I need to stop worrying about the wrong things :) and as I have done, I've immediately become more productive...
After taking the advice of my friend, Abby Ryder, (again)... I started breaking the brief down.. taking the main ideas of 'Heart' and 'Optimism' and trying to associate thoughts, feelings, experiences and situations with each, building a possible background story and/or personality to a character. Also taking the advice often found in Computer Arts Projects character issues, it helps if you inject a little bit of yourself into your characters, making them more believable.
The first of my ideas is an Alien character, one who dreams of exploring space, reaching for the stars, who always 'thinks BIG'. I love sci-fi and science, space, the stars and aliens so this is something I will enjoy creating... my initial idea was having the alien character crash land on Earth, I then had Anna Paldanius - the writer who I worked for in the 7x7 project for the Manchester Literature festival - come up a brief story to inspire me (sadly I havent yet given her full feedback on this nor informed her of my change in ideas)(Guess what Anna!?)... I feel this character could be developed further and grow with a narrative... so fingers crossed.
The next idea I came up with is inspired by Pixar's animated shorts and Michael Slack's 'Monkey Truck' (see previous entry here and here). Both Slack and Pixar invest a lot of time and personality into their characters, as I have said previously, a glossy visual style means nothing without there being a solid idea behind the work and time invested in making it come to life. With this in mind, I have the beginnings of what feels more like it will be an animated short rather than developing a character for a cartoon... but the premise is about a optimistic little light bulb who wants to fulfil his destiny and bring light to the world. It would be about using your potential, not being scared to shine, but also having the courage to go for it - in fact both ideas have this central theme - but I like the idea of a light bulb being determined to help us (humans) by giving us light.