Wednesday, October 3, 2007

i am not a sexy vampire robot from outer space.

so this week in character development marked the first half of a two-week assignment involving roller girls. we had a model, julia, who was actually a roller girl in the charm city roller derby, come in last week. the first part of the assignment was to characterize her in a resting and an action pose, to be used in a larger , fully rendered poster design (due next week). we had to keep it grounded as the specific roller girl who modeled for us (her derby name? "essie ecks". get it, get it?) , and communicate the essence of her. i was trying some things with total simplification of shape, line, and palette (since i'm usually such a fan of detail and
clutter), as well as digital coloring. also, i decided she was going to be ready to hit you in the face with a folding chair, and i planned to move forward with a final poster design of the badass roller girl in a rink of tiny little girls skating around joyously (hence the pink).

my crit proved to be a little frustrating when, taken out of context, my characterization of essie appears boring and starightforward, expecially compared to other student work that featured "essie the slutty amazonian goddess" , "essie as tank girl", or a sweet "essie the communist". simple looks like crap pinned next to the hyper-detail-oriented. anyway, so i was getting sort of frustrated at the notion that every character design in that class had to be insane and ridiculous (see above, re: title), because i really hoped to be able to use that class to inform my work (which is not at all flashy armor and explosions) and render subtle differences in body type and facial expression as a means of differentiation. of course you can tell that a brute is a brute when he is four times the height of the other characters and he has four arms whose biceps are as big around as the other characters' waists. i wanted to learn to communicate those differences without screaming them at the top of my lungs. and i also didn't want to abandon the goals i had or the work i wanted to be making to make a less successful version of what everyone else was doing, because i was catering to what i thought brian wanted to see. so i explained to him that i thought i would die a slow, painful, character development-related death if i did such a thing, and he was really understanding, and when i spoke to him toward the end of class about my sketches, he seemed jazzed about my final poster concept, even if it didn't feature zombie warriors riding giant porpoises that breathe green smoke. this week's legitimately mediocre work notwithstanding, i hope that i can prove i don't suck during the course of the rest of this class, and also not accept defeat and draw the fantasies of twelve year-old boys.
*NOTE: all superlative character ideas were actually, seriously, discussed during crit yesterday.

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