Monday, 20 December 2010

Negotiated Character sketches and Reference

Here are some of my favourite sketches and working from the negotiated characters project...
A few of the characters changed dramatically, others just didnt make it at all...

I'm starting to wonder now if the designs I chose are actually successful or not... they each make me laugh in their own way, but I always worry that other people might not understand the joke behind them or just plain dislike them... I focussed on trying to capture the character of the original creations by using poses we have seen them in before (mickey with arms open, bugs with his hands on his hips) but with the ones where I created my own pose, they are somewhat less recognisable... we then have to read other details in order to work out who they are and what they are doing. A useful technique I have learnt is to try look at my illustrations as silhouettes, that way you arent distracted by details and colours but you become more aware of the shape and whether it is easy to read and recognise.... (similar to how they say a baby sees silhouettes and forms connections at a very early age). In the sketches below are some of my working outs for the Michelin man character, testing to see if I the overall character is still visible even though i have deflated two thirds of his body...

here is the incredible explanation of said technique that I saw.... LINK

I see a lot of well recognised characters being reused and edited in work, so much so that it almost makes my worrying over copyright seem stupid.... but these pages taken from Australian magazine 'T-World' briefly covers some of the points to do with changing aspects of an image or even using silhouettes of copyrighted figures... I need to be careful about this in the future.

By using already existing characters, there are certain connotations already attached to them. There are backstories and nostalgic memories that have stuck with some of us since our childhoods and it can sometimes shatter these memories seeing our favourite characters in more adult themed artwork.

In Japan, characters/mascots are more a part of their society than just tools for selling.. they are everywhere, shop windows, signs, even on the streets as part of the furniture..

As I mentioned, I see characters everywhere now, and I often tell people I like graffiti... but its not the giant letters or tags that I like but the characters created and brought to life as they are placed in urban settings. Although still 2D, i feel that by enlarging some of these characters to a lifesize scale, or painting them that way, gives them new life... as if they are actually there inhabiting that space. The added bonus is that by doing this, your work is no longer flat on a page in front of you.. it can be pasted up anywhere for all to see. Again though, as I have no rebellious side I was too scared to actually do this for real...

A slightly more achievable idea of getting my characters out there is via the format of stickers... I can print them and then distribute them.. that way I dont have to go out and about putting my work up but I can let other people do it for me. Being that they are printed at a small scale, they are more accessible for people to pick up and stick anywhere they want.


I personally started collecting stickers from skateboard and snowboard companies throughout my teen years... I never once imagined that I was sticking them up in places or to my belongings and advertising for the companies but more like they were small pieces of artwork that I was exhibiting. They allowed me to customise my belongings and make them more unique and personal to myself but also felt like tiny single frames of a comic or cartoon... some of them depict scenes/characters to which you can imagine coming to life,moving and continuing the narrative.

A lot of these stickers dont have a huge amount of detail in the backgrounds, they stand alone and work without the need for a traditional square/A4 format. Rather than putting my own characters onto posters, I will be printing them as stickers, with die cut outlines to them. The only problem here is that I need to make sure my own designs stand out enough and dont just rely on aesthetics to be successful....

I specifically like the addition of a simple back shape to some of these designs which is reminiscent of the Looney Tunes background but the incorporation of the Hook-Ups logo/name works great as a anchor to the bottom of the design. When I settle on a name for my negotiated character series I will need to do something similar.

No comments:

Post a Comment