Thursday, January 30, 2014

Into the Woods...

One of the most incredible and valuable aspects of this class was the necessity - not just the option, but necessity - to loosen the hell up! Of the millions of things I learned about myself, my style, my inspiration, and my process throughout the course, one thing I found interesting (or, rather, confounding) is that I am a walking artistic contradiction when it comes to character design. 

My brain will happily wander down any rabbit hole it happens upon and irresponsibly explore ideas until I have driven myself at least seven miles past my freeway exit. I have strategically placed sketchbooks and notebooks very un-strategically; I have provided myself the opportunity to write or draw my ideas willy-nilly nearly everywhere I happen to be. For the character of Ichabod, I drew inspiration from not simply a myriad of comedic film clips, but additionally from things like...doorknobs. I savor the process of exquisite character detail to the point of near Daniel Day-Lewis delusional immersion...and YET, when it comes time to release my mind to paper in a fury of Pollock-like expression, I never fail to sit quietly with my microscopic-tipped mechanical pencil hovering over an obsessively cleaned surface, looking for the perfect way to execute my first line, then erase it, then re-execute. 
I've been wound tighter than a Swiss time piece.

And I realized this translates to everything in my life. My mind is Fosse and the rest is Nureyev! Oy. What sort of psychological ink-blot delving hypnosis is required to undo the furrowed, purse-lipped expression of my right hand and bring my life-choreographer metaphor closer to something resembling Twyla?!
Oh...wait...what's that? Good Will Hunting-like therapy not required? Chris Sasaki, in twelve short weeks, you just saved me millions. 
Even in the beginning weeks of "experimentation" I found myself bringing to class my very reigned-in examples of crazy. Apparently I wasn't fooling anyone, at least not Chris. Goddamit, we were going to have FUN! Messy in-class exercises! NO pencils! Don't put your hair up for this, it's a perfectly good brush! If you want to fulfill your childhood dream, if you want to DO what you've wanted to DO since you were a kid, BE A GODDAM KID!
Just for the record, Chris is not a drill sergeant. The above were my internal mantra. That pencil wasn't coming out of my hand on its own, I had to slap it out.

So...below are the results of my progression from Goody Two-Shoes to drawing Floozy. I'm still practicing. I'm striving for Lili VonSchtupp-like looseness...

Ok...perhaps the magazine cutout
method didn't QUITE help loosen
me up technically, but it was a really
great way to think about shape
choices, texture, mood, and
simplistic ways to convey expression
and character!
Scaredy-pants Ichabod in the forest...thanks to a whole mess of ink!

This is where it got just plain goofy fun. Ne'er a pencil in sight! You can also see (perhaps) this is the point where Michael Richards' Kramer had been added to the mix of inspiration....playing with Mr. Bean, Kramer, and a mouse...yeehaw!
Just a few notes...playing with both the Headless Horseman and Ichabod.

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