Artistic Analysis: Dino

KLONDIKE, CP Army Headquarters – Welcome back to“Artistic Analysis,” where in this edition we look into the graphics that Dino has created and understand more about his journey in the graphic design community.

This week in Artistic Analysis we dive deeper into what made Dino a graphic designer. Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at his history within the army community. Dino first joined the community in Jan 2015 where he joined the Dark Warriors. He then went onto become Higher Command in armies like Rebel Penguin Federation and the Lime Green Army. In January 2020, Dino revived the Romans with Smurf which he led until April 2020. Later on in May 2020, he went on to revive the Lime Green Army with Moshi and solo/arnor. Dino then joined the Doritos of Club Penguin for Second in Command in May 2020, where he later became leader in August 2020 before retiring. He rejoined the community in June 2020 and revived armies such as the Romans and the Underground Mafia Army. However, Dino then decided to return to retirement in December 2020. Since then, Dino has remained in the community with his graphic work designs that are regularly requested for by armies.

Dino started designing in 2017, and has been an inspiration to many, including myself. Now that we know a bit more about Dino’s history within the community, it’s time to look at some of his more recent graphics that he has created in different armies, and leagues.

 

CPAM Interview GFX – Feb 2020

PZF header – Sept 2020

NW Header – May 2021

WV header – June 2021

 

I had the opportunity to talk to Dino on who influenced him the most, and what advice he would give to any future designers of the Club Penguin Army community.

What or who influenced you to become a Graphic Designer?

Although I did some graphic designs pre-rejoining the community in 2017, I’d say I started doing CPA graphics sometime in November 2017. I can’t really recall what inspired me and honestly, I didn’t consider myself a CPA graphic designer until November 2018 when I was a Rebel Federation moderator. This was when I applied to become apart of their GFXs team. If my memory serves me right, I did get accepted but I don’t remember ever doing GFXs for them.

I’d say I only actively started doing CPA GFXs (and really when I took the passion serious) in September 2019. The reasoning for this is due to one person: Koloway. At the time I was apart of the Lime Green Army HICOM. No one really did graphics back then. It was only for media organizations and leagues (and they were very subpar). All of the existing armies just reused OG graphics or very poor graphics.

When Koloway entered the scene with ACP’s revival, he honestly saved the community’s graphics community. Unlike the rest of the community’s graphic designers who were too inactive in the public scene or gatekept by their respective armies/organizations, Kolo was very connected to the community. His designs at the time were very nice to see. And to think that he did all of his designs in Paint.net was inspiring. Obviously in retrospect his 2019 graphics weren’t the greatest, but they were far better than anyone else’s. I credit Kolo for really being the person to get me to do CPA GFXs serious.

When did you start designing things and what software do you mainly use?

2017, but 2019 is when I really took it serious. I used Paint.net when I started and really for a good portion of my GFX career. I only stopped using it in January 2021 when I finally switched over to only Photoshop instead of being hybrid.

What are some things you would like to improve on in regard to graphic design?

Without a doubt I’d say perspectives. Something I’ve struggled significantly with when I designed customs was perspectives. That was honestly the biggest challenge when I took up the task of working on the CPAHQ redesign with Zamb and Kolo. That’s something I definitely want to improve. I do also want to finally perfect the craft of drawing penguins. I’m miles below people like Zamb and much behind someone like Revan. I’m not really an artist. CPAHQ was when I took digital drawing a bit more serious but on paper I am awfully bad. Outside of CPA, I wouldn’t say I have struggled to branch out; that would be a big lie. However, my style is still very CPA-influenced which is annoying. I want to learn to make my graphics more professional and esports like.

What aspects do you feel are important to be added into a specific design or any design?

Lighting and shadowing. This ties into perspectives as well. Now this doesn’t mean go overboard with effects. That was a mistake 2017-2020 Dino made (as you can tell by my horrible PZF header). Lighting and shadowing helps make it less-flat but that doesn’t mean it’s always good. As a designer, you will need to know when to use certain effects. For example, there are very few situations you’ll EVER need to use the bevel effect.

