For my creative project, I decided that it needed to be something ambitious, on a scale above what my talents are normally accustomed to, requiring a thorough and consistent amount of effort put into it over a long period of time. It would also need a highly organised and structured plan, to divide the workload into manageable chunks, marked with flexible deadlines, so that even if I do not work at a consistent pace, I can still expect to meet my targets. This would help to challenge my skill and commitment at its current level, while being organised enough to seem manageable and hold my attention and awareness, so that I am able to work over multiple sessions, over a specified period of time.
Having set these conditions, I was now ready to come up with ideas that would apply to my prior knowledge and skills, so that the work itself does not prove too difficult or unfamiliar to me. Considering my interests in art, and future aspirations in Animation, I came up with the following ideas:
- An animated short of at least two minutes in length, to be made in Adobe Flash by myself, and possibly help from collaborators if I have taken any others on board with the project
- A series of digital pictures in Flash depicting the main characters from my original fantasy series “Godhood”, six of them in all
- A collage of all my previous creations and works from the 2000s onwards, detailing the history of my creative works and how my ideas and characters have evolved, made as vector art in Adobe Flash
I picked these because they are the mediums I feel most comfortable and most passionate about. Each project requires a different amount of work to put into it, with the first being a full blown Flash animated sequence, while the others are still images. The animated sequence would take the most time and effort than the other two options by far. I consider my experience with Animation to be currently insufficient to take on such a project, and I must first practice more, to better get used to it, and to build a suitable foundation on which I can regularly turn out work.
For the digital pictures of the GodHood cast, I was hoping to use the full extent of my knowledge with shading, and combine my knowledge of human proportions with my old, cartoonish-style, and develop something unique for the project that I may continue to use for it. However, setting myself multiple pictures to do may prove daunting, or even exhausting if I do not pace myself and look for inspiration to hold my interest and persist with completing all of them.
My choice will be the collage piece.
An example of such a collage is this one from the 1981 London Film Festival, painted by Richard Williams, Director of Animation for ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, and author of ‘The Animator’s Survival Kit’:
Here, multiple film stars make up the shape of Charlie Chaplin. My collage does not need to make up a particular shape, but I was planning to have my characters arranged in some sort of order, perhaps chronologically, and my end result should form one huge scene out of much smaller pictures.
For another example, take this collage of Disney characters created by one hobbyist artist, Jen Riley:
While the scale of work is commendable, there is not enough emphasis on the big picture, and the picture looks very busy and cluttered, which can prove confusing to the viewer. As for the smaller details, the colours are quite flat, and a lot of the same shades are used for multiple characters, so there is not much to distinguish between them. What would improve the composition of this piece would be if the characters were more defined, such as being more spaced out, or using more interesting shades of colour and shading to emphasise each one, and having the characters be different sizes rather than having groups of characters together that are of similar size. The details of piece is overall lacking in contrast, while not distinguishing its key features that the viewer should focus most on. Still, it proves to be a good and inspiring source for me to base my own ideas on, and possibly improve where this piece falls short.
My collage may not prove to be of such as scale as Riley’s, and the piece can still be highly stylized, allowing for a lot of creative experimentation rather than consistent labouring, making it more intrinsically motivating to work on.
Another advantage is that I don’t have to create something brand new, that may be undeveloped or slightly out of my level of skill, and instead I can call upon my past body of work to be the subject. I have used Flash for a few years, and have good experience with using it for vector art. The process will not be too difficult or unfamiliar for me to undertake. Similarly, the characters I will use may have outdated, overly simplistic designs, that I could just as easily rework, to better suit my advances in artistry.
Ultimately, I hope for it to be a very personally enjoyable and enlightening exercise. It should be fun to represent all the characters I have created over the years, from different times in my life, placing them side-by-side, possibly interacting with one another in the picture. I hope that such an exercise will rekindle my inspiration for creativity, and motivate me to continue to create, and fully embrace my passion for creation.