Exploring character Rigging
Set around a tree-dwelling community of squirrels, ‘Trouble Up Top’ is a concept idea I had for a children’s story some time ago. Based on a hierarchical structure (in both a literal distribution of real estate within the tree and also within the leadership organization of the gang) the story arch unfolds in a series of misfortunate events, set-up by subordinates and subsequently passed along the chain of command for a resolution. With our protagonist in a position of power as ‘the Boss’, the moral focus of the story is the responsibility of leadership as we see the hardship he endures to keep ‘the family’ functioning.
In the wise words of Uncle Ben (from Spider-Man, not the guy who makes the rice) – ‘…with great power. Comes great responsibility’
For some time, I endeavored to develop a solid draft for the story, but eventually the project found its way to the back burner – having been shelved in my thoughts by other pressing matters with the full intention of picking it up somewhere down the line. Rich with potential; the project still holds plenty of promise with the emerging of a visual aesthetic and the glimmer of a core idea that simply needs time to explore. Like digging into a vein of cookie within a tub of ice cream.
Finding expression in the language of the line
Emerging from beneath my rock I decided to take a respite from my solitude and re-engage with the outside world. In no way was this to be in any physical sense for that would involve a clean shave and fresh underwear; this was purely going to be an exercise to participate with the online community by contributing to Friday Illustration.
A simple concept, Friday Illustration is a weekly art activity with no obligation and very little restrictions. The premise is simple, each week members of the community suggest a single word theme and the chosen proposal is used as an open brief for those who participate. This week the topic was ‘Stuffed‘ and there were already plenty of submissions early doors. People stuffed into boxes, strange taxidermy experiments, and (of course) characters who have over indulged.
This would be a chance for me to play with a casual brief and take the opportunity to work on a few things. In this blog post, I will discuss this project, and use it to demonstrate a key part of my aesthetic: the attention to line expression.