Hello all, I hope your lives are going well!
It's been a while since I've written anything, but since a lot of things have been going on lately in terms of both art and academics, I figured it'd be helpful if I gave a little update. This is mostly relevant to the Flags of Touhou I've been doing, but I suppose the other non-Touhou flags (though few in number, I know!) are also included.
I have removed the textures from my flags, as I think they detract from their focus, the actual design. That being said, I also miss having the textures because they're what made the flags great wallpapers. I'm pretty wishy-washy when it comes to decision making so this isn't surprising. So, I've decided I'll reupload the flags with textures to a separate folder (this may take some time with the work I have). This is actually good for me as now I'll be able to upload all the flags with the same resolution and with the same style of texture and shading. Before, the flags changed as you progressed through the order they were made in. The first flags had a simple single texture and later, had two different textures as well as shadows that made the flag have a kind of 3-D element to them. To be honest, I'm glad I have a chance now to make them all have a uniform style.
Secondly, some flags' designs were changed. Some changes were minor, like color fixes, and some changes were overhauling, like with Tenshi's flag. Some changes I liked, and as for others... well I sort of wish I hadn't done. Sorry Tenshi! I'll be making more changes in the coming weeks, many of which I hope are preferable. I think it's sort of inevitable that I'd want to change things, given how long ago I began the Flags of Touhou. Well, a couple of years is a long time to me at least, must be my young age. Since the beginning I've changed a lot in the way I go about designing flags, and the difference seems pretty noticeable I think. I first made flags by character imagery alone, and simply writing descriptions and symbolism to fit the result. That explains why there are a few flags that have no description and no explanation of symbolism (something I find quite embarrassing!) While I don't like using the word when it comes to art, I now have a "systematic" approach to flag design. Character traits are to be taken into account first, design aesthetics should come second. That isn't of course to say symbolism alone is what "makes" the flag. Both are integral to a well-designed and deep flag, but I think forcing symbolism to fit the result is a case of putting cart before the horse.
A little side note, but it seems that one of the more notable aspects of the Flags of Touhou are the rather lengthy descriptions I write for them. I'm a bit proud to say now that every flag I make now has a description. As for the descriptions themselves, I believe they seem to be improving over time. I have my high school Honors and AP English classes to thank for that. I literally think I might have stopped making the flags if it weren't for those classes. Do not undervalue what you can gain from the humanities. This is for all you technical oriented and engineering majors out there, like me. Engineering is certainly my calling, but I rather enjoy a good book and poetry writing. Maybe it's this balance that helps me to find both the symbolic and aesthetic beauty in flags.
What with all the university work I have now, I find it a bit difficult to continue this project, but I can't help but keep committing to it. It's just something I love and enjoy so much! I've gotten a few requests to make flags for certain characters, and I don't think I'd feel okay with just dropping this and letting them down. Granted, it will probably take a long time to finish them, but finish them I certainly intend to. I had never intended to make flags for characters beyond those of Ten Desires, and it still surprises me how long this project has gone on for.
At any rate, I hope not to disappoint, and I will continue to try my very best!