Friday, September 28, 2012

The Glowy, long necked, see-thru Tarsier thing

Here's my concept for the latest project in my Studio class. The project entails combining two or three different animals into a new creature. Initially, pretty self explanatory. The only stipulation was, we couldn't just copy and paste body parts. Also. it couldn't be too fantasy or sci-fi. This is one of those projects that's very open ended and you really have to art-direct yourself and make smart decisions.

This was a tough one to get off the ground, at least for me. I new from the get go that i wanted to somehow incorporate an adaptive mechanism, like certain animals use of color or defensive adaptions like the puffer fish. Out of this, the idea of bioluminescense really stuck with me, particularly the look of the Jellyfish and also of certain angler fish. I just thought it was a really cool visual and could be very interesting if combined with a vertebrate.

A real challenge on this project so far was the lack of an internal visual catalog. I rarely draw animals. You might even say it's a weakness of mine. So, when asked to combine a bunch of disparate creatures into one i had a hard time even articulating my ideas on paper. So, it was off to the library to grab every visual dictionary on animals we had. 

So I went ahead and sketched some ideas; a bunny/puffer fish that when threatened puffed up its fur to a ridiculous degree, and maybe even used it as a weapon like the porcupine. I also sketched out the idea of a frog/angler fish, this really sedentary swamp monster that used a glowing lure to attract flies and other bugs. This one started slipping into the realm of fantasy when i envisioned what it would look like if it were to lure people, the size of a building, a neon sign as its lure. Finally i sketched out this concept of a Peacock that used this bioluminescence. For good measure i tried a couple other concepts like a tortoise/hare and pig/bird, that didn't really pan out. I was inclined to go with the bird.

However, all of these ideas still had a copy/paste look. Just one animal with the body parts of another attached. At this point i asked for some clarification. To put it straight in my head i stated the gist of the project like this,
      "Create a brand new creature, it's environment, what it eats, etc., and use the features and characteristics of existing animals to visualize it, instead of starting with the real animals and making something out of them." 
This idea made a lot more sense to me, and fortunately my Instructor said i had the right idea. With a clarified vision of the project, i set about changing my bird/jellyfish.

I imagined the habitat of this new creature to be a dark swamp or maybe an underground lake or cave system. This would be a creature that lives in the dark and eats the kind of things that grow there. I imagined this creature as mimicking, or maybe being chemically evolved by bioluminescent mushrooms that grow in these caves.  I eventually used a couple new animals as well, the Northern Tarsier, and the ant-eater, which im still unsure about. It's still at the point of sticking different animal parts together, but  it's getting to the point of not being recognizable as any of it's components, which is key.

Anyway, let me know what you think of what i have so far.

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