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Category: Inspiration

Trend come and go. Here’s the latest design inspirations to enrich your creative mind.

Vinicius and Tom, Rio Olympics Mascots Is a Hidden Gems


Rio Olympic opening will be held tonight. And they hide these hidden gem named Vinicius and Tom. Who are they?. They are Rio Olympics mascots, which unfortunately buried under so many bad news about conditions in Rio prior to Olympic preparation.

When we said hidden gems, we meant it for real, because Vinicius and Tom are simply great. It’s hard to believe that the Rio Olympics mascots design project was started in 2012, and Vinicius and Tom were first introduced in 2014. That was such a very few coverage for a huge event as Olympic.

First questions must be “what are they?”. Actually, it’s very common for Olympics mascot to have bizarre form, perhaps to make them look striking and unique. Compare to one eye cyclops from London Olympic and blue round creature from Atlanta Olympic, Rio Olympics mascots are actually quite normal looking.


Vinicius is a mix of Brazillian animals. Its name is derived from Vinicius De Moraes, one of Brazil’s greatest bossa nova musician. And if you wonder why its body is abnormally long, it’s because its special ability is that he can stretch and stretch and stretch, as much as it wants. And since it’s an animal, it can run faster and jump higher than any other earthlings.

Tom is a fusion of all plants in the Brazillian forest. It’s name derived from Tom Jobin, another great Brazillian musician who together with Vinicius De Moraes wrote The Girls from Ipanema. And of course, it also has a special power, that it can draw everything and anything from his lush green leaves hair.

And here’s a couple of reason why Vinicius and Tom are a great mascots.

They Are Representative of Brazil

Mascot, which is part of entity’s branding, should represent the entity’s culture, goal, and vision.

Vinicius and Tom represent Brazil so well. Pop culture is rampant in Brazil, and Vinicius and Tom inspiration are based on pop culture style, video game, and animation. Their body shape is a representation of Brazillian natural heritage, wildlife, and plantations. Their name represents Brazil’s most popular music genre, bossa nova.

The most important aspect is that they are portrayed as lively, talkative, cheerful and colorful, represents the diversity and trait of Brazillian people and culture.


They Are Fun

Vinicius and Tom are easily inserted into so many things. Check out its Rio Olympics mascot official website, where you can have fun watching animations, take a quiz of what kind of sport best suit you (I took the quiz and the results show that Taekwondo will suit me, which is quite a surprise since I was doing Taekwondo during school). They also provide some crafting stuff like paper toys and coloring books.

They Are Memorable

As designers, we found Vinicius and Tom design style are quite unique. It has an uneven outline, gives hand drawing feeling. It’s using striking colors. And it’s cute, but not girly. How I wish I can have its plushies. Too bad the campaign are not much heard outside of Brazil.

Sadly, Olympic mascot is usually easily forgotten. Try googling “Olympics mascot” and I bet that you will have a hard time telling which mascots are from which Olympic. Perhaps it’s because after the Olympics game is finish, the mascot is no longer in use. Mascot needs an ongoing campaign to breath life and personality to them.


No matter what the future holds for Vinicius and Tom, Puss In Box has a great time playing with them. Last but not least, don’t forget to check Vinicius and Tom Instagram accounts. I think this is not wrong to say that Rio Olympics mascot is the most pop Olympic mascot, at least until today.

The World Need Emoji Equality


Do you remember the time before the emoji are exist?. We’re sure not many people remember that era.

That era was actually not even a decade ago. Emoji was introduce at 2011, it make it only 5 years old by the time this article was written.

What make emoji is become inseparable part of our digital life is its ability to convey emotions way beyond what words might able to express, unless you willing to write a lot lot lot of words to express it.

Visually, emoji is generic simplified visualisation of human and things. It’s genderless, ageless, raceless, and mostly just show eyes and mouth as two human features that naturally we use to express emotion.

But the recent emoji that we usually used during conversation on our cellphone has some emojis that clearly show age (baby and senior citizen) and gender (male and female). Fast forward, now we can use emojis with different skin color to match ours, and even same sex couple to match our preferences.

So, it’s about time to add something to make emojis more personal for many of its users: jobs. And not just any jobs, because Google developers and designers proposed to create women with jobs emojis to empower working women all around the world.

Working Woman Emoji

When we are surrounded by news about inequality in workplace, their move to make jobs emoji in female gender is really a good move in term of marketing and social.

In marketing term, it sure give them a lot of publicity, many medias will write it in positive attitude and there will be a lot more blogger which not usually into techy things like emoji will write about it too. At the same time it clearly shows their culture of equality to the world.

In social term, it become one kind of support for working women in all over the world. It even includes some professions that traditionally infamous as men’s job, such as scientist, rocker, surgeon and even chef. Hard to believe that chef is identical with men’s job when many cultures expect women to cook at home. Ironic.

The design is simple enough, that we can use it to represent many other jobs. For example the teacher emojis could be used by teachers, professors, guest speakers or course educators. It can even used by working women’s children during chatting to express their mother’s jobs.

And let’s not be sexist here, because the emojis also available in men character. Basically it just changing its face, while on the same uniform.

But maybe Google still forgetting some of their user. Look at your emoji keyboard and noticed that there are no prince/king emoji, there is only female emoji with tiara represents princess/queen. Haircut and massage emojis also only available in female version, don’t you guys also need haircut and can enjoy head massage? So, don’t you think that it’s time for men to ask for emoji equality? Perhaps it will be available in the next Emoji Update on your favourite OS.

