Most people think losing 10 pounds is an ambitious New Year's resolution, but Pixar artist Everett Downing set out to create 365 brand-new superheroes in one year. Downing has brought iconic characters to life in classics like Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up, so coming up with a bullpen of his own characters seemed like a simple enough task.
Like most resolutions, it didn't quite work out. What started out as a year-long project has become three years and counting. So far, he's created 285 homespun heroes and bespoke bad guys, and vows that 2013 will be the year the project is completed...
...The origin story is a critical part of any hero's development. Downing is no different. "I got into a rut, I wasn't drawing enough and a friend told me I was over-thinking things," says Downing. "I just needed to do something I was really into that wouldn't require too much thinking. I started thinking about designing superheroes and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I threw the gauntlet down and decided to draw a super every day."
Just as Edna Mode from The Incredibles had rules for superhero costumes, Downing developed ground rules for his characters. "I don't want to spend too much time on these, so they can't go over an hour." The project was also intended to be a fun way to generate ideas and exercise his creativity so Downing wouldn't allow himself to stockpile designs to keep up the pace.
Other than those guidelines, anything was fair game. Downing's horticulturist hero (above) gained super powers after his super grass growing solution exploded on him — transforming him into the Hulking Mulch!
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