Slide 1: Rough Sketching - I begin by rough sketching out creature designs. Here you can see I was playing with a lot of different ideas in over a hundred loose sketches. This where I was still experimenting widely with how they would look.
Slide 2: Working One Design - Once I find one I like I continue to work on sketches reworking subtle details or playing with parts of the design. This is also usually the point where I begin in-depth research on the meanings and symbolism attached to the animals involved in the dual aspects of the creatures design.
Slide 3: Reworking the Design - In some cases I will scrap some aspects of the creature design that aren’t working – in this case the look of the fish side to my fox Familiar wasn’t really working for me. I went back to drawing board looking for inspiration from animal images and researching other animals symbolic meanings that I was drawn to or that might blend well with the fox who’s meanings include: cunning, patience, powers of observation, blending in, seeing both sides of something and walking in between in the gray areas. In the end I decided I still liked the fish meaning and symbolism; which includes creativity, good luck, transformation, and knowledge; but the design itself was the problem so after looking at different fish options I chose to take some aesthetic choices from Koi fish.
Slide 4: Creating a 2d Design Sheet - Once I’ve decided on the design I take it into illustrator and do a finished multiple view illustration. In this case I’m showing the basic outline, which is the sculpting layer, showing you the physical shape sans color.
Slide 5: Color Schemes - This is followed by the color paint layer that shows what would be printed on the 3d form if made into a vinyl toy. In this case I’m only showing you the one view with multiple color scheme options as I have yet to pin one down.
Slide 6: 3D Sculpey Mockup - For my sculptural pieces I usually start with a rough design leading to the multiple view color design, which can be seen here. Once I have that I will begin to build an armature. The armature is made from balled up aluminum foil and wire wrapped around itself, and glued together to form the internal structure. Then I roughly coat it with super sculpey getting the rough size and shapes of the piece. From there I begin smoothing and refining the sculpture. Once I have it how I want it I’ll brush it down with rubbing alcohol to smooth it further and get rid of fingerprint marks, then bake it in the oven. After I leave it in the oven overnight to cool, I then sand the piece to make it smooth and paint it with acrylics. To finish I spray a protective coat of clear acrylic in matte or gloss over the top.
Slide 7: Possible Creature Designs - These are some of the potential creature designs that I’ve been playing with during the process of working through sketching out ideas for this project.
Closing: As a General Fine Arts major focusing both on illustration and three-dimensional sculpture I want to explore the three dimensional in the form of small scale sculpture and toys beyond my involvement in illustration. This project is a marriage of my two forms of work in the 2D and 3D.
I hope that this project will also bring together the knowledge I’ve gained learning about bringing deeper concepts into my work and using well thought through design - and bring it together with my love of flat graphic aesthetics, fantasy creatures and toys.