As of starting characters within the project that we had been set, specifically asking to “Build a world”, the groups in which we had all initially been sorted into had been shuffled round and dispersed. This meant that I had to abandon my groups previous ideas such as ‘Ginger world’ and ‘ Plant world’, and had to create characters based on already established concepts and worlds.
The group in which I had been introduced to had the concept of a world in which ‘Mother Nature’ grew angry with the human species, their treatment of the planet, and killed them in a fit of rage; turning humans into plant-like creatures and their remaining soles into shadows figures. Both sides had issues with one another as one side (shadow people) wanted to reclaim their bodies (tree people).
Before setting off to create the concept art for our newly introduced groups, we were tasked with creating an audience for our world. This pushed us to create a less attractive, dumbed down, dorkier version of our characters; these characters would be leaf-like, shadow-like in nature and would parody our own reality’s TV/ Viewer culture in that on screen characters tend to be more attractive than the viewer. From this, we became hyper aware of the serious, dramatic elements of the conflicts of our characters.
Next, my group and I ventured off independently after agreeing upon definitive traits of our characters. This allowed us to experiment with designs, concept work and further research elements of our characters.
Originally, we had decided to personify ‘Mother nature’ and include her in our designs. Rather than simply drawing a female character, I decided to look up specific information on the environment, and global warming to influence her design. From my research, I was reminded about how the environment was defined as the biological factors and their chemical interactions that affect an organism or a group of organisms. This small piece of information highlighted the ability that mother nature would have in controlling her minions a.k.a. the ‘tree people’ and the ‘Shadow people’.
Additionally, my group and I exchanged ideas and designs to create a final product. The idea below is a study from another member of my team who derived their work from a basic sketch that I had done; they had developed the idea and added colour (my original concept work is in my course sketch pad).
After continually establishing new character design within my group, I thought that it may have been interested to try and merge all of our ideas to convey some form of evolution within our world; the first two figures in the below image are designs I came up with, whilst the next four belonged to others. I felt by doing this I could gain the experience of trying others styles whilst finding common ground to link each character together. I used gouache to create this painting.
After my group and I had proposed the idea that our world could be based within a post-apocalyptic universe where humans had died out, we had also suggested that our characters could have just evolved from these people. This lead my character direction to a place where I was trying to merge humans and trees, finding some sort of common ground between them. To guide my process, I found images online of maquettes and puppets; humanoid figures made from wood. I felt like this may fill a gap within our universe and illustrate how our characters initially have transformed into what they are. In my sketch pad, I have made studies of the images below and have created other more developed ideas.