Character Design and losing track
[private]Here’s an interesting anecdote in regards to Art & Story discussions. As stated in some recent episodes, Mark and I are working on a new story for Sugary Serials. The way we usually work is, Mark comes up with a lot of the costume and other visual designs, while I focus on the inner lives of the characters and other thematic elements. In this new story we’re trying to land a more “animated” style, so I’m taking Mark’s initial costume designs and paring them down to a simplified style. Then the interesting thing happened–a character named Farz, a character whom I’ve done some sketches of recently, became the topic of the first redesign.
Here’s the thing worth noting. Upon seeing Mark’s initial sketch of her, I decided that she would be a rough-and-tumble, no-nonsense sort of mechanic. Pretty, but in a Sigourney Weaver way. Mark noticed that my turnaround of Farz didn’t quite capture that “pretty but tough” character that he and I had talked about. I thought she looked plenty tough, and I was ready to write his criticism off. Then my wife agreed with him (and wives are so often correct), so I took another stab at Farz:
I thickened up her waist a bit, and made her jaw more angular. I have to admit that both Mark and my wife were absolutely right. I was relying on standbys that I normally turn to when drawing feminine beauty, forgetting that it has many inflections, forgetting that Farz should be both pretty but rugged.
The moral is that when we collaborate we should listen to the input of the other parties involved, and we should never rest on our comfort zones. I would never have thought to make Farz’s jaw so angular, but after making it so, she looks much more true to the inner life that I had suggested she had. That’s the fun of collaboration–providing that we don’t let our egos get too involved in the process.