To be 100% honest… I wasn’t fully aware that BA8 should be broken down into separate, smaller projects. I was initially planning the project to be one huge one, spanning a long time with lots of work! But I can definitely see how breaking it down is a logical approach to such a lengthly venture. I imagine that, even if I didn’t intentionally break it down into smaller chunks, the project would indirectly take that course with elements of it, such as character design and drawings from observation, forming mini sections of the main body of work anyway. So, it only seems logical to formalise these earlier on to give myself something more real and doable to aim for. Deadlines will always get work done.
So, in order to get everything just a little bit more organised so I can finally crack on with some real, visual work, I’m going to lay out the mini projects in black and white so I can keep referring back to them:
- CHARACTER BUILDING | 6 – 7 WEEKS(Japanese Macaque by Jared Chapman)
I’ve found myself drawn towards the idea of giving the featured animals for the Bestiary a bit more personality, a bit more of a voice so the audience can find something to grasp onto and relate to, seeing as the animals themselves don’t have much going for them in the way of positive reception! In an article I read in preparation for BA7, the word ‘charismatic’ was used for the general impression of traditionally cute and/or popular species. This has stuck with me, considering that ‘charismatic’ is normally something attributed to humans or creatures with personality, and the best way to give an illustrative animal a personality is to put them into a story or narrative of some sort.
Giving the animals a narrative to bounce off of gives the product itself a better chance of appealing to a younger audience as well as using the informative elements to appeal to the older audience. This way I can reach as many people as possible, exactly what I’ve wanted to do from the start (as stated in the original BA7 project prop.).
End outcomes for this project would most probably be a series of character sheets displaying different versions, expressions and interpretations of the animals and characters in question. These could be large format poster prints or a most tangible, longer format leaflet style of display, perhaps concertina?
This will also give me a chance to juxtapose the animals with different environments, aiding in the purpose of erasing the negative vibes and connotations in society. I’m thinking, maybe, placing the animals into situations where they interact with humans in ways not otherwise thought of when thinking of the animal in question, or in environments you wouldn’t expect to find them in but that paints them in a warming light.
This leads me onto the second mini-project…
- PEOPLE-CREEPIN’ | 3 – 4 WEEKS
Basically, people creeping is the term I tend to use when I go into public spaces and draw people. I’ve been doing a lot of this lately, and the drawings/studies have been really successful. When considering this and the positive feedback I got from my more traditional, observational drawings from BA7, I thought I could try to incorporate these ‘people creeping’ studies into BA8.As previously mentioned, I’m looking into the idea of contrasting the animals with other, more relatable and pleasant subjects, like juxtaposing environments or, in this specific case, people. By creating a mini project, of perhaps three to four weeks in length of just people studies, I can build a collection of studies to use with the animals generated when building the characters. It will also give me an excellent opportunity to be more loose and relaxed with my drawings, something I’ve been told should put a degree of focus on for this final straight. The specifics of this project need to be discussed a bit further with my tutors but the skeleton of the idea is definitely there!Final outcomes for this project could be presented in a series of small format drawings, representing pleasant, positive situations to be juxtaposed with the more negative connotations of unpopular animals. These end pieces could be hung or displayed in small, rough bound books. This is to be decided however.
- BUILDING A BESTIARY | 6 – 7 WEEKS(Bento Bestiary – NoBrow Publishing)
The final stage of BA8 ties everything in together, the actual construction and finalisation of the bestiary as a product. This will involve type considerations, binding, ordering of the narrative, construction of final imagery including the beast themselves and then research into possibilities beyond graduation. Could I self publish the book? Which publishing houses could be interested in the book? Logistics/printing/mass or batch production?This will definitely be the most manic part of BA8 as there is a lot involved, but not large enough jobs to be sectioned off into the separate projects. Hopefully, by the end of it I can present a fully completed and constructed Bestiary, with side projects and their outcomes displayed alongside to add depth and more dimensions to the bestiary itself.Of course, all of these ideas are yet to be discussed with tutors and peers at length, but its a good starting point for tackling this final project head on!