Coloring Niko The Rooster With Photoshop


There are many tutorials by CG Artist about coloring line art. There’s no right or wrong methods about it. It’s about something you want to achieve with your art. This is one of my method in coloring line arts. Enjoy!

Step 1

First, I scan my line art in RGB format 300 dpi

Scanned line art

Step 2

I use Adobe Photoshop to paint my artwork, after scanning the line art go to Image > Mode > Grayscale and then Image > adjustment > levels, move he slider on the input and output levels to light up the paper and make the lines more visible.
 After that, I use white hard round brush to erase undesired lines and spots. Cleaning the undesired lines and spots needs a little patience to make the next steps easier. Look at pic.2 for detail.

Cleaning up line art

Step 3

Double click background layer until it changes into “layer 0”. Then go to Channel tab beside from Layer tab, hold Control (or Command) while clicking Gray Channel Thumbnail. This action will select all of white area.Then press Delete to remove the selected white area. Now you have only outlines on transparent background.

Removing white area

Step 4

Make a new layer under Layer 0 (outline layer). This layer is for base color. Use paint bucket tool to coloring the area with your desired color. Adjust tolerance value according to outline thickness, check the small box on “All Layers” and uncheck the small box on “Anti Alias”.

Base Color

You might consider to separate base color layer for the character with base color layer for another object like i did for this picture.

Base color

Step 5

Use CTRL + J (or Command+J) to duplicate the base color layer for the character. On the duplicated layer, adjust color hue and saturation with Image > Adjustment > Hue/Saturation. On lightness bar, lower the lightness while on saturation bar, add the saturation.

Duplicate base color

Move the adjusted base color layer below the original base color layer for the character

Adjust duplicated base color

Step 6

Decide where the light source in your picture, and use Lasso tool to select where the shadow will cast. On the selected areas press Delete. This action will erase all selected areas and make them the place for shadows. Repeat this action to another area you want.


If you notice the picture, the dark and light area on the picture is still rough, to soften it you can use eraser tool and choose “Airbrush Pen Opacity Flow”. After a little softening-up, now you get better shading for your picture.

Smoothing the shade

Step 7

Adjust the shadows tone color on the duplicated base color layer for the character using Image > Adjustment > Color Balance until the color feels right.

Step 8

Repeat step 4 to step 7 on another base color layer.

Repeat previous steps

Step 9

On outline layer click “Lock Transparent Pixels”. Doing this will enable you to give another color for your outlines.

Lock Transparent

Use hard brush to colorize the outline.

Colorize outline

Step 10

Find a texture background, you can look for one onCGTexture or from another source.


Put the texture on very top of all layers and change its style to whatever you want. I usually change it to “Multiply”, “Overlay” or “Soft Light” depend on what kind of effect I want. Lower the Opacity of texture layer to make it less contrast.

Apply texture

Step 11

Select all layers except Background layer, hold Shift while selecting each layer and flatten them using CTRL+E (or Command+E). Use Dodge and Burn tools to make the shading more significant.

Adjust shading

Step 12

Use brush “Airbrush Pen Opacity Flow” to correcting some parts and give color reflection and highlights on each object. The closer an object to each other, the stronger color reflection will cast.

Correct shades

Step 13

All done. Thank you for reading my tutorial. If you have questions and comment feel free to write it down on the comment below.

Final artwork

Inking Tutorial With Photoshop


Make line art is a tricky business, especially if you don’t use Wacom tablet. In this tutorial I am presenting how to inking with Path tool and brush tool to achieve G-Pen looks. The tutorial is pretty straightforward, before you begin it’s important you already familiar with Path tool works. Lets start.

Step 1: Preparing the sketch for Inking

I am going to use this sketch for our very first tutorial. Choose yours, and make sure you image mode is in Grayscale.

The sketches is quite messy, it’s hard to see the important lines. Lets clean it up. I am always using Level CMD/CTRL + L. Drag the 3 slider until your image doesn’t have any gray left. Feel free to copy the number (108, 1.00,229), but your result may vary.

Step 2: Inking Layer

Make a new layer, in this tutorial i named the ink layer INK. You can name the ink layer to any name you wish.

Step 3: Brush option

Now, choose Brush tool B. Open up Brush Preset Palette. I am usually use default Brush 9 for my drawing (mostly are 300 dpi).

Make sure Shape Dynamic and Smoothing are checked. This option will make the brush stroke solid.

Step 4: Adjusting the Brush

Still in Brushes Preset, choose Shape Dynamic. Adjust the Minimum Diameter, this option control the brush vanishing diameter. Try slide it to left and right and watch the preview. In this tutorial I am using 42%.

Step 5: The Path

Lets inking!! Make sure you are on INK layer. Pick Path tool, make patch by following your sketch. In the image below the inking start from her eye lash.

After you are happy with your path. Right click and choose Stroke Path. A window will appear, choose Brush on the drop down menu, and check mark Simulate Pressure.

Simulate Pressure option will make the ink stroke looks like using pen tablet with pressure. The result will be the same on any device, whether you are already using pen tablet, or ordinary mouse.

The result.

Additional Step: More about Path

When you ended a curve path, it will have Anchor control. To remove the control, pres Alt and then click the node.

Result image below. This control will give you a sharp path, for example when you inking pointy hair.

To make new path, open Path palette and deselect it by clicking on the spot marked as showed on image below. You also can save any paths you want, in case you want to revise your inking later.

This method is commonly used by all the Petz on inking process. At first you might feel a bit hard, but when you have mastered the path, the inking process will be faster and your ink result will be as smooth as professional mangaka. Here’s the final inked image.

Close up view.

Have a happy inking, have any question or comment? Feel free to shoot it out in our comment form below.