Circle Monsters

A monster-a-day Instagram campaign

Circle Monsters wordmark


A personal project to revitalise a simple exercise into a monstrous vector art series.


Sketching the circle monsters


Constraint and creativity often go hand in hand. In this case, we were creating a series of designs to be made only out of circles. After working up from one circle to five per design, I figured it was time to bring the shape to life. A self-imposed challenge: see how many unique monsters can be created from only five circles and a black sharpie. Before I knew it, a page was full and there was no going back. A simple shape was no longer a boring dot on the page but a tool to build the most exciting designs.

After creating the five circle monsters and applying the same principle to bring a single shape to life with a series of undersea iOS wallpapers, I did not want to abandon the circle monsters to the pages of a sketchbook. In my spare time between working on projects, a new personal design series was launched: vectorise a monster a day and post it across social media.

The original monsters


To capture that same excitement of bringing a shape to life on paper in a digital medium brought its own challenge. Quirks of uneven circles or a stray ink blot are not to be found in vectors and that was not my goal. The idea was not to replicate rough sketches but to capture the personality of each character in vectors. If that meant altering the design or even creating new riffs on the same idea, then so be it. The Sketch app was perfect for this, allowing a smooth workflow and speedy output of the minimalistic designs.

Creating the circle monsters was a daily exercise in putting personality into vectors and social media held the output to account, helping me get into a habit of constant creation and consistent posting. Building up a hashtag of circle monsters and a short exclamation for each only added to the fun.

The Result:

Recreating the monsters was not only a lesson in capturing the quirks of hand drawn illustrations in minimalistic vectors but also a wonderful opportunity to experiment with conveying that same personality through colour. This spilled over onto my social media and I enjoyed painting my personal feed bright with a herd of circle monsters. Consistent creation is essential and even better when it is enjoyable.

The circle monsters

Made to the Sound of Rocstrong - SOWYG

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