Monday, September 3, 2012

D4M: Menagerie Kick Off ● Week 1

Artist Hiroshi Hayakawa has inspired to creators of my Design for Media class into a project based off of two of his signature styles of work: Figure as Landscape or Menagerie.  I have chosen the menagerie style.

A menagerie is an anthology of figures or objects related to one another through colour, theme, and design.  However, when I looked it up in the dictionary it specifically related it to animals.  So I took it.  And naturally, I had just gone to the zoo today, and were inspired by all the different birds I saw.  I especially loved the flamingos because of their necks; they were twisted in all sorts of ways.  It was also quite humorous when they would dance by rocking their legs back and forth.  But to get back to the point...

I thought maybe I could make a menagerie with these feathered creatures.  Give them character through drawing techniques or maybe I would make them patterned.  I'm not quite sure how I would do that.  Maybe importing fabrics or paper designs and colour-by-number them?

But let me tell you the two artists that I'm inspired by.

Tom Whalen is an illustrator who has made posters for many companies including Disney, Warner Bros., and DC Comics.  This is an illustration of a book cover he has made for Herring on the Nile:

I chose Whalen for his excellent use of simplicity to magnify an image, as well as his colour palette.  Everything is very well done and there aren't a lot of distractions to take away from a piece like this.
However, I chose my next artist because I love his characterizations.  They're very animated and, yes I must say it, adorable.  It amazes me how he's able to create such personality with very seemingly simple strokes.

Thomas Thesen does illustration, character designs and visual developments.  He has worked for Pixar and Dreamworks animation, as well as freelancing with Netflix and Lionhead.  Below are some of his insect sketches.

I loved how his character designs were really animated and quirky.  Something that I have never quite been able to do but it's something that I have always aspired to.

Which brings me to my second idea.  I wanted to do a sort of hand study in which I would focus on different poses that the hand creates: constrained, twisted, fist-clenched, gestured, or even shadow puppets.

Anyway, that's my thought process so far.  Let's just cross my fingers to see if things manage to work out how I envision them they will.

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