Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Can you say Pecha-Kucha? Character Development

Pecha Kucha is an informal fast paced presentation technique 20seconds on each slide 20 slides(or 10 in this case.I presented a series of slides on the development of characters for a children's book called "Sparky get's a friend" its about an bored old cat coping with a new kitten being thrust into his world by his owner.
The starting point.
Any journey starts with a single step or in this case with a blank page,the bane of my life,quick fill it with anything! Cats! Partially anatomically realistic cats,this didn't float my boat so a re-think was in order.

 Cat Re-work.
After taking a peek at Ali Grainey's Blog  I decided simplifying forms was the way to go,settling on a sausage shape for one character and a more rigid cone shape for the other.
personality and context.
Next I tried to breath some life and personality into my creations(in Frankenstylee) everything inhabits somewhere,even germs in a petri-dish have an environment.(context to you and me) I also started to figure out personalities and colours suited to each character too.
Environment and stuff.

"Sparky" re-design.
At this point,during a crit it was decided that Sparky needed to to be made to look more decrepit and old,to create more contrast to the kitten character,I floundered for a bit until one evening "Dads Army" was on the TV and BINGO!! Arthur Lowe fit perfectly with the character of old staid Sparky the cat.
More re-work and expressions too.
Now I felt I had 2 characters I liked to draw and could carry a story for me,from here on it was a matter of composition and making a "nice" series of drawings,oh and telling a story too.

What did I learn? 
Research research research!
Draw Draw Draw and when you think you've done enough draw some more!
Put your'e creations into their world,environment their interactions and (ahem)motivation.
Play with scale,colour,line qualities.
Google people who's work you admire in your chosen field of interest and see how they do it (thanks Simone Lia . and
Take advice and criticism wherever you can get it,(thanks to my tutors,Steve Wilkin and Chris Harper) take notes and mull them over at your leisure.

Ed Allen

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