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i don't think you handled your space that well. everything seems crammed together toward the bottom. neither side gives balance to the other and Ven looks like he should be in the center but isn't. it woulda been nice to see the heart with a little more detail too.
you did really nice on colors and character detail though. the clouds and star charms are my favorite part of your entry.
We're not re-determining why someone's didn't get an honourable mention or anything else; it stands as is, so stop questioning it. If you really want to get opinions, make a thread in Traditional Media and ask for some critisism there.
All the constant questioning of who won or didn't win is just going to aggrivate Salty more, and a lot of others, for that matter. You should be glad that he was even willing to run this competition by himself, and pay for the prize out of his own pocket.