When we had the big idea of asking you to rename, rebrand and reimagine CSULB’s mascot/nickname, we wondered if we’d get any kind of response? What we got was an outpouring of opinion, adulation, condemnation, stupefaction and “This is a joke, right?”

No, Sunshine, it’s a contest and we’ve been well-pleased with those who have already submitted their ideas and drawings. We’ve seen mascots that reference the working class, mascots that reference celebrities and mascots that reference predators—which is kind of what celebrities are, but we digress.

We’ve also heard that, given the demands of the holidays, it’s tough to put aside the time for creativity. So, we’re pushing the deadline for contest submissions to January 10.

To repeat, when we found out that Cal State Long Beach was looking for a new nickname/mascot—adios, Prospector Pete—we asked you to come up with a mascot/nickname that reflects what the school really is; the true Cal State Long Beach experience: the people, the parking (or lack thereof), the fact that no one will look you in the eye, whatever, you show us.

To get you started, we had five illustrators/artists have a run at it. Their creations are presented below along with one of the excellent new submissions. Have a look. Be inspired. Send us something. And Go [Nickname To Be Determined]!!!

“The Long Beach Hammerheads” by Long Beach native Alexander Villalobos.

Alex Villalobos, 28, chose to mock up “The Long Beach Hammerheads” because of what the shark symbolizes: courage and great strength, qualities he says CSULB demonstrates in their policies and campus culture.

“This shark represents CSULB’s social awareness and inherent drive to fight for social justice,” he said.

Villalobos’ mascot is also a nod to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which announced over the summer a new resident of its shark pool, a female scalloped hammerhead (click here for a sweet GIF of the shark), as well as CSULB’s renowned shark lab.

Villalobos was born and raised in Long Beach and grew up in a multicultural environment that, he says, influences his personality and art. His friends and family graduated from CSULB, which he considers to be “one of the most diverse and inclusive campuses.” Check out more of the artist’s work on Instagram @_anv_art_.

Submission Requirements
  • Email your digital original or scanned image of your art to [email protected] (file must be in JPG or PNG format, 1200px across).
  • In your email, please include a bio, including your full name, age and what connection, if any, you have to CSULB and a description of your mascot, including its name and how it represents the university.
  • Mail or drop off original artwork or print (no larger than 16″x12″) to the Long Beach Post offices at 211 E. Ocean Boulevard, #400, Long Beach, CA 90802 (thanks to Linco Inc., we will be framing submissions to be displayed and judged by a panel during an art show in January; exact date TBD).
  • All submissions—digital image, physical artwork, artist bio and mascot description—must be turned in on or before Thursday, January 10.
  • Any questions?Email [email protected] and/or [email protected]

Steve Lowery is the Long Beach Post's Arts & Culture editor. You can follow him @SteveLowery12.

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