Here's my entry.
@drawnbyshawn Thanks again for all of the suggestions. Here's what I settled on. (Or at least, I think I'm finished. Who knows, maybe some minor adjustments before I post to the contest thread.)
@MikeCañas Yeah, the already-eaten apple cores is a good idea! That would really imply that he's taking the superstition to the next level (more than one apple a day). I'm going to try that along with the nervous expression. Thanks!
@TessaW Thanks! Yeah, I think I agree. Being that the second one focuses more on the calendar and date, I can see where it feels a bit neurotic. It is maybe more "staged" too, which is where the "stock photo" feel is coming from (???)
@jennyeickbush Thanks! I do see your point. The intent is that he has an appointment coming up that he doesn't really want to go to, so he's just going all-in on the apples to try and avoid it (irrationally). But, maybe there is an adjustment I can make to better sell that idea. Like, maybe make his eyes nervous and looking at the calendar to really imply that he's just kind of panicking and trying anything??? (Or, as you stated, I could step back and rethink from the perspective of the doctor.)
I'm looking for some thoughts on my "superstition" entry ... "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". I did run with one idea, but before I get too far I wanted to consider another composition. Not sure if the first one is too boring, so I did thumbnail a second one where the calendar is in the foreground (maybe on a refrigerator or something) and the guy eating apples is in the background with boxes of apples behind him. I kind of prefer the first one because I want to keep the person more prominent, but at the same time I can't make the calendar too small because you need to see that he has a doctor appointment coming up.
Anyway, just looking for some comments/suggestions.
@Neha-Rawat I think it's really good! The only minor tweak I would maybe suggest is pushing the "tired" look of the wolf. Maybe an extra line under the eyes, or even darkening under the eyes??? Just to really sell the "tired" expression and not "sad". Not sure ... it may not be needed, but just an idea.
@charitymunoz The entire Affinity suite is becoming quite popular as well. Pay-once software vs subscription like with Adobe. In particular, Affinity Designer would be comparable to Photoshop and Illustrator kind of mixed together, and costs $50.
@charitymunoz This doesn’t address the “software” part, but more of the “learning” part. Check with your county library system to see if they offer free Lynda subscriptions. Lynda.com is a great source of technical instructional videos for things like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. It complements the art instruction of SVS very well. I use it pretty often through my library, and I think it kind of flies under the radar if most people.