Shading definitely makes things better and I do consider it important. Be mindful of how you use it, though.

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to the community?

Firstly, I’d like to give some important advice that I feel every designer should know:

A) Study up on old designers. I know this is very weird but studying up on older designers will definitely improve you. God bless Zamb, he shaped who I was design wise. But, that doesn’t mean everything was due to him. A lot of my mid-2021 designs such as my NW and WV headers were very Tomb-inspired. Every designer should look into the past and start finding their unique style. The designers that all new-geners should look into are Ming, Dzdzn, Zeer, Tomb, Pochoma, Wyo, Stromae, and Pringle. Obviously there’s so many more, but I feel learning about all of them will help improve you all significantly.
B) Don’t let yourself down. Learning GFXs doesn’t come naturally. Everyone had a crappy beginning. I was roadblocked for the longest time. Kolo and Zamb weren’t always Gods; they two both had humble beginnings. That being said, I’d like to mention my next point.
C) DON’T normalize bad graphics. It’s a truth everyone needs to hear. Don’t be afraid to listen to criticisms (even if not constructive). I can’t count the many times Zamb bullied me for my subpar graphics. Actively work to try new ideas. Throw shit at the wall, it’s how Zeer and others improved. I personally am a massive Zeer fan for does who do not know, but to be honest he was prone to not the best graphics.
E) For paint.net users: Install plugins. Vanilla paint.net is ass. Df44 makes better graphics with GIMP than vanilla paint.net users. Install pyrochild’s and BoltBait’s plugin packs, along with other ones too. Install a filetype plugin for PSDs as well.
F) If possible, switch to Photoshop. I don’t care how you install it, get Photoshop. It will infinitely make you better. I never looked back at paint.net even after using it for so many years when I switched to Photoshop. Wanna save templates you can easily re-edit? Photoshop. Wanna make GIF server icons (albeit not as advanced as AE ones)? Photoshop. Wanna make a professional meme or video? Photoshop. Photoshop is the greatest raster graphics editor EVER.

G) Play the beizer game. If I explained why, it’d spoil the fun. But trust me, it’ll come in handy.

That’s all the advice I can offer. I never really had a mentor before Zamb to be honest so I used to like most of the community’s designers. I’m still shocked that people see me as a very good designer when it too me forever to learn how to properly do GFXs. In comparison, new-gen designers like Frostty and even Scorp and etc are better or will be better in the future. When me, Zamb, and Kolo came to redesign CPAHQ we didn’t realize some of the designers’ worth. To me and Zamb’s surprise, Frostty has done superb in his improvement. He did more for the community in 2021 graphics wise, which is why I feel he should’ve won that poll back then.

But back to my original point: if I was able to go from an abysmal designer to voted the best, what’s their to say other people can’t do the same? The door’s always open. Seize the opportunity. Redesign armies who are in need of new graphics. Don’t hermit yourself to just one army. It might be seen as a bit of an a-hole move but it’s really not. Compete against other designers and outperform them. A designer just redid an army? If you think you’re better, take the chance to outperform them with your own redesign.

I’d really like to see the GFX community revive without the welfare of Zamb + myself. This new generation has talent that they refuse to tap into except for a few. That’s why I encourage you all to finally make your moves. Graphics is such a powerful weapon that it can save reputations and even build some (not joking, GFXs repaired mine and Zamb rose fast community wise due to them). Don’t aim to be the next Ming or Zamb, though. Aim to be BETTER than them and solidify your place. CPA is a game of chess. That’s true for even graphics. It’s your turn now, 2022 CPA.

As Dino said, graphic designers have to start somewhere small, don’t expect your work to be fantastic the first time you design something. As a designer myself, you learn as you go with mentors or, in some cases, yourself with trial and error. Dino gave excellent advice, even if you disagree there are some points that he hit that you should follow when becoming a designer or even if you are already a graphic designer. When designing for the community, all of Dinos advice or anyone else’s, I take to heart. That is how you build your designs and improve. Who would you like to see on the next edition of Artistic Analysis? Perhaps someone out of the community?

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Fulcrum23
Fulcrum23
7 months ago

Dino is cool.

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