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Turtle Lettering by Candy Medusa

So I decided on sea turtles before I even started, because, turtles, love those guys. Having looked at some of the other projects, there seem to be a lot of animals that lend themselves better to this project than turtles do - I love the 'clever octopus' piece by Angelica Ovcharenko and 'the otter's ransom' by Jesse Maegan, and I think that as well as obviously being excellent designs, part of their joy is that they illustrate lovely, bendy animals, which can be curved to suit the shape they need to fit into.

Turtles are kind of hard, and crunchy, and really not particularly bendy, so it's harder to make them work for this project. Or perhaps I just haven't worked out how to make them work, and there is some stunning idea out there somewhere, that will come to me the second the deadline arrives. But I like a challenge, so turtles it is.

I've used a turtle with lettering before, for this previous project, in which I used the turtle as the letter O. Unfortunately, here I wanted to illustrate the word 'turtle', which doesn't have an O in it :)

This is how I started, with a bit of brainstorming:

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What turtles eat, myths relating to turtles etc. Lots of ideas here, and I wasn't entirely sure which direction to take, so I started with the decorative angle (or is this leaning more towards representative?), the word 'turtle' made up of turtle scutes and limbs. In the top version I wanted the top third of the letters to represent the sea, but that seemed a bit too derivative of the class project so I abandoned that aspect.

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Next I took a look at an illustrative approach, but the shape of the turtle didn't want to lend itself to this, and time constraints were such that I just didn't have enough time to satisfactorily explore this appraoch. I'd like to revisit this in the furture.

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More illustrative ideas, including looking at the idea of the World Turtle from Chinese and Native American mythology, popularised by Terry Pratchett.

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I really like the idea of making a turtle alphabet, each letter representing an aspect of turtles, their biology, ecology etc. Again, this is something I'll revisit if I get the time.

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For this project, within the time constraints, I've decided to go with my first idea, as it's reasonably simple. But I really do want to take another look at that alphabet later.

For now, this is as far I've got:

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Hope you like it :)

Comments welcome, and thanks for taking a look.

You can see more of my work at Black Dwarf Designs.

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