So after submitting my entry for NYAF’s mascot competition, I’ve been looking around at the other entries. Regardless of age, talent, creativity, whatever, I can really feel that everybody who submitted a design put effort into their creations.
I don’t think anybody plagiarized or stole from anyone else (though there’s a few questionable designs copyright-wise), so I find it interesting to see what recurring themes there are among the entries. I mean, there’s only so many things you can positively associate with New York, and I’m certainly not the only one who decided to approach it from the subway angle. What I find particularly interesting though is the large number of entries that somehow incorporated the Manhattan Skyline into their mascots, especially in the clothes. The reason I find it interesting is that it had not occurred to me at all to associate New York with the skyline.
I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn and Queens, and have spent much of my years in Manhattan, be it for school or to be with friends. With that in mind, I have to wonder if maybe growing up in NYC I’ve simply gotten too used to the number of tall buildings around. It’s easy to forget that there are places that aren’t like this, or that this feature of NYC would stand out in people’s minds.
As someone who grew up in New York, as someone who used the subway daily for years on end, I felt a more tangible connection to the underground than to the skies above, and it was something I could embrace and appreciate more, hence Chika’s design and the vague hints at her personality I gave in her information.
Second place for interesting recurring themes was taxis, which I also did not associate with NYC for similar reason to the skylines, but I’ve been told by certain people that NYC is apparently the only place you can just wave down a taxi. You learn something every day!