also much cuter! It’s still a very simple drawing but I like the style, concept and execution a lot more. Of course in a year I may revisit this again and hate it! But for now… enjoy!

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