Thursday, December 01, 2011

Subconscious Drawing

One of my favorite things to do is to draw funny characters in my sketchbook. I like to draw with nothing in mind and see what kind of things I come up with. I will usually start with a shape or just a line of action and see where it takes me. I try my best to never repeat myself. For a long time I thought these kinds of exercises were not helping me progress, and I would do them just for the joy of it. I think there is some value in unplanned, experimental sketching sessions where the only goal is to fill a page and have fun. I believe this is where your subconscious comes out and you find the things that really interest you. Each page may hold a potentially big idea. These are messages to myself which may spark a new idea later on. We don't always have the perspective to see that something is great. Sometimes it takes time and a look back to figure out what we were trying to say.

I've been listening to the Paper Wings Podcast lately. They gave some good advise on character design. One of the tips was to make a list of traits for your character (e.g. big, strong, scary) and then make a list of opposite traits. Then mix and match to make a more interesting character. For this drawing I listed a bunch of traits a big scary monster would have, but made him vulnerable by having him react to a scary movie he is watching, with a blanket around him and a bucket of popcorn in his arms. It's a nice way to figure out good contrast and to make a character more interesting.

I made a goal this year to fill 8 sketchbooks and I am happy to say this is one goal that can be crossed off the list!