Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A rose is a rose.
We name everything, from our genitals to our gods. A name helps us deal with the hidden, minor or otherwise hard to explain traits of what we name. Over time I have gotten into the habit of naming illustrations. Particularly any work that requires Character Design. I tend to name them after people I know, have met, or know something about. The name helps me fill in the small bits that flesh out a character, make it fun and give it the undefinable details that, I hope make it a bit special. The characters, once named, seem to me to take on life. Ideas for hairstyles, accessories, poses and colors seem to come faster and make more sense. Oddly, even clients react to the names, responding to them like they were real people. In high school people would just stare at characters I drew without names. Now, with names, clients comment, make requests, the floodgates open up.
Rarely do I pick a person first, then base the character on them. (the exception being when I "cast" a comic book.) However, I do make exceptions, for me very rarely, and sometimes if the client has a special request.
It's always fun to create a character no matter what the use. These characters were for a McSoft project that I think never saw the light of day. Little avatars that you would be able to dress up like paper dolls and take shopping. Cute huh?
The named characters may reflect a part or perceived part of their namesake, but, as far as making a good illustration goes… "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."