Today I want to tell you a bit about this project that I’m working on.
It started with a woman writing me, wanting to order a few illustrations for a song that she wrote. I thought it was really cool. I’ve never illustrated a song before, and was totally up for the task. And it brought my mind to when I was a nanny.
The kid I was looking after liked to watch music videos for kids on the Ipad. And I hated it. A little bit because of the Ipad-use itself, but that’s a whole other discussion about child-upbringing that I’m not qualified to discuss. It was the actual videos that really disturbed me. It was the same annoying song over and over again, but different videos with equally horrible animations. I tried my hardest to distract her from that Ipad so I wouldn’t have to hear/see it.
I’m neither an animator nor a good song writer, so I never thought of this before. But when this woman wrote me it hit me like lightning. The lyrics she sent me was great, and I thought that we should really make a whole video out of this.
At this point, we had already agreed on a price for three illustrations, and it was a pretty good one. Her budget was a little tight, but it was enough to keep me fed during the project. However, I knew that if we were to make a video out of this, it would take much more than three illustrations. At least if it was going to be as good as I could possibly make it. And I knew that she wouldn’t be able to afford that. So, since I was (and still am) so excited about the whole thing, I simply asked her if she would be ok with giving me free range on the project. I would do the whole thing for free, as long as I could take good time (so I can do some paying jobs in the meantime) and do it just the way I want to.
And she said yes! She’s had the idea of making a video herself, but just hadn’t gotten the opportunity. So now I’m doing this super cool thing! I have no idea how much it will take, or how long, or if it’s even going to turn out good. But I’m really, really excited. I’m even planning to throw myself out in some animation!
So here’s the first parts of the process:
First of all, I need to find the characters. The song is about two scarecrows, holding a contest. I have a thing for scarecrows, so that probably played a part in my big excitement.
Some more character sketches. Here I’m starting to consider facial expressions. The first thought was to give them the classical buttons for eyes and sown together mouths. But it’s more important to me that they can be really expressive, and I just couldn’t do that without pupils or teeth.
There are some really hard facial expressions to deal with here. How do I draw someone that’s trying to look cool and maybe a little arrogant, while they’re actually suffering from a big weight?
It’s pretty funny how I’m terrible at reading other people’s faces. The intention of others often fly over my head. But when it comes to depicting it on paper, it’s not at all that hard. Probably it has something to do with the big difference between exaggerated expressions in drawings and the subtle ones which are more common in real life.
And some more expressions and a little color test. I’ve pretty much found my characters here.
And here is the first big illustration!
I’ve tried out the softer style here, and I think it works really well.
This is probably not going to be a part of the final video. I think it will be better to draw the characters and backgrounds separately, for animation-purposes. But this was a good start.
This all actually relates to what I said in my last post. About working because it’s fun above anything else. I think this is the best reason to be working for free. To do it purely because you’re passionate about it. And this project is something that really sparks up my lust for creating. I’m really excited to find out how this is going to unfold.
Have a great day!