Category Archives: Imagined Nation

Imagined Nation – Harold Character Sketch

This is Harold…

© Aaron Shively 2011

Harold is an interesting one.

He works for the Haunters… It’s not so much an organization as a union. You see, they’re not in it to power anything or to collect anything… There’s a secret purpose to the Haunters existence. They were placed in their roles by a much larger force with much grander schemes… More on that later…

In the hierarchy of resident room haunters, it goes like this: Read the rest of this entry


Imagined Nation Concept – Roger

The next in line for the character design machine is Roger, the less-than-wonderfully educated bogeyman living in Javier’s closet. He’s the third cousin, twice removed, of the other resident room haunter living under the bed.

Something be said about room haunters, they are never quite as scary in person… until you cross into their world…

© Aaron Shively 2022

This is by NO means a finished character sheet… just a quick sketch.

– Aaron Shively

Javier character design

SOOO… It’s done…

First round reinventing of Javier from Imagined Nation…


© Aaron Shively 2011

He’s supposed to be an undisclosed age from 8 to 11 years but be a little tall. He’s a misunderstood slacker who’s actually hiding a high IQ and unconventional ambitions… He wants to be the world’s greatest monster slayer… So what if people say monsters don’t exist? They won’t when he’s done with them!

The bracers on his wrists are from his grandfather, a leather artisan who always supports Javier in his dreams and fantasies… Or are they fantasies?

When push comes to shove and Javier is thrown into the mix with real mythological beasts, those bracers exhibit some pretty incredible powers… Is Javier’s grandfather really as obliviously enabling as he seems?

You’ll find out, right after this.

-break for commercial-

JESUS christ, it’s hard holding a smile for that long… Can I get a coffee? Sharon?


Where is that intern? I swear, we hire below college graduate and we expect… What? We’re… We’re still on? Are you serious?

Ah, crap…

Javier’s T-shirt design

So, the main character of Imagined Nation is a tad different from your normal comic-strip character. I’m trying to fit with current styles rather than making it really universal (a risk, I know). The first strip, the one that’s been posted, is a bit misleading as it covers every major show of his stylistic personality.

He’s a Mexican-American emo/punk metal enthusiast who’s made friends with his room’s bogey men…

I never make it easy for myself. 😉

© Aaron Shively 2011

This is the design for his  T-shirt which he always wears (sorry, I am going with the basic mechanism of the character always wearing the same clothes… there’s a joke in there about it..)

I’m almost done with Javier’s character design… will post soon.

-Aaron Shively

New Imagined Nation Title

With my history working with both digital medium and print, I’ve gathered a bit of knowledge of how things should be.

Values need to be discernible in full color, grayscale and halftones so the project can be displayed on all printing levels. It needs to be readable at the scale it’s going to be displayed. It needs to be engaging and derived from the subject matter (don’t make a horror book with peppy, happy cover art unless your horror is meant to be ironic). All of these things seem to be no-brainers but when you peruse sites like DeviantArt, you tend to see how young artists become engrossed in the matters at hand, namely creation of the piece itself, that they forget common sense. I have been victim to my own zealousness as well.

Having said that, I’m rather happy with this:

© Aaron Shively 2011

I shouldn’t have to explain what this is. If you have to explain to what story a certain piece of title art belongs… You’ve failed…

I’m hoping, above what I can obviously see, that I succeeded.

I’m reinventing the artwork, trying to keep the stylistic material I enjoyed and throwing away the things I didn’t like so much.

I’ll be posting more. I’ll probably be posting more tonight, in fact.

Hope you look forward to it!

Imagined Nation… Re-imagining

I tried to sleep, couldn’t.

I have to say that I’m worried my constant jumping from project to project may seem flighty to you… but it’s the only way I don’t burn myself out. My life is full of emotional turmoil due to special circumstances that go even beyond the realm of what information my previous posts can give you. My work is dependent upon certain emotional states. For each project, I must be in a specific mindset… If I try to work on a certain project when I’m not feeling the corresponding emotions, I push the gears too hard and something breaks for a while. I don’t like this analogy, it makes me feel like a weird tictoc creature from OZ, but it’s the best way I can describe it. Read the rest of this entry