Friday, November 14, 2008

Kojo, Monster-puncher and the Nipplebeast









Hi all!
I'm really flattered that there are actually watchers to this blog once I posted that gadget...I never knew if anyone actually read this or not, but now I feel somewhat heartened: at least 21 people plus my parents read this blog on a regular basis! :)
So, full of vim and vigor, I hasten to post!

This week's assignment was a neat one. Another good/evil pair, this time a protagonist and antagonist based out of our life experience. It's all very similar to the other assignments, but the point is essentially the critiques and improvement over the class. Each assignment could be the same each week and the variety of the work on the wall would be pretty immense, and this class would still rock.

Anyways, I started out pretty strong this week, got my sketchbook out and started doodling right out of the gate. But the middle stretch killed me. I just kept running into this wall. I wanted to deal with the idea of brotherhood in a very positive light, but all my very hairy muscle-y multiple-faced barbarian men with their beards braided together looked a little negative. I was way stuck on this Celtic thing and I couldn't get away from the bare-chested warrior motif. Not that there's anything wrong with that (I'm going to have to do one soon, just to remind myself that I CAN) but it just wasn't working for me. I also have this concurrent running design of this translucent jelly-suit with things suspended in it...but that wasn't really doing it for me either. I'll have to come back to those, but in the meantime I was just frustrated and the week was wearing on and I still didn't have a design. So I stayed up late sketching Wednesday night and ultimately decided that the best thing I could do was just sleep. I got into bed, on a whim put on the Yoshida Brothers (I had never played their stuff much before) and had some very grassy, windswept dreams ideas before I drifted off to sleep. I woke up Thursday morning, still humming the Yoshida Brothers, and went down to the library picture collection to look up Chinese costume and came back to the studio with Kojo and the Nipplebeast.

Just to lift the veil on the concepting process a little bit, with Kojo (I know he and his little brother are pretty soft and androgynous...I may tool with the design to clarify it, but they're meant to be male characters) I wanted to communicate the idea of brotherhood and protection. I used the arm shapes of my jellysuit to make the stone slabs over his arms, and reworked the idea of the inter-braided hair...the ideas of weaving and braiding were pretty important to me. I was really touched by this picture I found in the costuming file of this little Chinese boy with his hair in a long braid and his little baby brother slung over his back.
I sort of brought the Celtic vibe back in, but I found that the best way to get to the good stuff is to let go of whatever it is you're clutching tightly at the time. The principle has applied so much with God, why shouldn't it with art? (or vice versa)

Ultimately I'm pretty psyched about the design and the vague notions of the world I'm forming. The name is very silly, but I haven't started disliking it yet...and I think it's kind of silly-fun :)
In terms of the 'Nipplebeast' (a working title ;)) I think the design speaks pretty clearly...it's pretty repulsive. I apologize to those with frail constitutions...but my thought is, if you're going to design a monster and talk about evil: it should look way evil. Likewise, the cute should be very cute. So: it's a nasty, blind, sunless, wretched thing with the mouth of a frill shark and caterpillar breasts all up the front. Sorry, Mom. :)

The next week's assignment will be the character final. I'm looking forward to it! We get to work up a protagonist/antagonist pair (I think I may do another pass on these two) and do a variety of color sketches for a scene with the both of them in. Ultimately, we'll be designing the scene. Fun! I really like color sketches and we saw a book of really gorgeous ones today.

I'll see y'all then, but for now: Enjoy!

-Nick

P.S. my personal soundtrack for these two, and the most played track of the last two days: Frontier - Yoshida Brothers
so. good.

6 comments:

Sir Timmy said...

i never cease to be amazed :)
really strong yet eloquently simple design ~ the connection of the hair braid is a geniously basic representation, but it works so well!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful monster puncher. The child reminds me of the child in Ice Age :-)
The Nipplemonster...AAAGGGHHH!
Should I not have ever breastfed?
TMPI, I know. sorry. clem

Amanda Grazini said...

Hey man!

Your stuff is delicious!
I love your creatures, they are wierd, but really cute in some ways...

:)

Hugs!Keep it going!

poetsforpeanuts said...

"but I found that the best way to get to the good stuff is to let go of whatever it is you're clutching tightly at the time. The principle has applied so much with God, why shouldn't it with art? (or vice versa)" -- wow I think I really needed to hear that today, thanks! :)

As for the designs, wow, the monster is particularly creepy, nice touches with the inverted elbows, and I loved the designs of the fists on the two brothers. Great imagination!

Lovin the music, btw. ;)

Emerson said...

awesome awesome characters man! :D i love the idea of the brothers hair being connected to symbolize their bond. Oh, and the nipplebeast is beyond awesome. What you say is true, why wimp out on a design when you can go all the way. Keep rocking on dude!

funbubblz said...

wow,absolutely great work amazing,very unique style,like the nipplebeast.very very clean approach to design,simple colours,beautiful.keep it up.