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July 26, 2023

Apple the Crow my Beloved- Carin Carrion, BFA Illustration 2025

by ccarcas

Welcome back to my blog about my experience as an arts intern at the Q Center this summer. Now looking at the title I can understand the anticipation of finding out who Apple the Crow is but before I divulge this I must tell you Apple pushed me into becoming a Photoshop god (or at the very least more knowledgeable). This was mainly because we were working on ordering merch for Apple as they were this year’s Q Center pride mascot that was voted on by the community. After the voting was completed my coworkers and I jumped head first into getting merch sampled, formatted, and finding a local print shop we could print merch at a relatively affordable price.

The plan in mind was to have Apple the Crow merch ready for a fundraising event with a local vegan ice cream show called Kate’s Great Plant-Based Desserts or at the very least for Portland Pride Waterfront Festival, but during this point in my internship, the Kate’s event would be the aim. From behind the scenes I got to learn how the approval process for the merch was another variable to how much time it would actually be till we could even start getting the designs sent to print. Drafting and finalizing the designs for Apple felt like a training arc. Then there was the whole aspect of making sure the files could have a clear print and have them in…(imagine shivers going down my spine as I write this okay) VECTOR FILES! It was a challenging learning experience adapting a digital artwork to a vector file but in the end, we were happy the small details made it through to the final product.

Due to Apple’s initial design having many different values of similar colors, I needed to contact the original artist, Jay M, to ask for a file version with fewer detailed textual elements and readjusted colors as we wanted to make sure a printable version of Apple is still in their vision. The quick turnaround that week for drafts, files, and advertising had my life flash before my eyes….in a fun marathon way.

Above are some of the drafts I played around with for the Apple merch, in the end, we went with the designs in the bottom left corner and top right corner for the totes bags, posters, and stickers. One thing I want to mention is while working on the text was making sure reading the text could be accessible as possible, and this thought about text has followed me around like my cat Lily when I’m getting her food ready in the morning throughout this internship.

Then there was creating a post to excite the community for free ice cream (yum), by the way, the ice cream was so so so delicious I very much recommend if you are ever on Mississippi Avenue in Portland stop by Kate’s. We had to create some adjustments to the advertisement Kate’s kindly gave us to post, but I had to format it for Q Center’s social media while also incorporating the opportunity to preorder Apple merch. Because the Apple merch was not printed by the time the Ice Cream fundraiser rolled around my coworkers and I used our massive brains to brainstorm alternative merch we could make to sell for the fundraiser and we came up with buttons as we had the materials and tools for them in our office (which is very weird to say this now, but felt very retro).

One of the ideas my coworker Ryley brainstormed 🙂

Above where the four designs I made for the Q Center to sell during Kate’s Great Plant-Based Desserts ice cream event at the Q Center parking lot. They were really fun to do, and although we did not sell a lot at this event we did end up selling nearly all of them during Portland Pride Waterfront Festival!

This is the setup we had for the fundraising event, overal it was really nice seeing how the community engaged with the items we were selling as well as getting another layer of understanding of what a place like the Q Center means for various community members as a space to get together and find support.

We are planning on posting this Apple merch announcement soon on social media as of when I’m posting this all the merch ordered has finally arrived! YAY! I felt having Apple model the merch for everyone would be a very fun way for the character to interact with the community.
My thumbnail sketch of the Apple the Crow merch post :3
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